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Summer Holiday - New Wimbledon Theatre and on tour in 2018

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A STAGE production based on the iconic 1960’s film Summer Holiday that starred Cliff Richard and The Shadows, will tour the UK in 2018, visiting New Wimbledon Theatre from Tuesday, September 18 to Saturday, September 22.

Summer Holiday tells the story of Don and his fellow London Transport mechanics as they journey together in a red double-decker bus through Paris, the Alps, Italy and Greece.

Along the way they pick up a girl singing group and a young American pop star who is on the run from her domineering mother!

This new production will feature hits from the movie, plus some additional Cliff Richard classics, among them In the Country, Summer Holiday, Travellin’ Light, Bachelor Boy, Move It, Living Doll, The Young Ones and On the Beach.

Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited on behalf of Josef Weinberger Limited, Summer Holiday will be directed and choreographed by Racky Plews. Casting will be announced in due course.

The tour opens at the Liverpool Empire on May 8, 2018 before continuing to Milton Keynes, Woking, York, Bromley, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Brighton, Blackpool, Leeds, Southend, Dartford, Chester, Wimbledon, Darlington, Stoke, Aylesbury and Glasgow, with further dates for 2018 and 2019 to be announced soon.

Tickets for Summer Holiday are on sale now.

Rich Mix - Theatre and Dance - November 2017

Preview

RICH Mix’ Theatre and Dance programme for the rest of November includes:

A Fable for Now, presented by Yellow Earth Theatre – Friday, November 24 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £5 – £10.

Tales of war, the environment and personal regret collide as mankind hurtles towards a surreal apocalypse – in company with a belligerent duck, bears of at least three different varieties and a truly extraordinary chicken.

Today Is My Birthday, presented by Yellow Earth Theatre – Saturday, November 25 at 3pm. Tickets: £5 – £10.

Told through a playful mixture of live radio, voicemail and phone calls, this is a quirky comedy about a life with a thousand friends on Facebook but no one to have dinner with on Saturday night.

King of the Yees, presented by Yellow Earth Theatre – Saturday, November 25 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £5 – £10.

For nearly 20 years, Lauren Yee’s father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association. But when her father goes missing, Lauren plunges into the rabbit hole of San Francisco Chinatown to confront a world both foreign and familiar.

American Hwangap, presented by Yellow Earth Theatre – Sunday, November 26 at 3pm. Tickets: £5 – £10.

Fifteen years ago, Min Suk Chun left his family in a West Texas suburb to return to his native Korea. On the occasion of his 60th birthday he returns to his ex-wife and now adult children who must struggle to reconcile their broken past with the mercurial, verbose and exasperating patriarch now back at the head of the table.

White Pearl, presented by Yellow Earth Theatre – Sunday, November 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £5 – £10.

Whitening cream is a best seller for Pan Asian cosmetic firm Clearday™ so when a leaked racist video goes viral the millennial management team scramble to deal with the fall out as the news just keeps getting worse. Casual blackmail, allegations of corruption and a clash of philosophies fuel this dark comedy about toxic ideas and the complexity of Pan-Asian relations.

The All-Star Birthday Bash, presented by Crick Crack Club – Wednesday, November 29 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £12 – £15.

A glorious night of greatest hits from a silver-lined, gold-leafed, diamond-studded line-up of Crick Crack 30th birthday All-Stars.

For more information visit www.richmix.org.uk/.

A Christmas Carol at Windsor Castle - casting and extra dates announced

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

DUE to popular demand, additional performances have been added for the sell-out run of A Christmas Carol, which is being staged in Windsor Castle’s magnificent State Apartments.

This immersive production will now run from December 16, 2017 to January 4, 2018.

Casting has also been announced and the line up includes John Kay Steel (as Jacob Marley), Edward Halsted (Ebenezer Scrooge), Eleanor Brown (Belle), Charlie Ward (Tiny Tim), Oliver Hamilton (Fred), Michelle Hodgson (Mrs Cratchit), Molly Hanson (Belinda) and Marlon Moore (Bob Cratchit).

