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Meera Syal joins West End cast of Annie to play Miss Hannigan

Meera Syal

Meera Syal

Today (20 October 2017Michael Harrison and David Ian, Producers of the West End production of Annie announced that from 27 November 2017Meera Syal will join the Company to play the role of Miss Hannigan for the duration of the run which concludes, as previously announced, on 18 February 2018 at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Nikolai Foster’s West End production opened in May this year with Miranda Hart as Miss Hannigan and last month Craig Revel Horwood joined the Company to play the role.  Following the conclusion of the West End run Annie will embark on a five week visit to the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. 

 British comedian, actor and writer Meera Syal was last on stage earlier this year in a profoundly affectionate, passionate devotion to someone (-noun) at the Royal Court Theatre where her previous credits include Serious Money and The Great Celestial Cow.  Her other theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet at the Garrick Theatre, Behind the Beautiful Forevers and Rafta Rafta for the National Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Killing of Sister George at the Arts Theatre,Shirley Valentine for the Menier Chocolate Factory, Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Victoria, My Girl for Theatre Royal Stratford East and Goodness Gracious Me on tour.  On television, she is best known for her work in the BBC’s comedy series The Kumars at No. 42 and Goodness Gracious Me as well as roles inMidsomer Murders, Broadchurch, The Boy in the Dress, Silk, Bollywood Carmen, Doctor Who, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The Secretary Who Stole £4 Million, Linda Green and Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee.  Her film credits include Absolutely Anything, Desert Flower, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Beautiful Thing, It’s Not Unusual as well as the forthcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.  As a writer, her work includes My Sister Wife and Anita & Me.  Syal was made an MBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2015.

The West End Company of Annie also includes Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spenceras Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily.  The title role of Annie is shared by Madeleine Haynes, 14-years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet, Lola Moxom, 12-years old from Rochester, Kent and Ruby Stokes, 12-years old from Hampshire. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the girls in Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.  Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle, plays Annie’s dog Sandy.  Completing the adult company are Russell WilcoxBobby DelaneyKeisha AtwellSophie Ayers, Nic GibneyPatrick HarperBen HarroldGeorge IoannidesMegan LouchBenjamin MundyBen Oliver, Heather Scott-MartinAnne SmithKate Somerset Howand Katie Warsop

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…

 Annie has book by Thomas Meehan adapted from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, music byCharles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.  The West End production has sets and costumes designed by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer. 

Foster’s production arrived in the West End 40 years after the original Broadway production opened in 1977 and received seven Tony awards including the Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.  The last West End production of Annie opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. In 1982, Annie was adapted for the big screen directed by John Huston with a cast including Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Albert Finney and in 2014 a further feature film was released, directed by Will Gluck, with a cast including Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx.  The much-loved score includes the classics It’s A Hard Knock Life,Tomorrow and Easy Street.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Theatre:                  Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7DY

Dates:                    booking to 18 February 2018

Performances:          Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at7.30pm, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm

Prices:                    Tickets from £20 which include a restoration levy of £1.75.  No booking or transaction fees through official sales outlets, Children Go Free (Children must be accompanied by a full paying adult and be 16 years or under at the time of the performance. One free ticket per full paying adult, valid on Band A seats only.Monday to Friday performances, excluding peak weeks and subject to availability)

Box Office:              0844 871 7630

Twitter:                   @AnnieMusicalUK

Facebook:               AnnieMusicalUK

Instagram:              anniemusicaluk

Website:                 www.AnnieWestEnd.com

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Bristol Old Vic confirms groundbreaking musical The Grinning Man will transfer to West End!

Girl From The North Country West End transfer announced

Girl From The North Country packshot

Due to phenomenal demand following a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at The Old Vic, Bob Dylan’s and Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country comes to the West End for a strictly limited season.

Brought to life by an exceptional company of actors and musicians, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse.

The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for. And, when a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return…

An instant classic’ The Times *****
Piercingly beautiful’ The Independent *****
Conor McPherson weaves magic with Bob Dylan’s songs’ The Observer *****
‘Dylan’s songs expand the emotional palette: direct and gnomic, raging and desiring’

The Sunday Times ****

Conor McPherson said:

“Working with this stunning cast and the incredible music of Bob Dylan at The Old Vic has been an amazing pleasure and privilege. I’m delighted that audiences will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy our show as we move into the West End. I’d like to thank everyone who has brought Girl from the North Country to life and I look forward hugely to our next steps in this intriguing journey.”

