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Wilton's Music Hall - August to December 2016

Sadie Frost in Britten in Brooklyn. Photo by Rachell Smith.

Season preview

WILTON’S Music Hall has announced its new season programme, which sees the world’s oldest surviving grand music hall welcome a diverse range of work, shining a spotlight on live music and bespoke theatre productions.

Kicking off the season is well-loved sea shanty band The Salts, who will be joined by internationally acclaimed shanty singer Chris Ricketts for a joyous evening of swash-buckling singalongs in Songs from The Sea (August 4). Classic numbers include Bound for South Australia, Blow the Man Down Drunken Sailor as well as some of the band’s original nautical numbers.

Fronted by two-time BBC Young Folk Finalist, Lee Collinson-James, this five piece folk sensation will delight audiences with a night of jolly, raucous sea shanties.

International cabaret star Miss Hope Springs (August 9-11) will showcase her unique blend of finger snapping pop, romantic rhumbas, sassy bossa novas and smouldering torch songs in her smash hit one-woman show, interspersed with hilarious tales from her glitteringly disastrous love life that will make audiences laugh and cry.

Step Out With Swing Patrol (August 12) are back with their usual taster class at 7pm, followed by fun and friendly social dancing until 10:30pm. Whether you’re a complete beginner with two left feet or a dance pro, everyone is welcome to don their dancing shoes and come join in the swing party!

Ida Barr will be returning to Wilton’s Music Hall with her self-titled show Ida Barr (August 16 and October 19), in which she embraces a whole new musical genre she has created and christened Slipped Disco or Artificial Hip Hop.

Aimi Macdonald has performed on stages from Paris to Las Vegas to the West End, and this summer will be bringing her one woman show I Did It This Way to Wilton’s for one night only (August 17). A wonderfully entertaining melange of gossip and music from Sondheim to Dolly Parton, this will truly be a night to remember.

Opera della Luna make their first visit to Wilton’s with their rollicking production of Tales of Offenbach (August 18 – 19). Having received four-star reviews from their recent production of Offenbach’s Orpheus from The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, their latest offering sees the company take on two hilarious one-act comedies by the French master of comic opera in an outrageous, unpretentious and truly brilliant performance.

For a good old-fashioned knees-up, join Tom Carradine for Carradine’s Cockney Sing-A-Long (August 23). This big, joyous singalong features songs from the Music Hall era, WWI and II and the West End stage as well as traditional popular songs.

Let yourself be swept away to a bygone age of elegance, big band jazz and toe-tapping swing music with Benoit Viellefon & His Orchestra (August 25). This seven-piece act, hailed as one of the country’s leading bands on the swing scene, will be presenting their new album, Mon Amour, at this special one-off performance at Wilton’s, as well as treating audiences to some old favourites.

Get ready to boogie with Tricity Vogue’s All Girl Swing Band (August 26), the critically acclaimed 9-piece band that guarantees audiences a night of fun and feel-good vintage music with a modern twist.

Sadie Frost (pictured) will star as Gypsy Rose Lee in the world premiere of Zoe Lewis’s Britten in Brooklyn (August 31 to September 17). Described as a passionate and thought-provoking play, it is based on true events. Read more.

Director-violinist Peter Fisher, the Chamber Ensemble of London and the Thames Estuary Partnership invite you to sail down the Thames in this celebration of London’s river featuring baroque, classical, light music, folk and jazz pieces for string orchestra. Music of the Thames (September 12) will be a true delight for music-lovers and London enthusiasts alike.

In 1925 in Kentucky, USA, a remarkable true story unfolds that is to become the powerful musical Floyd Collins (September 21 to October 15), which tells the extraordinary tale of the cave explorer of the same name, who dreams of finding fame and fortune deep underground. When disaster strikes and he becomes trapped, it is a race against time for his family and friends as they fight to set him free and keep his morale high through a difficult and dangerous time.

