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Ivor Novello – The Great British Musical is West End bound

Following two sell-out performances at London’s St James Theatre earlier this year and a mini-tour of the UK, Ivor Novello – The Great British Musical now transfers to play the London Hippodrome for one night only on Saturday 16 November at 8pm. This year marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of the the most successful British musical theatre composer […]

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Stiles and Drewe’s Wind in the Willows musical – a chance to invest

Producer Jamie Hendry has announced plans to give theatregoers and fans the chance to participate in the financing of West End musical The Wind in the Willows. The platform aims to give budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to take part in bringing this new musical theatre adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel to the West End […]

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Sondheim: Inside Out – QEH

Sondheim: Inside Out at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. When this Sondheim: Inside Out concert goes out on BBC Radio 3 on 20 December, it’s a fair bet it will do so minus Maria Friedman’s expletive at missing a word in that extremely complicated and impossibly fast anthem to wedding day panic, ‘Getting Married Today’ from Company. […]

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Ruth Leon – From There to Here – St James Theatre Studio

Ruth Leon: From There To Here at the St James Theatre Studio, London. The first London Festival of Cabaret is proving not just a vehicle for the best performers from either side of the Atlantic to serenade us, but an instrument for education as well. First came masterclasses from Maria Friedman and Barb Jungr, and on […]

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Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme – three new winners

Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network have announced the winners of the next three placements for the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme.  The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme is supported by the Mackintosh Foundation. It provides six-month placements in major theatres throughout the UK for emerging professional theatre composers. One hundred and seventy nine applications were received for […]

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In conversation with Janie Dee

Barrie Jerram catches up with Olivier Award-winning actress and singer Janie Dee. This weekend versatile actress Janie Dee is the latest guest of Edward Seckerson in his Singular Sensations series at London’s Charing Cross Theatre. These shows have an ‘in conversation with…’ format as the writer and presenter encourages his guests to talk about their […]

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The Threepenny Opera leads New Wolsey Theatre season

The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich’s season for spring 2014, which goes on general sale on Saturday 16 November, features four musicals. The Threepenny Opera is a New Wolsey’s co-production of Brecht and Weill’s musical masterpiece with Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Graeae Theatre Company (12–22 March). Familiar faces from Our House and Reasons […]

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Stiles and Drewe’s Betty Blue Eyes set to tour

Betty Blue Eyes, the George Stiles and Anthony Drewe musical based on the Alan Bennett film A Private Function is set to tour theatres across England next year in a new co-production between Mercury Theatre Colchester, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Salisbury Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse (the official press night will take place at Mercury […]

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The A-Z of Mrs P – new British musical opens in February 2014

The brand new musical The A-Z of Mrs P tells the true journey of the eccentric Phyllis Pearsall, who got lost on the way to a party and spent the next five years of her life walking the streets of London creating the A-Z. It opens at Southwark Playhouse on Thursday 20 February 2014 and runs until […]

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The Bodyguard celebrates first birthday

This week the hit West End musical The Bodyguard celebrated its first birthday at the Adelphi Theatre. At the end of the performance, Debbie Kurup, who has played Nicki Marron in the production since its world premiere in December 2012, asked the audience to join in celebrating the milestone as a specially commissioned birthday cake […]

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Cool Rider – aka Grease 2 in Concert – adds new date

Cool Rider (formerly entitled Grease 2 in Concert) has added a second performance at 11pm on Monday 27 January 2014 at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue – the earlier performance has sold out. It has also been announced that Reece Shearsmith will appear as biology teacher Mr Stuart. Shearsmith is best known for his television work in […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Twang!!

