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West End Production of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child opens booking to September 2019

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

As footage of the internationally award-winning production is released , new tickets for the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child go on sale today (4 December 2018) at 11am GMT for performances at the Palace Theatre until 29 September 2019. Tickets are priced from £15 per part and for every performance there are over 300 tickets at £20 or less per part.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, one play presented in two parts, is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.  The critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in July 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London.  It is also now playing at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, with an Australian production beginning performances at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on 16 January 2019.  A further North American production will open at San Francisco’s Curran in Autumn 2019 and, in spring 2020, a German language version of the play – marking its first non-English language production – will open at the Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt in Hamburg, Germany.

Details of all productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be found at www.HarryPotterthePlay.com

Since its premiere, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won twenty-four major British theatre awards including the Evening Standard Best Play Award as well as a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards – including Best New Play and Best Director – the most awarded production in the history of the Oliviers. The Broadway production has subsequently won twenty-five major Broadway accolades, including five Drama Desk awards, six Outer Critics Circle awards and six Tony awards, also including Best Play and Best Director.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison, music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe.

The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, an album of music from the internationally acclaimed stage production, is now available in stores as well as digitally.  The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is written, composed, performed and recorded by Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winner Imogen Heap It is presented as four contemporary musical suites, each showcasing one of the play’s theatrical acts.  This unique new album format from Imogen Heap chronologically features the music heard in the stage production, further reworked to transport listeners on a sonic journey through the world of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  The album is released by Sony Music Masterworks.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsColin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

The regular performance schedule is as follows – Monday – no performance, Tuesday – no performance, Wednesday – 2pm Part One & 7.30pm Part Two, Thursday – 7.30pm Part One, Friday – 7.30pm Part Two, Saturday – 2pm Part One & 7.30pm Part Two, Sunday – 1pm Part One & 6.30pm Part Two.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has partnered with TodayTix for The Friday Forty, the production’s Lottery for Patrons to apply for some of the very best seats in the theatre priced at £40 (£20 per part) which will secure a seat for both Part One and Part Two on consecutive performances.  Patrons can now enter at any time from 12.01am every Monday, through to 1pm that Friday, when entries will close. Winners will be notified between 1pm and 5pm that day, and have the opportunity to purchase up to two tickets for both Part One and Part Two on consecutive performances the following week.  For further details and to enter The Friday Forty, visit the official website https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/uk/the-friday-forty/ or download the TodayTix for iOS or Android. The Friday Forty is operated by TodayTix on the West End and Broadway.

Returned and other late-release tickets may also become available at short notice. These are not guaranteed, but any tickets that do become available will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, online or in person at the Palace Theatre box office at full price.

Details of any other ticket releases will continue to be listed on the official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child website, social media channels and the official newsletter.

Box Office – 0330 333 4813

www.HarryPotterthePlay.com

@HPPlayLDN, facebook.com/HPPlayLDN

instagram.com/hpplayldn

www.pottermore.com

Award-winning play THE INHERITANCE holds special performance at the Noel Coward Theatre with Terrence Higgins Trust on World AIDS Day

THE INHERITANCE

The Inheritance, the 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Award-winning ‘Best Play’ by Matthew Lopez, must end its strictly limited engagement at the Noël Coward Theatre on Saturday 19th January. Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold  present the Young Vic production which opened in the West End on Saturday 13th October to widespread critical acclaim, with reviews recognising it as a modern classic, and one of the most important plays for many years.

Directed by multi Olivier and Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry, this landmark production held its world premiere at the Young Vic Theatre earlier this year where it ran for a sold out engagement.

The large ensemble cast of The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre includes: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Jack Riddiford, Kyle SollerMichael Walters and Vanessa Redgrave.

A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Matthew Lopez’s major new two-part play explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers.  What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

Spanning generations and many interlinking lives, The Inheritance brilliantly transposes EM Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ to 21st century New York.

On 1st December 2018, The Inheritance held a special performance for World AIDS Day with guests helping to raise awareness for Terrence Higgins Trust and their campaign to reach ‘zero HIV’ by ending new transmissions and eliminating HIV-related stigma.