In a touching story of family, friendship and survival, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau’s award-winning musical is brought to life by a hauntingly beautiful score. Jonathan Butterell directs.

City Stories (October 20 and 21) is a magical and unique sequence of interwoven love stories and an ode to London. Written by award-winning playwright James Phillips and performed live by singer-songwriter Rosabella Gregory (winner of New York Songwriters Circle Song Contest), City Stories is an atmospheric new type of cabaret drama and one not to be missed.

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black Is The Color of My Voice & Soul Sessions (October 25 to October 29) follows the moving and compelling story of a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father.

The second part of the evening is Apphia’s Soul Sessions cabaret, celebrating Simone’s brilliant music. Direct from sell-out performances around the world in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh and London’s St James Theatre, Apphia Campbell brings her acclaimed show to Wilton’s for a five night run. Arran Hawkins and Nate Jacobs direct.

Prepare to be spooked on All Hallows’ Eve as The Society of Strange (October 31) brings you the creepiest, strangest and most macabre of tales in a hilariously twisted improv show guaranteed to give you goosebumps. Inspired by the works of the greatest horror storytellers of all time – Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Mary Shelley to name a few – this disturbingly brilliant show explores the thin line between comedy and horror and our world and the next…

Duet (November 2 and 3), a new play by Katherine Armitage, follows the tale of a married couple who, after the most magical wedding, make a pilgrimage every year back to the drinking house where it took place. As the years go by, nothing stays the same, and audiences are invited to share the couples’ journey in an evening of song and celebration, despair and love.

Following on from their series of acclaimed productions of Baroque operas in intimate venues, Royal Opera House will be presenting Oreste by Handel (November 8 – 19). Featuring singers from the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, this contemporary production revels in the story’s violence and gore, whilst still shot through with a thick vein of dark humour, cogency and intensity.

Using songs to heal, transform and put you under, The Singing Hypnotist (November 17) is described as a truly unique and hilarious show. A combination of clinical hypnotherapy, stage hypnosis, original music and good old fashioned showbiz, this weird and wonderful creation of Christopher Green’s will delight, surprise and certainly make you smile!

Tales from the Shed ‘On Tour’, presented by Chickenshed (November 16 – 19), is a hugely entertaining show for 0-6 year olds. Perfect for little ones, this interactive and lively theatre show encourages them to make a lot of noise and to be part of the story. Complete with live songs, puppets and plenty of fun, this is a great time for the whole family.

The mesmerising Camille O’Sullivan (November 22 – 26) will make her Wilton’s debut with a very special show dedicated to her greatest inspiration, Jacques Brel, arguably the master of emotional storytelling through song. His voice being the very reason Camille quit her job and became a singer, the multi award-winning artist pays homage to her musical hero with a series of performances at Wilton’s, after having stunned audiences around the world with sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and an appearance on Later With Jools Holland.

Wrapping up the Wilton’s 2016 season in true style will be the pantomime Mother Goose (December 2 – 31). The same creative team responsible for last year’s Dick Whittington are back to give audiences a real festive treat with their take on the classic tale, specially adapted for Wilton’s by Roy Hudd. There’ll be song and dance galore, love and romance, evil villains and good fairies, so brace yourself for booing, cheering, uproarious laughter and 400 year-old stuffing jokes.

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

Portfolio Masterclasses with Abigail Matthews, Anna Jane Casey and Annette Badland

Theatre news

ARION Productions has announced West End leading lady, Anna Jane Casey, as the latest artist to join the line-up of extraordinary performers and industry professionals providing expert ‘one day only’ training in much-sought-after specialist fields.

These masterclasses take place at Diorama Arts Studios on various Sunday afternoons throughout 2016 (see dates below).

Anna-Jane Casey first came to the London stage aged 16 to appear in Cats and has since performed in over 25 musicals, including the original casts of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and Children Of Eden. She has also played Dot in Sunday In The Park With George, Charity in Sweet Charity, Mabel in Mack And Mabel, Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot and Lady Of The Lake in Spamalot.

