News: more names added to Gypsy and Camelot concerts

Paul Foster’s concert presentation of Gypsy at Alexandra Palace has added yet more to its already exciting castlist. Ebony Molina, Rachel Stanley and Alexis Owen-Hobbs will star as the titanic trio of Electra, Mazzepa and Tessie Tura respectively. They’ll be joining the seven-fold Rose of Tracie Bennett, Nicola Hughes, Melanie La Barrie, Rebecca Lock, Keala Settle, Samantha Spiro and Sally Ann Triplett and Laura Pitt-Pulford as Louise, Carly Mercedes Dyer as June and Christopher Howell as Herbie.

Directed by Paul Foster with choreography by Joanna Goodwin and sound design by Paul Smith, the show will feature a 26-piece orchestra playing the show’s original orchestrations, conducted by Alex Parker. Book your tickets for 21st February 2022 here.


West End stars Julie Atherton and Ivano Turco are the latest names added to the bill for the exclusive one night only production of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot in Concert at the London Palladium.

Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, Mamma Mia!, Sister Act, tick, tick… BOOM!) will play Morgan Le Fey, while Ivano Turco (Prince Charming in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella) takes the role of Mordred alongside the previously announced all-star cast of Ramin Karimloo, Bradley Jaden and Lucy St. Louis, as the legendary love triangle of King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot, in the concert production on Sunday February 6.

With just one month to go, it is also announced that joining the cast are Newtion Matthews (BKLYN) as Merlyn, and Georgi Mottram, (ITV’s Walk The Line with classical crossover group Ida Girls), as Nimue. The production will be supported with the 35-strong Trinity Laban Musical Theatre Ensemble.

Final tickets are available now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

#AdventwithClowns Day 4 – Piaf on demand

Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf on demand can’t cover up the deficiencies in Pam Gems’ play but it does offer a soaring leading turn from Jenna Russell

“I’m trying to be a f*cking lady”

It was a tricky one, trying to decide whether to trek to Nottingham to their production of Piaf. In all brutal honesty, Pam Gems’ play isn’t by any means a classic but with the part of Édith Piaf, it has created a created a role that offer up spectacular results in the right hands. Elena Roger near blew the roof off the Donmar back in 2008, Frances Ruffelle did well in Leicester in 2013 and I was sure Jenna Russell would do the same. I just didn’t really want to see the play again.

Fortunately, the return of Piaf on demand meant that I got to experience Adam Penford’s production and I’d argue that I probably made the right decision. Jenna Russell is indeed spectacular as la môme piaf and delivers exactly the kind of barnstorming vocal performance that you’d expect from her. But the world around Piaf is far too thinly sketched to make the requisite impact, despite sterling work from Sally Ann Triplett’s Toine and Laura Pitt-Pulford’s Marlene Dietrich. Continue reading “#AdventwithClowns Day 4 – Piaf on demand”

News: Jamie Lloyd and Gypsy production updates

Paul Foster’s concert presentation of Gypsy at Alexandra Palace has added to its already exciting castlist. Joining the seven-fold Rose of Tracie Bennett, Nicola Hughes, Melanie La Barrie, Rebecca Lock, Keala Settle, Samantha Spiro and Sally Ann Triplett will be will be Laura Pitt-Pulford as Louise, Carly Mercedes Dyer as June and Christopher Howell as Herbie.

Directed by Paul Foster with choreography by Joanna Goodwin and sound design by Paul Smith, the show will feature a 26-piece orchestra playing the show’s original orchestrations, conducted by Alex Parker. Book your tickets for 21st February 2022 here. Continue reading “News: Jamie Lloyd and Gypsy production updates”

Book Review: Dear Audience

Just a quickie for this as the book is almost sold out now, but Sophie Ross and Danny Kaan’s coffee-table book Dear Audience is such a beautiful book that I’d encourage you to go and purchase one of the few remaining copies. Striving to photographically celebrate the arts industry from a wide range of performers through producers, MDs and writers, it is a nicely high-quality publication that matches that aim. 

In the interest of fairness, I can’t pick favourites from the many many names featured here, just look at the tags to see the impressive roll-call. What really elevates the book though is the inclusion of heartfelt letters from some of the participants, adding a really personal note to the whole endeavour, reminding us of the personal cost of the pandemic alongside what it has done to the sector as a whole. Track down those last copies now.

News: Full cast announced for Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf

Nottingham Playhouse has announced the full cast of the much-anticipated Piaf.

Pam Gems’ Piaf – a Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse co-production – tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational, world-renowned singer Edith Piaf. Her most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien, though the international star began her life singing on the streets of Paris.

Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell (EastEnders, BBC, Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s Theatre) has already been confirmed to take the title role. Now Sally Ann Triplett (Last Ship on Broadway, Anything Goes at the National Theatre) will be joining her in the role of Toine – Edith Piaf’s best friend and confidante. Russell and Triplett are friends themselves, but this will be the first time they have performed together since the original West End production of Sondheim’s Follies 30 years ago. This is also a return to the Playhouse for Triplett, as she played Judy Garland in My Judy Garland Life in 2014. Continue reading “News: Full cast announced for Nottingham Playhouse’s Piaf”

Some musicals news from the last week

News about new musicals in Leicester and Maidstone, plus concerts in the West End and Chiswick 

The line up has been confirmed for the first concert of the series for Monday Night at the Apollo – which will be performed in front of a socially distanced audience at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on Monday 24 May, and simultaneously livestreamed to viewers at home via the theatre discovery platform Thespie.

Aimie Atkinson (Six, Pretty Woman), Cassidy Janson (&Juliet, Beautiful), Lucie Jones (Waitress, Rent), Cedric Neal (Chess, Motown the Musical) and Julian Ovenden (South Pacific, Downton Abbey) will join on-stage for an intimate night of music and theatrical chat, featuring ovation worthy performances of songs from their favourite genres with host Greg Barnett (Miss Littlewood, Swallows and Amazons). Continue reading “Some musicals news from the last week”

News: A Little Night Music comes to Holland Park

Stephen Sondheim’s wry and beautiful comedy of love and regret, A Little Night Music, comes to Holland Park for a single al fresco concert performance in the year of his 90th birthday. 

Presented by Quick Fantastic and Janie Dee in association with Opera Holland Park

Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film, Smiles of a Summer Night, and named after Mozart’s serenade, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Sondheim’s musical weaves a tapestry of songs and waltzes as new romances begin, ex-lovers reunite, and secret passions are revealed. The night smiles three times: first on the young, second on fools, third on the old. Last seen together in the National Theatre’s celebrated production of Follies, Janie Dee and Joanna Riding lead a cast of Olivier Award-winning performers (Sharif Afifi, Hiba Elchikhe, Danielle Fiamanya, Fra Fee, Hilary Harwood, Emma Kingston, Emma Harrold, Nadim Naaman, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Ella Tronson and Kayi Ushe), directed by Alastair Knights. Alex Parker conducts an eight piece ensemble of instrumentalists in Jason Carr’s critically acclaimed orchestration of Sondheim’s score.

In accordance with current guidelines on social distancing, capacity is strictly limited to 200. Tickets go onsale on 3rd August.

News: Stiles and Drewe Prize to host online concert

A host of West End stars have been enlisted to perform the shortlist of 15 compositions in the running for the 2020 Stiles + Drewe Best New Song Prize in a virtual concert to be streamed today (5th July 2020).

Recorded by each singer in isolation, the videos which have been produced by Bartek Podkowa and mix engineer Kevin Porée will be presented as a virtual concert with the winning song announced in the online ceremony. Continue reading “News: Stiles and Drewe Prize to host online concert”

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