Guests who attended on the day to show support for the charity included Stephen Fry, Stephen K. Amos, Colin Morgan, Bisi Alimi, Zoe Wanamaker, Gawn Grainger, Paris Lees, Tom Hollander, John Partridge, Laura Carmichael, SuRie, Jerry Mitchell, Freida Slaves, Andre de Shields and Michael Cashman.

On Friday 30th November, to mark both World AIDS Day and National Tree-Planting Week, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and cast from The Inheritance, along with representatives from Terrence Higgins Trust and London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, planted a tree in Potters Field. The ‘Tilia Cordata’ tree, planted outside City Hall and with a stunning view of London Bridge, in remembrance to all the lives lost to AIDS in the past 30 years.

Photography from both events can be downloaded HERE

Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity offering support, information and advice services for those living with and affected by HIV or poor sexual health.

Ian Green, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: 

The Inheritance is a truly beautiful piece of theatre and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. World AIDS Day is always a special and emotional day as we wear our red ribbons in remembrance of all the lives lost far too soon since the start of the HIV epidemic. But seeing The Inheritance made it even more special. This important play not only reminds us of how far weve come in the fight against HIV, but also how much more there still is to do  and all the trauma along the way.

Were honoured to have worked in partnership with The Inheritance to mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Money raised will help support our ambitious but achievable aim of getting to zero new HIV transmissions in the UK and, as importantly, the work we do across the country to eradicate the stigma and misinformation that still surrounds this virus.”

Sonia Friedman, Producer of The Inheritance, said:

“A huge thank you to Matthew Lopez, Stephen Daldry and to the astonishing cast and company of The Inheritance – the play, production, and audience reached new heights of emotion and intensity on World AIDS Day and it will be a day that every one of us in that theatre will cherish forever.

In the 1980s I was a young stage manager working at The National Theatre; all around me, in our industry, people were dying and struggling. I just felt it was wrong and that I had to do something, so I went to the Terrence Higgins Trust, and asked if I could do something, if I could help.

The voluntary work I did with them and other HIV charities formed who I am and it helped make me a Producer and therefore it is a privilege to be working with them again, 30 years later, for this very special performance. It was a day of remembrance, pain, hope and a day of connection.”

Guests who attended the special performance of The Inheritance on World AIDS Day took to social media in support, including:

Too choked with emotion last night to tweet my astonishment at @inheritanceplay – the most magnificent theatrical experience I can remember. It broke my heart and mended it again: I left the theatre believing in theatre again. I don’t have enough praise. See it!
Stephen Fry

This play, this cast, this production astound and embrace and uplift in ways before unimaginable.
Lord Cashman

I’m honoured to have been in the audience for the World AIDS Day performance of @inheritanceplay at the Noël Coward Theatre, let alone invited on stage. Never seen such rapturous applause. Go see it and please support @THTorguk‘s great work to help end HIV.
Paris Lees

Saw @inheritanceplay on Saturday, Parts 1 & 2. A thoroughly engaging, original piece of theatre. Phenomenal cast, brilliant production. So relevant. See it.
Stephen K. Amos

Matthew Lopez’s new play is directed by Stephen Daldry with set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti & Christopher Reid, music by Paul Englishby, UK Casting by Julia Horan CDG and US Casting by Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA.

David Lan, who programmed the original production as Artistic Director of the Young Vic, is Executive Producer for the West End production.

Andrew Burnap, John Benjamin Hickey and Samuel H. Levine are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

Disney’s The Lion King releases new video trailer ahead of the musical’s 20th anniversary in the West End

The Lion King

As Disney’s THE LION KING prepares to enter its 20th anniversary in the West End in 2019, a brand-new video trailer has been released showcasing the enormity, vibrancy and beauty of Julie Taymor’s outstanding design and direction.

Disney’s THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre is now booking until 1 June 2019 for individuals and 29 September 2019 for Groups.