Twang!! performed by Guildford School of Acting’s third-year musical theatre graduates at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford, Surrey, until 9 November. Any connection between the newly-minted version of Lionel Bart’s gigantic 1965 flop Twang!! and a sane, normal evening at the theatre is purely coincidental… but it is tremendous fun. The double exclamation mark in the title […]

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The Three Shonas – The Pheasantry

The Three Shonas performed at The Pheasantry, London. Shona White, Shona Lindsay and Shonagh Daly, each of them having made their mark in musical theatre, thought that if there were The Three Tenors, then why not a cabaret act, The Three Shonas? And what an inspired idea it turned out to be for the London […]

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Steve Ross – Ridin’ High – Crazy Coqs

Steve Ross performed Ridin’ High at the Crazy Coqs, London. Steve Ross almost sheepishly admits that he has been in the cabaret business for 54 years. It seems incredible that so accomplished a musician and vocalist is not more widely known outside the cabaret circuit. Toasted as New York’s Crown Prince of Cabaret by The […]

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High Society – Bridewell Theatre

High Society continues at the Bridewell Theatre, London until November 9. Amateur theatre is often as highly variable in quality as the professional fringe circuit. With so many small theatres’ own productions relying on unpaid actors, sometimes the only principal difference between an amateur performance and a professional one is the amount of training the performers have had. Centre Stage, […]

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Michael Feinstein and Friends – Palace Theatre

Michael Feinstein and Friends at the Palace Theatre, London. Small, dapper and a ridiculously young-looking 57, Michael Feinstein bounded on to the Palace stage and gave us a two-hour trawl through the Great American Songbook with brief assistance from Elaine Paige and Julian Ovenden in this flagship event of the first London Festival of Cabaret. […]

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Mamma Mia! – Blackpool cast revealed

The producers of Mamma Mia! have announced the full cast for the exclusive UK summer season of the musical’s international tour at the Blackpool Opera House, opening in June 2014 (20 June–31 August). This will be the only UK venue outside of London to host the hit musical next year. Real-life husband and wife, Richard Standing […]

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Sondheim: Inside Out – Southbank Centre

An impressive line-up of performers will join conductor Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra for Sondheim: Inside Out, showcasing the life and music of lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim as part of Southbank Centre’s The Rest Is Noise Festival on Sunday, 10 November. Renowned Sondheim interpreter and director of the much-acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory […]

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Denise Van Outen tours in new play Some Girl I Used to Know

Denise Van Outen will appear in a new one-woman play with music, Some Girl I Used to Know, which she has also co-written with Terry Ronald. The UK tour will open at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, with a press night on 5 February 2014, continuing to Birmingham, Hull, Aylesbury, Wolverhampton, Swindon, High Wycombe, Rhyl, […]

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Janie Dee – St James Theatre Studio

Janie Dee performed in cabaret at the St James Studio Theatre, London as part of the London Festival of Cabaret. It would be hard to imagine a more fitting artist to end the first week of the London Festival of Cabaret than Janie Dee – a consummate performer who does not just sing a song […]

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After Midnight – Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York

After Midnight continues at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York, for an open-ended run. To borrow from E.Y. (Yip) Harburg’s memorable lyric, it seems like happiness is just a thing called After Midnight. This revue of music from the heyday in the late 1920s of the Cotton Club, the fabled Harlem night-spot, is escapist Broadway […]

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Wimbledon/Touring

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London until 2 November and then continues its tour. Playing during the school half-term, this colourful and fun production of the long-running Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical collaboration was perfect pre-Xmas fare for all the family. Indeed for much of the […]

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels reaches West End – Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound star

The UK Premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will arrive at London’s Savoy Theatre in March 2014 starring Olivier, Tony and BAFTA award-winning actor Robert Lindsay (Me And My Girl, Becket, Oliver! and My Family) and comedian Rufus Hound (One Man, Two Guvnors, Celebrity Juice) as the comedy duo Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson. Katherine Kingsley joins the pair as Christine Colgate (A Midsummer […]

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Avenue Q – Theatre Royal, Windsor

Avenue Q continues at the Theatre Royal, Windsor until 2 November. Having premiered Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre back in 2003, moved to Broadway and transferred to London’s West End in 2006, Avenue Q arrives at the Theatre Royal, Windsor under the auspices of Magic Mirror Productions Ltd. For those not in the know, Avenue […]

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Alexander Armstrong and His Band – St James Theatre Studio

Alexander Armstrong and His Band Celebrate The Great British Songbook at the St James Theatre Studio, London. It is unlikely that many of the dates for the London Festival of Cabaret will have created such a flurry of sales as that of Alexander Armstrong and His Band. A regular face on British television screens for nearly […]