Previously Posted: December, for the first time, an immersive Christmas performance will be staged in the magnificent State Apartments at Windsor Castle.

Throughout the festive period, nine family-friendly evening performances of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will be presented by theatre company Watch Your Head. The performances will take place in the Castle’s two largest rooms, where the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret performed Christmas pantomimes during the Second World War.

Tailor-made for Windsor Castle and using Dickens’s own words from his public readings of the classic tale, the production will feature live music and immersive elements, transporting the audience into a Victorian Christmas.

Visitors will accompany Ebenezer Scrooge from the Castle gates to the Waterloo Chamber, where Jacob Marley awaits to conjure his haunting dreams of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

A cast of actors and musicians performing all around will transform the colossal space into Dickensian London, before the audience follows Scrooge into St George’s Hall to celebrate his new-found festive spirit beneath the Castle’s spectacular Christmas tree.

The event will form part of a programme of Victorian-themed activities at Windsor Castle this Christmas. Monarchs have been celebrating Christmas at Windsor Castle since the 12th century, but it was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who introduced many of the Christmas traditions that we know today.

Prince Albert is credited with popularising the German tradition of Christmas trees while enjoying the festive season at the Castle, and the Queen and Prince Albert were often seen ice skating and enjoying winter sleigh rides in the Castle grounds.

It was during this period that Dickens first published A Christmas Carol in 1843, and it has remained a festive classic ever since. The work can be seen in miniature in the library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, built in the early 1920s as a perfect replica of an aristocratic Edwardian residence and housed ever since at Windsor Castle.

Jemima Rellie, Director of Content and Audiences, Royal Collection Trust, said: ‘Windsor Castle at Christmastime evokes images of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their young family celebrating around the Christmas tree. As part of our Victorian-themed festive programme, we are excited to be staging an immersive Christmas performance in the State Apartments for the first time, and are sure that audiences will enjoy a unique experience that they will treasure for years to come.’

Sara Langridge, Producer, Watch Your Head, said: ‘We are so delighted to continue our relationship with Royal Collection Trust in this way – A Christmas Carol really is the perfect story for this magical place and we can’t wait for audiences of all ages to share this wonderful experience at Windsor Castle.’

Their third collaboration with Royal Collection Trust, Watch Your Head’s latest production follows their recently staged immersive performances of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Castle’s Moat Garden.

A Christmas Carol is directed by Sasha McMurray, with costumes designed by Annina Pfeul and an original score by Joseph Reuben.

Dates: December 16 to December 30, 2017.

Tickets: Adults: £30; Children (Under 17s): £25; Family (2 adults, 3 children): £110. To book, call +44 (0)303 123 7340 or visit www.royalcollection.org.uk/event/a-christmas-carol.

Time: Entry from 6pm, performance starts at 7pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes including a 20-minute interval.

Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ

Simon Russell Beale curates an evening inspired by Ravel at The Bridge Theatre

Simon Russell Beale

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ON MONDAY, November 20, 2017, at The Bridge Theatre, Simon Russell Beale, actor, author and music historian, will curate the first of a series of evenings inspired by classic works of chamber music.

The first takes audiences on a journey to the Paris that gave birth to Ravel’s String Quartet in F, a city witnessing the dawn of the new industrial age and inspiration to a composer obsessed with factories, machines and mathematical precision.

Russell Beale and others will read passages from Proust as well as poetry by the likes of Wordsworth, Auden and Larkin to paint a rich canvas against which the prize-winning Navarra Quartet will perform Ravel’s exquisite early work.

The cast taking part in the evening includes Adjoa Andoh, Simon Russell Beale and Penelope Wilton.

Future evenings will be inspired by works including Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, Mendelssohn’s Octet and Dvořák’s American Quartet.