Her other theatre credits include Starlight Express, West Side Story, On Your Toes, Piaf, Chicago, Forbidden Broadway, Bells Are Ringing and Flowers For Mrs. Harris. And this Christmas, she will be playing the role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun at Sheffield Crucible.

Other upcoming masterclass specialists include puppeteer Abigail Matthews, whose credits include War Horse, Citizen Squid and Goodnight Mr. Tom, and Olivier and Actor’s Screen Guild Award nominated actress Annette Badland, who is best known for The Rise And Fall of Little Voice, Doctor Who, The Archers and Homelander. She is currently appearing in EastEnders as Aunt Babe.

Each of these unique masterclasses can hold up to fifty attendees. They have been created for those considering a career in performing arts or professional performers who might be looking to learn new skills. Classes are accessible to all, regardless of any disability or access needs. All attendees must be 16+.

Previous masterclasses have been hosted by two time Oliver Award-winner, Jenny Galloway (Acting Through Song Masterclass) and multi-award winning producer Danielle Tarento (Auditioning for Musical Theatre Masterclass).

All profits raised from the Portfolio Masterclass series will be invested by Arion Productions into future opportunities in their upcoming productions to give practical and paid experience. All places must be booked in advance and it is strongly advised to book as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment.

Artistic Director of Arion Productions, Andrew Keates, comments: “Arion Productions is passionate about providing opportunities for actors who want to invest in themselves and develop their craft. As a company we are fortunate to have connections with some of the finest professionals working within our industry and it has been a delight seeing actors transform in an afternoon by being given the chance to work with such a high caliber of stand-out artists”.

Dates:

August 7, 2016: Abigail Matthews – West End Puppetry
September 4, 2016: Anna Jane Casey – Acting Through Song
November 27, 2016: Annette Badland – Acting for Stage and Screen

Times: Doors open at 1pm and masterclasses will end at approximately 5.30pm.

Tickets: £35 per masterclass, plus a TicketWeb booking fee.

For more information and to book tickets, visit arion-productions.com/.

Diorama Arts Studios, 201 Drummond Street, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3FE

Dad's Army's Frank Williams brings More Tea Vicar to the Museum of Comedy

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

The oldest surviving member of the legendary Dad’s Army, Frank Williams, is to return to London forty years after the original stage production opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre. His new show, More Tea Vicar, will play at the Museum of Comedy at 2pm on July 10 and September 4, 2016.

Interestingly, the September date is exactly the same day that the Dad’s Army UK tour ended – September 4, 1976!

The originators of Dad’s Army, David Croft and Jimmy Perry, chose Frank Williams to create the role of the wonderfully eccentric vicar who was always slightly tetchy as he tried to come to terms with the elderly platoon’s invasion of his beloved church hall.

“It’s been simply wonderful to be part of something so special,” said Williams. “Although I have spent many years in various film and television roles, being part of Dad’s Army is hard to beat.”

More Tea Vicar? is presented by author and entertainer Chris Gidney who has spent 30 years in the entertainment profession and written numerous showbiz biographies, including Williams’.

“Everybody loves Dad’s Army,” said Gidney. “Even after forty years the series continues to pull huge viewing figures becoming one of the all-time classic ‘greats’. It also bridges the age gap like no other. People of all ages also love the live show because it’s very interactive. We often have young children in the audience who are bigger fans than their parents. We invite the audience to be part of it and they can ask questions. Frank is a master at describing the most hilarious off-screen stories about the TV series and films.”

However, Dad’s Army is only a small part of Williams’ career, and as he embarks on an entertaining journey down memory lane, he re-lives some of the fascinating and comical highlights of a film, stage and television career spanning over 50 years. “I’m looking forward to talking about the strange and remarkable things that the audience never see,” said Williams. “Like the time we were filming an episode of Dad’s Army and nearly got flattened by a runaway steam train, or when I watched myself on live TV being operated on in Emergency – Ward 10 in the comfort of my own home.”