Conor McPherson is an acclaimed writer and director. He was born in Dublin in 1971 and attended University College Dublin where he began to write and direct.

Stage plays include Rum & VodkaThe Good ThiefThis Lime Tree BowerSt Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Circle Awards), Dublin CarolPort AuthorityShining City (Tony Award nominated), The Seafarer (Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard Award nominated), The Veil, and The Night Alive (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Olivier, Evening Standard and Lucille Lortel Award nominated). Adaptations include Franz Xaver Kroetz’s The Nest, and August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death.

Screen credits include the screenplay for the BBC series Paula, broadcast earlier this year.

Bob Dylan is one of our culture’s most influential and ground-breaking artists. Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941; self-taught on piano, guitar and harmonica, he travelled to New York City in 1961, quickly establishing himself as an explosive performer in the Greenwich Village music scene.

More than half a century later, Dylan continues to perform almost 100 concerts each year. He has released more than 50 albums and written over 600 songs. He’s sold more than 125 million records and is the holder of 11 Grammy Awards. His songs have been covered more than 6000 times by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Adele. He is also an accomplished visual artist and author, and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.

The Old Vic is London’s independent not-for-profit theatre, creating world class entertainment on an international scale. Through our eclectic and adventurous work on stage, projects with young people, employability programmes, digital outreach, all-day café and late night cocktail bar, The Old Vic under Artistic Director Matthew Warchus is an exciting and inviting place to be. We trade in creative imagination. It is the commodity that will be most prized tomorrow and the reason why The Old Vic is as vital today as it was in 1818 when it first opened its doors.

Writer & Director                                                                                      Conor McPherson

Music & Lyrics                                                                                            Bob Dylan

Designer                                                                                                        Rae Smith

Orchestrator, Arrangements & Musical Supervisor                    Simon Hale

Lighting                                                                                                          Mark Henderson

Sound                                                                                                             Simon Baker          

Movement Director                                                                                  Lucy Hind

Casting Director                                                                                         Jessica Ronane CDG

Casting to be announced soon.

Today, Sony Music also announce the vinyl release of The Original London Cast Recording of Girl from the North Country. Released on the Silvertone label, and already available on CD, download and streaming services, the double vinyl will be available from 15th December. It is available to pre-order on Amazon now.

The Old Vic’s production of Girl from the North Country is produced by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment UK and David Mirvish.

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION

Noël Coward Theatre

St Martin’s Lane

London WC2N 4AU

Box office number: 0844 482 5141

Website: www.girlfromthenorthcountry.london

Dates: Friday 29 December 2017 – Saturday 24 March 2018

Press Night: Thursday 11 January 2018

Performance Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm

Ticket Prices: Prices are £12.50, £20.00, £30.00, £52.50 and £67.50

Over 150 tickets for each performance will be £20 or under

Social media handles:

Twitter @dylanmusical

 

Hashtags:

#NCGirl

 

Austentatious to make West End Debut, Underbelly to Produce

Acclaimed musical star Anna O’Byrne cast in the first London revival of The Woman in White

Anna O'Byrne
Anna O'Byrne

Anna O’Byrne

Acclaimed Australian musical theatre star, Anna O’Byrne, will take the role of Laura Fairlie in the first ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony and Olivier Award-nominated musical, The Woman in White.

A wildly exciting romantic musical with a tempestuous tale of love, betrayal and greed, The Woman in White is adapted from Wilkie Collins’ haunting Victorian thriller of the same name.

Directed by Thom Southerland, previews begin at Charing Cross Theatre on Monday 20 November and the production runs for 12 weeks to Saturday 10 February 2018.

Following a chance encounter with a mysterious woman, dressed in white, Walter Hartright’s life is changed forever. On taking a position as drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie and her half sister, Marian, Walter sees in Laura’s face an eerie reflection of the forlorn woman in white. As his feelings for Laura develop, they are thwarted by her engagement to the sinister Sir Percival Glyde. What is the connection between, Laura, Sir Percival, and the woman in white? Can true love prevail?

Anna O’Byrne played Christine in the hugely successful Australian premiere of Love Never Dies, which was later filmed for DVD release. Andrew Lloyd Webber then brought  Anna to London to make her West End debut in The Phantom of the Opera.

The recipient of the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Actress – the Australian equivalent of the Olivier Awards – Anna received the award for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in the sold-out 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady at Sydney Opera House. The show was cast and directed by Dame Julie Andrews.

