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Opening date for ‘Frozen – The Musical’ moved to 2021


THE PRODUCTION WILL NOW OPEN IN APRIL 2021 AT THE NEW THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE, 
FOLLOWING AN EXTENSIVE 2-YEAR REFURBISHMENT

Disney Theatrical Productions today announces casting for Frozen – joining the previously announced Samantha Barks (Elsa) and Stephanie McKeon (Anna) are Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff), Craig Gallivan (Olaf), Oliver Ormson (Hans), Richard Frame (Weselton), and alternating the role of Sven, Mikayla Jade and Ashley Birchall; with Jeremy Batt, Cameron Burt, Lauren Chia, Laura Emmitt, Emily-Mae (Bulda), Danielle Fiamanya, Hannah Fairclough, Matt Gillett, Joe Griffiths-Brown, Emily Lane, Justin-Lee Jones, Jason Leigh Winter, Jacob Maynard, Leisha Mollyneaux, Gabriel Mokake (King Agnarr), Sarah O’Connor, Jemma Revell, Jacqui Sanchez (Queen Iduna), Jak Skelly (Oaken/Bishop), Jake Small, Isabel Snaas, Joshua St. Clair (Pabbie), Monica Swayne, and Anna Woodside. With music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopezand Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, Frozen is directed by Michael Grandage.

Due to the ongoing impact throughout the theatre industry of Covid-19, Disney’s Frozen will open in the West End on 14 April 2021, with previews from 2 April, and is now booking until 24 October 2021. All patrons with pre-existing bookings will automatically be transferred to a new performance date with the same seats, and notified in due course via email, with the company working through bookings chronologically. If the new date is not suitable, at this point patrons will have the opportunity to request an alternative date or a refund.

Michael Grandage said today, “We’re thrilled to announce casting for Frozen – an incredibly talented group of people who will be creating the London premiere at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane next spring. As theatres start to open their doors again, we look forward to celebrating the spectacle of this beloved story with audiences everywhere”.

Frozen – produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher – opened on Broadway in March 2018 to box office records, and three Tony Award® nominations including for Best Musical. In addition to the opening in London, the musical recently embarked on a North American tour, and new productions will open in Australia, Japan, and Hamburg within the next year.

Frozen was released in cinemas in 2013, winning multiple awards, including two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Let It Go”), the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and the BAFTA for Best Animated Film. It was written and directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Frozen 2, which debuted in November 2019, had the biggest-ever opening for an animated film worldwide and is the highest grossing animated film of all time. 

In the first booking period, Frozen has scheduled the following access performances – Signed Performance (11 July 13.00 matinee), Relaxed Performance (25 July 12.30 matinee), Audio Described Performance (15 August 13.00 matinee) and Captioned Performance (22 August at 17.30).

Obioma Ugoala plays Kristoff. For theatre, his work includes The Lost Love Speakeasy (The Lost Estate), Much Ado About Nothing (New English Shakespeare Company), Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre), Motown(Shaftesbury Theatre), Henry V, The Mouse and His Child (RSC), Holy Warriors, Antony and Cleopatra(Shakespeare’s Globe), The Jungle Book, Crime and Punishment (Glasgow Citizens Theatre) and The Physicists(Donmar Warehouse). For television, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages; and for film, Beauty and the Beast.

Craig Gallivan plays Olaf. For theatre his work includes School of Rock (New London Theatre), Billy Elliot(Victoria Palace Theatre), Crime and Punishment (National Theatre), Days of Significance (RSC), The Long, The Short and The Tall (Sheffield Theatres), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Oliver! (UK tours). For television, his work includes Stella (as series regular Luke), Torchwood, Footballer’s Wives (as series regular Callum Watson) and Care; and for film, The Edge of Love

Samantha Barks plays Elsa. For theatre, her work includes Chess (Umeda Arts Theater Main Hall / Tokyo International Forum Hall), Pretty Woman (Chicago and Broadway), The Last Five Years (St James Theatre), Amelie (Berkley Rep), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Chicago (Hollywood Bowl), Oliver! (UK tour), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), and Cabaret (Birmingham Rep). She was one of the participants on the BBC series I’d Do Anything. For film, her credits include Chocolate Cake, For Love or Money, Bitter Harvest, The Revenger, Interlude in Prague, The Devil’s Harvest, The Christmas Candle and as Eponine in Les Misérables (recipient of Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer; and nomination for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture). She also reprised her performance as Eponine for Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary.

 

Stephanie McKeon plays Anna. For theatre, her work includes Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined (Criterion Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory), and The Commitments (Palace Theatre). Her screen work includes, for television, Fair City – as series regular Aisling O’Brien; and as the voice of Asuka in the Netflix English-dubbed version of the critically acclaimed Japanese Anime series/films Neon Genesis: Evangelion.

