Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Interview: Cat Simmons

Cat Simmons is currently starring as Chess in Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest.

Described as “a story of love and redemption”, Hopelessly Devoted runs at the Tricycle Theatre until Saturday 19th April following a successful UK Tour.

Chess is in prison. Facing a lengthy sentence, her cell mate, Serena, becomes her soul mate. But when Serena is given parole, Chess faces total isolation. 

Hope comes in the form of a music producer looking for a reason to love music again. She finds a powerful voice in Chess. But to harness her talent, Chess must first face her past.

Cat is best known for playing DC Kezia Walker in The Bill. On stage she starred as Nancy in the national touring production of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver.

Her theatre credits also include: Billie Holiday in Lightning Child (Shakespeare's Globe), Witch in Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe), Decade (Headlong) and Simone in Been So Long (Young Vic). 

I recently spoke to Cat about why she loves Kate Tempest’s work, working alongside an all-female cast and creative team, and why playing Nancy in Oliver was a dream come true…

Have you enjoyed your time touring in Hopelessly Devoted?
Yes, it’s been an experience! I’ve never toured one-night venues before. I guess it’s a bit like being a rock star, but without the glamour [laughs]. It’s been amazing! For me it’s down to Kate’s (Tempest) writing, she’s done a blinder. The story, the lyrical elements to the songs and the characters are genius.

Lucy May Barker & Gary Wood to star in Noel Coward's Ace of Clubs at the Union Theatre

It has been announced that the Union Theatre will be transformed into a 1940s nightclub for its revival of Noel Coward's musical Ace of Clubs

The production opens on Friday 9th May (previews from 7th May) and runs until Saturday 31st May 2014.

Described as a "romantic throwback to another era", the story involves strapping sailors, gangland thugs, a stolen necklace, star-crossed lovers and sharp-tongued chorus girls, all taking place in a Soho nightclub in 1949. 

The score was the source for many songs which became part of Coward's own cabaret repertoire, including such well-loved standards as 'Sail Away', 'Josephine', 'I Like America', 'Three Juvenile Delinquents', 'Chase Me' and 'Charlie'.

Confirmed: Richard Armitage to star in The Crucible at the Old Vic

Initial casting for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Old Vic has been confirmed. 

Richard Armitage, Anna Madeley and Samantha Colley will star as John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams in Yaёl Farber’s new production which begins previews on Tuesday 24th June and runs until Saturday 13th September 2014.

The cast also includes Sarah Niles, Rebecca Saire and Zara White. Further casting to be announced.

Yaёl Farber directs a visceral re-imagining of Arthur Miller’s modern American masterpiece about the Salem witch trials drawing parallels with his experience of McCarthy’s anti- communist investigations in the 1950’s. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Olivier Awards 2014: Full Winners List

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Rory Kinnear for Othello at the National Theatre, Olivier

Lesley Manville for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios

Jack Lowden for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios

Sharon D Clarke for The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, Olivier

Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre & Harold Pinter Theatre

Jeeves & Wooster In Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre

Olivier Awards 2014: Winners Announced

The winners of the 38th Olivier Awards with MasterCard, the most prestigious event in the UK theatrical calendar, were announced tonight (Sunday 13th April 2014) in front of a packed audience at a glamorous ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House hosted by Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton. 

The ceremony featured a showstopping finale from ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to celebrate 15 years of the hit show MAMMA MIA!, as well as special performances from Broadway star and two-time Tony Award©-winning actress Bernadette Peters and international opera sensation Joseph Calleja, and live performances from all the nominated productions in both the MasterCard Best New Musical and BBC Radio 2 Audience Award categories.

Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica, which enjoyed sell out runs at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre, was the evening’s biggest winner with five Awards including American Airlines Best New Play, Best Director for Lyndsey Turner and the XL Video Award for Best Set Design for Es Devlin.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Andrew Lloyd Webber attends performance of The Beautiful Game at the Union

Andrew Lloyd Webber attended a performance of the Union Theatre's production of his musical, The Beautiful Game, on Thursday (10th April 2014). Writing on Twitter, the legendary composer said "Thank you to the wonderful cast of @Beaut_GameLDN playing at @TheUnionTheatre, Southwark, for a lovely evening!"

The cast of The Beautiful Game with Andrew Lloyd Webber / Photo Credit: @OfficialALW

After the performance Andrew met with the cast and posed for a photograph. Niamh Perry, who reached the live finals of I'd Do Anything, stars in the show as Mary. The Union Theatre's production marks the musical's first revival. The show runs until Saturday 3rd May 2014.

Review: Handbagged at the Vaudeville Theatre

Vaudeville Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 10th April 2014

Although I was born in the 1980s, I wasn't even at nursery school by the time Margaret Thatcher's reign at Downing Street was over. However, I did meet Baroness Thatcher when I was older and always found her to be a charming and very clever woman. So, as an admirer of both her and the Queen I was intrigued to see how Moira Buffini would explore the relationship between these two women on stage.