Friday, 27 November 2015

The Winter’s Tale live cinema broadcast tops UK cinema box office

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s sold out West End production of The Winter’s Tale topped the UK cinema box office last night as it was broadcast to 520 cinemas across the country in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment. 

Broadcast live from the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End to cinemas around the world, the production took in excess of £1.1m at the box office in the UK alone, beating The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 to claim the top spot.

The full international box office takings will be calculated soon. Internationally, The Winter’s Tale was broadcast to more than 1,300 cinemas, selling out screenings in countries including Portugal, Spain, Canada, Austria, Malta and Germany.

Review: The Winter's Tale Live Cinema Broadcast

The Winter's Tale 
Live Cinema Broadcast
Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company
Reviewed on Thursday 26th November 2015

I have seen quite a few live theatrical broadcasts since the tradition began with the inception of NT Live back in 2009 and, although the jury is still out over whether or not they are in essence a ‘good thing’, it must be said that the live broadcast of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is a surprisingly powerful stage to screen translation.

Mandela Trilogy to embark on new UK tour

It has been announced that Mandela Trilogy will embark on a new UK tour.

The production will open at the Wales Millennium Centre on 24th August 2016 before visiting the Royal Festival Hall in London, Southampton, Dublin, Birmingham and concluding in Salford on 24th September 2016.

Written and directed by Michael Williams with music by Peter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell, Mandela Trilogy is a musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela.  The show had its European premiere at Wales Millennium Centre in 2012.

Gary Sinyor to direct his first play NotMoses at the Arts Theatre

Award winning film-maker Gary Sinyor will direct his first play NotMoses.

The production will open at the Arts Theatre on 15th March (previews from 10th March) for a limited run to 14th Mary 2016. Design is by Carla Goodman with lighting by Humphrey McDermott. Casting and the full production team will be announced shortly.

Set in Ancient Egypt, NotMoses is the story of a crying baby who is plucked from his basket by a Princess only to be dumped back in the Nile when she sees a nicer baby, Moses. NotMoses grows up a disgruntled slave whilst Prince Moses studies accountancy at Pharaoh’s court. When both men are forced to flee into the Sinai desert, they make kebabs on the burning bush before the Good Lord himself orders them to lead the Jews out of bondage and into a land full of cows and bees. 

Review: Jest End at the Waterloo East Theatre

Jest End
Waterloo East Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 26th November 2015

Jest End is back! Known as 'the British Forbidden Broadway', the satirical show lovingly makes fun of the West End's most popular shows and biggest stars. 

A show like Jest End simply would not work without the right cast - and we're certainly in safe hands with Simon Bailey (I Can't Sing/The Phantom of the Opera), Lizzy Connolly (Xanadu/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Scott Garnham (Grand Hotel/Les Miserables) and Jodie Jacobs (Legally Blonde/Rock Of Ages).

GOSSIP: Andrew Scott to play Hamlet?

According to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, Sherlock/Spectre actor Andrew Scott is in "advanced discussions" to play Hamlet.

Bamigboye reports Scott is hoping to play the role at the Almeida Theatre, but stresses that dates are still being negotiated. 

The production could be staged in late 2016 or in early 2017. Please remember nothing has been confirmed.

Stiles and Drewe's Half A Sixpence musical to be staged in Chichester

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye has has announced that George Stiles and Anthony Drewe's new production of Half A Sixpence will run at the Chichester Festival Theatre next summer.

Stiles and Drewe have written new songs which will feature alongside a few famous numbers from David Heneker's score. 

With book by Beverley Cross, the piece is based on H.G. Wells' novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul. 

Julian Fellowes has written a new book for the production which will be directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with choreography by Andrew Wright.

Gemma Arterton returning to the West End

It has been confirmed that Gemma Arterton will play the title role in Jessica Swale's new play Nell Gwynn.

Transferring to the West End following its run at The Globe, Nell Gwynn will open at the Apollo Theatre on 12th February (previews from 4th February) for a limited run to 30th April 2016.

Arterton recently won an Evening Standard Theatre Award for her musical theatre debut in West End musical Made In Dagenham.

The actress made her professional stage debut at the Globe in 2007 as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost. Last year she starred in the title role in The Duchess of Malfi. On stage Arterton has also starred as Hilde Wangel in Ibsen's The Master Builder (Almeida) and as Ellen in Jamie Lloyd's production of The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick). 

Check out our interviews with West End stars