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The Old Vic announces full Birthday Variety Night line up

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE OLD Vic has announced the full line up for its 200th birthday cabaret Variety Night on Saturday, May 12, 2018 (8pm).

This one-off event will see the auditorium transformed for its 200th birthday into a cabaret space. Harking back to The Old Vic’s days as a Music Hall in the 1880s, the evening will see the return of unadulterated entertainment with a mix of new and established talent.

Joining the previously announced sketch comedy duo The Pin; the company of upcoming hip-hop musical Sylvia; The McOnie Company; an exclusive performance written by Dennis Kelly; and 2018 Olivier Award winner Sheila Atim will be:

• A jazz trio by Kansas Smitty’s

• The Horne Section (Alex Horne and his five-piece jazz band) will host the evening with their unique combination of comedy, improvisation, storytelling and music

• Two-time UK Team Beatbox Champions Burd

• Writer, comedian and actor Tim Key

• Hula hoop dancer and fire performer Silvia Pavone

• Joining Sheila Atim will be actor and musician Arthur Darvill and together they will perform a selection of original songs, including a brand new composition for The Old Vic’s birthday

Tickets starting from £15 are available for Dress and Baylis Circle seating. Cabaret tickets are available from £70 and include wines provided by Indigo Wine, beer by Greene King and pies generously provided by Pieminister.

The Old Vic invites everyone to come and celebrate the birthday of London’s only 1000 seat, not for profit independent theatre at this one-off, unique cabaret night. A charity in receipt of no regular public subsidy, for almost two centuries this iconic theatre has been a vital resource to its local community, whilst also playing a significant role in developing the cultural landscape of the UK. Throughout its history, ground-breaking productions, social mobility and inclusion have remained central to its work both on and off stage.

For full programme details and to book tickets visit www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/bicentenary-variety-night-fundraiser.

The world premiere of Joe Penhall’s new play Mood Music continues at The Old Vic until June 16, 2018.

Casting announced for The Strange Death of John Doe at Hampstead Theatre

John Doe marketing image

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for the world premiere of Fiona Doyle’s The Strange Death of John Doe. Inspired by real events, this powerful and poignant new play runs at Hampstead Theatre from June 5 (previews from May 25) to June 30, 2018.

The line up includes Damola Adelaja (as Felipe/Airport Security/Aviation Official), Charlotte Bradley (Ger), Benjamin Cawley (Ximo), Callie Cooke (Anna/Rae), Maynard Eziashi (The Document Doctor/Paulino/Moruf), Nick Hendrix (Samuel/Jan/Traveller/Coroner), Rhashan Stone (Johan Kavura) and Abigail Thaw (Carter).

London – the present day. The unidentified body of a young man with fatal head injuries is found face down in a suburban street. Who is he and where did he come from? He has no ID and nobody witnessed anything. It’s as if he has just fallen from the sky…

Clinically named as ‘John Doe’, the pathologists must uncover the truth and piece his story – and body – back together. A breakthrough sends DC John Kavura into overdrive for answers and as his investigation unravels, he discovers a haunting story of our time.

Damola Adelaja’s theatre work includes Parliament Square (Bush/Royal Exchange); The Immigrant (Rich Mix/British Library); Under Dark Skies (Talawa); Our Country’s Good (St James’ Theatre, Out Of Joint); A Drop to Drink (Soho Theatre); Fixer (Oval House Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Ruined (Almeida). Screen work includes White Colour Black; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Circus and Ragtime (film); Berlin Station; EastEnders and Doctors (TV).

Charlotte Bradley’s theatre work includes The Unmanageable Sisters (Abbey Theatre); Liolà (National Theatre); Mum’s the Word (Tivoli Theatre); An Solas Dearg and Dún na mBan Trí Thine (Peacock Theatre); and Wasters (SFX Theatre). Screen work includes Striking Out 2; The Yank; Titanic: Blood & Steel; Shameless; Veronica Guerin; Moll Flanders; Father Ted – The Old Grey Whistle Theft and Family.

