Friday, 12 February 2016

Kerry Ellis to play the Hippodrome in April

It has been announced that Kerry Ellis - the first lady of the West End - will play a solo concert at the London Hippodrome at 8pm on 29th April 2016.

Ellis is about to tour Italy and East Europe alongside Queen's Brian May with their One Voice show ahead of the release of their upcoming album. In recent years Ellis has performed solo shows at the Pheasantry, Delfont Room, London Palladium, Cadogan Hall and Leicester Curve to name but a few.

Ellis' theatre credits include: Grizabella in Cats (London Palladium), Helene in Sweet Charity (Cadogan Hall), Meat in We Will Rock You (Dominion), Nancy in Oliver! (Drury Lane), Fantine in Les Miserables (Queen’s), Ellen in Miss Saigon (UK Tour), Beth in The War of the Worlds (World Arena Tour), Svetlana Sergievsky in Chess (Royal Albert Hall), Mimi in RENT (UK Tour), West End Men (Vaudeville), Tell Me on a Sunday (RCCL) and understudy Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (National/Drury Lane).

Production Pics: Hand To God transfers to the West End!

Production images have been released for Hand To God which is currently in previews at the Vaudeville Theatre ahead of press night on 15th February 2016. Check out the pictures below (click image to enlarge).

Th cast of the play, which ran for nine months on Broadway, includes Harry Melling (Angry Brigade/Harry Potter) and Janie Dee (Blithe Spirit/The Seagull) as well as Neil Pearson, Jemima Rooper and Kevin Mains. 

Matthew Rickson taking over as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray UK tour

Matthew Rickson will join the cast of the UK tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad from 15th March 2016 at New Victoria Theatre in Woking. 

Hairspray embarked on a major UK tour in 2015 and continues into 2016 visiting Aberdeen, Sheffield, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Inverness, Bristol, Woking, Cardiff, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Llandudno, Plymouth, Canterbury, Bromley, Stoke and Southend.

Rickson’s recent theatre credits include The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe(Royal Shakespeare Company), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Cinderella (Richmond Theatre), Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), The Ladykillers (New Vic Theatre & UK Tour), Around The World in 80 Days (New Vic & Royal Exchange Theatre), Aladdin(Wimbledon Theatre), See How They Run (York Theatre Royal), The Legend of King Arthur (York Theatre Royal), Aladdin (Theatre at the O2 Arena) and The Governess (UK Tour).

Josette Simon joins Mel Giedroyc in LUCE at the Southwark Playhouse

Josette Simon (After the Fall/Golden Girls) will star longside the previously announced Mel Giedroyc (The Sound of Music LIVE/The Great British Bake Off) in JC Lee’s play Luce. 

Directed by Simon Dormandy, the production has design by Dick Bird. The show premiered at the Lincoln Center Theater in 2013. 

Luce opens at the Southwark Playhouse on 11th March (previews from 9th March) and runs until 2nd April 2016, marking the play's UK premiere.

Amy’s son is perfect: star athlete, academic highflyer and high school hero. So why are there lethal explosives in his locker?

Richard Bean's The Nap extends run at Sheffield Crucible

It has been announced that Richard Bean's new comedy thriller The Nap has extended its run at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre.

The play opens on 15th March (previews from 10th March) and will now run until 9th April 2016.

The cast includes Mark Addy, John Astley, Chris Brailsford, Esther Coles, Dermot Crowley, Louise Gold, Youssef Kerkour, Ralf Little, Jack O’Connell and Rochenda Sandall.

Directed by Richard Wilson, The Nap has design by James Cotterill lighting by Johanna Town, compositions by Olly Fox and casting by Robert Sterne CDG.

Lee Brennan to star in Footloose UK tour

911 and The Big Reunion star Lee Brennan will make his musical theatre debut when he joins the cast of Footloose The Musical.

He will play the role of Willard from Tuesday 19th April to Saturday 18th June 2016. 

Brennan will join the UK tour for dates in Oxford, Weston Super Mare, Wimbledon, Liverpool, Belfast, Derry, Torquay and Glasgow.

As previously announced, Gareth Gates will play the role of Willard until 16th April, returning to the show from 20th June 2016. Brennan is one third of pop group 911. One of the biggest pop acts of the 90’s, 911 were one of only five acts in the decade to achieve ten consecutive UK Top Ten Hit Singles, selling over 10 million records around the world and touring the UK four times.

GOSSIP: Finding Neverland to open in the West End in 2017?

Producers of Gary Barlow's musical Finding Neverland have teased that the musical will fly into London in 2017. The show wrote on Twitter this morning, "You'll be finding #NeverlandInLondon! @GaryBarlow's musical flies to the #WestEnd in 2017!"

Finding Neverland is directed by Diane Paulus (Pippin). Barlow co-wrote the score with Eliot Kennedy. Book is by James Graham with choreography by Mia Michaels. Show opened on Broadway in February 2015.

Glenda Jackson to star as King Lear at the Old Vic

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye has announced that double Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson is returning to theatre to star as the title role in Shakespeare’s King Lear. Directed by Deborah Warner, the play will run at the Old Vic from October 2016, with exact dates to be confirmed in April.

Check out our interviews with West End stars