Sixty-Second Theatre News Roundup -May 31st
This week’s video is available on YouTube:
This week’s news includes:
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in the West End celebrated 1000 shows with a special encore uniting four Jamie’s, the original John McCrea, his successor and touring lead Layton Williams, Max Harwood from the movie adaptation, and the current Jamie, Noah Thomas.
Gina Beck announced her pregnancy and will now share her role in South Pacific at Chichester Festival Theatre with Alex Young.
Gina will open the show as Nellie Forbush from 5th July, then share the role from 5th August with Alex before she takes over the role from 23rd August until 4th September.
Alex returns to the Festival Theatre where she starred opposite Matt Lucas in Me and My Girl in 2018. She and Gina appeared together in Daniel Evans’s production of Show Boat in Sheffield and the West End
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of CFT and director of South Pacific said: ‘It’s utterly joyful news that Gina is expecting her second baby and that her long-awaited Chichester debut in the role of Nellie will take place as planned from 5 July. I know that Gina is as delighted as I am that Alex Young will share the role with her at certain performances from 5 August, and take over full-time for the final weeks of the run to allow Gina to focus full-time on her next production!
‘Our amazing company – of 31 adults, 6 children and 15 musicians – starts rehearsals today. We are looking forward to exploring this great musical – which invites us to confront the differences within and outside ourselves – through a contemporary lens, and revealing its pertinence to our times.’
Gina Beck said: ‘I’m so excited to be finally playing Nellie at Chichester, and am so grateful to CFT for all their support. I’m hoping their trailblazing attitude will spread across the industry to create a future which accommodates those women who want to start a family. When carrying my first child, I became unemployable and unpaid for 6 months of my pregnancy because I looked, well…pregnant. Like most women, I wasn’t unable to work during this time, but because of some of the industry’s more conventional attitudes, financial pressures greatly impacted my choice to return to work when my daughter was just 4 months old.
‘Thanks too, and huge respect to my dear friend and fellow mum Alex Young for taking over the reins later in our run, when even I think 8 shows a week may be too much!’
Alex Young added: ‘I'm so delighted to be returning to Chichester and joining the extraordinary company of South Pacific. To be sharing this gorgeous role with Gina is a huge honour; she is someone I respect and admire enormously as a woman, actress and fellow mother. I'm very grateful to Dan and the team for creating a safe, sensitive and generous environment for parents in the industry. Being a working mum is a challenge, whatever line of work you're in, but could feel almost impossible when you work in the arts, so I'm thrilled this important progress is being made.’
South Pacific is now. Tickets from £10.
Sam Tutty is joining Hollyoaks. He will play Timmy, a tech savvy assistant, with more than meets the eye. His first episode will be on E4 on June 2nd.
Matthew Jeans will play Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Glastonbury Abbey with Nikki Bentley cast as the narrator.
Matthew Jeans played the role in this production at Kilworth House Theatre in 2018. It was revived in 2019 with Jacob Fisher.
The narrator, previously played by Shanay Holmes and Carole Stennett will now be played by former Elphaba, Nikki Bentley.
Phil Atkinson will play the Pharaoh, previously played by Matthew McKenna.
Further casting is to be revealed with Sarah Neale, Maxine Ridout, Shelley Smith, Hannah Switzer initially announced as appearing in the piece.
Presented at the iconic Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset. It is directed by Andrew Wright, with musical direction by Kat Stevens and associate direction and choreography by Jaye Elster.
Joseph will play from 29 to 30 August, with a matinee performance on 30 August.
Audiences are advised to bring chairs and blankets, and to prepare for any potential weather conditions. It is staged by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd.
Mamma Mia the Party is on sale again from October.
The immersive dining and entertainment show based on the musical of ABBA songs will return to its home at the O2.
Starring Steph Parry. Opened in September 2019 before closing due to Covid in March 2020.
Casting has been announced for Grease UK tour.
The production, which opens in July, features Peter Andre as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine at certain venues.
It is the first new production of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's iconic musical, which was turned into a hit 1978 film starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, in 25 years.
Dan Partridge will be reprising the role of Danny, having played the role on the UK and Ireland tour in 2019. Georgia Louise will play Sandy, with Paul French as Kenickie and Tendai Rinomhota as Rizzo.
They are joined by Alex Christian as Doody, Josh Barnett as Roger, Inez Budd as Marty, Maeve Byrne as Jan, Marianna Neofitou as Frenchy, Corinna Powlesland as Miss Lynch and Cristian Zaccarini as Sonny.