Disney’s award-winning musical THE LION KING is now in its 19th triumphant year at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in London on Tuesday 19th October 1999, THE LION KING has entertained over 15 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production. It is currently the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

After 20 landmark years on Broadway, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 95 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years.  Performed in eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Scheveningen; Singapore; and on tour across North America and Japan, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Disney’s THE LION KING
Lyceum Theatre
21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ

Box Office number: 0844 871 3000
www.thelionking.co.uk

Booking until 29 September 2019

THE LION KING plays Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm with matinee performances on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm.  There is no performance on a Monday evening.

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE starts rehearsals and offers unique ticket scheme

Sharon D. Clarke in Caroline, Or Change Credit Marc Brenner
Sharon D. Clarke in Caroline, Or Change Credit Marc Brenner

Sharon D. Clarke in Caroline, Or Change Credit Marc Brenner

It is announced today that the highly anticipated West End production Caroline, Or Change will extend its booking period due to popular demand and will now run in the West End at the Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 6 April 2019. Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically acclaimed production also enjoyed a sell-out engagement at Hampstead Theatre, and has been nominated today for Best Musical and Best Musical Performance for Sharon D. Clarke in this year’s Evening Standard Awards.

The celebrated musical is written by Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America and recent recipient of the Arthur Miller Foundation Humanitarian Award. The soaring score is by Tony Award-winning Fun Home composer, Jeanine Tesori.

A truly welcoming and joyous musical, Caroline, Or Change opens its doors to new audiences with two unique ticketing initiatives:

Chichester Festival Theatre’s highly successful Prologue scheme, which enables 16-25 year olds to purchase £5 tickets across all productions in the theatre’s Festival season has now also been applied to Caroline, Or Change in the West End. The limited number of £5 Prologue tickets can be purchased by 16-25 year olds, on the day of performance and in person from the Playhouse Theatre Box Office, where proof of age ID will be required.

‘Carolines Go Free’ is an exclusive offer to anyone named Caroline. Carolines will receive a complimentary ticket when purchasing one or more accompanying tickets. The 2 for 1 initiative will be available in person at the box office or via the telephone on 0844 871 7631.

Rehearsals are now underway for the company which is led by Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D. Clarke in a critically acclaimed virtuoso performance as Caroline Thibodeaux. The full cast will include Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Keisha Amponsa Banson, Alastair Brookshaw, Me’sha Bryan, Angela Caesar, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Sue Kelvin, Teddy Kempner, Ako Mitchell, Abiona Omonua, Vincent Pirillo, Tanisha Spring and Lauren Ward with Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Zalika Henry, Laura Medforth, Timothy Quinlan and Teddy Wills.

Nine young performers have been cast in the roles of Noah, Jackie and Joe. Isaac Forward, Aaron Gelkoff and Jack Meredith will alternate the role of Noah, Mark MwangiKenya Sandy and Jeremiah Waysome will alternate the role of Jackie and the role of Joe will be alternated byJosiah ChotoDavid Dube and Raphael Higgins-Hume.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, this five-star production received phenomenal critical praise when it opened with sold out engagements at Chichester Festival Theatre and again at the Hampstead Theatre.

Louisiana, 1963. Revolution is in the air, though not so much for Caroline, the poorly paid maid toiling endlessly in the sweltering basement of the Gellman household. It’s a fantastical, magical place amidst the piles of laundry and singing washing machines, especially for eight-year-old Noah Gellman who sneaks downstairs to see her whenever he can. Yet a simple gesture to leave more money in Caroline’s pocket is about to test who and how far the winds of change can ever really reach…

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Caroline, Or Change is a playful, funny, and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval, set to an uplifting and profound score of soul, blues, classical and traditional Jewish folk music.

Chichester Festival Theatre is committed to providing affordable tickets to world-class theatre, and particularly in reaching and growing younger audiences with the aim of encouraging independent theatregoing and kick-starting a life-long love of theatre in young people. Under the leadership of Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) and Rachel Tackley (Executive Director), the price of Prologue tickets for 16 to 25 year olds has been brought down to £5 with tickets made available for all productions in the Festival season including talks with casts and creatives, late night cabarets and other social events for young theatregoers. For further information and to sign up to the Prologue scheme, visit the Chichester Festival Theatre website.

