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Man to Man, a poignant and powerful production, comes to Wilton's Music Hall

Maggie Bain in Man to Man. A Wales Millennium Centre production. Photo by Polly Thomas.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WALES Millennium Centre’s poignant and powerful production of Manfred Karge’s Man to Man opens in Cardiff at the Bute Theatre on September 8 – 9 with just two performances prior to a nationwide tour, which vists Wilton’s Music Hall from September 12 to September 23, 2017.

The tour will then continue to Birmingham – REP (September 26 – 30), Edinburgh – Traverse Theatre (October 11 – 14), Newcastle – Northern Stage (October 17 – 18) and Liverpool – Everyman Theatre (October 25 – 28). Man to Man will then play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (November 7 – 11), making it Wales Millennium Centre’s first production in the USA.

This acclaimed one woman play tells the life story of a woman called Ella Gericke, who lived with her husband Max until one day he died. Then the Nazis arrived…

Based on an incredible true story, we witness Ella’s struggle and determination in a volatile 20th century Germany where she adopts the identity of her dead husband to survive.

Man to Man is a striking and spellbinding modern fairy tale inspired by the traditions of German storytelling. It gives audiences an incredible insight into what life was like in 20th century Germany, including the radical changes of the Nazi’s rise to power, the Cold War and the Berlin Wall coming down.

Man to Man is performed by Maggie Bain, whose credits include Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Man to Man opened to 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. Translated by award-winning playwright, Alexandra Wood, this new version unites the talents of a multi Olivier and Tony award-winning creative team, led by directors Bruce Guthrie (Director of RENT the Musical and The Last Mermaid) and Scott Graham (Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly and Movement Director of Olivier-winning West End/Broadway production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).

Bruce Guthrie, said: “Man to Man is a series of fragmented memories that our protagonist Ella is remembering and re-living. She is a working class character with no sense of self pity: a hero in many ways who finds herself having to make life and death choices on a daily basis. I found that compelling when I first read the script. It is a familiar yet alien world. This version is about taking the audience on a sensory journey, evoking different reactions based on the series of potent memories explored.”

Produced by Pádraig Cusack, Man to Man is designed by Richard Kent, with lighting design by Rick Fisher, sound design by Mike Walker, video design by Andrzej Goulding and music by Matthew Scott.

Tickets on sale now for Wilton’s Music Hall – on 0207 702 2789 or online at wiltons.org.uk/.

Image: Maggie Bain in Man to Man. A Wales Millennium Centre production. Photo by Polly Thomas.

Also at Wilton’s Music Hall: Shakespeare’s Othello (until June 3) and Les Enfants Terribles’ The Terrible Infants (September 27 to October 28, 2017).

Wicked announces new London cast

Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn. Photo by Darren Bell

Casting news

WICKED has announced that Alice Fearn (as Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Jack Lansbury (Boq) and Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) will head the new London cast from Monday, July 24, 2017.

They join current cast members Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Alice Fearn originally joined the London production of Wicked in 2016, as Standby for Elphaba. Her previous West End appearances include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical, Into The Woods, Les Misérables (also the film version) and The Woman in White.

Sophie Evans was the acclaimed runner-up in the BBC talent show Over the Rainbow and subsequently played ‘Dorothy Gale’ in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.

Bradley Jaden is currently starring as ‘Fiyero’ on the international tour of Wicked. He previously starred as ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre.

Melanie La Barrie is currently part of the acclaimed Everyman Company at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Her West End roles have included ‘Mrs Phelps’ in the original cast of Matilda, ‘Madame Thénardier’ in Les Misérables and ‘Mrs Corry’ in the original cast of Mary Poppins.

Andy Hockley has enjoyed a long association with The Phantom of the Opera, playing ‘Monsieur Firmin’ at Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as on the UK and Ireland Tour for over 1000 performances. He most recently played ‘Grandpa Potts’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on the UK and Ireland Tour.

Jack Lansbury is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and will be making his West End debut in Wicked.

Laura Pick appeared in The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, covering and playing ‘Maria von Trapp’.

Current cast members Willemijn Verkaik (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Sue Kelvin (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard) and Idriss Kargbo (Boq) will all play their final performances on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

From Monday, July 24, 2017, the cast will also include Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée Fisher, Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paulo Teixeira, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.

Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked is currently booking at the Apollo Victoria Theatre until May 26, 2018.

Image: Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn. Photo by Darren Bell.