Also in the cast are Alishia-Marie Blake, Thea Bunting, Kevin O'Dwyer, Laura-Jane Fenney, Jacob Fisher, Elliot Gooch, Dom Hutcheson, Haroun al Jeddal, Kalisha Johnson, Hannah-Faith Marram, Matt Trevorrow and Jacob Young.
Grease was due to tour in 2020 but had to be postponed due to Covid-19. Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the 2021 tour will now begin at Curve, Leicester from 30 to 31 July.
Peter Andre is currently scheduled to perform at certain performances in Leicester, Plymouth, Canterbury, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Woking, Dartford, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Liverpool and Cardiff.
Grease is produced by Colin Ingram, InTheatre Productions, Donovan Mannato, Playing Field, William Sinclair, Hunter Arnold, Araca and Curve.
After Leicester the tour will continue on to Theatre Royal Plymouth from 3 to 7 August, The Marlowe, Canterbury from 9 to 14 August, Theatre Royal Nottingham from 17 to 21 August, Milton Keynes Theatre from 23 to 28 August, Stoke Regent Theatre from 30 August to 4 September, New Victoria Theatre, Woking from 7 to 11 September, The Orchard Theatre, Dartford from 13 to 18 September, Bristol Hippodrome from 21 to 25 September, Edinburgh Festival Theatre from 27 September to 2 October, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield from 5 to 9 October, Manchester Opera House from 11 to 23 October, Grand Opera House, Belfast from 26 to 30 October, The Alexandra, Birmingham from 2 to 6 November, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from 9 to 13 November, Liverpool Empire from 15 to 20 November and Wales Millennium Centre from 22 to 27 November.
Casting has been announced for Heather’s in the West End.
Christina Bennington and Jordan Luke Gage have been announced for Heathers, which returns to the West End next month for a 12-week run at Theatre Royal Haymarket.
The pair both starred together in Bat Out Of Hell before Jordan Luke Gage went onto star as Romeo in & Juliet. They will play Veronica Sawyer and Jason Dean (JD).
In the roles of ‘The Heathers' is returning cast member Jodie Steele (Six) as ‘mega bitch' Heather Chandler, alongside Bobbie Little (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Heather Duke and Frances Mayli McCann (Evita) as Heather McNamara.
They will be joined by Lauren Ward (Fleming/Veronica's Mother), Madison Swan (Martha), Simon Bailey (Ram's Dad/Big Bud Dean/Coach), Joaquin Pedro Valdes (Ram Sweeney) and Steven Serlin (Kurt's Dad/Veronica's Dad/Principle Gowan).
Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy's hit musical is based on the iconic film of the same name, following a school girl, Veronica, who tries to fit in with the elitist clique of "Heathers".
It previously ran at The Other Palace and in the West End in 2018.
Heathers is directed by Andy Fickman, with choreography and associate direction is by Gary Lloyd, with design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound by Dan Samson.
Heathers is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills. It will return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited season from 28 June (previews from 21 June) to 11 September 2021.
In parallel to the show's return to the West End, the musical will also embark on its first tour of the UK and Ireland, in a separate production, opening at Leeds Grand Theatre on 28 July 2021.
Further casting for the West End run will be announced in due course.
Jennifer Saunders will star in the West End return of Noël Coward's classic comedy Blithe Spirit, which comes to London in September.
Directed by Richard Eyre, the production was first seen at Theatre Royal Bath as part of its 2019 summer season, before a UK tour and short run of just 12 performances at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre before the country's first lockdown.
It will now return to the West End for eight weeks from 16 September at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Saunders will revive her role as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati. She is joined by original cast members Geoffrey Streatfeild who will star as Charles Condomine, Lisa Dillon as Ruth Condomine, Simon Coates as Dr Bradman, Lucy Robinson as Mrs Bradman, and Rose Wardlaw as Edith.
The production features design by Anthony Ward, lighting by Howard Harrison, sound by John Leonard and illusions by Paul Kieve.
Written in 1941, Coward's ever-popular comedy centres on novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth, who are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated.
Jennifer Saunders is well known as one half of the comedy duo French and Saunders, for which she and Dawn French received a BAFTA fellowship in 2009, and for the hit comedy series and subsequent film, Absolutely Fabulous, which she also wrote and starred in.
The Soprano Behind the Screen will be at The Chiswick Playhouse on 16th & 17th June.
In January 2020 Charlie-Jade opened her one-woman show about the life of American soprano Marni Nixon at The Hub St Mary's, Lichfield and received great acclaim. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show had a nine month break before being programmed at The Chiswick Playhouse, London on 18th September. This performance sold out within just a few days so a second show was programmed on 1st October. The show was incredibly well received and has been programmed to return for four performances through May-June 2021. The piece is a musical biography featuring song from My Fair Lady, The King And I, West Side Story and many other Golden Age musicals, as well as selections from Operas and Art Song by Schubert and Faure.
