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Mapping out new musical The A–Z of Mrs P – meet the writers

Henry Bird meets composer/lyricist Gwyneth Herbert and librettist Diane Samuels, the writers behind the brand new musical The A-Z of Mrs P (opening at the Southwark Playhouse on 24 February). The London A-Z, the map that has guided lost Londoners for almost 80 years, is said to have started life one night in 1935, when bohemian […]

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Drunk with Drew McOnie – Interview

Drew McOnie is becoming one of the UK’s most sought after choreographic talents. Last year saw him collaborate with Matthew Bourne on an original piece for the Coronation Festival Gala at Buckingham Palace, and most recently he choreographed the new production of Chicago at Leicester’s Curve Theatre. Indeed he is now an associate artist at the […]

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Tonight’s the Night – interview with Ben Elton

Ben Elton’s career has spanned plays, novels, and a feature film, in addition to 30 years as a successful comic writer and performer on British television and the stand-up circuit. But Elton has always reserved a special place in his heart for musicals, having written three that feature music from such diverse talents as Andrew […]

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The World Goes ‘Round at the Union Theatre

Jonathan Vickers writes: London’s Union Theatre is to stage the award-winning Kander & Ebb revue The World Goes ‘Round in a limited run beginning 17 January (previews on the 15 and 16 January) and ending on 8 February. The piece, exclusively featuring the music of admired writing team John Kander and Fred Ebb, parades some of […]

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Hayley Gallivan in Oliver! at Sheffield Crucible

Actress Hayley Gallivan plays Nancy in Sheffield Crucible’s production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! which opens this week. The musical is directed by the theatre’s award-winning artistic director Daniel Evans, who also staged the Crucible’s critically acclaimed productions of My Fair Lady and Tim Firth’s This is My Family (the latter won two UK Theatre Awards). […]

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John Barrowman – one day musical theatre will call again

Paul F Cockburn recently caught up with the multi-talented John Barrowman in Glasgow. Having just been recording 25 episodes of Pressure Pad, his new entertainment quiz show for the BBC, Barrowman was – technically – promoting his pantomine, Dick McWhittington (opening at the SECC Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow on 14 December), but the conversation strangely enough […]

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Seussical – director Kirk Jameson makes musical magic

After a successful season in 2012, the Broadway musical Seussical – based on the books of Dr. Seuss – returns to London’s Arts Theatre, opening on 2 December (with previews from 30 November) and running until 5 January 2014. After Kirk Jameson’s success with On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, staged at the […]

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Verity Rushworth – Chicago-bound

Former soap star Verity Rushworth is taking on the role of Velma Kelly at the Curve, Leicester, in a brand new production of Chicago. As the show’s memorable opening line states, it’s ‘a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery’. Bit like an episode of Emmerdale, really. Born in West Yorkshire, Rushworth […]

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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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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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Ian ‘H’ Watkins lives the Joseph dream again

Cameron Smith catches up with Welsh singer, dancer and stage actor Ian ‘H’ Watkins, well-known for being a member of pop group Steps, but also now a musical theatre regular. He is currently playing the lead role in the touring production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Ian ‘H’ Watkins, best-known as a member of the pop band […]

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Billy Stritch and the art of cabaret

Fiona-Jane Weston talks to award-winning New York and international jazz cabaret artist Billy Stritch about the art of cabaret in general and his show at the Crazy Coqs, London: I’ve Got Your Number – The Jazz of Cy Coleman. Billy Stritch has been performing as a piano player since very young, when he was considered a […]

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Introducing Glass Half Full Productions

Launched this week, Glass Half Full Productions is a new production company aiming to produce musicals, plays and comedy both in the UK and US in partnership with Just For Laughs Theatricals. CEO of Just For Laughs, Adam Blanshay (who won a Tony Award as co-producer on the Broadway musical Kinky Boots) has teamed up […]

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Frances Ruffelle – French Connection

Frances Ruffelle’s new cabaret, Paris Original, will be a celebration of French singers and songs. The show premieres at the Crazy Coqs from 8–12 October and represents something of a golden Gallic thread that has run through her career. This began when, at the age of 19, she originated the role of Eponine in Les […]

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Liza is back, courtesy of Trevor Ashley

Following his week at London’s Vaudeville Theatre in May this year, Trevor Ashley is back in the West End for one night only, after a brief UK tour. Michael Darvell spoke to the man behind Liza (on an E), his show about the great Minnelli. In fact Trevor Ashley is Liza, or at least he […]

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Donna McKechnie records her new album in London

Same Place, Another Time is Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie’s latest cabaret act. Michael Darvell reports from the CD recording of the show for Jay Records (while, below, Patrick Honore catches up with the actress post-performance). Any musical cabaret fan who saw Donna McKechnie performing her new show in New York or at the Crazy Coqs […]

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Interview – actress Julie Atherton

Actress Julie Atherton has regularly performed in the West End, making her debut in the lead role of Sophie in Mamma Mia! She also originated the role of Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut in the original London production of Avenue Q at the Noel Coward and Gielgud Theatres. Among her extensive other credits are tours of Fame and Sister Act, as […]

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Meet Ty Jeffries, aka Miss Hope Springs

Fiona-Jane Weston meets Miss Hope Springs (alter ego of songwriter and performer Ty Jeffries) who has a Sunday night residency at London’s The Crazy Coqs. Son of actor Lionel Jeffries (Camelot, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, director of The Railway Children) and actress Eileen Walsh, Ty grew up surrounded by artists of every genre (Fred Astaire and Danny La […]

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The Prodigals – meet the team

The Prodigals is a new musical by Ray Goudie and Joe Harmston (who also directs), which runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until 14 September. With its roots in the biblical tale of the Prodigal Son, it’s set in Afghanistan and tells the story of a father, Colonel Luke Gibson (Simon Bowman) and his two sons, Mike, a conscientious solder (Sam Ferriday) […]

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Michael Ball on Live By the Lake

Olivier Award-winner, multi-platinum recording artist, TV host and radio presenter, and one of Britain’s leading musical theatre performers, that’s Michael Ball. On Sunday, 1 September he leads the cast of Summertime – An Evening of Gershwin as part of the Live By the Lake season at Kenwood House in Hamsptead, London. Also in the cast […]

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Maury Yeston and Titanic

  The 1997 musical version of the Titanic story has finally reached London in a new chamber staging at the Southwark Playhouse. Michael Darvell meets the show’s composer and lyricist Maury Yeston. It may be more than 100 years since the Titanic sank, losing some 1,500 lives, but the disaster still fascinates the general public, […]

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Will Young and Cabaret on tour

Singer/songwriter Will Young will reprise his role as the Emcee in Rufus Norris’ acclaimed production of Cabaret. Following a successful West End run, the UK tour of the musical will open at London’s New Wimbledon Theatre on 28th August.  Ever since winning the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2002, Young has been one of the UK’s […]

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Leigh Zimmerman in The Producers. Picture: Roy Tan

Every Little Step She Takes

Broadway and West End actress Leigh Zimmerman is always true to the characters she plays, as Lisa Martland discovers. It’s hard to argue with Leigh Zimmerman’s record when it comes to musical theatre. Alongside a string of impressive TV and film credits, she has made a habit of playing and creating leading roles in Broadway […]

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