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KT Sullivan – Crazy Coqs

KT Sullivan performs Rhyme, Women and Song at the Crazy Coqs, London until 2 November. If there’s anything better than having KT Sullivan in London for a week, it’s having that delicious Oklahoma songbird here for two. Following her Vienna to Weimar show alongside Karen Kohler in the London Festival of Cabaret series at the […]

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The Scottsboro Boys – Young Vic

The Scottsboro Boys continues at the Young Vic, London until 21 December. Once in a while an original cast album comes along that really excites, grabs the imagination and makes one long to see it staged. The Scottsboro Boys was such a one. After a long wait, it’s hats off to the Young Vic for […]

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Youth Music Theatre – 2014 audition dates revealed

Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) has launched a nationwide search for the best actors, singers, dancers, musicians and back stage crew to join the company in 2014. Aspiring young performers, aged 11–21, can book their place for YMT’s 2014 Workshop & Audition Tour online at www.youthmusictheatreuk.org/auditions.    YMT will be auditioning in 22 cities nationwide: London, Cambridge, […]

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Singin’ in the Rain tour set for Manchester opening

The UK and Ireland tour of the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Singin’ in the Rain opens at Manchester Opera House on 13 November (with previews from Saturday 9 November), before playing a Christmas and New Year season in Cardiff. Singin’ in the Rain will feature Maxwell Caulfield as studio boss RF Simpson, actress and former member of Steps Faye Tozer and […]

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Maria Friedman Masterclass – St James Theatre

The Maria Friedman Masterclass: The Art of Performance took place at St James Theatre, London. As part of the first London Festival of Cabaret, actress-singer-director Maria Friedman gave a masterclass for music students at the St James Theatre in London. Michael Darvell made some notes… I had been banging on for many years in several […]

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Love Story – Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Love Story continues at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, London until 16 November. Anyone who has read Erich Segal’s novel or seen the 1970 film will know what a tear-jerker Love Story is, but is it suited to a musical theatre setting? Yes, there is plenty of music content (Jenny Cavilleri, the character at the centre of the […]

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The Opinion Makers – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

The Opinion Makers continues at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester until 9 November, and then plays at the Derby Theatre from 13–23 November. The Opinion Makers, a new musical comedy, purports to dish the dirt on market research and the whole advertising industry. Writers Brian Mitchell and Joseph Nixon obviously felt they were doing a good […]

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Catch Me If You Can – Kammerspiele der Josefstadt, Vienna

Catch Me If You Can continues in rep at the Kammerspiele der Josefstadt, Vienna. After months of refurbishment, the Kammerspiele der Josefstadt is back with a bang. Directing his seventh show, Werner Sobotka returns to the legendary theatre with the European premiere of the Scott Wittman/Marc Shaiman/Terrence McNally show Catch Me If You Can. Based on the […]

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Thriller Live – Lyric Theatre

Thriller Live continues at the Lyric Theatre, London. Thriller Live is billed as an ever evolving concert which celebrates the work of Michael Jackson. The show, which first appeared on the London scene in January 2009, celebrated its 2,000th West End performance this week and continues to appeal to a diverse audience of Jackson fans. […]

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The Landing – Vineyard Theatre, New York

The Landing continues at the Vineyard Theatre, New York, until 24 November. Two wins out of three isn’t bad, and that’s the score I’ll give to the new Off-Broadway chamber musical The Landing, consisting of three one-acts, from the team of Kander and Pierce. Kander and Pierce, of course, doesn’t have the same resonance for […]

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Sam Attwater – Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

TV and theatre performer Sam Attwater is starring as Adam Pontipee in the current UK tour of the critically acclaimed musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. This new production is directed and choreographed by Broadway’s award-winning Patti Colombo, described by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the finest musical comedy choreographers in the business”. The […]

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Secret Love – Scunthorpe/Touring

Secret Love was performed at the Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe and continues to tour until 28 November. Doris Day was a phenomenon, and became a legend almost before her time. Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati in 1924, she was a teen star – by 13 a potential dancer – groomed for the stage and, more […]

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Hairspray – new production at Leicester Curve stars David Witts

