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West Side Story – Back by Popular Demand in 2020

West Side Story
West Side Story

West Side Story

The Royal Exchange Theatre has announced that their current smash-hit WEST SIDE STORY will return to the stage in 2020 due to unprecedented popular demand. Recognised as one of the world’s most iconic musicals, tickets for Sarah Frankcom’s reimagining of this Broadway classic, with new choreography by Aletta Collins, have been in high demand from the moment the production was originally announced and were close to selling out before the previews had even begun. Opening last week to critical acclaim and loved by Manchester audiences  the Exchange is delighted to confirm that this celebrated production will be back next year running from Saturday 18 April – Saturday 23 May 2020.

Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom said…

West Side Story was such a radical piece of work when it was first staged and I’m delighted that our new production has caught the imagination of today’s audiences, and that the electricity of it all – the story, the music, the dance – is still so urgent in 2019. The demand for tickets has been incredible so to be able to bring the show back next year and give people another opportunity to see Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece is fantastic. Our unique in-the-round theatre brings viewers right into the action and to be able to do that all over again with a new audience is really exciting.

Casting for the 2020 production is yet to be confirmed and will be announced in the autumn along with further details of the production and the Spring/Summer season in full. Tickets are on sale to members from today and the public from Tuesday 30 April 2019, it is a stand-alone production and will not form part of the Royal Exchange Spring/Summer 2020 season ticket package.

LAMDA appoints Royal Exchange’s Sarah Frankcom to lead as new Director

LAMDA Director Sarah Frankcom and LAMDA President Benedict Cumberbatch. Credit Helen Maybanks
LAMDA Director Sarah Frankcom and LAMDA President Benedict Cumberbatch. Credit Helen Maybanks

LAMDA Director Sarah Frankcom and LAMDA President Benedict Cumberbatch. Credit Helen Maybanks

  • Appointment welcomed by LAMDA President Benedict Cumberbatch
  • As Director of LAMDA, Frankcom will shape LAMDA’s creative vision as it moves towards further independence and achieving degree awarding powers
  • Sarah Frankcom joins from Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester where she is Artistic Director

28th February 2019, London: LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), the oldest drama school in the UK, today announced the appointment of acclaimed theatre director Sarah Frankcom as its new Director. Bringing world class industry experience, Frankcom joins from the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester where she has been Artistic Director for the last five years.

Frankcom is widely regarded as one of the most influential British theatre directors of the last decade. She was responsible for bringing a series of critically acclaimed shows to the Royal Exchange, most recently Death of a Salesman with Don Warrington, Happy Days with Maxine Peake, and Our Town, for which she was awarded Best Director at the 2018 UK Theatre Awards.

In the newly created role of Director, Frankcom will shape and lead LAMDA’s creative vision and oversee the training of the next generation of dramatic artists, directors and technicians. She will work directly with students to ensure they benefit first hand from her wealth of industry experience. The Directorship replaces the role of Principal following the departure of Joanna Read in January.

Frankcom will officially take up the role in November 2019 as LAMDA enters its first year as an independent Higher Education Provider and moves forward to realising its ambition of achieving degree awarding powers.

Speaking on her appointment, Sarah Frankcom said: “I am thrilled to be appointed as LAMDA’s new Director. LAMDA is a drama school that consistently delivers world-class arts training and examinations, and whose alumni I’ve always found to be the most open, collaborative, and generous during my work as a director.”

She continued: “I’m looking forward to building on LAMDA’s success and grasping the opportunity to re-imagine what a relevant 21st Century theatre training without barriers could be for all emerging talent.”

Welcoming the announcement, Benedict Cumberbatch, LAMDA President and alumni, said: “This is a very exciting next chapter for LAMDA and its students. I am thrilled at the prospect of working with Sarah, who I know has a passion for finding the best talent from whatever background and increasing diversity on stage and screen. Her reputation proceeds and I am sure her leadership will be a performance to truly grip the industry”.

Shaun Woodward, Chair of LAMDA, said: “This is an amazing appointment for LAMDA and a great next step for the school. Sarah is one of the outstanding directors in the UK and she will provide great leadership for our students in the years ahead. We are thrilled.”

Sir Nicholas Hytner, former artistic director of the National Theatre, adds: “Sarah is a tremendous appointment as LAMDA’s new Director. She is one of the UK’s outstanding directors from one of our leading theatres. Sarah galvanised Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, transforming the careers of countless young actors in a succession of greatly admired productions”.