Carmen – Fire and Fate with Kirstin Chávez - The Cervantes Theatre

Carmen – Fire and Fate

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING her debut solo recital at Cadogan Hall in 2016, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez returns to the UK to perform her conceptual production Carmen – Fire and Fate. A one-woman show with dancing, drama and Bizet’s stunning music, it will be staged at The Cervantes Theatre from Monday, June 12 to Saturday, June 17, 2017.

For Carmen, perhaps the most famous gypsy of all, the spirit never dies. The life force is so strong that it continues past the last heartbeat and final breath. She certainly lives on in Bizet’s masterpiece, one of the most beloved operas in the world.

This new production is specially devised by Kirstin Chávez in collaboration with Artistic Director Johnathon Pape. Kirstin Chávez delivers Bizet’s timeless music in her dusky mezzo and tells Carmen’s story through the language of flamenco, choreographed by the Buenos Aires born flamenco dancer Sol Koeraus.

A compelling actress and beguiling dancer as well as a renowned singer, Kirstin Chávez is the ultimate Carmen. She will sing in the original French with dialogue in English (June 15, 16 and 17) and Spanish (June 12 and 13).

Kirstin Chávez has made the role of Carmen her own by exploring the character and soul of Carmen. Her seductive voice, lithe dancing and fearless characterisation combine to explore the enigma at the heart of Carmen and reveal why the fascination with her continues.

Kirstin Chávez was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but spent most of her formative years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before settling in America. She is considered one of the most riveting and significant performing mezzo-sopranos and is recognized as one of the definitive Carmens of today; a role that she has performed across the U.S and around the world.

She has built an impressive reputation as an interpreter of major roles in modern American operas alongside critical acclaim for roles such as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Amneris (Aida) and Dalilah (Samson et Dalilah). In the UK, she has performed Carmen for The Welsh National Opera and The Marquise de Merteuil in Luca Francesconi’s Quartett at the Royal Opera House in London.

Time: 7.30pm.

The Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, Old Union Street Arches, 229 Union Street, London, SE1 0LR

Website: www.cervantestheatre.com/home/

Casting announced for Exchange Theatre's Misanthrope at the Drayton Arms Theatre

Misanthrope

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for Exchange Theatre’s production of Moliere’s Misanthrope, which runs at the Drayton Arms Theatre from June 13 to July 8, 2017.

Director David Furlong will also be performing as the Misanthrope, Alceste, alongside producer Fanny Dulin as Arsinoé and Eliante.

They are joined by Palmyre Ligué (just graduated from LSDA) as Oronte; Luca Fontaine (NYT) as Acaste; Anoushka Ravanshad (A Beautiful Now, Daniela Amavia) as Célimène; Simeon Oakes (Mademoiselle Julie, The Barbican) as Philinte; and James Buttling (French national tour of Les Ordures, La Ville et La Mort) as Clitandre.

Previously Posted: Exchange Theatre is returning to the Drayton Arms Theatre from June 13 to July 8, 2017, with Moliere’s Misanthrope, as part of the annual Bastille Festival – a celebration of French theatre, performed in English and French.

In a time of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’, Misanthrope finds unanticipated echoes in the world today.

Alceste, the most loyal man in the world, lacks only one virtue: indulgence for other’s behaviours. His search for genuineness against hypocrisy, special interests and treachery calls for a new London production in 2017.

Off West End Best Director nominee David Furlong returns to direct, fresh from his stint at the Royal Opera House.

David Furlong says: “After last year’s recognition from our peers, the press and the audience, and following the conversation we started in a post-Brexit UK, it seems that we have found our place as ‘outsiders’.

“Ten years after our first steps into translations of rare French-speaking plays, we are so proud to produce bold double productions in two languages and hold an annual festival for migrants and multi-lingual theatre makers. And it’s only logical that we will carry on exploring our unique language of diversity and the variety of processes that make ours as a company.

“We’re thrilled to follow last year’s success with another passionate effort at making theatre for our time.”

Tickets: £14, £10 concessions.

Dates: English (June 13 – 17, 26 – 29 and July 7 and 8; French (June 20 – 24, 30 and July 1 and 4 – 6).

Time: 7.30pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Drayton Arms Theatre, 153 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London, SW5 0LJ

New Australian play Thirty-Three makes UK debut at Leicester Square Theatre

Corinne Furlong

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIRTY-Three, a new critically acclaimed Australian play, is to make its UK debut at Leicester Square Theatre (The Lounge), where it runs from June 8 (previews from June 5) to June 24, 2017.

Audiences will be immersed into the heart of a birthday party that spirals out of control in what is described as an intense piece of new writing.

