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Thom Southerland appointed Artistic Director of Charing Cross Theatre

Thom Southerland

Theatre news

THOM Southerland has been appointed Artistic Director of Charing Cross Theatre, where he has programmed an opening season of major musicals, including the return of his acclaimed multi award-winning Titanic and the European premiere of Death Takes a Holiday.

Titanic was originally produced at Southwark Playhouse in 2013 by Danielle Tarento.

Tarento and Southerland will continue their successful long-time collaboration at Charing Cross Theatre, where she will co-produce the entire season with Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan Williams.

Steven M. Levy said: “Thom Southerland’s appoinment marks the start of an exciting, fabulous new chapter in the history of our theatre. As we turn into a full-time producing house we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Thom as Artistic Director and to welcome Danielle Tarento as our season co-producer.”

Speaking from Japan, where he’s directing a new version of his London hit, Grand Hotel, Southerland said: “Having directed The Mikado at Charing Cross Theatre, I am thrilled to have been appointed Artistic Director. It’s doubly exciting to be able to premiere Titanic composer Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday to round off this first season.”


The season opens with Titanic, which runs from Saturday, May 28 to Saturday, August 6.

Titanic is followed – from Saturday, August 20 to Saturday, October 1 – by Radio Times. Postponed

In the heart of London’s Blitz-torn West End, the cast of BBC’s light-entertainment radio show, Variety Bandwagon are doing their bit for the war effort. But with the bombs falling outside, can star of the show, Sammy Shaw, hang on to his leading lady and broadcast live to America for the very first time?

Chock-full of quick-fire gags, side-splitting routines and classic songs from one of our ‘best of British’ musical talents, Noel Gay, the composer of Me and My Girl, Radio Times features 40’s favourites such as Run Rabbit Run, Hey Little Hen, My Thanks To You and There’s Something About a Soldier.

Ben Woolf directs.

The third production, Ragtime, runs from Saturday, October 8 to Saturday, December 10.

It is the turn of the 20th Century in New York. An era is exploding. A century is spinning. And the people are moving in rhythm and rhyme to the music of Ragtime.

Based on the novel by E.L Doctorow, Ragtime weaves together the story of three groups in America, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr, a Harlem musician; Mother and her white, middle class family in New Rochelle; and Tateh, a Jewish immigrant who has come to America with his daughter seeking a new life.

Their fictional lives become dramatically intertwined with one another as well as with historical figures including Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, JP Morgan and Henry Ford.

Ragtime led the 1998 Tony Awards with 12 nominations, winning four, including Best Book by Terrence McNally and Best Original Score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

The final production, the European premiere of Death Takes a Holiday, runs from January 16, 2016 to March 4, 2017.

In Northern Italy, shortly after World War One, Death disguises himself as a handsome young prince to try to understand why life is so precious and death so feared. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman, this mysterious stranger discovers that love may in fact be stronger than death.

With a book by multi Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone and a lush, romantic score by multi Tony Award winner Maury Yeston (Titanic, Nine), Death Takes a Holiday is based on the 1928 Italian play of the same name which went on to inspire the movie Meet Joe Black, starring Brad Pitt.

Described as a soaring story of the preciousness of life and the overwhelming power of love, Death Takes A Holiday was nominated for 11 Drama Desk Awards when it premiered Off Broadway in 2011.

Thom Southerland will direct all the shows apart from Radio TImes.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 08444 930 650 or visit

Also at Charing Cross Theatre: The Rinse Cycle, Unexpected Opera’s entertaining take on Wagner’s Ring Cycle (until March 12) and Tennessee Williams’ In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, starring Linda Marlowe (April 4 to May 14, 2016).