Whilst still best known as the vicar from Dad’s Army, Williams has worked with many of the ‘greats’ including Tommy Cooper, Harry Worth, Dick Emery and Morecambe & Wise and has appeared in over 30 feature films including three with Norman Wisdom. His numerous other television credits include The Army Game, All Gas & Gaiters, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and You Rang M`Lord?

As well as the new show and the recent feature film, 85 year old Williams has also taken on a debut Dad’s Army Legends Cruise.

To book tickets, call 020 7534 1744 or visit www.museumofcomedy.com/.

Museum of Comedy, The Undercroft, St Georges Church, Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2SR

The Last Five Years - Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey star at St James Theatre

Samantha Barks

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN and directed by Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years runs at St James Theatre from October 28 to November 26, 2016.

This new London production will star Samantha Barks as Cathy and Jonathan Bailey as Jamie.

The Last Five Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical telling the story of Jamie and Cathy, two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years.

As aspiring author Jamie gets the book deal of his dreams, actress Cathy struggles to get work and make sense of the way her career has turned out. Can a couple once united by their dreams stay connected as their paths begin to divide?

Known for its unique structure, The Last Five Years sees their stories told in opposite directions; Jamie moving forwards and Cathy backwards through their relationship, meeting only briefly for a moment in time as their stories cross.

Jason Robert Brown is a three-time Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist, best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation. His major musicals include Honeymoon In Vegas, The Bridges of Madison County and 13, all of which played on Broadway.

Several of his musicals have previously been seen in London; his song cycle Songs for a New World played at St. James Theatre last year; 13 received its West End premiere in 2012 at the Apollo Theatre in a production directed by the composer; Parade played at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007 in a major revival directed by Rob Ashford; and The Last Five Years received its London Premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2006.

Samantha Barks is best known for playing Eponine in Les Miserables, a role she played in the West End, the 25th Anniversary Concerts at the O2, and in the 2012 film adaptation alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Eddie Redmayne. Barks came to prominence as a finalist on BBC’s I’d Do Anything, and later played Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s touring production of Oliver!

Her recent theatre credits include the title role in the world premiere of Amelie – A New Musical (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Mallory/Avril in City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Hollywood Bowl) and Sally Bowles in Cabaret (UK Tour). And her recent film work includes Interlude in Prague, Bitter Harvest, The Canary, the voice of Miss Acacia in Jack & The Cuckoo-Clock Heart and The Christmas Candle.

She also recently released her debut eponymous album Samantha Barks and is currently on a nationwide tour.

Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan Bailey is best known for television roles including reporter Olly Stevens in ITV’s Broadchurch and Leonardo Da Vinci in BBC’s Leonardo, with other recent credits including W1A, Doctor Who, Crashing, Campus and the upcoming Hooten and the Lady. He is also currently shooting the next series of Michaela Cole’s Chewing Gum.

Bailey’s theatre work includes American Psycho (Almeida Theatre), Othello (National Theatre) and South Downs (Harold Pinter Theatre); while his film credits include 5 Children and It, Testament of Youth and the upcoming Crowhurst biopic The Mercy with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, which is to be released next year.

The Last Five Years premiered Off-Broadway in 2002, where it won the Drama Desk Award for Music and Lyrics, and has since been seen all over the world. A film adaptation was also released in 2014 starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. This major revival production, directed by Jason Robert Brown, was first seen in a record-breaking Off-Broadway run at New York’s Second Stage Theatre in 2013.

Produced by Hilary and Stuart Williams in association with Paul Taylor-Mills and performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited, The Last Five Years has musical direction by Torquil Munro. Casting is by Pippa Ailion.