Benjamin Cawley’s theatre work includes Queen of Chapeltown (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Tempest (Southwark Playhouse); Get Carter (Northern Stage/UK tour); The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution (Finborough Theatre); Chavs (Lyric, Hammersmith); Dunsinane (RSC); Sticks and Stones (Old Red Lion); Dark Carnival (Old Vic Tunnels); and Patterns of Grace (Hampstead Theatre/Heat & Light). Screen work includes Christmas Eve and Tick (film); Crossing Lines; The Pact; Doctor Who; Shetland; Doctors and How TV Ruined Your Life (TV).

Callie Cooke graduated from Drama school in 2015. Theatre work includes Filthy Business (Hampstead Theatre); and Firebird (Hampstead Downstairs/Trafalgar Studios – nomination for Emerging New Talent at the Evening Standard Awards). Television work includes Britannia (series regular); Overshadowed; Strike and Informers.

Maynard Eziashi’s theatre work includes The Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre/WYP); Free Fall (Pleasance Theatre); The Dead Wait (Park Theatre); The Winter’s Tale; Pericles and Season of Migration to the North (RSC); and A Jamaican Airman Forsees His Fall (Royal Court). Screen work includes Streets of Calabar; Paradise or Something; Colour Me Kubrick; When Brendan Met Trudy; Ace Ventura, Pet Detective: When Nature Calls; and Mr. Johnson – winner of the Silver Bear for the Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival (film); Coronation Street; Casualty; Hotel Babylon; The Changeling; Downton Lagos; Hallelujah Anyhow and The Bill (TV).

Nick Hendrix’ theatre work includes Man and Superman and The Light Princess (National Theatre); Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre); The Winslow Boy (Old Vic); What the Butler Saw (Vaudeville Theatre); Journey’s End (UK tour) and Eden End (Theatre Royal, Northampton/ETT tour). Screen work includes Legend; Suffragette; Captain America and Red Tails (film); Midsomer Murders (series 19 & 20); Marcella; The Crown; Foyle’s War (series 9); The White Queen; Call The Midwife; Lightfields; Inspector George Gently; Black Mirror and Silk (TV).

Rhashan Stone’s theatre work includes iHO (Hampstead Theatre); Our Town (Almeida Theatre); Love and Information and Clubland (Royal Court); Southwark Fair; The Red Balloon and Sweeney Todd (National Theatre); Simply Heavenly (Young Vic/West End); Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3; Richard III; Much Ado About Nothing; Hamlet and Camino Real (RSC); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Regent’s Park); and Five Guys Named Moe (West End). Screen work includes To Provide All People; Eve; Three and Out; and Wondrous Oblivion (film); Apple Tree Yard; The A Word; Boomers; Agatha Raisin; Black Mirror; Strike Back; Episodes; Mutual Friends; Outnumbered; and Love Soup (TV).

Abigail Thaw’s theatre includes The Cutting of the Cloth (Southwark Playhouse); Sold (Theatre503); Entertaining Angels (Chichester Festival Theatre/UK tour); Arab-Israeli Cookbook (Tricycle Theatre/Gate Theatre); The Road to the Sea (Orange Tree Theatre); Cymbeline (BAM/ Shakespeare’s Globe); Private Lives (UK tour/Lyric, Hammersmith); Moscow Gold (RSC); and Cinders and Bronx Zoo (Royal Court). Screen credits include The Inbetweeners 2; Caring for the Recently Deceased and Ghost Writer (film); Endeavour; I want my Wife Back; Midsomer Murders; Lovesoup; Casualty; The Stepfather; Doctors; The Bill; Vanity Fair; Spywatch and White Girls on Dope (TV).

The Strange Death of John Doe is directed by Artistic Director Edward Hall.

Read more about The Strange Death of John Doe.

The Phantom of the Opera wins West End Eurovision

West End Eurovision - Winners The Phantom of the Opera. Photo Leigh Carter.

