This Week In Theatreland
by Abbie Jenkins
24th July 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.
What happened last week?
Tickets for Derren Brown's Underground at the Playhouse Theatre in London went on sale last week. The tour begins on Monday 24th July and will play 35 shows across the UK before finishing at the Playhouse from September 11th to October 14th 2017. Directed by Andrew O'Connor and Andy Nyman the show has been described as a 'spellbinding experience of showmanship and genius'.
Tickets are on sale starting from only £21.75.
People are going to be Dancing in the Street as Motown the Musical has announced that it will be holding open auditions for the parts of young Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder on the 19th August at the Brixton community base. Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright and is taking bookings at the Shaftsbury Theatre until January 2019.
The show features classic Motown hits such as I Want You Back and Stop! In The Name Of Love, so if you think you've got what it takes (or you know someone who does) dust off your dancing shoes because there Ain't No Mountain High Enough!
Oslo Cast Announced
Click here to buy tickets
In 1993, in front of the world's press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo.
Three new cast members have been announced to join what is hailed as "hands down the best play of the season", written by J.T. Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher. Toby Stephens (A Streetcar Named Desire, Hamlet), Lydia Leonard (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Peter Polycarpou (Oklahoma! Les Miserables) join the cast of Oslo, a political thriller and personal story of a small band of men and women struggling together - and fighting each other - as they seek to change the world.
Oslo will be transferring to the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre from the 2nd October to the 30th December 2017.
Tape Face Finale
Tape Face took his final bow at the Garrick Theatre on Saturday 22nd July 2017. The show was described as "Visually stunning, heart-stopping, and hilarious" and its strinkingly original and innovative approach to theatre will sorely be missed.
A multi-award winning, multi-hyphenate spectacle, Tape Face is the creation of Sam Wills and has been lauded by audiences and critics alike. Conjuring uproarious laughter by using the most simple of everyday objects and popular songs, Tape Face brought out the inner child through clever and charming humour. Combining every trick in the book from mime and magic to silent film, Tape Face is the enthralling sensation who was likened to a modern-day Charlie Chaplin by Simon Cowell.
Coming up this week...
Wicked new cast!
From Monday 24th July 2017 a spellbinding new cast will take to the Stage in the West End production of Wicked. Alice Fearn (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) takes over the leading role of Elphaba, alongside
Sophie Evans (The Wizard of Oz) as Glinda and
Bradley Jaden (Les Miserables) as Fiyero.
Joining them are
Melanie La Barrie (Matilda) as Madame Morrible and
Andy Hockley (The Phantom of the Opera) as The Wizard.
Buy your tickets for a magical evening!
Acclaimed as 'a thrilling theatrical experience with brains, heart and courage', Wicked is now in its 11th spellbinding year at Londons Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history. With show-stopping songs by Stephen Schwartz and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman from the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked is an unforgettable musical that transports audiences to a stunningly re-imagined world of Oz, providing marvels beyond your imagination.
Emma Hatton will be taking on the iconic role of Eva in the production of Evita at the Phoenix Theatre from the 28th July to the 14th October 2017. Hatton has performed the leading role of Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked and also Scaramouche and Meatloaf in the West End production of We Will Rock You.
She will be joined by the leading Italian performer Gian Marco Schiaretti who is playing Che.Schiaretti has played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet in Italy and the leading role of Tarzan in Tarzan in Stuttgart.
Bill Kenwrights production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita is set to captivate the West End again for a strictly limited season.
Stockard Channing a.k.a. Rizzo from Grease takes the leading role in this fiery west end drama written by Alexi Kaye Campbell and directed by Jamie Lloyd. Channing plays the matriarchal role of Kristin, an art historian and mother who has written a work memoir and neglected to mention her two sons. The play takes place in the familiar setting of the family dinner table as we discover family secrets and explore the world of gender politics.
She is joined by a small talented cast including Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Olivier Award winner Desmond Barrit, Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) and Joseph Millson (The Last Kingdom).
Elsewhere in London
Other picks for the coming week:
The Little Beasts (The Other Palace)
A farm for the fiendish, a menagerie for the mischievous and a warning to the wicked. In this modern take on an 18th century cautionary tale for children, The Little Beasts (What Happens to Naughty Children) is a musical written by Luke Bateman and Michael Conley. In this deliciously disgusting feast of naughtiness, children are transformed into the animals they most resemble. The show will feature puppetry, masks, magic and a scandalously tongue in cheek approach to the genre.
There will be a signed performance on Saturday 29th July at 7:30pm.
Gala for Grenfell (Adelphi Theatre)
On the 30th July, Gala For Grenfell will unite dancers from across the world of dance such as The Royal Ballet and stars from Strictly Come Dancing to raise relief funds for those whose lives have been seriously affected by the tragedy. The gala is imagined and directed by Arlene Phillips CBE. Funds raised by Gala for Grenfell will go to support the many whose lives were seriously affected by the fire.
Rupture - Edinburgh Preview (Theatre 503)
The year is 2107 and Jay has just started work at a mysterious government agency. But when faced with a terrible choice, he soon discovers his dream job has a dark side. Rupture is a futuristic tragicomedy exploring climate change, bureaucracy and betrayal, written by Karla Marie Sweet and directed by Michal Keyamo. Rupture will be performed at 7pm on Saturday 29th July.
The Hunting of The Snark (Vaudeville)
This new musical comedy created by Lewis Carroll follows the journey of five bold adventurers as they journey to find an imaginary creature known as a Snark. This show features five high-energy actors, life-like puppets, fantastical characters, and barrels of sillness. Side-splittingly funny, joyful, fast-paced and bursting with a soundtrack of witty songs by an award-winning songwriter, The Hunting of the Snark is a tour de force thatll delight, excite and entertain.
Don't forget to come back next week to see what's new in Theatreland...