Tickets: £20 and £25 – available from the box office on 0843 208 1846, by e-mailing boxoffice@bridgetheatre.co.uk or visiting bridgetheatre.co.uk/.

Time: 8pm.

Richard Bean and Clive Coleman’s new comedy Young Marx continues at The Bridge Theatre until December 31, 2017.

The King and I transfers from Broadway to the West End

Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara in the Broadway production of The King and I. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik 2015.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE multi Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I will transfer from Broadway to London next summer following a critically acclaimed 16 month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and an unprecedented continuing record-breaking sold out USA tour.

With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, The King and I – which won four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical – will receive its European Premiere at the London Palladium, where it will open for a limited engagement on July 3 (previews from June 21) and run until August 4, 2018.

The show will star the two original Lincoln Center Theater lead actors: Broadway musical theatre star Kelli O’Hara, who will reprise her Tony Award-winning role of Anna Leonowens, and film star, Oscar and Tony nominee (for his role on The King and I) Ken Watanabe, who will star in the title role of The King of Siam.

Both will be making their West End debuts, following their acclaimed performances on Broadway.

Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production. It follows his work on The Lincoln Center Theater’s World Premiere of J.T. Rogers’ hit play Oslo, which opened on Broadway before transferring via the National Theatre to London’s Harold Pinter Theatre. He, along with the celebrated creative team behind the award winning production of South Pacific, will reunite to bring this majestic production to life at the Palladium.

Based Upon the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, The King and I is set in 1860s Bangkok and tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, this masterpiece boasts a score featuring classic numbers such as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful.

Kelli O’Hara, who won the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance in the Lincoln Center Theatre’s production of The King and I, has also been nominated for Tony Awards for previous Broadway performances in The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, The Bridges of Madison County, Nice Work if You Can Get It and The Pajama Game.

She has also appeared on Broadway in The Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde and Off-Broadway in Far From Heaven, King Lear, Bells Are Ringing, My Life With Albertin, Beauty and The Light in the Piazza. She is currently starring in New York City Center’s concert presentation of Brigadoon and is set to star in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate in 2019.

Ken Watanabe’s Japanese theatre credits include Dialogue with Horowitz, Hamlet, Shitayamannen-cho monogatari, The Lion in Winter and The Royal Hunt of the Sun. For his work in film, Watanabe received Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for The Last Samurai. His film credits also include Inception, Letters from Iwo Jima, Memoirs of a Geisha, Batman Begins, Godzilla, The Sea of Trees and Transformers. He has just completed work on the upcoming films Isle of Dogs, Bel Canto and Godzilla: King of Monsters.

The King and I has set design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer, choreography by Christopher Gattelli, musical supervision by Ted Sperling and musical direction by Stephen Ridley.

Image: Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara in the Broadway production of The King and I. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik 2015.

Tickets: £15 – £75. Premium Seating available. To book, call the box office on 020 7087 7755 or visit kingandimusical.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm.

Tina - further casting announced

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Casting news

FURTHER casting has been announced for the world premiere of the new musical Tina. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, it opens at the Aldwych Theatre on April 17, 2018, following preview performances from March 21.

Joining the previously announced Adrienne Warren (as Tina Turner) are Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Ike Turner), Madeline Appiah (Tina’s mother Zelma Bullock), Jenny Fitzpatrick (alternate Tina), Lorna Gayle (Tina’s Grandmother GG), Tom Godwin (Record Producer Phil Spector/Lyricist Terry Britten), Francesca Jackson (Ike and Tina’s manager Rhonda Graam), Aisha Jawando (Tina’s sister Alline Bullock), Natey Jones (Tina’s father Richard Bullock/Tina’s first love Raymond Hill), Gerard McCarthy (record company Marketing Manager Erwin Bach) and Ryan O’Donnell (Tina’s Manager Roger Davies).