Theatre news

THE cast of the West End’s longest running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, were hailed the stars of West End Eurovision 2018, scoring a remarkable double victory.

Performing Conchita Wurst’s 2014 winning song Rise Like a Phoenix, they earned top marks of 106 – 36 ahead of their nearest rivals, Dreamgirls.

As well as overall winner, The Phantom of the Opera entry was also awarded the Judges Award – Best Creative from the judging panel of choreographer, director and showbiz legend Arlene Phillips, John Partridge, star of La Cage Aux Folles, A Chorus Line and EastEnders, and stand up performer Tom Allen.

Featuring a cast of bearded characters including Conchita, Alphaba, Princess Jasmine and The Bearded Lady from The Greatest Showman and a fabulous quick change dress transformation, The Phantom of the Opera cast stormed the event winning more top marks than any other production.

The third trophy of the night, the Best Ident, voted for by public text vote, was won by Hamilton.

The final result was:

1. The Phantom of the Opera – 106 votes
2. Dreamgirls – 70 votes
3. Aladdin – 60 votes
4. Young Frankenstein – 50 votes
5. 42nd Streeet – 42 votes
6. Kinky Boots – 38 votes
7. Mamma Mia! – 32 votes
8. Hamilton – 24 votes

The evening also featured two epic performances by this year’s UK entry, SuRie performing the emotive and uplifting track Storm that carries the hopes of the UK at the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on Saturday, May 12, and musical theatre leading actress Lucie Jones who represented the UK in 2017 with the nation’s best showing in eight years – with a dance version of her entry, Never Give Up On You.

Legendary charity production West End Eurovision was staged at the Shaftesbury Theatre for the first time in four years and was a sold-out success.

Melanie Tranter, chair of the Make A Difference Trust said: ”We are delighted to welcome back West End Eurovision and look forward to it becoming one of our annual fundraisers. Last night’s event was a testament to the generosity of the amazing people in the theatre community coming together to support the Trust. The funds raised will help us to continue our work supporting those living with of affected by HIV and AIDS. Congratulations to The Phantom of the Opera for a well deserved win. We all look forward to them defending the trophy next year.”

Since the first West End Eurovision contest was staged in 2008, the event has raised thousands to support the MAD Trust. The Trust works with its partners to support HIV and AIDS projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa building awareness and providing care support and education.

Image: West End Eurovision – Winners: The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Leigh Carter.

Kinky Boots announces new casting and extended booking period

Simon-Anthony Rhoden and Oliver Tompsett in Kinky Boots. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

Casting news

KINKY Boots has announced that from Monday, June 4, 2018, Oliver Tompsett and Natalie McQueen will play Charlie and Lauren respectively, with Simon-Anthony Rhoden continuing as Lola.

Sean Needham will play Don, Cordelia Farnworth will continue as Nicola and Antony Reed will play George.

Also joining Kinky Boots from Monday, June 4, 2018, will be Abbey Addams, Jak Allen-Anderson, Louis Clarke-Clare, Daniel Downing, David Haydn, Graham Kent, Christopher Parkinson, Hannah Price, Anna Stolli and Olivia Winterflood.

Continuing in the show are current cast members Jed Berry, Momar Diagne, Jemal Felix, Jordan Fox, Rossie Glossop, Robert Grose, Keith Higham, Ben Jennings, Robert Jones, Suzie McAdam, Emma Odell, Jon Reynolds and Tom Scanlon.

David Hunter (Charlie Price) and Verity Rushworth (Lauren) will play their final performances on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Kinky Boots, which has now played over a thousand performances at London’s Adelphi Theatre, has also extended its booking period until Saturday, January 5, 2019.

Oliver Thompsett’s numerous theatre credits include Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (Phoenix Theatre); Galileo in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); Drew Boley in Rock of Ages (original London cast, Dominion Theatre); Fiyero in Wicked (Apollo Victoria); Phil Davis in White Christmas to huge critical acclaim (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Starlight Express (The Other Palace); The Royal Hunt of the Sun (directed by Trevor Nunn, National Theatre); Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre); and Harry Lytton in Over My Shoulder (Wyndham’s Theatre).

