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Fat Friends The Musical – Sam Bailey and Elaine C Smith join cast

Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey and award-winning comedian and actress Elaine C Smith will join the previously announced Jodie Prenger in the major new musical re-shaping of popular ITV drama Fat Friends later this year. Bailey, the former real-life prison officer whose theatre roles include playing Mamma Morton in last year’s UK tour of […]

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Blues in the Night – London Hippodrome

Blues in the Night was performed at the London Hippodrome. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It hard to believe it’s 30 years ago since Blues in the Night was first seen in London. Conceived and originally directed by Sheldon Epps, Blues in the Night premiered Off-Broadway in 1980 and two years […]

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Sweetee – Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York

Sweetee continues at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York until 18 June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ An exuberant quintet of ragtag youthful music-makers makes a lot of Sweetee, a new musical testing the Off-Broadway waters with a very limited engagement, quite a satisfying […]

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Sondheim: Smiles of a Summer Night – Cadogan Hall

Sondheim: Smiles of a Summer Night at the Cadogan Hall, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Two hours of nothing but Sondheim with an orchestra of 33, eight gifted soloists, 11 backing singers and 24 examples of his finest work – no wonder there were plenty of Smiles of a Summer […]

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Drama Desk Awards – top honours for Dolly, Midler and Come from Away

To no one’s great surprise, Hello, Dolly! and its star Bette Midler walked away with top honours at the Drama Desk Awards. The revival of the Jerry Herman blockbuster classic did share the spotlight, though, with several new musicals, including Come from Away, which was named Outstanding Musical. The awards from the Drama Desk, an […]

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Wicked Young Writer Awards finalists revealed

The names of the 115 finalists in the running for the seventh annual Wicked Young Writer Awards have been revealed. Confirmed by the judging panel once again headed by How to Train Your Dragon author-illustrator Cressida Cowell, the finalists were chosen by teachers from both primary and secondary school sectors. Championed by Patron Her Royal […]

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Diana Vickers cast in Dusty-inspired Son of a Preacher Man

X Factor singer turned stage star Diana Vickers will take on the central role in the touring production of the Dusty Springfield-inspired Son of a Preacher Man. With a book by Warner Brown and directed and choreographed by Strictly’s King of the pithy putdown, Craig Revel Horwood, the national tour is due to begin at Bromley’s […]

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Will Young and Louise Rednapp to star in Cabaret tour

Former pop star and Strictly favourite Louise Redknapp will make her stage debut as Sally Bowles in this autumn’s nationwide tour of Rufus Norris’ acclaimed revival of Cabaret. Opening at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Thursday 21 September, the show will also star former Pop Idol Will Young who will once again play the Emcee, […]

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FatBusters the Musical – St Giles-in-the-Fields

FatBusters the Musical continues at St Giles-in-the-Fields, London until 10 June. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ A weight-loss class or group attracts people disparately. The dynamic as they ‘bond’ has such strong theatrical potential that it’s surprising that (to my knowledge) no one has tapped into this rich field before. Clearly […]

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Liver Birds Flying Home – concert performance – Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Liver Birds Flying Home – concert performance – at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It’s almost half a century since The Liver Birds flew onto the nation’s TV screens in Carla Lane’s long-running sitcom. Now Barb Jungr and Linda McDermott have written a new musical based on […]

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London Fringe premiere of 9 to 5 musical – creative team announced

Joseph Hodges will direct the London Fringe premiere of the Dolly Parton show 9 to 5 The Musical when it debuts at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in late summer. Based on the hit 1980s movie which starred Parton and featured the iconic title song, 9 to 5 The Musical will play the Highgate Village venue from 30 […]

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Interview – composer Stephen Flaherty on bringing Anastasia to Broadway – and other adventures

American composer STEPHEN FLAHERTY’s latest Broadway musical, written in collaboration with Lynn Ahrens and Terrence McNally (the same team that gave us Ragtime) is the musical retelling of Anastasia. The Tony-nominated show follows the oft-told Anastasia story about the woman who may have been – but probably wasn’t – the surviving daughter of the massacred […]

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Competition – win a pair of tickets to see The Quentin Dentin Show