They are joined by ensemble members Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Keisher Downie, Kit Esuruoso who also plays Tina’s son Craig Hill, Jammy Kasongo, Sia Kiwa, Jason Langley, Kayleigh McKnight, Baker Mukasa and Tanisha Spring and swings Derek Aidoo, Gavin Alex, Edward Bourne, Candace Furbert, Hannah Jay-Allan and Rodney Vubya.

Children’s casting will be announced in due course.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (pictured top) was last on stage playing Laertes in Hamlet at the Barbican alongside Benedict Cumberbatch. His previous theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Edward II, Antigone and Death and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre), The Low Road (Royal Court), Feast, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and The Changeling (Young Vic), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Detaining Justice, Seize the Day and Fabulation for the Tricycle Theatre.

His screen credits include The Split, Wagstaffe, Class, Capital, Crackanory, Worricker Trilogy, The Last Panthers and Midsomer Murders (TV); Paddington 2, The Commuter, Justice League, Doctor Strange, The Double and Roadkill plus the forthcoming Mary Poppins Returns and Ghost Stories (film).

Madeline Appiah’s most recent theatre credits include Hamlet (Almeida/West End), Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Here We Go and Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre), Hotel Cerise (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew (RSC), Off The Endz (Royal Court) and The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic). She has also appeared on television in In The Long Run, King For a Term, Partners in Crime, Gavin and Stacy, Doctors, The Bill and Holby City.

Jenny Fitzpatrick (pictured bottom) was last on stage in Boudica at the Globe Theatre. She has also appeared on stage in Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Peter Pan (Manchester Opera House), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV Part I and Camelot (Regents Park Open Air Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Duke of York’s Theatre/Menier Chocolate Factory). She has also toured the UK in The Blues Brothers, Soul Sister, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Our House. Her television credits include EastEnders, Silent Witness and MI High.

Lorna Gayle has appeared on stage in A Tale of Two Cities (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Savoy Theatre), Nation (National Theatre), Rudy’s Rare Records (Hackney Empire) and Almost Nothing (Royal Court). Her screen work includes The Rebel, Doctors, Cuckoo, Fried, Holby City, Utopia and EastEnders (TV); Carmilla, Caribbean Dream, Having You, One Day, The Dark Knight and Run Fat Boy Run (film).

Tom Godwin’s more recent theatre credits include City of Glass (Lyric Hammersmith), The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Bristol Old Vic), To Kill a Mockingbird (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Bingo (Young Vic) and The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe). His screen credits include Coronation Street, Holby City, Knightfall, Doctors, EastEnders and Waking the Dead (TV); Alice Through The Looking Glass, The Danish Girl and About Time (film).

Jenny Fitzpatrick

A finalist in the BBC 1 show I’d Do Anything with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Francesca Jackson’s stage credits include Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music (Theatre Du Chatelet), Million Dollar Quartet (Noel Coward Theatre), Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre), Dreamboats and Petticoats (Playhouse Theatre), Rent (Duke of York’s Theatre) and All the Fun of the Fair (Garrick Theatre). On screen, she has appeared in Boyfriend Material and Refresh (TV); Hiding in the Shadows and Evita (film).

Aisha Jawando is currently playing the lead role in the Hackney Empire Pantomime Cinderella. Her other theatre credits include Martha Reeves in Motown the Musical, as well as roles in Beautiful The Carole King Musical, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, Fela, Legally Blonde and Soul Sister.

Natey Jones’ theatre credits include One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep), Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist (RSC), Tomorrow (White Bear Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Courtyard Theatre) and Once Upon a Time in the 90’s (Albany Theatre). His television work includes Doctors and Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Gerard McCarthy’s stage credits include Cat (Courtyard Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life (Bridgehouse Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre), Saturday Night Fever (Apollo Theatre) and the UK tours of Blue/Orange and Beautiful Thing. On screen, he has appeared in Call The Midwife, Puppy Love, The Fall and Hollyoaks (TV); A Nightingale Falling (film).