Thompsett is also a regular concert performer singing both his own material and that of other composers, a recent example being Jason Robert Brown Live (The Royal Festival Hall). Other concerts and cabarets include: Christmas in New York and Notes from New York (various venues, including Trafalgar Studios and The Prince of Wales Theatre) and The World Goes Round (The Pheasantry). His film credits include Chauncey in comedy feature Showdogs and Jake in The Hard Way.

Natalie McQueen’s theatre work includes The Mad Hatter in Wonderland (European premiere UK and Ireland tour); alternate Sara and u/s Narrator in Murder Ballad (The Arts, London); Éponine in Les Misérables (Pimlico Opera); ensemble/standby Elphaba and Nessarose in Wicked (Apollo Victoria); Angela St Angelo and u/s Florence in Chess (Union Theatre); Young Éponine in Les Misérables (Palace Theatre); and Eva, Sewer Child in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium). McQueen is also one half of alternative/pop band Strangewaves.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes audiences from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

Read more about Kinky Boots.

Image: Simon-Anthony Rhoden and Oliver Tompsett in Kinky Boots. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual - The Curve, Leicester

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE world-première Made at Curve production of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual comes to Leicester from September 26 to October 6, 2018.

The production is adapted for the stage by Curve Associate Artist, Dougal Irvine from the 2012 book by Riaz Khan. An immersive experience, it will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster.

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual tells Riaz Khan’s colourful account of growing up as the son of strict Pakistani parents in the multi-cultural city of Leicester. Khan finds refuge from the pressures at home to stay true to his cultural roots, when he becomes involved in the football ‘casual’ culture, and joins Leicester’s infamous ‘firm’ of football hooligans, the ‘Baby Squad’.

Decked out in the latest designer gear and ready for a brawl with the rival firm on match day, Khan and his friends unwittingly create a multi-cultural gang advocating racial tolerance, where the only labels that matter are on the clothes. But as the years go by and the casualties of football firms around the country mount up, Khan soon discovers the true price of belonging to a subculture of violence.

Set in the 1980s, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual explores the development of the hybrid youth culture of the time, which developed within a shocking culture of violence.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster said: “In our tenth birthday year, we’re delighted to be producing this incredible new play by Curve Associate Artist Dougal Irvine, which places our city and heritage centre stage.

“Leicester is renowned for its wonderful multi-culturalism and of course, its record-breaking football team. Riaz’s story offers a spirited and unique insight into a niche slice of Leicester life in the 1980s.

“Ultimately this is a coming of age story of redemption and acceptance. We’re looking forward to transporting our audiences to the streets of Leicester and the terraces of the iconic Filbert Street ground in this immersive and energetic Made at Curve drama.”

Now a De Montfort University Lecturer, Riaz Khan said: “It’s an honour to have the team at Curve take my story and bring it to life on the stage.

“For me and the other guys involved in the casual scene in Leicester, being part of a firm was always about escapism from the pressures of family, society and teenage life – you put on the clothes and became part of something but it obviously created a lot of trouble and people did get hurt.

“This is a story about the truth of the times – the racism, the violence, the pop-culture – but also the friendships and integration that came out of it. I walked away from that life and now tell other young people to do the same because there are better paths to take. I was so excited to read Dougal’s script and I can’t wait to see this show come together at Curve in Leicester.”

The production has set and costume design by Grace Smart and composer and sound designer is Tasha Taylor Johnson. Casting director is Kay Magson CDG. Casting will be announced in due course.

Tickets will go on sale to Curve Members on Friday, May 11, with general on sale following on Thursday, May 17 at 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased online at www.curveonline.co.uk, in person at Curve’s Ticket Office or the Highcross Kiosk in Leicester, or over the phone on 0116 242 3595.