Ambassador Theatre Group, Gavin Kalin Productions, Glass Half Full Productions and Rupert Gavin, in association with Hampstead Theatre, present the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Caroline, Or ChangeBook and lyrics by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori and is directed by Michael Longhurst, with designs by Fly Davis, choreography by Ann Yee, musical direction by Nigel Lilley, lighting byJack Knowles, sound by Paul Arditti, casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG and children’s casting by Debbie O’Brien.

Neal Street Productions Announce West End Transfer of Its Co-Production with National Theatre, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

The Lehman Trilogy
The Lehman Trilogy

The Lehman Trilogy

Neal Street Productions has confirmed the West End transfer of its co-production with the National Theatre of The Lehman Trilogy. Sam Mendes’s acclaimed production of Ben Power’s adaptation of Stefano Massini’s text about the rise and fall of the Lehman family’s extraordinary empire will play at the Piccadilly Theatre from May 11th 2019 for a 12 week season. Tickets for the West End season go on sale to the general public from November 2nd. Prior to appearing at the Piccadilly Theatre, The Lehman Trilogy will play a limited season from March 22nd – April 20th 2019 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York following its sell-out run at the Lyttelton Theatre.

Neal Street Productions’ theatre department is producing consistently on both sides of the Atlantic. The Ferryman, its co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions, is now in previews on Broadway ahead of its official opening on October 21st. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is breaking records on its first US national tour and  Shrek The Musical continues its second enormously successful UK tour with Laura Main (Call the Midwife) playing Princess Fiona.

Looking to the future, Caro Newling is co-producing a new musical theatre adaptation of Local Hero which will begin performances at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in March 2019 ahead of a season at London’s Old Vic. Other adapted and original stage productions are in planning and further details will be announced soon.

On TV, Call The Midwife Season 8 is currently filming and Season 9 already commissioned. Informer, a new drama starring Paddy Considine, who is also currently appearing in The Ferryman on Broadway,  will begin on BBC 1 on October 16th and Series 2 of Jez Butterworth’s Britannia is currently in production.

Neal Street Productions’ theatre department works closely with its TV and film colleagues in developing strong relationships with acting and creative talent who then regularly work in different media under the Neal Street banner.

Caro Newling, who collected an OBE for Services to the Arts on October 11th, said: “I have a note in my diary from 28 February 2015 scribbled after chatting with Sam: 1. Find a literal translator for an Italian play 2. About Lehman banking family by Stefano Massini 3. We should all read ASAP. Two months later we had a translation, an adaptor in Ben Power with whom we had worked on two series of The Hollow Crown, and two producing partners in Pierre Audi and Rufus Norris. The generosity of spirit from our colleagues, who grasped and supported the same vision, has been beyond price. “

Waitress to have UK premiere in spring 2019

The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Original Broadway Production of Waitress Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

  • Opening at London’s Adelphi Theatre spring 2019
  • Waitress serves up the first all-female creative team on a West End musical
  • Tickets will go on sale this autumn please visit waitressthemusical.co.uk for more information

It is announced today that the Tony Award-nominated smash hit musical Waitress will have its official UK premiere in the West End next spring. Currently playing its third year on Broadway, the show will bring with it an all-female creative team – a West End musical first – when it begins performances at the Adelphi Theatre in February 2019. The London cast, along with full booking information, will be announced in due course.

Waitress opened on 24 April 2016 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater. Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne ShellyWaitress is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. The production is currently touring the US and has also recently announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes to happiness. But Jenna must find the courage and strength within herself to rebuild her life. This American musical celebrates friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

Sara Bareilles said: “I cannot contain my excitement that we will be bringing Waitress to the West End!! This is a dream come true! And I must say, to be hosted in a theatre co-owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Nederlander Group makes this very sweet moment even sweeter. We are so proud of this beautiful show, and can’t wait to share the story of Jenna with a whole new audience and welcome them into the world of Waitress with open arms and plenty of pie.”