Ryan O’Donnell was last seen playing the lead role in the touring production of Sunny Afternoon after appearing in the West End production. His other stage credits include Quadrophenia (Plymouth Theatre Royal), Romeo and Juliet (RSC), Victor Frankenstein (Royal & Derngate Theatre), Tracy Beaker Gets Real! (Nottingham Playhouse), Shadow Mouth (Sheffield Theatres) and Stand Tall (Landor Theatre). His film and television credits include MI High and Jesus: The Beginning.

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.

Read more about Tina.

Wicked named ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ at 2017/18 School Travel Awards

Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) and Alice Fearn (Elphaba).

Theatre news

WICKED, the acclaimed stage musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, has been voted ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ by educators for a second consecutive year at the School Travel Awards.

The production continues an open-ended run at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is now in its 12th year, and is also touring the UK and Ireland throughout 2018.

Organised by School Travel Organiser Magazine, the School Travel Awards recognise the best venues, attractions and companies for educational visits, in order that teachers can organise first class experiences when it comes to learning outside the classroom.

The awards were presented by Fiona Bruce at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

Michael McCabe, Executive Producer (UK) of Wicked said: “We are honoured that educators have chosen to present the ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ award to Wicked, especially for a second consecutive year. The remarkable story of integrity and tolerance at the heart of the show resonates strongly with young people and we are privileged that so many teachers continue to engage with, and champion, the production.

“We are also incredibly proud of the education and outreach work that surrounds the show. At a time when education professionals are being forced to argue the case for arts education harder than ever before, we remain committed to providing every possible opportunity to support the social development and cultural enrichment of young people in this country.”

Wicked provides a range of engaging learning activities for educators including:

FREE online lesson plans and resources (suitable for Key Stages 2-5).

Official workshops that can be tailored to the requirements of educators and their students for cultural and educational enrichment.

Schools can also purchase tickets for a performance with savings of up to 65%, with one FREE teacher (or accompanying adult) ticket per 10 tickets purchased.

The production’s education and outreach programmes proudly support the work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the National Literacy Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Read more about Wicked.

Image: Sophie Evans (as Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) and Alice Fearn (Elphaba).

La Soiree - Aldwych Theatre

La Soiree_Rajesh Amrale with Rajesh Rao. Photo credit: Chris Gardner

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE award-winning and popular La Soirée has announced multiple new acts for its winter residency at the Aldwych Theatre, where it runs from November 24, 2017 to February 3, 2018.

Featuring fabulous cabaret performers from across the globe, get ready to party with the newest incarnation of La Soirée’s infamous dysfunctional family as they revel in their posh new surroundings and make mischief in London’s glittering West End.

La Soirée’s heady cocktail of intimate cabaret, comedy, circus sideshow and contemporary variety is more potent than ever and this is their most daring line up to date.

Putting the Aldwych Theatre in a spin, La Soirée will transform this traditional theatre into an intimate cabaret club with La Soirée’s much-loved, in-the-round seating still in place. So step in from the cold, leave your troubles at the door and prepare to be charmed, astonished and electrified by the very loveable crème de la crème of the cabaret world.

This year’s debut acts include:

The Chilly Brothers Cradle Act featuring Nathan Briscoe and Maxime Blanckaert

Maxime and Nathan, AKA The Chilly Brothers, share the passionate belief that art should constantly renew itself and defy the limits of reality. Hailing from the prestigious National Circus School of Montréal, together they have mastered the death defying art of the Russian Cradle. From Canada to France, Asia to the Baltic Sea they have captivated audiences with their perilously epic performance. You’ll be on the edge of your seat throughout their jaw-dropping and surreal display of human strength and precision.

Mallakhamb India! featuring Rajesh Amrale with Rajesh Rao

This phenomenal UK exclusive from Rajesh Amrale and Rajesh Rao, is straight from the streets of Mumbai. Mesmerising yet immensely powerful you’ll be astounded by the amazing and ancient art of Mallakhamb. Rarely performed outside of its homeland of India, this pair of awesome acrobats will blow you away with their extraordinary mix of unparalleled strength, sensational speed and spectacular skill.

