Thursday, 21 August 2014

Shakespeare in Love extends to January 2015

It has been announced that Shakespeare in Love will shortly extend its booking period at the Noël Coward Theatre to 10th January 2015. 76,000 extra tickets will be released for the new booking period on Monday 1st September.

Based on the Academy Award®-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Directed by Declan Donnellan, the show features a company of 30 actors and musicians. Tom Batemen and Lucy Briggs-Owen star in the leading roles. Design is by Cheek by Jowl's Nick Ormerod.

Casting announced for Almeida's Our Town

Casting has been announced for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at the Almeida Theatre.

Award-winning US actor-director David Cromer will direct and perform in the production . The cast also includes: Michael Ajao, Paul Bigley, Arthur Byrne, Sidney Cole, Kate Dickie, Laura Elsworthy, Anna Francolini, Matthew Jacobs-Morgan, Daniel Kendrick, Simon Lennon, Jessica Lester, Richard Lumsden, Annette McLaughlin, Christopher Staines, Rhashan Stone and David Walmsley.

The production will be performed on a bare stage with minimal props. Our Town opens on 17th October (previews from 10th October) and runs until 29th November 2014. 

Let It Be to hold open auditions

It has been announced that producers of Let It Be are holding open auditions to find new cast members to play all four leading roles.

Master musicians from all walks of life are invited to participate - provided they can recreate the authentic Beatles' sound. Successful auditionees will have the chance to play to packed houses in the West End and across the world as members of the Let It Be company.

Auditions will be held at the Garrick Theatre in London on Wednesday 3rd September. Hopefuls are invited to register in person at 9.30am or 1.30pm, when they will be assigned a 5 minute slot to perform a song from The Beatles' discography. All instruments will be provided.

Kerry Ellis announces track listing for new album

West End star Kerry Ellis has announced the track listing for her new, self-titled studio album. The album was inspired by the one-woman show Ellis performed last year at the London Palladium, featuring new arrangements from shows she has starred in as well as a few surprises.

Fans were able to pledge money towards the album via PledgeMusic in return for exclusive rewards. You can pre-order the album now on iTunes. It is expected to be released on Sunday 14th September 2014. The full track listing is as follows:

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sneak peek at... Chichester's Guys and Dolls

Production images have been released for Chichester's production of Guys and Dolls which runs until Sunday 21st September 2014. Check out the pictures below (click image to enlarge).

Guys and Dolls stars Clare Foster as Sarah Brown, Jamie Parker as Sky Masterton, Peter Polycarpou as Nathan Detroit and Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide. Based on colourful stories about New York gamblers by Damon Runyon, the production is directed by Gordon Greenberg, with choreography by Carlos Acosta.

Competition: Win an exclusive copy of Dan Koek's brand new album!

As part of our summer competition series, we are giving away two free copies of Dan Koek's yet-to-be released second studio album entitled High. 

If you would like to be amongst the first to hear Dan's album, all you have to do is enter our competition by simply signing up to West End Frame's mailing list below. The winner will be randomly selected at 10am on Tuesday 26th August 2014 (entries after this time will not be included). 

Even if you already subscribe to West End Frame's newsletter you still have to input your details below to enter this particular competition. You will not receive our newsletter twice (assuming you enter the same email address). Please read the terms and conditions below.

Review: See Rock City and Other Destinations at the Union Theatre

See Rock City and Other Destinations
Union Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th August 2014

Described as a "contemporary musical about connections missed and made at tourist destinations across America", See Rock City and Other Destinations is the most bewildering musical I have seen so far this year. 

I absolutely adore ensemble shows which see stories link and intertwine - Lift by Craig Adams provides a prime example. However, See Rock City and Other Destinations is a disconnected piece of theatre which leaves too many questions unanswered. 

The large cast portray a variety of characters that are all seemingly shallow, making it challenging to connect to the piece. To make things worse, just when you begin to feel an ounce of compassion for a character they disappear, often never to be seen again.

The text is weak; the majority of the humour falls flat on its face while the writing of what-could-be touching scenes is clumsy. However, Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias' musical won the 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book so perhaps I'm missing something.