Monday, 31 August 2015

Interview: Jack Fox, starring in Dear Lupin

Jack Fox is currently starring alongside his father, James Fox, in Dear Lupin at the Apollo Theatre. The play transferred to the West End earlier this month following a UK tour.

Written by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer, Dear Lupin, Letters to a Wayward Son has been adapted for the stage by Michael Simkins. The piece sees journalist and author Roger Mortimer’s brilliantly hilarious, often touching and always generous letters to his unruly son Charlie vividly brought to life.

Having previously appeared in The Picture of Dorian Gray at Riverside Studios, Dear Lupin marks Jack’s West End debut. His television credits include Our Zoo, Mr Selfridge, Dracula, Privates, Fresh Meat, Lewis and Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant, whilst Jack’s film work includes London Underground, The Messenger, Blood Moon, Kids in Love and Theeb.

I recently spoke to Jack about why he was so moved the first time he read the play, what it was like to step into the rehearsal room with his father and how he feels after performing such an emotionally draining role each night…

Dear Lupin is an almighty play! What made you want to take it on?
Well my Dad was approached to do it before I was, he was given an offer from the producer. I went to see my agent about another project and, being the clever man that he is, as I was walking out the door he said, “You should have a read of this” and I read it on the train. I cried and laughed, it must have looked like I was having a nervous breakdown [laughs]. It just blew me away because of how funny and well written it was, and also the relationship is such a wonderful thing.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste dies aged 21

Broadway.com has announced that Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who was appearing in Les Miserables on Broadway, has died after accidentally falling from a fire escape. He was making his Broadway debut in the production at the age of 21. 

Broadway.com wrote: "Baptiste made history this summer when he became the youngest person ever on Broadway to play the role of Jean Valjean, as well as being the first African-American to do so; he last performed the part on the evening of August 27, headliner Ramin Karimloo's scheduled night off. Along with understudying Valjean, Baptiste normally played the roles of Constable and Courfeyrac. A recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace, his regional theater credits included Enjolras in Les Miserables and Tom in Murder Ballad."

Friday, 28 August 2015

Press Night Pics: McQueen transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Last night the West End transfer of McQueen celebrated its official opening at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Check out images of the cast and VIP guests below (click image to enlarge).

Following its premiere at the St James Theatre earlier this year, McQueen runs at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 7th November 2015. Scenes have been rewritten and an interval has been added. 

Images: Cast of Photograph 51 visit King’s College London Archives

The cast of Photograph 51 recently made a research trip to King’s College London Archives. Nicole Kidman is pictured with the original slide of Photograph 51 taken by Franklin, which was key to the discovery of DNA. Check out images from the trip below (click image to enlarge).

The UK premiere of Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler opens in the West End at the Noel Coward Theatre on 14th September (previews from 5th September) for a limited run until 21st November 2015. Directed by Michael Grandage, the cast is led by Kidman as Rosalind Franklin and Stephen Campbell Moore as Maurice Wilkins.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Review: Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre starring Benedict Cumberbatch



Hamlet
Barbican Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 26th August 2015
★★★★

It's the show everyone's talking about, but does Lyndsey Turner’s production of Hamlet live up to the hype? Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet is certainly triumphant; he takes to the stage with great intensity, giving a compellingly focused performance.

Review: Willemijn Verkaik In Concert at the Ambassadors Theatre



Willemijn Verkaik In Concert
Ambassadors Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 25th August 2015
★★★★★

Willemijn Verkaik is one of the most talented women on the planet. Earlier this week the Dutch musical superstar returned to the West End, having most recently appeared in Women on the Verge, for one-night-only with her solo concert. 

Production Pics: McQueen transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Production images have been released for the West End transfer of McQueen. Check out the pictures below (click image to enlarge).

Following its premiere at the St James Theatre earlier this year, McQueen opens to press at the Theatre Royal Haymarket tonight (27th August) for a limited run until 7th November 2015. Scenes have been rewritten and an interval has been added. 


Interview: Layla Harrison, currently in The Phantom of the Opera

Having joined the show prior to its 25th anniversary celebrations, Layla Harrison is currently preparing to bid farewell to The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

As well as appearing in the ensemble, Layla understudies the role of Meg for which she finished as the second runner-up in West End Frame’s 2014 Understudy of the Year Award.

Layla’s theatre credits include: The Ragged Child (UK Tour/New York/Canada) and the National Youth Music Theatre’s production of Oliver! (Edinburgh Fringe).

Her dance work includes: her professional debut as Young Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (Kirov Ballet Company), Cinderella (Royal Ballet Company), Fireworks (Ballet Ireland UK and Ireland tour), dancing with Adam Cooper and Oxana Panchenko in Peter Darrell’s Jeux (gala), Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Giselle and Romeo and Juliet (English National Ballet Company), Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, Cheating Lying Stealing, Pennies from Heaven, Rubies, In Light and Shadow, The Nutcracker, Spring Season Fairy in Cinderella and Dormouse in Alice (Scottish Ballet Company) and working with Will Tuckett on a performance at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles (Royal Opera House and Van Cleef & Arpels collaboration).

On screen Layla has appeared in: Poirot: The Dumb Witness, The South Bank Show, Blue Peter, Ballet Russes, Madonna in Filth & Wisdom, Margot and 3D feature film Streetdance. She has also worked extensively as a teacher having established Dunsford Performing Arts.

Layla chats to West End Frame about why leaving Phantom is going to be emotional, what it was like to work so closely with Gillian Lynne on the show’s 25th anniversary and what other shows she’s itching to do…

Can you believe that your time in Phantom has almost come to an end?
Not at all! So much has happened in the four years I've been there, yet it feels like it's flown by too. 

What are you going to miss most about the show?
I have some really special friends at the theatre, from different departments, who I will miss seeing every day. Of course I will make sure I see them plenty, but it's never the same as when you work with someone every day. The production itself is so special and I've always been so proud to be a part of it and will miss the feeling of belonging to it. The curtain call is another novelty that never wears off. There's a lot I will miss.