This outrageously talented pair first caught La Soirée’s attention over five years ago and they have been nurturing this cultural exchange for all these years.

Lea Hinz on Arial Hoop

Watching the captivating Lea Hinz onstage, one would never have guessed that she nearly gave up the world of performing for medical school! Record-breaking, six-time German Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion, Lea’s fusion of enchanting grace and flexibility, combined with dynamic power and impressive strength, gives aerial hoop a unique spin!

LJ Marles on his unique Tension Straps

With breath-taking balance and pinpoint precision, this home-grown Hackney talent is wowing audiences all over the world with his revolutionary new aerial concept. La Soirée brings you the exceptional Tension Straps! Entrancingly ethereal, LJ Marles is taking aerial straps to new heights; strength and grace coalesce for fearless physical feats which push the edge of aerial artistry.

Michele Clark on Hula Hoop

This daringly dexterous hula-hooper has hypnotised crowds across the globe, from China to the US. Risky rotations, inexplicable illusions and a truly original performance make for her signature style. With unique skill and distinct flair, Michele Clark’s hoop tricks will spin you dizzy!

Symoné. Photo credit: Chris Gardner

Hairhang by Fancy Chance

Fancy Chance has been hair hanging since 2007. Self-taught, she’s been dangling by her locks, doing one woman shows, dragging it up as Prince, burlesque-clowning it and causing general mischief for over a decade around the UK and the globe.

Hand to Hand featuring Leon Fagbemi and Klodi Dabkiewicz

Hailing from championship gymnastic backgrounds, this alluring pair unite for what makes the perfect partnership. Smouldering Leon, an ex-acrobatic gymnast, showcases sublime strength, and the fiery former rhythmic gymnast Klodi flaunts mind-bending flexibility. Together they share beautiful grace, outstanding balance, and sumptuous sensuality in their seductive and passionate hand to hand performance.

Symoné on Hula Hoop

This high energy hula-hooper is renowned for her distinctive dancehall rhythms and electrifying voguing. Specialising in multi hoop performance Symoné inspires a legion of hula fans to take their first foray into the world of hoops. With her fierce and sassy attitude, she will have you on your feet and swinging your hips in solidarity. Symoné will join La Soirée from December onwards.

Returning acts include Amy G, Cabaret Decadense featuring Andre-Anne Le Blanc and Stephen Quinlan and Daredevil Chicken Club featuring Jonathan Taylor and Anne Goldman.

This Christmas will also be the first time that La Soirée is offering La Petite Soirée, a family-friendly, fun and daring hour-long show for cabaret fans of all ages that promises all the spirit of the Olivier Award-winning entertainment but less of the sauce. La Petite Soirée will play at 3pm on Saturdays and throughout the Christmas holidays.

More artists for La Soirée and La Petite Soirée will be announced soon.

La Soirée and La Petite Soirée are presented by Brett Haylock, Mark Rubinstein and Mick Perrin.

NB: La Soirée may contain nudity and is recommended for ages 17+.

Image (top): Rajesh Amrale with Rajesh Rao. Photo credit: Chris Gardner.

Image (bottom): Symoné. Photo credit: Chris Gardner.

The Passing of the Third Floor Back - casting announced

The Passing of the Third Floor Back

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for Jerome K. Jerome’s The Passing of the Third Floor Back, which runs at the Finborough Theatre from Tuesday, November 28 to Friday, December 22, 2017.

The line up includes Benjamin Chandler (as Harry Larkom), Ella Dunlop (Stasia), Alexander Knox (Stranger), Anna Mottram (Mrs Sharpe), Paddy Navin (Miss Kite), Graham Pountney (Major Tompkins), Claire Redcliffe (Vivian Tompkins), Carmen Rodriguez (Mrs Percival De Hooley), Richard Stirling (Alick McGillivray), Caroline Wildi (Mrs Tompkins), Matthew Winters (Christopher Penny) and Edward Wolstenholme (Joey Wright).