Sandra Dickinson and Jonathan Chambers to star in The Unbuilt City at the King’s Head Theatre

Sandra Dickinson and Jonathan Chambers

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SANDRA Dickinson and Jonathan Chambers are to star in the European prermiere of The Unbuilt City by Keith Bunin. Directed by Glen Walford, it runs at the King’s Head Theatre from Wednesday, June 6 to Saturday, June 30, 2018.

On a cold afternoon in February, Jonah (Chambers) knocks on the door of a townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. He’s come to ask Claudia (Dickinson) to sell her famously secret collection to a university archive. But in order to do that, he’ll have to persuade her to reveal her own enigmatic past, and to illuminate a series of mysteries about the nature of love, legacy and the untold history of New York City.

The Unbuilt City had its world premiere presented by New York Stage And Film Vassar in The Powerhouse Season in summer 2015. This European premiere is just the second time the play has been staged.

Sandra Dickinson recently starred as Lucille Ball in I Loved Lucy at the Arts Theatre. Born in Washington DC, she found fame in the UK in the 1970s as the star of Birds Eye beefburger TV adverts. They established her in a succession of American ‘dumb blonde’ roles, and it was many years before she was able to shake that image. She has since enjoyed a prolific career on stage and screen.

Her West End shows include Singin’ In The Rain, A Streetcar Named Desire, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Not About Nightingales (NT and Broadway) and Orpheus Descending (Donmar Warehouse). Her films include Steven Spielberg’s 2018 release Ready Player One, Malice In Wonderland, Supergirl and Superman III.

Among many TV roles, Dickinson is probably best known as Trillian in the cult sci-fi TV series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. She can also be heard voicing various roles in Gumball, Counterfeit Cat and she is the voice of Grandma Tracy in ITV’s Thunderbirds Are Go.

Jonathan Chambers was born in Jamaica and trained at the Arts Educational Schools and The Royal Academy of Music. His theatre includes Doubt, A Parable and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Southwark Playhouse), Chiggerfoot Boys (Tara Arts), Jeremy Corbyn, The Motorcycle Diaries (Waterloo East), Make and Model (Bush Theatre), Macbeth and The Lightning Child (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Atheist (St James Theatre Studio/The Lion and Unicorn Theatre), The Ballad of Benny Junior (Riverside Studios), The Legend of Bella Rosa (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Incendiary (Oval House).

Chambers’ screen work includes Casualty and Throw of a Dice (CVS Films).

Keith Bunin’s plays The Credeaux Canvas, The World Over, and The Busy World Is Hushed were all originally produced Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. The Busy World Is Hushed received its UK premiere last autumn at the Finborough Theatre. His other plays include Sam Bendrix At The Bon Soir (La Jolla Playhouse and City Theatre Pittsburgh), 10 Million Miles (Atlantic Theatre Company) and The Principality Of Sorrows (Pure Orange Productions).

He wrote the screenplay for the film Horns and he was also a writer for the HBO TV series In Treatment. He is currently working on a play commission from La Jolla Playhouse as well as screenplays for HBO Films and Disney Pictures.

Image: Sandra Dickinson by PND Photography and Jonathan Chambers by Luce Newman Williams.

Running Time: 85 minutes (no interval).

For more information or to buy tickets, call the box office on 0207 226 8561 or visit www.kingsheadtheatre.com/.

Also at the King’s Head Theatre: the return of Tony Award-winning writer Joe DiPietro’s F***ing Men (May 16 to June 2) and Becca Marriott and Helena Jackson’s new English version of La Traviata (September 27 to October 27, 2018).

Samuel Newton to portray food writer Nigel Slater in Toast

Toast - Hospital Club - Nigel Slater and Sam Newton © Piers Foley Photography

Casting news

AHEAD of rehearsals starting on Monday, the cast has been announced for the world premiere run of the stage adaptation of Nigel Slater’s memoirs Toast, which plays at The Lowry in Salford from Tuesday, May 22 to Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Samuel Newton (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, UK Tour) will play Nigel Slater, with Lizzie Muncey (Twelfth Night, National Theatre) as Mum, and Stephen Ventura (The 39 Steps, West End) as Dad.