We have THREE pairs of tickets to give away for:   THE QUENTIN DENTIN SHOW ★ ★ ★ ★ – Musical Theatre Review ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – ‘This rock musical is a winner’ – The Upcoming   The cult hit rock musical is back. Join the charismatic Quentin Dentin on his mission to make […]

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La Strada – The Other Palace

La Strada continues at The Other Palace, London until 8 July. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada (‘The Road’) chronicles the story of Gelsomina, a plaintive young girl who is sold by her poverty-stricken mother into servitude to the brutal strongman Zampanò. Their journey across the […]

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Billy Elliot the Musical – Milton Keynes Theatre

Billy Elliot the Musical continues at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 17 June. The show’s next dates are at the Theater am Grossmarkt, Hamburg, Germany from 29 June to 23 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Milton Keynes Theatre is made for Billy Elliot. With its huge width and deep recesses, […]

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Remembering Fred – New Theatre, Oxford

Remembering Fred was performed at the New Theatre, Oxford as part of a tour. The show begins a new tour in March 2018. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ What director Gareth Walker has designed in Remembering Fred is a faithful re-creation of the most famous routines of the masterful Fred Astaire, but in […]

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New stage show Purple Rain – celebrating the music of Prince – begins tour in 2018

Purple Rain – a new theatrical event celebrating the music of one of the world’s greatest pop artists, Prince – will tour the UK from February 2018 (kicking off from 1 to 10 February 2018 at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley). Directed by Gary Lloyd, director of hit production Thriller Live, the show is billed as […]

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Pippin will be next musical at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre

Award-winning musical Pippin will be the next collaboration between Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and Aria Entertainment. The musical will run from Friday 25 August to Saturday 23 September in the acclaimed 150-seater Ancoats venue. The production is the fourth show from Hope Mill Theatre and Aria Entertainment, who first joined forces in January 2016 to […]

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Hairspray tour – casting details

Casting has been revealed for the touring production of the hit musical Hairspray which will begin its second major UK and Ireland tour in Cardiff on 16 August 2017. Comedian and actor Norman Pace [pictured left] will play Wilbur Turnblad, while Rebecca Mendoza makes her professional debut playing Tracy Turnblad. Matt Rixon (Edna Turnblad), Brenda Edwards […]

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Full cast for London transfer of Yank!

Casting has been announced for the London transfer of Off-Broadway musical Yank! next month. Just months after starring in the acclaimed UK premiere run of the show at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, Scott Hunter (A Chorus Line, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) will return to the central role of Stu. He will be joined by Andy […]

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Mamma Mia! The Party set to open in London

Björn Ulvaeus and producer Ingrid Sutej are applying for planning permission to bring their successful project Mamma Mia! The Party to London. The duo is hoping to build a temporary venue in Waterloo to house a typical Greek taverna which provides the setting for a show that features new characters, a new story, songs from […]

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On the Town – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

On the Town continues at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London until 1 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ On the Town has its origin in the ballet Fancy Free which had opened in New York in the spring of 1944. With choreography by Jerome Robbins and music by Leonard Bernstein, […]

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William Ludwig and Dean Austin to perform new show at The Pheasantry

International cabaret act William Ludwig and Dean Austin will return to London in July with two shows at The Pheasantry in the King’s Road. Following on from performances at New York’s Don’t Tell Mama and at the Ruhrfestival in Germany, the pair will unveil their new show Movimento on Wednesday 5 July and Thursday 6 July. […]

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Lorna Dallas to return to London cabaret for first time in 20 years

International theatre and singing star Lorna Dallas is to return to the world of cabaret for the first time in two decades with her new show at London’s Live At Zédel. The singer, who first won the hearts of UK audiences when she appeared alongside Cleo Laine in the hit 1971 revival of Show Boat […]

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Bat Out of Hell – London Coliseum season extended

The much-anticipated London Coliseum season of Jim Steinman’s rock classic Bat Out of Hell is to run for an extra two weeks due to exceptional public demand. Tickets have already gone on sale for the extra dates which will extend the limited season beyond the original end date of 22 July to the new final […]

