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Shortlist revealed for Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The shortlist of ten nominated shows for Musical Theatre Review’s inaugural Best Musical Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been announced today. In the 70th anniversary of the Fringe, Musical Theatre Review has launched the award to celebrate the excellence of musical theatre product presented at the world’s largest annual arts event. In the […]

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Wicked tour role for Aaron Sidwell

EastEnders bad boy Aaron Sidwell will head out of Albert Square and into the role of Fiyero in the touring version of the smash hit musical Wicked which is due to make a welcome return to the UK next February to play ten UK and Ireland cities. Sidwell, who is due to end his current run […]

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Original Half a Sixpence demo recordings to be released

Previously unreleased studio demo recordings of David Heneker’s Half a Sixpence will be released by genre specialists Stage Door Records next month over 50 years after the tracks were recorded. Featuring performers including the original production’s star, Tommy Steele, and the writer of the musical’s book, Beverley Cross, the CD includes 17 tracks from the […]

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Really Useful Group announces major new deal to develop musical theatre in China

A Chinese language version of the musical Tell Me On a Sunday will be the first production from a major new partnership between Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and one of China’s leading live performing arts companies, Shanghai Media Group Live. Aimed at developing and expanding musical theatre in China, the deal will involve […]

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Great Comet, Bandstand, Groundhog Day and On Your Feet set Broadway closings

The ranks of the past season’s new Broadway musicals are thinning considerably, with closing dates recently announced by four of them: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Bandstand, Groundhog Day and On Your Feet. Bandstand, which began previews on 31 March and had its official opening on 26 April, will wrap up on 17 […]

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Andy Coxon joins cast of Hair at The Vaults

Yank! star Andy Coxon has been cast in the iconic role of Berger in the eagerly-anticipated London run of the new 50th anniversary production of the classic rock musical Hair. Opening at The Vaults in October, Hair is due to play the distinctive subterranean arts venue in London’s Waterloo until Sunday 14 January. Directed by […]

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George Rae to play Feinstein’s 54 Below in February

West End favourite George Rae will be taking his new cabaret show to the prestigious Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York early next year. Packed with anecdotes about his glittering career beginning as a young Scottish artist working in London, Life is a Caba-RAE: A Scot in New York will play the Broadway supper club on […]

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Evita at the Phoenix Theatre – exclusive production images

Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan has taken a selection of exclusive images of hit musical Evita which has returned to the West End. Presented by Bill Kenwright for a strictly limited 12-week season, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi award-winning musical continues at the Phoenix Theatre until 14 October. This year’s Eva is played […]

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The Other Palace to stage Starlight Express workshops

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit Starlight Express will steam into his newest theatre, The Other Palace, next month for three concert-style workshop performances. Members of the original creative team for the show, which opened in the West End in 1984, will work with a group of carefully chosen actors and musicians to explore the distinctive piece. […]

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Cabaret show Musicals and Beyond stars Helena Blackman and Amanda Coutts

West End favourites Helena Blackman and Amanda Coutts are joining forces in a new cabaret show at Above the Arts in London’s West End. The latest from show from Paul Burton Productions, the company behind the popular Sunday at the Musicals concerts, Musicals and Beyond will feature the two stars performing a mixture of songs […]

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Welsh premiere of My Land’s Shore – concert to raise funds

Casting has been announced for a special fundraising concert to support the eagerly-anticipated homecoming of historical Welsh musical My Land’s Shore. Featuring songs by British composers and hosted by Tim McArthur, the concert on Sunday 3 September will play London’s Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, the venue where the show received its world premiere […]

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Theatre world mourns the loss of actress and singer Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook, whose nonpareil career stretched from dazzling portrayals in classic Broadway musicals to iconic performances in concert halls and cabarets, died on 8 August at the age of 89. The cause was reported to be respiratory failure. Cook made her Broadway debut in 1951 as the ingenue lead in the short-lived musical Flahooley, then […]

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BEAM 2018 new musicals showcase – ‘pitch days’ to start in September

Writers with ideas for new musical projects are being offered the chance to pitch their work for inclusion in BEAM 2018, the biennial industry showcase organisd by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments. Presented in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East, and culminating in a two-day industry showcase at the London venue in March […]