WOMAN IN WHITE Anna O'Bryne photo by Jeff Busby

WOMAN IN WHITE Anna O’Bryne photo by Jeff Busby

Speaking of her upcoming role, Anna said: “I’m thrilled to be playing Laura in this re-imagined version of The Woman In White. Andrew’s score is just gorgeous, and it’s very special to continue our association on this show. Andrew has been, and continues to be, a guiding force in my career.”

Other cast announced today;

Chris Peluso will play Sir Percival Glyde. Chris starred as Death in the European premiere of Death Takes a Holiday and played Nicky Arnstein opposite Sheridan Smith in the UK tour of Funny Girl. He made his West End debut as Chris in Miss Saigon and was Missisippi gambler Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat at the New London Theatre.

Carolyn Maitland is cast as Marian Halcombe. Carolyn starred as Molly Jensen in Ghost, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and Ellen in Miss Saigon.

Ashley Stillburn cast as Walter Hartright. Ashley was previously in Death Takes a Holiday at Charing Cross Theatre and has previously played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera.

Greg Castiglioni cast as Count Fosco. Credits include the European premiere of Titanic, Fiddler on the Roof at Chichester, Evita (Magaldi), The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Lend Me a Tenor.

Sophie Reeves cast as Anne Catherick. Sophie is a recent graduate of Guildford School of Acting, and has appeared in the West End company of Les Misérables.

The Woman in White has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel, and a book by Charlotte Jones.

The production features choreography by Cressida Carré, scenic design by Morgan Large, costume design by Jonathan Lipman, lighting design by Rick Fisher, and Sound Design by Andy Johnson. The music supervisor is Stephen Brooker, with orchestrations by David Cullen. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

The Woman in White is produced by Patrick Gracey, Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Limited. Original London production by Sonia Friedman Productions and The Really Useful Theatre Group.

LISTINGS INFO

Patrick Gracey, Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Limited  present

The Woman in White

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by David Zippel
Book by Charlotte Jones

Monday 20 November, 2017 –
Saturday 10 February, 2018

Press night:
Monday 4 December at 7.30pm

Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches
Villiers Street
London WC2N 6NL
www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk
Box office: 08444 930 650

Performances:
Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday matinee at 2.30pm
Saturday matinee at 3.00pm

Tickets:

£39.50 stalls
£29.50 balcony
£19.50 slips

Phone and internet orders are subject to a booking fee

There are no booking fees on tickets
purchased in person.

How to get here:

Nearest underground stations:
Charing Cross (Bakerloo and
Northern lines)
Embankment (Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines)

Website: www.thewomaninwhite.co.uk

Twitter: @WomanInWhiteUK

The Exorcist to be unleashed onto the West End stage for the very first time

The Exorcist
The Exorcist

The Exorcist

“I’m telling you that ‘thing’ upstairs isn’t my daughter…”

Forty-five years after William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel terrified an entire generation, The Exorcist will be unleashed onto the West End stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted for the stage by John Pielmeier.

The Exorcist will play a strictly limited run at the Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018. Tickets will go on general sale at 4pm on Friday 11 August.

Widely considered the scariest movie of all time, the film adaptation of The Exorcist sparked unprecedented worldwide controversy when it was released in cinemas in 1973. Winner of two Academy Awards, William Friedkin’s masterpiece saw audiences petrified to the point of passing out and went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time.

“Oh please, Mother, make it stop! It’s hurting.”

When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young Regan’s strange symptoms her desperate mother Chris turns to a local priest for help. But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul…

Sean Mathias has worked at the Royal National Theatre and many times in the West End and on Broadway, as well as extensively internationally. In 2009/2010 Sean’s production of Waiting For Godotplayed two seasons at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and toured the UK and internationally. In 2013 Godotplayed Broadway along with his production of Pinter’s No Man’s Land, the latter transferring to Wyndham’s Theatre in October 2017 starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and won Best Revival at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016.

The Exorcist is designed by Olivier Award-winning Designer Anna Fleischle (Hangmen) with lighting byTim Mitchell (RSC/Guys and Dolls), composition and sound design by Adam Cork (London Road) and illusion design is by Ben Hart (Impossible).

LISTINGS

Bill Kenwright presents
THE EXORCIST

A play by John Pielmeier.
Adapted from the novel by William Peter Blatty.
Directed by Sean Mathias.

