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This Week in Theatreland

by Jade Hurley

27th June 2017

Keep your eyes peeled every week for your regular dose of theatre news and what to look forward to in venues around the capital, country and globe. We reflect on the week that's passed, as well as the week ahead to bring you the freshest industry gossip, announcements and those all-important dates for your diary.


Last week we learnt...


Don't cry for her, West End...Evita is back this summer

The famous, award winning, musical journey of Eva Peron by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is running at the Phoenix Theatre for twelve weeks this summer. 

This production marks the 65th anniversary of the death of Eva Peron and through fantastic hits such as Don’t Cry for me Argentina we see Peron’s journey from her humble beginnings to the great leader she became. 

Great leading ladies have played Peron over the years; the film adaptation in 1996 starred the leading lady of the music world, Madonna. This production is no different and will star the West End’s leading lady Emma Hatton, who recently played Elphaba in Wicked and starred in Dreamboats and Petticoats

After a ‘monumental’ (The Stage) run earlier in the year, Bill Kenwright’s productionof Evita this will surely be a Night of a Thousand Stars for its audience. 

Book your tickets to Evita here. 


Round 2 for Rob Icke as Mary Stuart transfers to West End

The Almeida’s ‘stark intense and riveting production’ (The Stage) of Mary Stuart will be transferring to the West End’s Duke of York’s theatre in January.

Juliet Stevenson takes to the stage again after appearing in Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet, currently playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Mary Stuart also stars Olivier award nominee Lia Williams, who symbolically tosses a coin with Stevenson before every performance to decide who will play Mary Stuart, and who will play Elizabeth I.

This unique, three hour drama follows both the personal and political struggles of two cousins fighting for the crown. It explores themes of fate, dualism and various political issues, including a divided country; (which does not feel too far from home with the current Brexit situation). It is just as much a personal drama as well as a political thriller. A five star, must see production, highlighting the relevance of history in our society today.

Click here to book Mary Stuart tickets.

Credit:Pamela Ralth


West End Live dazzled London for 13th year running


Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square over the weekend to celebrate the best of London's theatre. This free extravaganza, presented by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre, runs over two days and showcases the diverse range of productions and amazing talent that London’s West End has to offer.  

West End Live continues to grow massively with every year eclipsing the previous. This year certainly did not differ with over 58 performances, audiences got the chance to see snippets from the brand new productions including the likes of Annie, Dreamgirls and Five Guys Named Moe.

And of course, classics including The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Disney's The Lion King took to the stage. 

What a fun and accessible way to witness the brilliance and variety of London's theatre!


Jermyn Street Theatre relaunches as producing house


Tom Littler has decided that the Jermyn Street Theatre will produce its own work for the autumn season, instead of operating as a receiving house. 

It is Littler’s first season as artistic director and it is clear he has big plans for the venue, including a revamping of staff.

His season will open with the world premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Blinding Light on the 6th September. This production will be followed by Anything That Flies, Miss Julie and finish with The Hound of the Baskervilles.


Coming up this week...


Is catching Juliet Stevenson in Hamlet 'to be, or not to be'?

It’s your final chance to catch Juliet Stevenson’s performance as Gertrude in Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet this week. Critics have called the production ‘an all-consuming marvel’ (The Guardian).

Following its sold out run at the Almeida, it has opened at the Harold Pinter to amazing reviews. Stevenson stars alongside Bafta and Olivier award winner Andrew Scott, who provides a real and honest performance of the Danish prince. 

>Robert Icke is seen as ‘one of the most important forces in today’s theatre’ (The Observer) and therefore it is really important that you get the opportunity to see Stevenson’s ‘really fine, anguished performance’ (Official London Theatre). It is definitely one to watch and not to leave to fate… 

Book tickets to Hamlet here. 


Prepare to be swept away at the Palladium

The Wind in the Willows, starring Rufus Hound and Denise Welch, celebrates its opening night this week on the 29th June at the London Palladium.

Originally a children’s novel written by Kenneth Grahame and published in 1908, this story has continued to play a part in children’s lives decades later with numerous adaptations for film, TV as well as on stage. 

The perfect family show which wows audiences with its creative set and choreography as they watch Ratty, Badger, Mole and the impulsive Toad on the road to adventures and chaos because of the Toad’s need for speed! Creator of Downton AbbeyJulian Fellowes, along with Olivier award winning composer and lyricist George Stiles and Andrew Drewe, bring to life a glorious new musical of comedy, hearts and thrills to attract all ages this summer!

Book your tickets to The Wind in the Willows here. 


The Ferryman transfers to West End

The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth (famous for the award winning Jerusalem) and Sam Mendes (a renowned stage and film director), is making its West End debut on Monday the 26th June. 

Set in Northern Ireland in 1981, the annual harvest preparation is taking place and they are looking forwards to the celebrations that lie ahead, unaware that these will be interrupted by a visitor. Its run at the Royal Court received five star reviews and has been described as ‘the best new play of the year’ (Metro). Butterworth and Mendes bring a ‘rich, serious, deeply involving play to the West End about the shadows of the past and the power of silent love’ (The Guardian). 

It proves you really cannot ‘bury the past’ as this unforgettable performance is relived for a limited run at the Gielgud theatre. As critics have said ‘Miss this and you’ve missed a marvel' (The Telegraph).

Click here to book tickets to The Ferryman.


Crazy they'll call you if you miss Lady Day

One of Broadway’s biggest stars Audra McDonald is set to wow west end audiences with her Tony- winning performance as Billie Holliday. The play with music, written by Lanie Roberston, originally opened in 1986 at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and opened on Broadway in 2014.

 It is now set to take London by storm exploring the personal stories of Holliday and her loves as well as her losses throughout her turbulent life. 

Featuring songs such as God Bless the Child, Strange Fruit and Crazy He Calls Me, prepare to be inspired and moved as this production opens at the Wyndham’s Theatre this week.

Book tickets to Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill here.


Elsewhere in London

Other picks for the coming week:

Ink (Almeida Theatre): The world premiere of this ruthless new play about the birth of The Sun opens at the Almeida this week. Rupert Goold directs James Graham’s first play at the theatre.

Twitstorm (Park Theatre): Less than a week left to see the comedy starring Jason Merrells and Claire Goose discussing social media. Ends 1st July.

Dirty Work (The Late Shift) (Battersea Arts Centre): No event is too unstagable for Forced Entertainment in this revival of their 1998 game-playing performance.

Salome (National Theatre): This is an audio described performance on Friday 30th June.

Don't forget to come back next week to see what's new in Theatreland...

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