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Exclusive – Pimlico Opera to stage Les Mis at Surrey prison

After missing out 2016 while it and sister company Grange Park Opera were building their own Theatre in the Woods at West Horsley Place, and moving to Surrey following a protracted dispute with the owners of its Hampshire HQ for 17 years, Pimlico Opera is once again going to prison with a musical – and […]

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Tributes paid to opera and theatre director Lee Blakeley

The international theatre community has been paying tribute to British opera and theatre director Lee Blakeley who died suddenly at the weekend. Known for his work on successful Stephen Sondheim productions at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, Blakeley directed the French premiere of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George and an acclaimed production of […]

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West End’s School of Rock extends run until January 2019

School looks set to stay in session for at least two more years with the announcement of a fourth extension to the West End run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock – The Musical. Now booking until 13 January 2019 at the New London Theatre, the production team also confirmed the dates for the next […]

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Matilda The Musical – new ‘grown-ups’ join the cast

David Shannon will step into the villainous role of Miss Trunchbull in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi award-winning Matilda The Musical next month. Shannon, whose distinguished stage career includes starring roles in The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon will be joined on stage by Gina Beck (Wicked, Show Boat) who will take over […]

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Musical Theatre Review will present Best Musical Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Musical Theatre Review is launching the Best Musical Award to celebrate the excellence of musical theatre product presented at the world’s largest annual arts event. The winning musical will be picked from a shortlist of 10 productions nominated by the MTR Edinburgh team, led by Festival […]

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Craig Revel Horwood joins London company of Annie

From 18 September to 26 November 2017, Craig Revel Horwood will join the West End company of Annie to play the role of Miss Hannigan for 10 weeks. In addition, it is announced today that Nikolai Foster’s production will extend booking at the Piccadilly Theatre to 18 February 2018. Best known on television as a […]

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Ben Lewis is new West End Phantom from September

Ben Lewis will step into the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre this September. The star who previously played the Phantom in the original Australian production of the sequel Love Never Dies and was part of the original UK cast of Love Me Tender, is one […]

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Son of a Preacher Man – cast details

Full casting has been announced for the Dusty Springfield-inspired musical Son of a Preacher Man which is due to debut with an extensive national tour next month. Joining the previously announced Diana Vickers, Debra Stephenson and Ian Reddington are Michael Howe, Michelle Long, Kate Hardisty, Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Lewis Kidd, Liam Vincent-Kilbride, Jon Bonner, Rachel McAllister, […]

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Hope Mill Theatre’s Pippin – cast revealed

Jonathan Carlton will take on the title role in the Manchester premiere of Pippin which is due to begin a four-week run later this month at the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre. The fourth production from the successful partnership between the Manchester venue and London arts producer Aria Entertainment, the revival of the Tony Award-winning Broadway […]

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Henshall, Prenger and Salonga lead line-up at Lytham’s West End Proms

Musical theatre favourites Ruthie Henshall, Jodie Prenger and Lea Salonga are among the star names lined up for the West End Proms finale at this year’s Lytham Festival. The West End and Broadway veterans will be joined by 13-year-old Britain’s Got Talent finalist Beau Dermott and 25 youngsters from across the North West at the […]

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Kids Week event is under way

Featuring more than 35 of London’s biggest shows, this year’s popular Kids Week event is now under way. Celebrating its 20th year, the annual London theatre initiative which runs for the entire month of August has enlisted a wide range of major productions which will offer free tickets to performances. During the event one child […]

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Lanza show to play Opera in the City Festival

Crossover opera and musical theatre singer Andrew Bain will bring a re-worked version of his tribute to 1950s singer and movie star Mario Lanza to London’s Opera in the City Festival this week. Written and performed by Bain and directed by Anthony Shrubsall, Lanza will play the Bridewell Theatre on the 2 and 5 August. […]

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Wicked takes 16th slot in longest-running West End show list

Magical musical Wicked has overtaken Billy Elliot The Musical to become the 16th longest-running show in London theatre history. With two extra matinees added this month, on Thursday 17 August and Thursday 24 August, the record-breaking musical will play its 4,567th performance tonight (Tuesday 1 August) at its London home, the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Now […]