Connor Fogel is the Musical Director of the piece and musical arrangements have been created by Luciano Williamson. Becky Harrison is the shows Director.
To find out more information about the show and to book tickets visit https://scenaria.org.uk/soprano-behind-the-screen or follow
@thesopranobehindthescreen on Instagram.
The Theatre Channel have teamed up with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for Episode 7: Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Produced by Adam Blanshay Productions, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and The Theatre Café the new episode will stream from Friday 18th June 2021.
Hot on the heels of their acclaimed Showstoppers episode, Adam Blanshay Productions’ renowned The Theatre Channel is back with a jam-packed Rodgers and Hammerstein special. Embracing the return of live theatre, the episode is a co-production with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre ahead of their unique take on the classic Carousel this summer.
This brand new partnership will feature an exclusive sneak peek into the making of the upcoming production of Carousel, including behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage with Natasha May Thomas and choreographer Drew McOnie. This al fresco hit tells a tragic tale with songs that will stay with you for a lifetime.
The episode will be brought to life by two time Olivier Award-nominee Michael Xavier (Sunset Boulevard (West End & Broadway); Into The Woods; The Sound Of Music; Oklahoma!; The Phantom Of The Opera; Pajama Game), three time Olivier Award-nominee Josefina Gabrielle (Oklahoma! (West End & Broadway); King and I; Merrily We Roll Along; Sweet Charity) and Helen Hayes Award-winner Caroline Sheen (Mary Poppins; 9 to 5; The Witches of Eastwick; Les Misérables).
Further casting includes Daniel Koek - one of the youngest men to play the title role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Misérables - and Amara Okereke (Winner of 'Best Actress in a Musical' at the Stage Debut Awards 2018 for the role of Cosette in Les Misérables).
The Theatre Channel is also thrilled to be able to provide a platform and highlight the talents of recent ArtsEd graduates Ethlinn Rose and Tavio Wright.
Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Timothy Sheader, comments, As Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre prepares to open for our 89th season, we are looking forward to welcoming our audiences back. Moreover, we applaud all of the digital theatre content that has been created over the past 18 months and recognise, that going forward, digital platforms will be synonymous with the outreach of live theatre. We are delighted to partner with The Theatre Channel in their exploration of Rodgers and Hammerstein and are excited to share an insight into our upcoming revival of Carousel.
The cast will once again be joined by resident ensemble ‘The New Café Five,’ comprised of Anthony Starr (Guys & Dolls, Sheffield Crucible), Danny Becker (The Prince Of Egypt, Dominion Theatre), Kayleigh Thadani (Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre), M-Jae Cleopatra Isaac (Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace) and Vicki Lee Taylor (A Chorus Line, London Palladium).
Recently released episode 6, entitled ‘Showstoppers’, featured major West End talent including Danny Mac (Sunset Boulevard; Pretty Woman The Musical), Kerry Ellis (Wicked; We Will Rock You), and Layton Williams (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; RENT). It also included an extra special exclusive interview with Academy Award and Tony nominee Antonio Banderas with details about his acclaimed revival of A Chorus Line.
Combining the thrill of stage and screen for an episodic musical revue of beloved classics, The Theatre Channel is an up close and intimate experience from the comfort of your home.
Producer Adam Blanshay comments, Episode 7: Rodgers and Hammerstein is our first of several writer-themed episodes to come. We’re excited to explore this cherished songbook that paved the way for generations of musicals, which includes some old favorites and hidden gems. Moreover, as theatres start to reopen in the UK, The Theatre Channel are delighted to partner with one of my most favorites theatres, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Nothing can compare to a glorious summer evening at the Open Air, and in addition to this beautiful music, we’re thrilled to give our viewers a behind-the-scenes insight into their upcoming summer production of Carousel.
Previous episodes (1 – 6) of The Theatre Channel are available to purchase at Stream.Theatre to watch at your leisure.
Tickets are £12 + booking fee and can be purchased online at www.thetheatrechannel.stream. Past episodes are available ‘on demand’ for £9.50 + booking fee.
Legends of Lockdown LIVE! Is coming to the Westend for one night only on 9th June. Produced by New Frame Productions.
As a nation we have never consumed so much entertainment from our sofas (and beds!) as we have in lockdown. It's hard to imagine how we would have survived the past year without internet heroes gifting us comedy, music, podcasts, dances, web series, TikToks and astute political commentary. This joyful and innovative content has been far reaching, acting as a beacon of hope for millions.
'Legends of Lockdown LIVE!' showcases the outstanding individuals that kept us comforted, connected and entertained online during a time of challenging real world events.