By Special Arrangement with Ben Sprecher and Stuart Snyder
In Association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Rd
London
WC2H 0JP

PLEASE NOTE this production contains material which may shock and offend. Recommended age guidance 18+.

First Performance: 20 October 2017
Booking to 10 March 2018

Monday – Thursday 8pm
Friday is Fright-Night’ 6pm evening and ‘Fright Night late show’ 9pm
Saturday 4pm and 8pm

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-exorcist/phoenix-theatre/
0844 871 7629

Facebook@TheExorcistLIVE
Twitter@TheExorcistLIVE

West End production of School Of Rock extends booking to 2019 as show welcomes new kids

A scene from School Of Rock
A scene from School Of Rock

A scene from School Of Rock @ New London Theatre.
©Tristram Kenton

Later this month (26 August 2017) Andrew Lloyd Webber will welcome a new group of kids to his Olivier award-winning production of School of Rock – The Musical at the New London Theatre.  Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the record breaking West End production of School of Rock – The Musical opened to rave reviews and in April this year the show’s ‘kids’ cast, who play live music on stage at each performance,were the recipients of the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

For the fourth time since its West End premiere, today 4 August 2017, School of Rock – The Musical announces a further extension to its West End run, now booking to 13 January 2019.  In New York, the Broadway production now in its second year, continues to play to packed houses at the Winter Garden Theater.

Continuing the countrywide search for the opportunity to ‘join the band’, further kids open auditions will take place in the Autumn on 23 September in Liverpool and 20 and 22 November in London.  If you’re between 8 – 12 years old and play the drums, keys or the electric or bass guitar, registration and further details can be found at www.schoolofrockthemusical.co.uk/opencall or by contacting Jessica Ronane Casting [email protected]

From 26 August 2017 the ‘kids’ cast comprises Jacob Swann, twelve years old from London, Annabel Gracey, twelve years old from Bradford and Siam Elvidge, ten years old from West Yorkshire who play Freddy; Santiago Cerchione, twelve years old from London, Phoenix Taylor, eleven years old from York and Jack Goodacre, twelve years old from Norfolk, will play Zack; Eliza Cowdery, eleven years old from Hampshire, Imogen Bowden, eleven years old from London and Audrey Newman, ten years old from London who play Katie; Cole Lam, ten years old from Surrey, Milano Preston, twelve years old from Hertfordshire and Johnny Evans-Hutchison, fourteen years old from London who play Lawrence; Joseph Black, ten years old from London, Harry Vallance, twelve years old from Essex and Archie Lewis, twelve years old from Surrey who play Billy; Aaliyah Monk, eleven years old from Suffolk, Stella Haden, eleven years old from Birmingham and Caoimhe Judd, thirteen years old from Essex, will play Summer; Tia Figgetteleven years old from East Sussex, Jasmine Sakyiama, eleven years old from Milton Keynes and NerysObeng, ten years old from London, will play Tomika; Nathan Reeve twelve years old from West Sussex,Stanley Jarvis twelve years old from London and Josh White, eleven years old from Worcestershire, will play James; Alex Stuckey ten years old from Essex, Charlie Vyacheslavov eleven years old from Berkshire andDylan Miles-Davis, thirteen years old from Bradford, will play Matthew; Ellie Wilcox ten years old from London, Romanie Jija-Wakeham nine years old from London and Grace Wood eleven years old from Surrey who play Marcy; Cody Molko eleven years old from London, Austin Kindler eleven years old from London and Nicolas Ong twelve years old from Buckinghamshire who play Mason; Saffron Pennycooke eleven years old from London, Aaylia Rose nine years old from London and Miami Holness, ten years old also from London, will play Shonelle; Teri Ofon eleven years old from Surrey, Navaeah Hoath ten years old from London and Darcy Dennis, ten years old from Kent, will play Sophie.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Theatre:                  New London Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW

Dates:                    now booking to 13 January 2019

Running time:          approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

Box Office:                0844 811 0052

Performances:          MondayWednesdayThursdayFriday and Saturday at 7.30pm,Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm

Please check website for Christmas schedule

Prices:                    from £15.00 – £75.00

Student rush tickets for £10 on Wednesday evening

All ticket prices include a £1.50 restoration levy.  No booking fee via official box office channels