Marie Lawrence (Murder in Successville, BBC3) plays Joan, with Andy Brady (Nativity!, UK Tour) as Josh/Stuart completing the cast.

Nigel Slater said: “With casting now complete it’s an extremely exciting time as the words on the page start to come to life. To have your life story portrayed through film was incredible but there was always that thing with film that no matter how beautifully something’s filmed, it isn’t quite real. And this production will be. That, for me, is very very exciting.”

Samuel Newton added: “Toast is a lovely story about a boy who struggled to find himself growing up who then found his way. It’s a story that lots of people will be able to connect with and relate to in terms of their own childhood experiences.

“I am a foodie – my mum was always keen that I learned about food when I was growing up and she’s probably even more excited than anyone about me playing Nigel. Ahead of rehearsals starting I’ve been making a new Nigel Slater recipe every day – which is the closest to method acting I’ll get!”

Vividly recreating suburban England in the 1960s, Nigel Slater’s childhood is told through the tastes and smells he grew up with. To reflect this, audiences will be offered samples of the dishes and tastes central to Nigel’s story during the show.

From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the playground politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and…toast.

Read more about Toast.

Image: Toast – Hospital Club – Nigel Slater and Sam Newton © Piers Foley Photography.

Heathers - The Musical - extra tickets released

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE European premiere of Heathers – The Musical smashed The Other Palace box office records when it went on sale last week becoming the biggest on-sale in the history of the theatre. The musical premieres at The Other Palace on June 9 and runs for a limited 8-week season – until August 4, 2018.

Due to the phenomenal demand, an additional performance and 1,000 extra seats have been released across all price bands, starting from £25. Further tickets will be released each Friday, so check social media and The Other Palace website for more details and your chance to snatch a ticket.

Co-producer Paul Taylor Mills said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that within a year of The Other Palace we have had a project that has gone from a workshop presentation to a fully realised production in the main house. We’re delighted that the appetite for the production has meant we have broken all our previous box office records. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that tickets are available across all price bands and urge people still trying to get tickets to keep an eye on our website and social media channels as we will let everyone know when more allocations of tickets at ALL prices become available.”

Previously Posted: Following a rapturous response to its sell-out 2017 workshop, 80s cult classic Heathers – The Musical returns with new songs, new material and new classmates.

Produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor Mills, who together produced the award-winning Carrie in 2015, Heathers receives its European premiere at The Other Palace on June 9 and runs for a limited eight week season until August 4, 2018.

Heathers – The Musical is based on one of the greatest teen films of all time, the 1988 classic which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The stage adaptation by award-winning writing team Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde, Bat Boy) and Kevin Murphy’s (Reefer Madness, Desperate Housewives) has already enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and New York.

The writers, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy, and director Andy Fickman said: “After the incredibly warm reception our workshop received at The Other Palace last year, we are hugely grateful to Bill, The Other Palace, and Paul for affording us a once in a lifetime opportunity to refine the book, add new songs, and re-imagine the staging for this show which has been such an extraordinary labor of love for us. We thank them gently with a chainsaw.”

Welcome to Westerberg High, where popularity is very much a matter of life and death, and Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day.

But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams finally start to come true. Until, that is, JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…

Accomplished musical theatre star, Carrie Hope Fletcher, will play Veronica Sawyer in this twisted tale of teen drama, friendship and deadly obsession.

Fresh from winning the WhatsOnStage Award for ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ for her stint as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (UK Tour), Carrie Hope Fletcher previously played Éponine in Les Misérables in the West End for three years. She has also just released her debut album When the Curtain Falls.

Heathers – The Musical has book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, with brand new material exclusively written for this production whilst the team are in London, and is directed by acclaimed screen and stage director Andy Fickman with choreography by Gary Lloyd (Thriller Live, Carrie, 20th Century Boy).