Hosted by Kerry Boyne (who shares joyous videos on TikTok) and Sooz Kempner (who has gone globally viral with her Liza-Minnelli-does-Trump's-speeches videos) and featuring a virtual special guest appearance by Jackie Weaver who made international headlines when a chaotic parish council meeting she was chairing went viral. The show stars Seán Burke, Joe Carter, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Naomi Cooper, Austyn Farrell, Lizzi Gee & Rufus Batemen, Rosie Holt, Rob Madge with Mufseen Miah & Spencer Cooper for Queer Talk Podcast.
Austyn Farrell starred in viral videos dancing in the streets as Quarantina (Tina) Turner and in a big production number from 'The Greatest Showman' - viewed over 16 million times. Instagram @austyn_farrell
Oscar Conlon-Morrey is an award-winning actor. During lockdown he entertained the nation with a series of hilarious theatre-themed viral videos. Twitter @Oscar_C_M_
Joe Carter is well known on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube for his comedy sketches generating a following of over 1.7 Million followers on TikTok. TikTok @joemjc
Rosie Holt's viral videos on twitter featured her as a pearl clutching, right wing Boris-loving lady with a lot of opinions she can't wait to share. Twitter @RosieisaHolt
Mother and son tap dancing duo Lizzi Gee and Rufus Bateman appeared on This Morning, BBC news, Channel 5, Jeremy Vine and German news channels to talk about their passion for tap dancing together during lockdown. Twitter @LizziGee1
Irish comedian Seán Burke's social media sketches gained him a rapidly growing online following. Instagram @SeanBurkeShow
Over the past year Naomi Cooper has been entertaining audiences via social media with her character Philippa, the yummy mummy you love to hate. A sitcom pilot around the character has been optioned and is in the early stages of development. Instagram @naysaying
Rob Madge shared hilarious home videos of childhood living room performances and holidays to Disney via their Twitter and TikTok accounts. Twitter @Rob_Madge_02
Mufseen Miah and Spencer Cooper dialed in from city to city during lockdown to create a brand new LGBTQ+ podcast in 2020. Two seasons in and Queer Talk continues to uplift and platform the wider queer community and bring together the many discussions we have about LGBTQ+ diversity and intersectionality under one podcast. Twitter @QueerTalk_
On June 9, the Vaudeville Theatre will roll out the red carpet and burst with pride as we celebrate legends from all corners of social media. For one night only, they invite you to leave your living rooms and be entertained by your favourite online content makers IRL!
Tickets from £21.50
Keala Settle will be live in concert at Cadogan Hall in December.
The Greatest Showman's star played bearded lady Lettie Lutz in the 2017 film, which retold the story of PT Barnum, starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya.
Her performance of the Oscar-nominated song "This Is Me" became a hit and helped the film's soundtrack to top charts worldwide.
The Hawaii native joined Jackman on his world tour, The Man. The Music. The Show. in 2019. Her Broadway credits include Hands on a Hardbody, Les Misérables and Waitress.
Keala Settle said today: "After the past year and a half we have had, I have learned and understood more about my voice and the healing power of music. This concert is filled with music that has helped heal me and rediscover life. I cannot wait to share it with you all. Performing in London will be a long-awaited homecoming and I am so excited to celebrate with everyone!"
Keala Settle - Live in Concert is produced by Fourth Wall Live and will play Cadogan Hall on 22 December 2021.
Danyl Johnson has launched new daily podcast Little Help.
The X Factor star Danyl Johnson has launched this new podcast LITTLE HELP through the week.........
It does what it says...... It's just little helps through the week starting every Monday to the weekend
Daily Little Helps to help you in your life, to make things a little easier and manageable
Be a better version of you
Take time to improve you and your life and see what happens
Contact Danyl with your results thoughts and feelings @
IG danyljohnsonofficial - https://www.instagram.com/danyljohnsonofficial/
Twitter @DanylAJohnson - https://twitter.com/DanylAJohnson
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-0pcE-0mRtOaECYcfUzjTQ/
Music By N Burrage & D Johnson
Kerry Ellis will present her podcast live at with the Theatre Cafe on 27th June.
Keep calm and Kerry will be live on the 27th June through @theatrecafeuk at 12.30 with special guests to be announced soon.
And Andrew Patrick Walkers new single Love I Never Had is out now.
The recent star of Cases. Brooklyn the Musical and Bat out of Hell, APW has released a new single called “Love I Never Had”. It alludes to the vulnerable realisation of a love that turned out not to be real.
Stream/Download “Love I Never Had” https://open.spotify.com/track/2n76QQB25JOO31ppABciJ1?si=f77c05b87d2946ed&nd=1