Tickets (on general sale from Saturday, June 25 at 10am): £5 – £49.50 (Previews); £10 – £59.50 (from November 3). To book, call the box office on 0844 264 2140 or visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Dancing With The Devil - Sadler’s Wells - photos released

Dancing with the Devil

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PHOTOS have been released for the world premiere of Dancing with the Devil, which runs at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells from Sunday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 29, 2016. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Dancing With The Devil is to receive its world premiere at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells.

A dynamic theatre/dance production about an imaginary meeting between dying Russian superstar ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn in the last years of Nureyev’s life, it runs for five performances only – from Sunday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

Dancing With The Devil, starring Russian ballet dancer Benny Maslov as Rudolf Nureyev and Jo Price as Margot Fonteyn, is set in the early nineties in Nureyev’s flat in Paris. He has AIDS and the illness is at an advanced stage. Refusing to accept his fate, and in his desperate hunger for life, he invokes the ghost of Margot Fonteyn (who died several years earlier) to find redemption.

With Margot he re-lives his youth, his hardships, his destructive love affair with Erik Bruhn and his global success as a dancer. But he and Margot see the past with very different eyes and gradually he is forced to confront himself – the biggest battle of his life. The journey that these two blazing talents embark upon is not only a love story, but is intricately woven from the very roots and fibres that made Rudolf Nureyev both a cantankerous child and consummate artist.

Nureyev recalls the first moment from his childhood in Russia when his passion for ballet began, his struggle with his father, his early years at the Vaganova Ballet, his first loves, his encounters with his teachers, Chelkov and Pushkin, his first major performance as a soloist, his defection from the Soviet Union, his visit to Russia after 26 years to see his family, his meeting with his sister Rezida, his encounters with Clara Saint, the French Socialite, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn, Maria Tallchief, Raymundo De Larrain and Cecil Beaton.

Featuring dance, music and the visual choreography of acclaimed Theatre Lab Company, Nureyev’s life is portrayed through a thrillingly choreographed performance.

Benny Maslov is a dancer, actor and choreographer, who appeared in the West End in Rufus Norris’s acclainmed producton of Cabaret.

His dance credits include Nobody’s Baby – The World’s Greatest Show (Royal Opera House), La Boheme (Royal Albert Hall), Dr Dee (English National Opera), The Most Incredible Thing (Sadler’s Wells), Pinocchio (ROH), Peter and the Wolf (Hackney Empire), Romeo and Juliet (English National Ballet), Alcina (ENO), Mappa Mundi (National Theatre) and One Touch of Venus (ROH).

Joining Maslov and Price in the cast of Dancing With The Devil are Peter Rae, Konstantinos Kavakiotis, Helen Bang, Denise Moreno and Carolin Ott.

Dancing With The Devil is directed by Anatasia Revi, Artistic Director of Theatre Lab Company, whose recent production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the National Theatre of Northern Greece was nominated in the five top productions in Greece for Best Directing Award in October 2016.

Dancing With The Devil is singer/songwriter, actress and writer Aletta Lawson’s second play. Her first, The Dancing Master, was chosen from 250 entrants for production in the New British Writing competition at the Battersea Arts Centre, and attracted excellent reviews. She started her career as singer/song-writer with the band Saturnalia, and her LP Magical Love. Since then she has starred in many musicals including Hair, Sue Townsend’s Killer on the Dancefloor and Godspell.

Tickets: £20, £16 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7863 8000 or online at www.sadlerswells.com/.

Times: 7.45pm with 2.30pm matinee on Wednesday, June 29.

Stig of the Dump - Katy Ashworth joins cast for London run

Katy Ashworth in Stig of the Dump

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a successful UK tour, London Contemporary Theatre is bringing their innovative Stig of the Dump to the West End’s Arts Theatre.

Adapted by Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Kenny and directed by Olivier Award nominated Luke Sheppard (Matilda, RSC, In The Heights), it will run from July 22 (previews from July 19) to August 26, 2016.

Aimed at children over four, this is a fast-paced interactive show full of exciting storytelling, fun songs, innovative movement and puppetry and many chances to join in.