Website:                 www.SchoolOfRockTheMusical.co.uk

Twitter & Instagram: @SchoolofRockuk

Facebook:               facebook.com/schoolofrockmusical

 The three teams of thirteen kids who make up Dewey’s band are joined by the adult cast comprising Gary Trainor as Dewey Finn with Florence Andrews as Rosalie Mullins, Oliver Jackson as Ned Schneebly andPreeya Kalidas as Patty Di Marco.  They are joined on stage at each performance by one of three teams of thirteen young performers who make up Dewey’s band.  The ‘grown up’ cast is completed by Stephen Leaskas the alternate Dewey with ensemble members Jonathan Bourne, Nadeem Crowe, Michelle Francis, Rosanna Hyland, Cassandra McCowan, Joel Montague, Andy Rees, Cameron Sharp, Andrew Spillett, Alex Tomkins and Lucy Vandi and swings, Charlotte Bradford, Jason Denton, Cellen Chugg Jones, Alfie Parker and Tasha Sheridan.

Based on the iconic hit movie and with a rocking new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock – The Musical follows slacker and wannabe rock star Dewey Finn turn a class of straight-A 10 year old students into an ear popping, riff scorching, all conquering rock band!  Dewey poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet, and when he discovers his fifth graders’ musical talents, he enlists his class to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. As Dewey falls for the beautiful headmistress, can he and his students keep this special assignment secret as they learn to fully embrace the power of rock?

Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian FellowesSchool of Rock – The Musical is directed by Laurence Connor with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 hit film School of Rock was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance.

School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.

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First Look: Rehearsal Photos: I LOVED LUCY at London’s Arts Theatre

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As much fun as a classic episode of Lucille Ball’s TV show “I Love Lucy”, judging by these fabulous rehearsal photos by Alessia Chinazzo.

Showered with rave reviews and following two sold-out London runs in 2016, Lee Tannen’s incredibly personal, funny, bitter-sweet play “I Loved Lucy”, directed by Anthony Biggs, about Lee’s 10-year relationship with TV comedy legend Lucille Ball is to transfer to London’s Arts Theatre for a strictly limited 7-week season from Wednesday 19 July.

Critically acclaimed Sandra Dickinson returns as Lucy.

Broadway leading man Matthew Scott (“An American in Paris”) makes his London debut as Lee.

“I Loved Lucy” is a personal portrait of an iconic comedic entertainer whose public face is all too well known. But what was Lucille Ball really like? And how did she choose to live at the end of her life? Out of the spotlight. Based on his best selling memoir, Lee Tannen’s funny, bitter-sweet play reveals the real-life Lucy and what is was like being her friend to the end. Most people who have written about Lucy never even met her. They have relied on others to fill in the blanks. Lee relied solely on Lucy. And he paints a rich personal portrait that can only add to our love of a Hollywood legend. Lee Tannen first met Lucille Ball as a child but cemented their close and enduring friendship as an adult. During the last 10 years of Lucy’s life – years mostly spent out of the spotlight, and much of it around a backgammon table – Lee became Lucy’s confidante, spending time in her Beverly Hills and Palm Springs homes, travelling with her and entertaining her on his turf in New York City.

LISTINGS INFO

I LOVED LUCY
by Lee Tannen

Arts Theatre
Great Newport Street
London WC2H 7JB

Box office: 020 7836 8463
www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk

Wednesday 19 July – Saturday 2 September

Performances:

Wednesday 19 July 7:30pm
Thursday 20 July 2:30pm
Thursday 20 July 7:30pm
Friday 21 July 7:30pm
Saturday 22 July 2:30pm
Saturday 22 July 7:30pm
Sunday 23 July at 3pm

Monday 24 July 7.00pm
PRESS NIGHT

Please note: there is no show
Tuesday 25 July

Then:
Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm,
Thursday & Saturday
Matinees 2.30pm
Sunday 3.00pm

Ticket Prices:
£15.00 Slips
£26.50 £33.50 £39.50
£55.00 premiums
Previews:
£20.00 £25.00 £29.00

Social:
Twitter: @ILovedLucyUK
Facebook: ILOVEDLUCY

Running Time:
2 hours (including interval)

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Alright, theatre needs a kick up the arse

Wind In The Willows

Most of the West End and supporting media is populated by the manliest men with manliest tastes, who only produce or consider the existence of theatre because they need to tick boxes and make what they perceive to be easy cash.

No wonder so much theatre is so joyless. It got me thinking…

You see the size of the task dear old Stiles and Drewe set themselves when producer Jamie Hendry decided it would be a good idea to put one of the best loved children’s stories of all time on the biggest stage in London and they should write the music. Naturally, they wrote 20 songs.