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Emma Rice will direct new musical as part of her final Shakespeare’s Globe season

Opening the 2017 winter season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (The Winter Selection) at Shakespeare’s Globe will be Romantics Anonymous, a new musical directed by Emma Rice. The piece also has a book written by Rice, lyrics by Christopher Dimond, and music by Michael Kooman, presented by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment. This will be […]

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Sondheim concert at Cadogan Hall – Lucy Schaufer on making a personal connection to the music

On Sunday 4 June, Grammy Award winner, mezzo soprano LUCY SCHAUFER, will be bringing both her operatic and musical theatre talents to London’s Cadogan Hall, where she will perform in Sondheim: Smiles of a Summer Night. The concert, with direction from Alastair Knights, celebrates the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The 33-piece Alex Parker […]

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Bring On the Bollywood – Rose Theatre, Kingston, and Touring

Bring On the Bollywood at was reviewed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, and continues touring until 26 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Sorry, nobody loves a good curry more but Bring On the Bollywood isn’t spicy enough for my taste – more korma than madras, you could say. Fair enough, the costumes […]

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CD Review – Blondel – Original Cast Recording

BLONDEL – Original Cast Recording (Stage Door Records – STAGE 9050) Originally released as a double album in 1983, Stage Door Records has remastered the original cast recording of Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver’s Blondel and issued it on a double CD set with a couple of bonus tracks thrown in for good measure. I remember […]

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Interview – singer Richard Shelton brings his show Sinatra and Me to Live At Zédel

Following his sell-out LA and Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances, RICHARD SHELTON returns to the UK to perform Sinatra and Me at Crazy Coqs, Live At Zédel, early next month. Shelton, who won ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for portraying Frank Sinatra in West End’s Rat Pack Confidential, will take audiences on a trip through […]

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Annie Get Your Gun – Union Theatre

Annie Get Your Gun continues at the Union Theatre, London, until 17 June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It’s only when you work out how many unforgettable Irving Berlin tunes have been packed into one show that the enduring appeal of Annie Get Your Gun can be explained away. At least eight Great […]

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Our House UK tour – former BGT winner George Sampson joins cast

Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson will join the upcoming UK tour of Madness musical Our House this summer. The street dancer turned actor will take on the role of bad boy Reecey alongside the previously announced Deena Payne, Jason Kadji and Sophie Matthew in the new production of the Olivier Award-winning show. Presented by […]

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Wayward: A Surreal Musical Cabaret – Brighton Spiegeltent

Wayward: A Surreal Musical Cabaret was performed at the Brighton Spiegeltent as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Making her debut at the Brighton Fringe, Cat Loud performs a cabaret that blends songs with a narrative telling of a seemingly wholesome Scottish lass (think Shirley Temple) seeking her […]

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West End The Girls to close in July before beginning national tour in 2018

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical comedy The Girls, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, will return home to Yorkshire and the Leeds Grand Theatre on 15 August 2018, before touring to 42 theatres across the United Kingdom. The critically acclaimed and award-winning production will […]

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On the Town at Regent’s Park – Jacob Maynard takes over the role of Chip

During Monday evening’s performance (22 May) of On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Fred Haig – who plays Chip in the production – sustained an injury to his foot which has now been confirmed as a fracture. A press release announcing the news reads: ‘Sadly, this means that he has had to […]

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British Theatre Academy to stage musical double at the Ambassadors Theatre

The British Theatre Academy is lining up youth productions of Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The Adventures of Pinocchio and Jason Robert Brown’s 13 The Musical to play London’s Ambassadors Theatre this summer. Following on from the success of previous BTA summer shows, The Secret Garden at the Ambassadors last year and Annie Jr at the […]

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Tyrone Huntley joins guest stars at Willemijn Verkaik’s London concert

Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award winner Tyrone Huntley will be one of several guest performers at international musical theatre star Willemijn Verkaik’s West End concert in July. The Dreamgirls star who is soon to reprise his acclaimed performance as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar is one of a number of guest stars who will join […]

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Kids Week 2017 – show line-up revealed