Stig is a caveman with shaggy black hair and bright black eyes who lives in a disused chalk pit full of people’s dumped rubbish. Barney discovers Stig when he falls over the edge of the pit and tumbles through the roof of his hidden den.

Barney and Stig become best of friends and embark on exciting adventures together, causing a little mischief along the way. The trouble is that no one believes that Barney’s new friend is real.

Nearly fifty years since Stig and Barney’s adventures first saw the light of day, this timeless children’s classic remains as charming and entertaining as ever.

Joining the cast for the London performances is Katy Ashworth – actor, TV presenter, musician, and entertainer best known for her storytelling skills in the Cbeebies house and at their live shows, her interactive live show Katy’s Fun Time and fronting a 12-piece soul band in family music experience The Great Big Gig.

Ashworth, who will be playing Grandma, said: “I saw the show in Bath with my son, he was captivated throughout and his attention never dropped. I am very excited to be joining the cast of such a wonderful show.”

The cast also includes Samuel Gannon as Grandad, Chandni Mistry as Lou and William Pennington as Barney.

Mike Kenny is one of England’s leading writers specialising in young people’s theatre. He was included in the Independent on Sunday’s list of Top Ten Living Playwrights and his plays are performed regularly throughout the UK and all over the world. In 2000, he was Arts Council England’s first recipient of The Children’s Award for Playwriting for Children and Young People.

His Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Railway Children for York Theatre Royal, has had several successful revivals at Waterloo and King’s Cross stations, as well as at the National Railway Museum. In Canada, it won the People’s Choice Award following its record-breaking run in Toronto.

Stig of the Dump

Luke Sheppard won the inaugural Noël Coward Trainee Director Award at Salisbury Playhouse. He was a JMK Award finalist in 2010 and 2011 and took part in the National Theatre Director’s Course.

He is an Associate Director of Matilda: The Musical (RSC, West End, Broadway, Stratford-Upon-Avon) and recently directed In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre/Southwark Playhouse), Beyond the Fence (Arts Theatre), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ (Leicester Curve) and Oliver! (Watermill Theatre). His projects have been nominated for Olivier, Whatsonstage, UK Theatre and Off West End Awards.

Stig of the Dump is designed by Gabriella Slade, with lighting by Chris Withers, sound and music by Tom Attwood and movement direction by Julia Cave.

Stig of the Dump is suitable for ages 4+.

Official website.

Tickets: £15.50 – £25; Family ticket £60 for four. To book, call the box office on 020 7836 8463 or visit artstheatrewestend.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday 3pm, Wednesday 12.30pm, Thursday 1pm and 3pm (except July 25), Friday 1pm and 3pm, Saturday 11am. Additional performances on Monday, July 22 at 3pm and Thursday, July 25 at 11am.

Running Time: 55 minutes.

Also at the Arts Theatre: Racky Plews’ production of Green Day’s award-winning Broadway musical American Idiot (July 8 to September 25) and Sid, Leon Fleming’s punk-rock one-man play about hero worship (September 19 to October 8, 2016).

Promises, Promises - Southwark Playhouse

Burt Bacharach

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PROMISES, Promises, the hit Broadway musical based on the multi Oscar-winning 1960 film The Apartment, is to get its first London production since its 1969 West End premiere.

With music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David and book by Neil Simon, it will open at Southwark Playhouse in January 2017. Tickets will go on sale to the public from July 13, 2016.

Promises, Promises is about a junior executive at an insurance company, who sets out to climb the corporate ladder by allowing his apartment to be used by his married superiors for extra marital affairs.

Fans attending Burt Bacharach’s UK concerts, including the London Palladium shows on Saturday, will be first to hear more information about the show. He may even play a number from the production!

Produced by Aria Entertainment and SENBLA, Promises, Promises is based on The Apartment, the film produced and directed by Billy Wilder. A follow-up to Some Like It Hot, it starred Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning five, including Best Picture.