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New arts venue CentrE17 opens in Walthamstow

With support of the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the GLA, new performance venue CentrE17, run by the community for the community, has opened in the heart of Walthamstow in East London. Kieran Falconer reports. Theatre is magic. It’s holy. It transcends the space that it’s in and brings us beyond our natural world. […]

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Bronté Barbé to play title role in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tour 

Bronté Barbé will play Carole King in the UK and Ireland tour of the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Bronté will be joined by Kane Oliver Parry as King’s husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin, Amy Ellen Richardson as Cynthia Weil, Matthew Gonsalves as Barry Mann, Carol Royle as […]

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Wonderland UK tour cut short

The UK tour of Frank Wildhorn’s Tony Award-nominated Wonderland has been cut short in the wake of a dispute between the show’s producers and one of its technical suppliers. Performances in Swansea, Wolverhampton, Richmond and Bournemouth have been shelved following reports of a row over payments. Problems first came to light last week when the […]

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Bacharach and Sater’s Some Lovers – casting details

The Bodyguard’s Ben Richards will return to musical theatre to star in the European premiere of Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s Some Lovers at the upcoming From Page to Stage Summer Festival at The Other Palace. Richards [pictured left] will be one of four actors cast to play two characters, Ben and Molly, caught between the […]

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Kelsey Grammer to star in Big Fish the Musical at The Other Palace

Kelsey Grammer will star as Edward Bloom in a new production of John August and Andrew Lippa’s Big Fish the Musical. Based on the novel Big Fish by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Pictures film screenplay by John August, this new production will be the London premiere of the musical and also marks Grammer’s first […]

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West End shows join Mayor’s ‘London is Open for Summer’ campaign

London’s status as “the global leader for theatre” was today celebrated by a host of top West End shows as they came together to support the Mayor of London’s campaign to tell the world that London is open for summer. Shows including Disney’s Aladdin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mamma Mia!, Matilda The Musical, Les […]

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New musical Heaven on Earth – full casting

Full casting has been announced for Heaven on Earth which will be touring arenas across the UK from December 2017 to May 2018. The epic and inspirational journey of Adam and Eve has been adapted into a brand new musical experience told through “state-of-the-art digital technology, innovative staging and stunning choreography”. Joining the previously announced […]

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Hershey Felder to bring Berlin and Bernstein shows to The Other Palace

Award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder will bring the magic of two of the most iconic names in musical theatre, Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein, to The Other Palace this autumn. Recently named by the prestigious Time magazine as one of its top ten theatre artists of 2016, Felder has created two musical plays that take […]

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New production of Parade to launch Hertfordshire Paper Mill as arts venue

A revival of the award-winning 1998 musical Parade will be the first professional production at the world’s oldest working paper factory in Hertfordshire this September. With a book by Driving Miss Daisy writer Alfred Uhry and a score by Jason Robert Brown (Songs For a New World; The Last Five Years; Bridges of Madison County), […]

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West End Bares reveals Ruby Strippers theme

Olivier Award winner Rebecca Trehearn will open this year’s Wizard of Oz-inspired edition of West End Bares, the burlesque-flavoured fundraiser which will play London’s Novello Theatre on Sunday 29 October. Performing a track specially written for the occasion by The Book of Mormon’s Mark Anderson and That Bloody Woman composer Luke di Somma, the Show […]

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Theatre Royal Stratford East’s 2017 Musical Theatre Workshop under way

Six new musical projects are currently under development at this year’s Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Musical Theatre Workshop. A total of 12 artists are currently at work until 28 July under the guidance of members of the East London venue’s artistic team including MT New Writing manager Sevan Tavoukdjian and specialist tutors from NYU’s Tisch […]

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Full West End rep company for From Page to Stage

A cast of 56, more than 50 composers and writers, and an 18-strong creative team will form a musical rep company in the West End for this year’s From Page to Stage Summer Festival at The Other Palace. Aria Entertainment’s annual event will bring a packed programme of new musicals to its new home at […]

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Union Theatre to stage Salad Days 63 years after its West End debut