Saskia is a teacher living in inner western Sydney and by all accounts her life appears to be going well; a career she loves, friends she adores and the freedom to enjoy it. To celebrate her 33rd birthday, she invites a handful of her closest friends into her Sydney terrace for an evening of food, music and laughter.

But when her estranged little brother mysteriously shows up, the proceedings take on a decidedly different turn, and a friendly evening ignites into a wild night of booze, games, and shocking revelations.

Thirty-Three was written by Sydney based Australian playwrighting duo Michael Booth and Alistair Powning and premiered in 2011. A feature film adaptation is being made this year.

The production is directed by Kai Raisbeck, who said: “It’s hard to read this play without recognising one of the characters, either in yourself, or amongst your friends. Thirty-Three perfectly captures the chaos, peaks, troughs, turns and reveals of Saskia’s tumultuous 33rd birthday party. The writers have created a story in an unashamedly Australian setting with nuanced drama and comedy that draws us into the story and carries us along until the chaotic end.”

The cast includes Christopher Birks, Ben Dalton, Amy Domenica, Corinne Furlong, Doug Hansell and Shannon Steele. Designer is Charlotte Henery.

Thirty-Three is presented by Red Scarf Theatre, which was founded in 2015 by Australian performer and producer, Corinne Furlong. Red Scarf Theatre are an Australian company based in London championing new writing and supporting the role of women in theatre. Their first show opened at Rada Club Theatre to four and five star reviews.

Thirty-Three is suitable for ages 16+.

Tickets: £18 – available from the box office on 020 7734 2222 or online at www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.15pm, with 3pm matinee on Saturdays.

Running Time: 80 minutes.

Also at Leicester Square Theatre: Magnificent Bastard Productions’ Shit-faced Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (until September 16, 2017).

The new Playground Theatre opens its doors to local residents

Theatre news

ON JUNE 17, 2017, between 11am and 1pm, London’s newest theatre is hosting an open morning for residents and community groups in the area.

The Playground Theatre, which is set to become the only theatre in North Kensington, will open its doors to offer a sneak preview of what will be on offer when the first production is staged there this autumn.

With family friendly entertainment as part of the morning, this is an opportunity to see the facilities, experience the auditorium, soak up the atmosphere and sample the sumptuous café at Latimer Road and Ladbroke Grove’s new venue.

The hosts on the morning will be founder of The Playground Theatre, actor, producer and local resident Peter Tate along with his co-artistic director Anthony Biggs, former artistic director of Jermyn Street Theatre. They will both be on hand to convey their vision for the venue and explain what the theatre will offer in terms of programming.

Peter Tate said: “Many members of our local community are aware that we will be opening a new theatre but there are many who are not and this open morning will give us the opportunity not only to explain the kind of work we will be doing but also to listen to your ideas. We want our community to feel part of the creative process at The Playground Theatre. We look forward to welcoming you.”

Previously Posted: This autumn, London will have a new theatre.

Tucked away in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London on Latimer Road, just a ten-minute walk from Latimer Road tube station, The Playground Theatre will open its doors for the first time in October 2017 in a converted bus depot in one of the most culturally diverse areas of the capital.

Anthony Biggs, who last month announced that he will be leaving his post as Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre this summer, will join as co-artistic director with the founder of The Playground Theatre, actor and producer Peter Tate.

Previously the Playground has had a long history of supporting artists to create their theatrical visions. Having won the Samuel Beckett award for innovative theatre and worked with many world-class artists, in its new role as a fully functioning venue, The Playground Theatre will continue working with both established and emerging artists to strive to create work that is bold and imaginative, whilst fully engaging the rich diversity of the community of which it is part.

Designed by Jonathan Mizzi Studio with a restoration and conversion budget of £270,000, The Playground Theatre will have a seating capacity of 150 to 200, a totally flexible stage, a full lighting rig, a state of the art sound system and two dressing rooms. The theatre will also include a sumptuous front of house area, which will house the box office and a café bar serving throughout the day.

With the celebrated actors Celia Imrie and Cherie Lunghi and the great ballerina Lyn Seymour as patrons, The Playground’s artistic policy will have excellence at it’s heart and, as the name implies, it will also be a place for play, experimentation, risk and above all fun.

The opening season for The Playground will be announced later in the spring.

Tate originally founded The Playground in 2001 as a space to allow artists the time and freedom to explore and play with their theatrical ideas without the pressure to force their work into a box too early. Since then it has played host to and supported some of the most dynamic theatrical talent from the UK and around the world, both establishe d and emerging, as well as film and television companies.