The original Broadway production of Promises, Promises premiered in 1968 and ran for 1,281 performances. A West End production opened in 1969 featuring Tony Roberts and Betty Buckley. The cast album won the Grammy Award for best cast recording, and a song from the show, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, became a hit single for both Dionne Warwick and Bobbie Gentry.

Other songs from the musical include the title tune, which was another international hit for Dionne Warwick, and Knowing When To Leave, which was also recorded by Warwick.

A 2010 Broadway revival starring Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes and Wicked star Kristin Chenoweth, included two additional Bacharach-David songs – I Say a Little Prayer, a 1967 million-selling hit written for Dionne Warwick, and A House Is Not a Home – and they will also be in the new London production.

The cast and creative team for the new London production will be announced in due course.

Also at Southwark Playhouse: Thérèse Raquin (August 11 to September 3); punkplay (September 7 to October 1); and The Greater Game (September 15 to October 15, 2016).

The Greater Game - Southwark Playhouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Michael Head and directed by Tilly Vosburgh, The Greater Game runs at Southwark Playhouse from September 19 (previews from September 15) to October 15, 2016.

The Greater Game tells the fascinating true story of the 41 men who swapped the football fields of London for the battle fields of the Somme in 1916.

East London football club Leyton Orient, then known as Clapton Orient, was the first team to sign up its players, staff and supporters to fight in the Great War. Forty one men volunteered in all. Three of them never returned.

Based on the book They Took The Lead by Stephen Jenkins, this new play of love, friendship and loss tells both sides of the story from the flag waving patriotism to the conscientious objectors.

Bermondsey-born Playwright Michael Head swapped the boxing ring for performing when he was in his early teens. He trained at the Miskin Theatre and the London School Of Musical Theatre. His plays include Worth A Flutter (Old Red Lion). He also wrote the music, lyrics and book for the comedy musical Sword and the Dope, which ran at the Kings Head Theatre before transferring to Greenwich Playhouse.

Director Tilly Vosburgh trained at the Anna Scher Theatre and has worked as an actress since childhood, most recently in Jo Brand’s Damned, Our Girl, Vera and Call The Midwife.

Her directing credits include A Better Woman by Simon Mendes da Costa (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury); Harry Is Asking by Katarina Rodda, The Man from Clare by Jaki McCarrick, and New Year’s Date by Simon Mendes da Costa (Omnibus Theatre); Welcome to Thebes by Moira Buffini (Bernie Grant Arts Centre); Ting Tang Mine by Nick Darke (Courtyard Theatre); and Burying Your Brother In The Pavement by Jack Thorne (Jasmine Teh Theatre).

Vosburgh was a writer on Radio 4’s Late with Paul Merton, and her short film Domestic Flight played at numerous festivals including Palm Springs and LIFF.

The production is presented by LAPA sponsored by The Royal British Legion in association with The PFA, Stephen Jenkins and Peter Kitchen. Casting and creative details are to be announced.

Tickets: Previews (September 15, 16, 17): all tickets £; from September 19: £20, £16 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7407 0234 or online at southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Also at Southwark Playhouse: Emily Juniper’s new version of Maxim Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova (until July 9) and the musical play about Judy Garland Through the Mill (July 6 to July 30, 2016).

Allegro - casting and creatives announced

The cast of Allegro

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING and creatives have been announced for the professional European première of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro, which runs at Southwark Playhouse (The Large) from August 11 (previews from August 5) to September 10, 2016.

The line up includes Katie Bernstein (Mrs Henderson Presents and Urinetown, West End) as Emily West; Emily Bull (Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd, ENO, Les Misérables, West End) as Jennie Brinker; David Delve (Grand Hotel, Southwark Playhouse) as Ned Brinker; Julia J Nagle (Dirty Dancing, West End and on tour, Company, Southwark Playhouse) as Marjorie Taylor; Dylan Turner (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Chariots of Fire and Rock Of Ages, West End) as Charlie Townsend; Susan Travers (State Fair, Trafalgar Studios) as Grandma Taylor; Gary Tushaw (Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd, ENO) as Joseph Taylor Jr; and Steve Watts (Chariots Of Fire, West End, The Mikado, Charing Cross Theatre) as Dr Taylor.