Classic British musical Salad Days will return to London next month over six decades since it made its West End debut. Reimagined for the Union Theatre later this month, director Bryan Hodgson’s new production of the show which debuted in the capital in 1954 will play a strictly limited season at the Off-West End venue […]

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Highlights of next Live At Zédel season revealed

The European premiere of Ryan Scott Oliver’s Southern gothic thriller We Foxes Come and an appearance by US musical theatre rising star Joey Contreras are among the genre highlights at London’s Live At Zédel this September. Award-winning New York-based Oliver’s latest musical We Foxes Come will be performed as a one night only concert reading […]

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London Theatres – Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley take readers on a tour with new book

Renowned theatre critic Michael Coveney has joined forces with leading photographer Peter Dazeley to take theatre lovers on a tour of London’s most iconic theatres. Published in September, London Theatres will offer a unique front of house and behind the scenes view of London’s world famous playhouses. With a forward by Mark Rylance, words by […]

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The Woman in White – revival to be staged at Charing Cross Theatre

Acclaimed director Thom Southerland (Titanic, Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel) is to direct the first ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony and Olivier Award-nominated musical The Woman in White. A tempestuous tale of love, betrayal and greed, adapted from Wilkie Collins’ haunting Victorian thriller, this is the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel’s […]

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Hair at The Vaults extends until January 2018

The eagerly-anticipated London run of the new 50th anniversary production of the classic rock musical Hair has been extended into January 2018. Opening at The Vaults in October, Hair will now play the distinctive subterranean arts venue in London’s Waterloo until Sunday 14 January. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, the new production of the cult show […]

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Ruffelle, Huntley and Kemp to play new Pizza Express live venue

Frances Ruffelle, Tyrone Huntley and Martin Kemp are among the latest additions to the star-studded launch season line-up at restaurant chain Pizza Express’ latest London entertainment venue. Tickets are already on sale for An Audience With Martin Kemp on 31 August, West End favourite Ruffelle’s solo show I Say Yeh-Yeh on 3 September and Evening […]

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Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre – exclusive new images

Off-Broadway musical Yank! has transferred to London’s Charing Cross Theatre this summer just months after its acclaimed UK premiere run at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. Here’s a look at Musical Theatre Review official photographer Roy Tan’s exclusive production images. Second World War gay love story Yank! continues at the Charing Cross Theatre until Saturday 19 August. The musical has a book […]

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My Land’s Shore to debut in Wales

Historical Welsh musical My Land’s Shore is heading home for its Welsh premiere at Theatr Soar in Merthyr Tydfil early next year. Following on from the well-received world premiere run at London’s Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in February, the show’s Welsh premiere run will begin on 20 February 2018. Based on the true […]

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Toxic Avenger – full cast revealed for transfer

Mark Anderson [pictured] will return to the central role in the hit Off-Broadway rock musical The Toxic Avenger which will follow its sold-out London debut at the Southwark Playhouse with a transfer to the Arts Theatre this autumn. Directed by Benji Sperring, the European premiere production of the show – based on a 1980s cult […]

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Titanic The Musical to sail into Belfast as part of debut national tour

The eagerly anticipated UK and Ireland tour of Titanic The Musical will make an early stop at Belfast, the city where the doomed ship was built. As previously announced, Thom Southerland’s critically-acclaimed production of the multi award-winning Broadway will begin its first tour in Southampton, the city where the RMS Titanic began its fateful maiden […]

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Drawing the line – why Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt has got his priorities right

Musical Theatre Review editor Lisa Martland writes… I am not a stranger to fandom, I vividly recall having posters of 1980s pop stars on my bedroom walls. And as my passion for theatre, and musicals in particular, grew, I wasn’t a complete stranger to the Stage Door after a performance – shyly standing in a […]

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Natalie Anderson signs up for Fat Friends The Musical

Former Emmerdale star Natalie Anderson is the latest addition to the cast for the UK tour of Fat Friends The Musical. The actress, whose stage roles since leaving the ITV soap have included Nessarose in the West End production of Wicked, will play Lauren the role originated on screen by her Emmerdale co-star Gaynor Faye. […]

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