Curve Theatre, Leicester’s artistic director Paul Kerryson has revealed that a new production of Hairspray, with actor David Witts as Link Larkin, will open at the venue from 5 March 2014 (previews from 28 February) and run until 5 April. Witts trained with the National Youth Music Theatre and the National Youth Theatre of Great […]

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Grease 2 has London concert staging in 2014

The cult movie musical Grease 2 will finally make the transition from screen to stage with a one-off concert version on Monday, 27 January 2014 at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Telling the love story of Pink Lady Stephanie Zinone and English transfer student Michael Carrington, Grease 2 follows their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education […]

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From Here to Eternity – Shaftesbury Theatre

From Here to Eternity opened at the Shaftesbury, London on 23 October. Based on the novel by James Jones, From Here to Eternity tells the story of the lives and loves of career soldiers in G Company, stationed in Hawaii in the days leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941. Jones’ novel was turned […]

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KT Sullivan & Karen Kohler/Barb Jungr – London Festival of Cabaret

KT Sullivan and Karen Kohler – Vienna to Weimar at the Crazy Coqs, London, until 26 October. Barb Jungr – Mad About the Boy and No Regrets at the Soho Theatre, London, until 26 October. Insatiable cabaret buffs, if they’re quick on their feet around London’s West End this week, have the opportunity of seeing […]

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Fun Home – The Public Theater, New York

Fun Home continues at The Public Theater, New York, until November 17. Alison Bechdel’s best-selling 2006 graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic has been transformed into an unsentimental but deeply moving depiction of the complex connections – and disconnects – between parent and child. It‘s a luminous Off-Broadway offering, beautifully performed and told in compelling […]

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Im Weissen Rossl – Oper Graz, Austria

Im Weissen Rössl is being performed in rep at the Oper Graz, Graz, Austria. Following the success of Josef Ernst Köpplinger’s first production as artistic director at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, the tale of the butler Leopold (with Daniel Prohaska reprising his role) and the owner of the famous Das Weisse Rössl (The White […]

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Oh What a Lovely War – casting revealed

Caroline Quentin will join the ensemble cast of the 2014 Theatre Royal Stratford East 50th anniversary production of Oh What A Lovely War, Joan Littlewood’s satirical musical about the First World War being revived in 2014, 100 years after the start of the start of the conflict. Directed by Terry Johnson and designed by Lez Brotherston, the […]

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The S&S Award – gala celebrates new musical theatre

An evening of new British musical theatre will be unveiled at the inaugural The S&S Award, the prize presented to the best, yet to be produced musical of the year, with West End stars performing material from the winning and highly commended musicals at the St James Theatre, London on Sunday 24 November. The winner […]

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Merrily We Roll Along – UK movie premiere

The Merrily We Roll Along movie, premiered at Cineworld, Haymarket, London on 21 October. How does a show that was a total catastrophe when it opened on Broadway in 1981 – and closed after 16 performances – turn into a work of genius? Just watch the Merrily We Roll Along movie, a faithful record of the show which […]

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Hannah Waddingham – St James Theatre

Hannah Waddingham and Her Band performed at the St James Theatre, London. Only a few weeks ago, Hannah Waddingham performed at the St James Theatre Studio, where she headlined Sondheim Women but sang just two songs. However, those disappointed by the statuesque West End diva’s all-too-brief appearance, were able to get their fix sated by attending […]

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Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical – Paper Mill Playhouse

Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical continues at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey until 27 October. Honeymoon in Vegas – The Musical, like many musicals today, is based on a hit movie, but this world premiere is insanely funny for a change. A throwback to another time, it’s about a guy whose Las Vegas […]

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If It Only Even Runs a Minute – Matcham Room

If It Only Even Runs a Minute: London Edition 3 was performed at the Matcham Room, London Hippodrome. For every long-running musical that makes a success in the West End or on Broadway, there are tens, if not hundreds, that fall by the wayside. Most deserve their ignominious fate – but every so often, there are […]

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Sheffield Theatres top UK Theatre Awards

Sheffield Theatres triumphed at the UK Theatre Awards, presented by the Theatrical Management Association and held at the Guildhall, London. Four awards came from five nominations, two of which were musical theatre related. Tim Firth’s musical comedy This is My Family, staged by Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans, was named the Best Musical Theatre […]

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