They are joined by Cassandra McCowan, Matthew McDonald, Louise Olley, Benjamin Purkiss, Jacqueline Tate, Samuel Thomas, Leah West and Matthew Woodyatt.

The full creative team are: Director Thom Southerland, Orchestrator Mark Cumberland, Musical Director Dean Austin, Choreographer Lee Proud, Set Designer Anthony Lamble, Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman, Lighting Designer Derek Anderson, Sound Designer Andrew Johnson, Producer & Casting Director Danielle Tarento.

In 1905 in a small Midwestern town, the wife of a local doctor gives birth to a baby boy, Joseph Taylor Jr.

Allegro chronicles nearly four decades in the life of this average Joe – through his childhood, from college dorm to marriage altar, and on to his own medical career; from the tranquility of his hometown to the hectic din of big city life and a mid-life discovery of who he is and what his life is truly about, ultimately learning the most important lessons of all – the value of family, that money isn’t everything and that home really is where the heart is.

Read more about Allegro.

In Response To… The Orlando Attack - one-off gala to honour and commemorate the victims

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN THE wake of the deadliest incident of violence ever committed against LGBTQ people in America, the attack on the Pulse Nightclub and murder of 49 people, Theatre Renegade are presenting a one-off gala, Response To… The Orlando Attack at at St James Studio on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Against the backdrop of London’s Pride celebrations, Response To… The Orlando Attack will be a mixture of new pieces written in direct response to the tragedy, performances of well-known texts and musical performances, all selected to honour and commemorate the victims at Pulse nightclub.

Ryan Forde Iosco, Artistic Director of Theatre Renegade, said: “As we all struggle to understand the unspeakable horror, we are coming together as an artistic community to raise our voices; in memory, in protest, in solidarity. As a company we feel incredibly angered, frustrated and saddened by the attack that took place on June 12th to the LGBTQ community in Orlando. I couldn’t simply stand by and let this pass without doing something when so many of us feel affected by this tragedy.”

All profits from the evening will be donated to Stonewall, in aid of their work supporting LGBTQ communities.

Performers confirmed so far include:

Alice Fearn, soon to be alternate Elphaba in Wicked, whose West End credits include Les Miserables, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Woman in White and Shrek; Mathew White (Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, West End and Broadway, 55 Days, Hampstead Theatre); Ryan Forde Iosco (Pina Bausch’s Viktor, Sadler’s Wells, Antigone and Lorca is Dead, The Lowry, The Translators, Soho Theatre and San Domino, Arcola Theatre)…

…Lily de la Haye (Parade, LondonTheatre Workshop and Legally Blonde, Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Leo Wan, (Twelfth Night, Orange Tree Theatre, Jekyll and Hyde Southwark Playouse and Henry V, Trafalgar Studios); Janine Harouni (1984, Almeida and West End and The Iliad, Almeida); and Abubakar Salim (The Winter’s Tale, Cheek By Jowl, Teddy Ferrara, Donmar Warehouse and Black Mirror, Netflix).

Among the writers taking apart are Camilla Whitehill, Tristan Bernays and Christopher Adams; while directors include Lucy Atkinson, Josh Roche and Eleanor Rhode.

Tickets: Studio Floor: £25; Studio Gallery: £30; Studio Upper Gallery: £25; Studio Standing: £15; On The Door: £25. Access Rate: disabled patrons and registered access companions may purchase Studio Floor tickets at 50% of the above price. Available from the box office on 0844 264 2140, by e-mailing boxoffice@stjamestheatre.co.uk or visiting www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/.

Time: 8pm.

Running Time: Approximately 2 hours.