Diane Paulus said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Waitress is coming to the beautiful Adelphi Theatre! It is a dream come true to share this musical with London audiences.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who co-owns the Adelphi Theatre with the Nederlander Group, said: “I am a massive fan of Sara Bareilles both as a writer and a performer.  I’m thrilled that she has earned an Emmy nomination for her performance as Mary Magdalene in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live earlier this year and absolutely delighted that Waitress is to be seen in the West End.”

On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.

Waitress is produced by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick.

LISTINGS
WAITRESS
The Adelphi Theatre
The Strand,
London WC2R 0NS

waitressthemusical.co.uk
Twitter: @WaitressLondon

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First Look: Production Photographs for King Lear in the West End

KING LEAR in the West End announces £5 tickets for 16-25 year olds as part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Prologue scheme

Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan
Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan

Ian McKellen in the title role of KING LEAR at Chichester Festival Theatre. © Manuel Harlan

Chichester Festival Theatre’s highly successful Prologue scheme, which enables 16-25 year olds to purchase £5 tickets across all productions in the theatre’s Festival season, has been extended to include the eagerly anticipated West End run of Shakespeare’s King Lear.

With an ensemble cast including Ian McKellen (King Lear), Sinéad Cusack (Kent), Danny Webb (Gloucester) and Kirsty Bushell (Regan), this critically-acclaimed production, directed by Jonathan Munby, will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London for 100 performances only from 11th July to 3rd November 2018, following a sold-out season at Chichester Festival Theatre last year.

The limited number of £5 Prologue tickets to King Lear can be purchased by 16-25 year olds, on the day of performance and in person from the Duke of York’s Box Office, when proof of age ID will be required.

Chichester Festival Theatre is committed to providing affordable tickets to world-class theatre, and particularly in reaching and growing younger audiences with the aim of encouraging independent theatregoing and kick-starting a life-long love of theatre in young people. Under the leadership of Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) and Rachel Tackley (Executive Director), the price of Prologue tickets for 16 to 25 year olds has been brought down to £5 with tickets made available for all productions in the Festival season including talks with casts and creatives, late night cabarets and other social events for young theatregoers.

For further information and to sign up to the Prologue scheme, visit the Chichester Festival Theatre website.

The cast of King Lear at the Duke of York’s Theatre will include Kirsty Bushell (Regan), Richard Clews (Gentleman Informer / Old Man), James Corrigan(Edmund), Sinéad Cusack (Kent), John Hastings (Curan / Doctor), Anthony Howell (Albany), Lloyd Hutchinson (Fool), Jake Mann (Burgundy / Lear’s Knight), Michael Matus (Oswald), Ian McKellen (King Lear), James MillardJohanne MurdockJessica Murrain, Claire Price (Goneril), Daniel Rabin (Cornwall), Caleb Roberts (King of France), Scott Sparrow (Albany’s Man), Luke Thompson (Edgar), Anita-Joy Uwajeh (Cordelia), John Vernon, and Danny Webb (Gloucester).

It is also announced that King Lear will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally on Thursday 27th September with National Theatre Live. NT Live currently screens to 2500 venues across 60 countries.

Two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with shocking ends.

Tender, brutal, moving and epic, King Lear is considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written.

ATG Productions, Chichester Festival Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions present Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of King Lear by William Shakespeare which is directed by Jonathan Munby, designed by Paul Wills with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound by Ben Ringham and Max Ringham, with movement direction by Lucy Cullingford and fight direction by Kate Waters.

