Friday, 27 March 2015

Details revealed for West End transfer of Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance

The Daily Mail has revealed further information about the West End transfer of Farinelli and the King.

Baz Bamigboye confirms that the show will open at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 14th September for a limited run until 5th December 2015. Tickets will reportedly go on sale from 10am this morning (Fri 27th March).

Directed by John Dove with design by Jonathan Fensom, the production stars Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Jerusalem) as King Philippe V of Spain. The production recently completed its run at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe.

GOSSIP: Alexia Khadime in discussions to star in Abyssinia

According to the Daily Mail, Alexia Khadime is in discussions to star in the American gospel musical Abyssinia by Ted Kociolek (music/book) and James Racheff (lyrics/book).

The production is set to run in Sheffield before transferring to the Hackney Empire. Khadime recently starred in a workshop production of the show alongside Sharon D. Clarke and Clive Rowe.

The actress is currently starring as Nabulungi in the West End production of The Book of Mormon. Her theatre credits also include: Eponine in Les Mis√©rables (Queen’s), Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Deb in Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), Harmonia in Welcome to Thebes (National), Nala in Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum), Candy in Whistle Down the Wind (UK tour), Ronnie Spector in Leader of the Pack (UK tour), Alice in Dick Whittington and his Cat (Hackney Empire) and Cinderella (Hackney Empire).

Thursday, 26 March 2015

GOSSIP: Joanna Riding & Claire Moore to star in world premiere of The Girls

According to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, Joanna Riding (The Pajama Game / Billy Elliot, pictured right) and Claire Moor (Phantom of the Opera / Miss Saigon) will star in the world premiere of The Girls.

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new musical, which is inspired by the story of The Calendar Girls, opens at the Leeds Grand Theatre for a limited run between 14th November and 12th December 2015. 

The production will then transfer to The Lowry in Salford for a second out-of-town tryout between 13th and 30th January 2016. Tickets are now available. 

Riding and Moor both appeared in the show's recent workshop which was held at a village hall in the Yorkshire Dales. The cast also included Debbie Chazen, Sally Dexter, Michelle Dotrice, Rachel Lumberg and Harriet Thorpe. 

Production images released for Beautiful Thing

Production images have been released for Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing which is touring the UK ahead of a limited West End run at the Arts Theatre between 3rd June and 11th July 2015. Check out the pictures below (select image to enlarge)

The new cast of Nikolai Foster's production includes Gerard McCarthy (Hollyoaks), Vanessa Babirye (Our Girl), Charlie Brooks (EastEnders), Thomas Law (EastEnders) and Sam Jackson (Skins).

Harvey wrote Beautiful Thing when he was just 24. It premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1993 and sold out its five-week run before transferring to the Donmar Warehouse, and then the Duke of York's, eventually winning its author an Olivier Award nomination and the John Whiting Award. A screen adaptation of the play was released in 1996 by Channel 4 films, which went on to be a cult hit.

Release date confirmed for new Gypsy cast recording

First Night Records have announced that the previously announced new cast recording of Gypsy will be available to buy at the Savoy Theatre from the show's opening night on 15th April. The album's general release date is 27th April 2015. 

Gypsy begins previews at the Savoy Theatre on 28th March following its acclaimed run in Chichester last year. The show stars Imelda Staunton as Momma Rose, Lara Pulver as Louise, Peter Davison as Herbie, Gemma Sutton as June and Dan Burton as Tulsa.

Big Interview: Michael Urie

Michael Urie is currently starring in Buyer and Cellar at the Menier Chocolate Factory. 

Michael originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins' one-man play when it premiered off-off-Broadway. He then transferred with the show to off-Broadway where the piece became a major, sell out hit. Michael later reprised his performance for the play’s U.S. Tour.

Buyer and Cellar follows an out-of-work LA actor who gets a job in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement where she has created her very own, private shopping mall. As revealed in her 2010 'My Passion for Design' book, Streisand’s basement mall does exist; however, everything else about this play is fictionalised.

Michael is best known for his portrayal of Marc St James in Ugly Betty, and is also currently appearing in hit comedy Modern Family. For Buyer and Cellar, Michael received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics’ Circle awards. 

His other New York theatre work includes: How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (Broadway), The Cherry Orchard (Classic Stage Company), Angels in America (Signature Theatre), The Temperamentals (off-Broadway), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull Theatre) and Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). 

For television Michael’s work includes The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland and Partners; and for film He’s Way More Famous Than You (also director), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia and Such Good People.

I recently spoke to Michael about bringing Buyer and Cellar to London, what he thought when he read the script for the very first time and the incredible journey the piece has taken him on…

When I first heard about Buyer and Cellar I thought it sounded absolutely crazy, but I was also very intrigued!

[laughs] I know!

What were your first impressions when you read Jonathan Tolins' script? I believe he was actually writing it with someone else in mind?
Well first he explained it to me and I thought, ‘Well that sounds nearly impossible and brilliant’! I had no idea how they would pull it off, but thought it was an amazing idea. I knew if anyone could pull it off it would be John Tolins because I knew him and his work really well. At the time we were working on a TV show together so I knew he was one of the cleverest of the bunch. When I read it I was correct; as you know when I read it I didn’t know I would be doing it… although he told me “This is for someone else, but I would love for you to do it some day”. I was happy for Jesse Tyler Ferguson and I wasn’t reading it with that terror of ‘how the hell am I going to do this’ which was nice.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Michael Praed, Noel Sullivan, Mark Benton & Carley Stenson to star in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels UK Tour

According to various online reports, Michael Praed (High Society), Noel Sullivan (Rock Of Ages), Mark Benton (Hobson's Choice) and Carley Stenson (Legally Blonde) will star in the upcoming UK Tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The tour kicks off in Birmingham at the New Alexandra Theatre on 5th May 2015. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opened in the West End in February 2014 and closed in March 2015. The production was seen by over 200,000 people.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. It has music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, directed by Frank Oz.

New Beatles stage show 'Love Is All You Need' to launch UK Tour ahead of planned West End run

It has been announced that a new Beatles stage show will be launched later this year.

Entitled Love Is All You Need, the show will celebrate the music of The Beatles. The production will premiere this autumn and tour through 2016 prior to a planned West End run.

Love Is All You Need will see the 'Fab Four' playing to audiences in venues all over the United Kingdom and Ireland. To mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s final UK tour in 1965 the show will even stop in a number of the same cities.

Love Is All You Need celebrates the unlikely megastars from Liverpool who achieved more number ones than any other UK artist to date, boasting over 20 Top 40 hits and sales of over 22 million singles worldwide.