Previously Posted: In a new production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, a unique rediscovery of The Passing of the Third Floor Back by Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat, runs at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season – from Tuesday, November 28 to Friday, December 22, 2017.

Who are you? I know your voice. I hear it in the wind. I hear it in the silence of the night. Who…Who are you?

Christmas in London, 1907. Mrs. Sharpe’s squalid Bloomsbury boarding house plays host to some unscrupulous residents. Vivian is being forced to marry a man she doesn’t love, Harry’s musical career is a laughing-stock, Jape is plotting to swindle the next man he meets, while Stasia, the maid, has almost been forgotten.

So their lives go on, until the sudden arrival of a mysterious stranger in search of a room…

Described by its author as “an idle fancy”, the mystical and mysterious The Passing of the Third Floor Back was one of the longest running West End and Broadway hits of its time. The original stage production and silent film version starred the greatest Hamlet of his day – Sir Johnson Forbes-Robertson. In 1935, it was adapted for film again to great acclaim, starring silent screen icon Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari).

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) was both novelist and playwright. He remains best known for his 1889 comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat. Depicting three men on a two-week boating holiday along the River Thames, it’s never been out of print since its publication. It continues to be popular to the present day, with The Guardian ranking it No. 33 of The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time in 2003, and no. 25 in 2015, and Esquire ranking it No. 2 in the 50 Funniest Books Ever in 2009.

He also established himself as a playwright on both sides of the Atlantic, writing for a long list of prominent players. The Passing of the Third Floor Back, his first serious play, drew upon his early life experiences of living in a variety of dingy London lodgings. Other notable works include Three Men on the Bummel, On the Stage—and Off, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and his autobiographical novel Paul Kelver.

Presented by NorthSEE Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, The Passing of the Third Floor Back is directed by Jonny Kelly, who returns to the Finborough Theatre following his sell out production of Michael Healey’s Proud in 2016. As co-founder of NorthSEE Theatre, he has recently directed Hyem (Theatre503 and Northern Stage). He was also Assistant Director on both The Hard Man and Unscorched at the Finborough Theatre.

Also at the Finborough Theatre: the European premiere of a new play by the acclaimed American playwright Keith Bunin in his UK debut, The Busy World is Hushed (until November 25) and Quaint Honour by Roger Gellert (until November 21, 2017).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/.

Simon Callow to perform De Profundis at the Vaudeville Theatre

Simon Callow

Casting news

CLASSIC Spring has announced that Simon Callow will perform Frank McGuinness’s new stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, which runs at the Vaudeville Theatre from January 3 to January 6, 2018 (six performances only).

Tickets will be priced at a special rate of £10 – £35.

De Profundis is Wilde’s searing and passionately eloquent meditation on his life, and address of love and reproach to his lover Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas.

Imprisoned in Reading Gaol and forbidden from writing works of fiction, Wilde was permitted to write – though not to send – the ‘letter’ that became De Profundis “for medicinal purposes” by the prison governor. McGuinness describes it as ‘Wilde’s last great play’.

Simon Callow’s recent stage credits include Being Shakespeare, The Mystery of Charles Dickens and Inside Wagner’s Head. He is currently starring in the TV series The Rebel, now in its second season. His other screen credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love and Angels in America. He is also the author of several books, including Oscar Wilde and His Circle.

Frank McGuinness is an acclaimed playwright, poet and translator. He has won numerous awards and prizes throughout his distinguished career, including a Tony Award, an Irish PEN Award and the French Order of Arts and Letters.

Directed by Mark Rosenblatt (Associate at the National Theatre Studio from 2011 to 2013, and Associate Director at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 2013 to 2016), De Profundis is part of Classic Spring’s year-long celebration of the life and work of Oscar Wilde. Read more.