Design is by David Shields (Chess, Ice Age Live, End of the Rainbow), lighting by Ben Cracknell (Young Frankenstein, Annie, La Cage Aux Folles), sound by Dan Samson (Evita, Cilla, Joseph) and casting by Will Burton (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Matilda, The Wild Party).

Further cast and creatives will be announced in due course.

A limited number of £21 tickets for those under the age of 21 will be available at every performance. For more information please visit The Other Palace’s website.

Tommy Steele returns to the London Coliseum 60 years after his first appearance there

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SIXTY years after starring in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which enjoyed a sold out run at the London Coliseum, Tommy Steele is returning to the venue.

And fittingly, for a star whose career was inspired by the American band leader Glenn Miller, it’s in The Glenn Miller Show, which runs for seven weeks – from Friday, July 6 to Saturday, August 18, 2018.

Glenn Miller was the best selling recording artist in the world from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. In those four years he scored 23 number-one hits – more than Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

Tommy Steele landed his first UK number-one with Singing the Blues in January 1957, reaching the top spot before Elvis, the same year he filmed The Tommy Steele Story, one of Britain’s great rock ‘n’ roll movies.

His career has included over twenty hit singles, twelve hit musical movies – including Finian’s Rainbow, The Happiest Millionaire and Half A Sixpence – and countless award-winning stage musicals such as Half A Sixpence, Hans Andersen and Singin’ in the Rain. He also starred in the musical Scrooge, which enjoyed two successful runs at the London Palladium, and made him the theatre’s all-time record breaking performer, having headlined more performances than any other star in its history.

Steele said: “I am and always will be one of Glenn Miller’s biggest fans. That sound, that wonderful sound, and his search for it, is one of the most inspiring stories I know. So, I’m returning to the Coliseum to say two thank yous!!”

The Glenn Miller Show charts the journey the legendary big band leader took to find his unique sound, and his subsequent fame and untimely death and includes the authentic sounds of In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Tuxedo Junction, Chattanooga Choo Choo and many more era-defining favourites.

The Glenn Miller Show is produced by Bill Kenwright, with choreography by Olivier Award Winner Bill Deamer and direction by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.

Tickets: From £18 (plus booking fee). Public booking opens on Monday, April 23, 2018. To book, call the box office on 020 7845 9300, e-mail box.office@eno.org or visit londoncoliseum.org/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm.

Also at the London Coliseum: the first West End production since 1986 of Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus’ Chess, starring Michael Ball, Alexandra Burke, Murray Head, Tim Howar and Cassidy Janson (April 26 to June 2, 2018).

Full cast and NT Live screening announced for King Lear

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for the West End transfer of Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Directed by Jonathan Munby, it runs at the Duke of York’s Theatre for 100 performances only from July 11 to November 3, 2018.

Reprising their roles at the Duke of York’s Theatre, following a sold-out season at Chichester Festival Theatre last year, will be the previously announced Ian McKellen as King Lear, alongside Kirsty Bushell (Regan), Richard Clews (Gentleman Informer/Old Man), Sinéad Cusack (Kent), John Hastings (Curan/Doctor), Jake Mann (Burgundy/Lear’s Knight), Michael Matus (Oswald), Caleb Roberts (King of France), and Danny Webb (Gloucester).

They will be joined in the West End by James Corrigan (Edmund), Anthony Howell (Albany), Lloyd Hutchinson (Fool), James Millard, Johanne Murdock, Jessica Murrain, Claire Price (Goneril), Daniel Rabin (Cornwall), Scott Sparrow (Albany’s Man), Luke Thompson (Edgar), Anita-Joy Uwajeh (Cordelia), and John Vernon.

It has also been announced that King Lear will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally on Thursday, September 27 with National Theatre Live.

Two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with shocking ends. Tender, brutal, moving and epic, King Lear is considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written.

Read more about King Lear.

To book tickets, call 020 8544 7469 or visit www.kinglearwestend.com/.