Artists, who have worked their, include Hideki Noda, Japan’s acclaimed actor, director and playwright, Henryk Baranowski, winner of both Poland’s and Russia’s top award as director, Marcello Magni, co-founder of Complicite and John Caird. Others including Simon McBurney and Rufus Norris have used the space many times to create some of their finest work.

When it opens as a theatre it will continue its function as a development and rehearsal studio during the day welcoming artists to create new work and consolidating its reputation for play and experimentation.

The Playground will also function as a local amenity with café bar and a programme of community engagement activity.

Peter Tate said: “To create this theatre physically is one thing, but what happens beyond the 18th century theatre entrance doors is another. That is the challenge – to create work of a high quality that engages the audience. I am very excited about being joined by Anthony Biggs, as co-artistic director, as I knew, from our first meeting, that we were speaking the same language and that we would work very well together.”

Anthony Biggs said: “The Playground is such a creative space and I’m thrilled to be joining it on the next stage on its journey. It has the potential to be the Almeida of West London – a place where our artists are encouraged to take risks, where our audiences are both challenged and entertained”.

The Slaves of Solitude - Hampstead Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

NICHOLAS Wright’s The Slaves of Solitude is to receive its world premiere at Hampstead Theatre. Adapted from the novel by Patrick Hamilton and directed by Jonathan Kent, it runs from October 30 (previews from October 20) to November 25, 2017.

Have I shocked you? Have I bruised the delicate feelings of the English Miss? Miss Missed-her-chance. Miss Missed-her-man. Miss Prim. Miss Prude.

The Slaves of Solitude weaves a fascinating blend of dark hilarity and melancholy in a story about an improbable heroine in wartime Britain.

1943, Henley-on-Thames. Miss Roach is forced by the war to flee London for the Rosamund Tea Rooms boarding house, which is as grey and lonely as its residents. From the safety of these new quarters, her war now consists of a thousand petty humiliations, of which the most burdensome is sharing her daily life with the unbearable Mr. Thwaites.

But a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of a handsome American Lieutenant and things start to look distinctly brighter. Until, that is, a seeming friend moves into the room adjacent to Miss Roach’s, upsetting the precariously balanced ecosystem of the house…

Nicholas Wright returns to Hampstead Theatre following the sell-out hit The Last of the Duchess (Main Stage, 2011) and A Human Being Died That Night (Downstairs, 2013). His other plays include Treetops and One Fine Day (Riverside Studios), The Gorky Brigade (Royal Court), The Crimes of Vautrin (Joint Stock), The Custom of the Country and The Desert Air (RSC), Cressida (Almeida Theatre at the Albery), Rattigan’s Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), and Travelling Light, Mrs. Klein, Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter (National Theatre).

He adapted His Dark Materials (National Theatre), and wrote versions of Naked and Lulu (Almeida Theatre), John Gabriel Borkman and Three Sisters (National Theatre) and Thérèse Raquin (Chichester Festival Theatre/National Theatre). His adaptation of Pat Barker’s Regeneration was produced in Northampton and on tour in 2014.

Jonathan Kent returns to Hampstead Theatre following Good People, starring Imelda Staunton in 2014. He was joint Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre between 1990 and 2002, which he founded as a full-time producing theatre. His numerous productions included Britannicus (also West End/New York), Hamlet (also Broadway), King Lear, The Tempest, Platonov, Lulu (also Washington), Coriolanus (also New York/Tokyo), The Life of Galileo, The School for Wives, Medea (also West End/Broadway) and The Rules of the Game.

His other theatre work includes Sweet Bird of Youth (Chichester Festival Theatre), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Broadway), David Hare’s Chekhov Trilogy: Ivanov, Platonov and The Seagull (Chichester Festival Theatre/National Theatre), Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), Good People (Hampstead Theatre/West End), Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), The Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre), and Marguerite, The Sea and The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket).

Patrick Hamilton’s plays include the thrillers Rope (1929) – on which Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope was based – and Gaslight (1939), also successfully adapted for screen in the same year. There was also an historical drama, The Duke in Darkness (1943). Among his novels are The Midnight Bell (1929), The Siege of Pleasure (1932), The Plains of Cement (1934), a trilogy entitled Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky (1935), Hangover Square (1941) and The Slaves of Solitude (1947).

The Gorse Trilogy is made up of The West Pier, Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse and Unknown Assailant, which were first published during the 1950s. He died in 1962.

The Slaves of Solitude is the second production in Hampstead Theatre’s Autumn 2017 season and follows the world premiere of Prism, which stars Robert Lindsay as legendary, double Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardif (September 6 to October 14, 2017).