The good news, though, is that this is a brand new British musical. (An exotic bird in the woods of the West End). The bad is that, in line with the tide of right-on idiocy that is overwhelming British Theatre, (see: Freddie Flintoff cast in Fat Friends The Musical/ Louise Redknapp in Cabaret & John Partridge in La Cage Aux Folles, I could go on) someone thought that Julian Fellowes would be a good candidate to white-wash and straight-wash The Wind in the Willows.

It’s all too easy, however, to get side-tracked by the visual assault of Rachel Kavanaugh’s production when you’re watching this stage version of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 children’s novel slowly, slowly unfold with a ‘celebrity’ cast that is going through the motions. Cringe-making embarrassment, though, isn’t restricted to Hound and co.

The whole thing is a mess.

There is no cohesive vision in The Wind in the Willows; it lacks depth that would give it savour. ‘Property is theft!’ is blathered at some point. You won’t be singing or dancing your way out of the building – that’s for sure.

I can’t remember much else to be honest.

I don’t need to labour my contempt for it too much, however, as the merchandise for that matter, says it all.

As horrendous as it all may sound for you reading this online – shows like this are actually a lot less appealing in the flesh. Worse still, the show includes veiled attacks on the poor, clumsy class politics, a 3 hour running time and a woozy design.

Anyway, I propose that:
1.Theatre like this is not pandered to.
2.Shows like this are *largely* ignored.
3.Commercial junk written and produced and performed by a largely all-white cast are left to get on with it in private, away from the West End and hard-up families.

Basically, theatre needs to work harder. I don’t care if it’s a new musical. There needs to be a rethink – audiences deserve much better when they are paying these kinds of prices.

Just think of my manifesto as having builders in. A lengthy stretch of hellish with (mostly) white men you don’t know making a lot of noise as they destroy everything you once held dear. But then, when it’s all over, you’re all set up to have a massive dinner party.

Naturally I will be here throughout the whole fiasco, and continue to find the good bits of theatre — whether they’re fashionable or not.

Making its West End debut at Trafalgar Studios Stage Traffic Productions presents Late Company by award-winning Canadian Playwright Jordan Tannahill

Late Company

‘Enthralling. A terrific play. Go!.’  The Times ★★★★

 Late Company weighs heavily on your mind in the days following the performance. This is theatre in its purest form.’ The Independent ★★★★

 ‘Powerful new drama about the devastating aftershocks of cyber bullying. Superb.’

Time Out ★★★★

Late Company

Late Company

Following its critically acclaimed and sold-out European premiere at Finborough Theatre in April/May 2017, Stage Traffic’s production of Late Company, by the award-winning playwright Jordan Tannahill, will transfer for its West End debut at Trafalgar Studios 2 for a strictly limited run from 21 August – 16 September 2017, with press night on Thursday 24 August.

 A successful middle-class couple’s lives are irrevocably changed after their teenage son is mercilessly bullied for being gay. In an attempt to “move on” they invite his chief tormentor, and his parents, to a dinner party.

 Far from finding the peace they seek, the dinner strips bare their good intentions to reveal layers of parental, sexual, and political hypocrisy.

 Written with sensitivity and humour, Late Company explores restorative justice, cyber bullying, and the ever-changing complexities of parenthood in the 21st century.

 Jordan Tannahill, playwright said, “I wrote Late Company in the wake of an incident in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada that touched me deeply as a gay youth in my early twenties. It was a piece I intended to share with my group of friends; a means of venting anger and seeking some kind of reckoning. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would make its way to West End. It is an honour to share this production with London audiences.”

Proudly in support of the new production CEO of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), Simon Gunning explains, “Late Company is a powerful play that centres around the highly difficult themes of bullying, suicide, sexuality, and family dynamics. These themes are insightfully handled; there is a sensitivity and awareness that does not shy away from a harsh reality. CALM is proud to support a show that starts the conversation of stigma surrounding mental health, as well as the dark side of social media and high-school hierarchy. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK, and those who are bereaved by suicide face a brutal journey. This confrontational play is beautifully cast, acted, and directed; and will certainly help to spread the word about the devastation of suicide.”