Over 35 of London’s biggest shows have joined the line-up for this year’s popular Kids Week event this August. Now in its 20th year, the annual London theatre initiative which will run for the entire month of August has enlisted a wide range of major productions which will offer free tickets to performances. During the event […]

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Casting for The Hunting of the Snark musical at the Vaudeville Theatre

Full casting has been revealed for the musical version of Lewis Carroll’s classic nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark which will make its West End debut this summer. Gemma Colclough will direct Will Bryant (Incident at Vichy, Finborough Theatre), Ben Galpin (Potted Sherlock, Vaudeville Theatre), Jordan Leigh-Harris (The Hunting of the Snark, Edinburgh Fringe […]

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Sasha Regan’s All-Male The Mikado – Richmond Theatre

Sasha Regan’s All-Male The Mikado continues at Richmond Theatre until 27 May, then tours until 29 July. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It must be 60 years since I last saw The Mikado but the traditional D’Oyly Carte version was nothing like this so it was just like stepping into an entirely new […]

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Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans lead Wicked principal cast changes in July

Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans will take on the central roles in the hugely successful Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre from Monday 24 July. Fearn (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical), who originally joined the West End production last year as Standby Elphaba will step into the role she understudied alongside show newcomer Sophie […]

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Fiddler On the Roof at Chichester – full casting details

The full company has been announced today for Fiddler On the Roof, running at Chichester Festival Theatre from 10 July to 26 August, with a press night on Tuesday 18 July. Directed by Daniel Evans, the cast of this new staging of the classic Broadway musical is led by Omid Djalili and Tracy-Ann Oberman. The […]

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Zedel return for Joan Vazquez’s Sondheim show

Spanish artist Joan Vázquez will return to London next month with his celebration of musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim, Something’s Coming – a Sondheim Tribute. The performer, who made his London debut last autumn as part of the launch season of entertainment concept Live At Zédel, will once again appear at the Crazy Coqs on […]

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On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – opening night postponed

This week’s press night for the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of the classic Hollywood musical On the Town has been postponed due to the ‘incapacity’ of actor Fred Haig (playing Chip) who has broken his foot. Billed as the Regent’s Park Theatre’s ‘biggest ever dance musical’, On the Town directed and choreographed by […]

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Quentin Dentin Show is back in ‘biggest form yet’ at Tristan Bates Theatre

Casting has been announced for the first full Off-West End production of cult favourite The Quentin Dentin Show at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 19 June. Returning performers Luke Lane (King John, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Shauna Riley (Bas, Prague Fringe) will be joined by Max Panks (Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Park Theatre), Freya Tilly (You Won’t […]

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Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – West End production to close in August

The West End production of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, based on the early life and career of legendary singer songwriter Carole King, will complete its run at the Aldwych Theatre on 5 August 2017. The UK tour of the musical will open in Bradford on 9 September 2017 and continues in Plymouth, Southampton, […]

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Music Theatre International picks up rights for classic Lerner and Loewe musicals

Timeless My Fair Lady is one of five classic Lerner & Loewe musicals acquired by leading theatrical licensing agency Music Theatre International (MTI). The legendary writing team’s much-loved re-working of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, lines up alongside the duo’s much loved Camelot, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon and their newly restored early work The Day Before […]

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The Color Purple in Concert – Cadogan Hall

The Color Purple in Concert was performed at the Cadogan Hall, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ There are some musicals which grow in stature the more they get stripped back. The Color Purple is one such musical. The recent Broadway revival – a transfer of the Menier Chocolate Factory’s 2013 […]

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Drew McOnie to direct King Kong on Broadway next year

Olivier Award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie will direct the much-anticipated King Kong musical when it bursts onto Broadway in the autumn of 2018. With a score by accomplished music director and film composer Marius de Vries (La La Land, Moulin Rouge) and songs by singer/songwriter Eddie Perfect (Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Beetlejuice), the show now has a […]

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Elf the Musical is back for Christmas with Ben Forster returning to title role

Ben Forster will be back in green this Christmas when he returns to the role of Buddy in Elf the Musical. The actor who shot to fame when he won Andrew Lloyd Webber’s television talent search for his leading actor in the stadium tour of Jesus Christ Superstar is currently winning acclaim for his performance in […]

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