Oliver Ormson plays Hans. For theatre, his work includes Back to the Future The Musical (Opera House Manchester), High Fidelity (Turbine Theatre), Cats (Kilworth House), Nerds, Protagonists (The Other Palace), The Addams Family (UK and international tours), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Sopranos vs Tenors (European tour), and Hairspray (Aberystwyth Arts Centre). Television includes West Side Story (Reef Television/BBC Symphony Orchestra).

Richard Frame plays Weselton. For theatre, his work includes The Lion King (as Timon from 2013 to 2018, Lyceum Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills (Theatre on the Fly), Pocket Comedy (UK tour), Richard III, The Comedy of Errors (The Watermill Theatre), London Assurance (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice (Propeller), Absolute Beginners (Lyric Hammersmith), Promises, Promises (Sheffield Theatres), Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). For television, his work includes Outnumbered, The Hollow Crown – Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Family Affairs (as series regular Damian), Wire in the Blood, Hearts and Bones, and Hope and Glory; and for film London Road.

Mikayla Jade makes her professional stage and West End debut playing Sven. Originally from Australia, she is an actress and stuntwoman. For film, her work includes Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, The Old Guard and Wonder Woman 1984.

Ashley Birchall plays Sven. For theatre, his work includes Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma! (Kilworth House), Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum (Royal Opera House), Tommy (Greenwich Theatre), Starlight Express (Germany), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). For film, his work includes Mary Poppins Returns.

Twitter @FrozenLondon

Facebook /FrozenLondon

Instagram @FrozenLondon

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PERFORMANCES FROM Thursday 15 April evening performance (NB no matinee on 15 April):

Wednesday – Saturday                 7pm

Thursday and Saturday                 2.30pm

Sunday                                              1pm & 5.30pm

ACCESS & RELAXED PERFORMANCES:

Signed Performance                      11 July at 13.00

Relaxed Performance                    25 July at 12.30

Audio Described Performance    15 August at 13.00

Captioned Performance                22 August at 17.30

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RSC announces 2021 winter season and plans for staging shows later this year

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY CONFIRMS RESCHEDULED PROGRAMME FOR WINTER 2021

Previously announced productions include:

New family musical, The Magician’s Elephant, by Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler based on the international, best-selling novel by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Sarah Tipple.

The Wars of the Roses, directed by Owen Horsley with Gregory Doran, an epic staging of all three parts of Henry VI across two unforgettable performances telling the enthralling story of the brutal struggle for the English crown.

Shakespeare for Everyone; First Encounters with Shakespeare: Twelfth Night directed by Robin Belfield.

Ambition to re-open in Winter 2020 with re-scheduled performances of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

The Company fully intends to re-open the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) with new events and re-scheduled performances of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors as soon as that proves possible. Both productions were in rehearsal and due to open in the RST this spring. Further details will be announced soon, but this remains dependent on government advice on social distancing and on whether it is financially viable for the Company to perform to audiences inside our theatres. The RSC very much hopes for positive news in the coming weeks on the reopening roadmap and on the distribution of the extremely welcome £1.57bn government rescue package for arts and culture.

Gregory Doran, Artistic Director, said: ‘While we continue to explore every opportunity to open our Stratford buildings as soon as we possibly can, ideally later this year, I am pleased to share this hopeful news of the confirmed schedule for our Winter 2021 season. Since first closing our doors back in March, we have continued to do everything we possibly can to support our audiences through lockdown and to engage and entertain our communities across the UK and beyond. Of course, nothing can or should replace the live theatre experience, which continues to be much missed by audiences everywhere. Alongside our colleagues across the industry, we can and want to play a crucial role in the recovery of the country, knowing how valuable the arts are to our collective wellbeing, whether giving strength in difficult times, helping us to tell our own stories or simply lifting the spirits for a few hours. We very much look forward to welcoming audiences back to our buildings and to share this live experience with them.

PUBLIC BOOKING RE-OPENS WEDS 12 AUG – 10AM

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The Show Must Go On merchandise raises £250,000 for arts charities

After phenomenal public demand for ‘The Show Must Go On!’ t-shirts, Theatre Support Fund + has reached an incredible milestone by raising a huge quarter of a million pounds for Acting For Others, The Fleabag Support Fund and NHS COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

 

Theatre Support Fund + was set up eight weeks ago by theatre industry workers Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton who wanted to form an initiative to help individual workers who are now out of work due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. They created and designed ‘The Show Must Go On!’ t-shirt, the design of which is an amalgamation of the world-famous artwork of 16 of the biggest musicals in the West End. Since Theatre Support Fund’s inception the team have received 20,000 orders and have shipped to 63 countries across the globe. The orders are being packed daily by a small team of volunteers from within the West End theatre community. All profits from merchandise sold goes to Acting for Others, Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.

Chris and Damien said today, ‘We are incredibly overwhelmed with the generosity and support people have given to the theatre industry and with the government announcing arts funding last week, it is all moving in a very positive direction. However there are still individuals out there that need our help and we will continue to unite and work together to raise monies for these charities to help all of those that have been affected from the pandemic until the theatre industry is up and running again’.