 The production is directed by Michael Yale, with set and costumes by Zahra Mansouri, lighting by Nic Farman and sound by Chris Prosho. The full and original cast for Late Company will be reprising their roles in the production including Todd Boyce (Michael), David Leopold (Curtis), Alex Lowe (Bill), Lucy Robinson (Debora) and Lisa Stevenson (Tamara).

CAST BIOGRAPHIES

Todd Boyce’s (Michael Shaun-Hastings) theatre credits includes The Exorcist (Birmingham Rep), The Last of the Boys (Southwark Playhouse), Hamlet (The Young Vic), The Women of Lockerbie (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Glyn and It (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf (South Australian Theatre Company), The Normal Heart (Sydney Theatre Company), Limited Edition (Sydney Dance Company), Lovers from Hell (Ovalhouse), Dr Faustus (Sydney Theatre Company) and The Exonerated (Riverside Studios). His TV credits include Mr Selfridge, Sherlock, The Crown, In Clear Sight, Coronation Street, Spooks, Beaver Falls, Hollyoaks, Adventures Inc, Broken News, Comfort Zone and The Restless Years. His film work includes Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, In Clear Sight, Kick Ass 2, The Gatekeeper, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Everest, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Spygame, Jefferson in Paris, The Punisher, Blue Ice, Penelope and The Delinquents.

David Leopold’s (Curtis Dermot) theatre credits include Muted (Bunker Theatre), Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre), Soho Young Playwrights (Soho Theatre), Little Sure Shot (Theatre Royal Bath), Uncle Vanya (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Polar Bears (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Alex Lowe’s (Bill Dermot) theatre work includes Fatal Attraction (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Changeling (Young Vic), The Girlfriend Experience (Royal Court Theatre/Young Vic), Blue Orange (Watford Palace Theatre), The Missing Hancocks (The Assembly Rooms Edinburgh), The New Power Generation (Live Nation), The Trial of Dennis the Menace (Purcell Rooms), The Barry from Watford Show (Watford Palace Theatre), The Tempest (Stafford Castle) and Uncle Vanya (Renaissance Theatre Company). His TV work includes Open All Hours, Unforgotten, Cheap Cheap Cheap, The Job Lot, Pompidou, Barry’s Bucket List, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The IT Crowd, Casualty, Peep Show, Peter Kay Project, Lead Balloon, French and Saunders, Bremner Bird and Fortune, Saxondale, The Thick of It, Documental, New Tricks. His film work includes The Devil Outside, Grimsby, My Week with Marilyn, Haunted, Much Ado About Nothing and Peter’s Friends. Alex’s radio work includes Barry’s Lunch Club, Before They Were Famous, Clare in the Community, Trapped and The Brothers.

Lucy Robinson’s (Debora Shaun-Hastings) theatre work includes Waste (National Theatre), The Hard Problem (National Theatre), Handbagged (Vaudeville Theatre), Sweet Bird of Youth (The Old Vic), In the Next Room (Theatre Royal Bath), Cause Celebre (The Old Vic), Blithe Spirit (Nottingham Playhouse), Happy Now? (Gate Theatre), Macbeth (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), An Ideal Husband (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Top Girls (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), The Hypochondriac (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Miser (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her film credits include Highway to Dhampus, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason and The Biographer. Her television work includes Cold Feet, The Hollow Crown, Call the Midwife, Being Human, Missing, Doctor Who, New Tricks, The IT Crowd, Holby City, Coronation Street, Doc Martin. Rosemary and Thyme, Casualty, The Royal and Lewis.

Lisa Stevenson’s (Tamara Dermot) theatre includes Warhorse (National Theatre), Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company), Richard III (RoyalShakespeare Company), A Streetcar Named Desire (The Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet (Globe Theatre), Henry V (Globe Theatre), Autumn and Winter (Globe Theatre), The Mikado (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Boston Marriage (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Comfort Me With Apples (Hampstead Theatre), Hayfever (Oxford Stage Company), Factors Unforeseen (Orange tree Theatre, Richmond), Comedy of Errors (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rita Sue and Bob Too (Out of Joint), Explicit Polaroids (Out of Joint) and King Lear (Bristol Old Vic). Her television work includes Dixi, Obsession: Dark Desire, EastEnders, Doctors, Holby City, Murder in Mind, The Message, Casualty, The Bill, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, John Judge Deed, Keen Eddie and Heartbeat. Her film credits include Dead House Six and The Football Factory and radio work includes Listening to the Dead: Ruby’s Shoes/Tuesday’s Child, Being Brave and Listen to the Words.