The Cloakroom Attendant - Canal Cafe Theatre

The Cloakroom Attendant (c) Yannis Katsaris

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

DIMITRA Barla and the Canal Cafe Theatre are presenting the debut performance of The Cloakroom Attendant at the Little Venice venue – on June 2 and June 3, 2017.

The cloakroom attendant is described as a witty and poetic one-woman show, written and performed by Dimitra Barla.

The world of the woman behind the cloakroom counter is a mixture of reality, imagination and aspirations. The plot is three-folded comprising of stories from the attendant’s daily routine in the cloakroom, fictional stories inspired by artefacts and insights into visitors to the museum.

Condemned lovers, an unfortunate queen and a young painter help the cloakroom attendant in her pursuit of happiness in a world filled with the beauty of art and the ugliness of war.

Dimitra Barla trained at East 15 Acting School in London and Embros Drama School in Athens. She has directed and performed the shows SOLO (Vault festival 2014 and Eleusis festival 2013), Medusa the lady in the mirror (Athens January 2012 and Acreide, 2011) and Tales of female madness (Athens May 2012). All plays received four star reviews.

Barla holds lead parts in the UK feature film I love London and the awarded Greek film The cypress deep down. She is also currently developing the short film The velveteen rabbit- A tale of love and addiction.

Tickets: £7, £5 concessions, £1.50 annual venue membership may apply. To book, visit canalcafetheatre.com/event.

Time: 7pm.

Running Time: 60 minutes.

Married. But Lonely at two London venues

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MARRIED, But Lonely, Chris Leicester’s new play, premieres at 53two in Manchester on June 16 and 17, 2017, before visiting the White Bear Theatre on Sunday, June 25 and the Etcetera Theatre on Monday, June 26.

Jerry’s wife has recently died. Within 48 hours he’s unexpectedly contacted by two very different internet dating sites. “Big Brother” clearly knows who and where he is.

Intrigued by this intrusion, Jerry sets off investigating his dilemma – which site, if at all, should he choose; the ‘no strings’ type which encourages infidelity, or the other super-elite site whose users truly believe they are royalty.

Jerry meets a date from each site; chalk and cheese, Veronica and Clare, both with their own particular stories to tell. Audiences watch him as he explores their past lives, motivations and influences, and discover why they really joined the sites they did – and what they, and fate with its cruel twists, have planned for Jerry next.

Permission has been given to use a George Michael and Toby Bourke track in its entirety in the production which also contains more George Michael music.

Chris Leicester also directs a cast that includes Phil Gwilliam, Miranda Benjamin and Cátia Soeiro, with additional voices by Roy Carruthers.

Chris Leicester’s other plays include The Last Train (renamed Mafioso for the Edinburgh Fringe), “Slasher” Kincade, The Baby Box, The Fourth Wall, Charlie Bangers and Hurricane Hill. Married. But Lonely is based on a real event in Leicester’s life.

Married. But Lonely Website.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical to close on August 5, 2017

Carole King and Cassidy Janson (Carole King). Photo by Craig Sugden.

Theatre news

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 August 5, 2017.

The UK tour of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will open in Bradford on September 9, 2017, before continuing to Plymouth, Southampton, Norwich, Southend, Nottingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Hull, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Woking, Sunderland, Bristol, Leeds, Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Oxford, with all venues currently on sale.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical received its Broadway premiere in January 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre where it continues to play to packed houses. The London premiere was in February 2015 and a US tour began later that year. An Australian production will open in Sydney in September this year.

During its two and a half year run in the West End, the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning show had two visits from Carole King, when on both occasions she surprised the cast and audience at the curtain call. Both times she was greeted with a standing ovation at the Aldwych Theatre as she took to the stage to sing her classic hit You’ve Got A Friend. Read more. Gallery.

Joining King for London’s opening night were fellow composers Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, whose story is also told as part of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.

The West End cast comprises Cassidy Janson in the title role, Matthew Seadon-Young as King’s husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, Stephanie McKeon as song-writer Cynthia Weil, Ian McIntosh as song-writer Barry Mann, Joseph Prouse as music publisher and producer Donnie Kirshner and Barbara Drennan as King’s mother Genie Klein.

They are joined by Gavin Alex, Georgie Ashford, Koko Basigara, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Ashford Campbell, Treyc Cohen, Natasha Cottriall, Michael Duke, Matthew Gonsalves, Jammy Kasongo, Leigh Lothian and Earl R. Perkins who play iconic musical performers and band members of the era and swings Derek Aidoo, Rosie Heath, Dominic Hodson, Emma Louise Jones, Jessica Joslin, Vicki Manser, David O’Mahony and Jaime Tait.