Since the charities inception they have also gathered a fantastic celebrity following which includes Michael Ball, Samantha Bond, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alan Carr, Dame Judi Dench, Todrick Hall, Amanda Holden, Derick Jacobi, Myleene Klass, Kiera Knightly, Beverley Knight, Patti LuPone, Sarah Parish, Melanie Sykes and Denise Welch amongst others.

 

Pheobe Waller-Bridge who is the figurehead for The Fleabag Fund said today “These shirts must go on!” A massive thank you to Theatre Support Fund for supporting Fleabag Support Fund and other wonderful charities with this incredible range of merchandise’.

The shirt design is an amalgamation of the world-famous artwork of 16 of the biggest musicals in the West End. Shows included on the design are & Juliet, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Everyone’s Talking about Jamie, Hamilton, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Matilda The Musical, Six The Musical, Tina, The Tina Turner Musical, The Book of Mormon, The Prince of Egypt, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.

In addition to the t-shirt, merchandise now includes a re-useable face covering, notebook, mug, badge and tote bag. All profits from merchandise sold goes to Acting for Others , Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. All of ‘The Show Must Go On!’ merchandise continues to be available via the website www.theatresupportfund.co.uk.

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Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, Adam Penford: ‘Gender balance is fascinating.’

Nottingham Playhouse’s new artistic director – he started full time last November–  Adam Penford likes his colourful socks. What socks is he wearing today? “Purple pink and yellow; not unlike my Christmas socks,” he laughs.

But where did he purchase those festive socks on display in a recent rehearsal photo? “They were from Marks and Spencer’s,” he laughs louder.

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Wonderland Rehearsals – Photo credit Darren Bell

We are talking ahead of the first run through of Nottingham-born playwright Beth Steel’s 2014 play, Wonderland. Her dad worked at Welbeck Colliery as a miner. It is a story set in the pits in 1983 during Thatcher’s government. “The lads are ready to get on stage,” he says. “It’s a complicated show… There are over thirty scenes. We are rehearsing in the former Barton’s Bus Garage because the set is so epic we couldn’t find a space big enough in the city centre to accommodate us,” Penford says.

Which makes Wonderland all the more welcome. It is representing the vital modern history of the local community on stage with compassion. His first show at Nottingham Playhouse includes actor Chris Ashby who previously played the lead The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and was cast through the Playhouse open auditions. “It was something that we consciously set out to do when casting the play,” Penford says. “I’m fortunate to have such a brilliant all-male ensemble, they have a real camaraderie on stage and off stage. Just over half of the cast are from the local region; two are from the North East, and Joshua Glenister who was a member of Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre. Most of the company have truly personal connections to the coal mine.”

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Adam is a modest fellow. I ask him how he is getting on in his new role. “It’s interesting: there is no school,” he explains. “There are obviously a lot of similarities to being a freelance theatre director that come with the job, but it isn’t the same. You take comfort from the fact that previous artistic directors have all had to learn on the job. There is a massive support network of artistic directors that ring each other up for advice or guidance – not many people know about – that’s been really useful.”

What are his key priorities going forward? “Audience development, in terms of numbers and diversifying audiences,” he adds. “I’m hoping by programming work by artists like Mufaro Makubika a play set during the 1958 race riots in Nottingham in a historically working-class area of inner city Nottingham and set against the race riots will engage new and hard to reach audiences.”

In the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo, which strives for better treatment for all, especially women, Penford is aiming for a 50/50 gender split. “Gender balance is fascinating,” he begins. “It is something that I am certainly very sensitive to and aware of when I begin programming. We will be doing gender-blind casting for the next show that I’m directing; Holes which is a stage adaptation of Louis Sachar’s novel and I am delighted that we have Kindertransport by Diane Samuels and Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker which boast a fully integrated cast and creative team of disabled and non-disabled practitioners and is a co-production with Ramps on the Moon. So, it feels like a varied season featuring inclusive work by three female playwrights in my first season.”

How will he cater to his audience’s wide-ranging tastes? “You can’t please everybody. I knew that I wanted to do a musical in my first season,” Penford says. Regional theatre is facing colossal local authority cuts which make it harder to take artistic risks. But Penford isn’t going to let that limit his ambitions. “We hadn’t produced a lead produced a musical at Nottingham Playhouse for 18 years, I knew it needed to be a well-known title. We are a 750-seater venue and that it is a substantial amount of tickets to sell.”

“The fact that Sweet Charity has a female protagonist was appealing to me. It felt natural to offer Bill Buckhurst – the genius behind the pie and mash shop Sweeney Todd the opportunity to direct. I’m also really excited that Alistair David will choreograph and we are about to announce further casting for the role of Charity soon.”

Who is playing Charity? “I can’t say,” he says, laughing.

Come on give me a scoop, I say. “Ok… She is amazing,” he says.

Wonderland runs from Friday 9 February 2018 through to Saturday 24 February 2018.