LISTINGS

KING LEAR
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jonathan Munby

Duke of York’s Theatre
St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4BG

Website | Twitter |Facebook

Performance schedule:

First performance: 11th July 2018
Final performance: 3rd November 2018
Opening Night: 26th July 2018

Tuesday – Saturday evenings at 7pm
Saturday matinee at 1.30pm

Running time: 3 hours and 20 minutes including one interval

Box office details:

Website: KingLearWestEnd.com
Telephone: 020 8544 7469
Prices from: £25 (Prologue tickets for 16-25 year olds are £5)
No late admittance

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Falling into the roses and coming out smelling of shit

Guest Review by Ollie Cole

Journalist • Broadcaster • Producer • Photographer

What happens when you cross a plot that’s thinner than Donald Trump’s hairline with a NOW album of rock ballads? Knights of the Rose, apparently. Describing itself as a classic rock musical ‘of Shakespearean proportions’, the song list of this new jukebox musical prompted the Daily Express to ask, “is this the most epic rock musical ever?” It is not.

Firstly there’s some housekeeping to be done before we even get into the production’s many confused, cliche, and cringeworthy parts. This is a 2018 West End premiere of a new musical, and the whole cast is white and there’s just not an argument out there that could justify it. The medieval-themed tale also consists of the men constantly talking about swords and battles and honour, while the women sit at home with nothing to do except be hopelessly devoted to their men. From the outset this show isn’t just regressive, it’s pointless.

Both of these things may have been more glaring and troublesome had Knights of the Rose actually contained any depth, with a book that feels it would easily fit onto a side or two of A4 if you cut out the ‘thees, thines and thous”. It’s the tale of two love triangles; one seeing the princess loving a knight but another knight wanting to kill him to get the princess, and the other seeing a knight falling in love with the princess’ friend, then ending up with her when her ‘true love’ dies in battle (the friend gets over that one remarkably quickly). Yes, quite, yawn.

The writing is mostly made up of poetic and literary references from Shakespeare, Keats, Chaucer and others. These are delivered in a way that used to send you to sleep in a GCSE English lesson, so why anybody thought it would make for an interesting rock musical I’m unsure.

Around these cliche phrases and monologues are some of the most well-known rock anthems and ballads of our time, from Bon Jovi to Bonnie Tyler. Though these are sung solidly by an undeniably talented group of actors, they’re shoehorned into the show with an incredible lack of ease, fluidity, and self-awareness. Each is like a square peg in a round hole, with a sense that it was only picked because the first lyric or two made some sense in the context.

With the weird balancing act this show tries to achieve between a very old-time story and a very punchy karaoke score, the audience can’t fail to laugh at each and every song choice (the most important word there being ‘at’, not with). As Sir Hugo, played by Oliver Savile, attempts to ‘woo’ Katie Birtill’s Princess Hanna with a rendition of Enrique Iglesias’ Hero, and the death of Prince Gawain (Andy Moss) is mourned through He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and REM’s Everybody Hurts, one starts to wonder whether Knights of the Rose is supposed to be a comedy, a kind of rock Spamalot.

Other elements of the production descend into a kind of cheap farce too, with a decent looking but flimsily built set that wobbles each time a character sits down. One piece of the set’s dressing even fell down during the press night performance, leading me to wonder if it was put together by the same people who did Theresa May’s speech at the Tory Party conference.

The costuming is pleasing enough to the eye but again very confused, with the Knights clad in a mix of armour and skinny jeans, while the ladies are thrown into full period costumes but with shoes that look like they’ve just been picked up from Topshop.

Despite their bonkers surroundings, the cast do get the chance to turn out some excellent performances. Racky Plews’ direction and choreography is sound, and the piece is visually exciting even if the content is not, with a lot of eye-catching effects thrown in to the battle scenes (excusing the cheap plastic horses). Adam Pearce, who plays King Aethelstan, showcases an enchantingly good voice, while Chris Cowley’s raw talent for rock music shines through. Matt Thorpe’s Sir Horatio gives off some strong comedic turns and adds a glimmer of hope to an otherwise very flat book.

The female trio of Katie Birtill, Rebekah Lowings, and Bleu Woodward gave some real stand-out renditions of the classic rock score too, leaving me wanting any one of them to finally get a solo number that wasn’t cut across halfway through by some attempt at foreshadowing or plot development.

In summary, this musical takes all the possible pitfalls of a jukebox musical and lays them bare on the Arts Theatre stage. The piece takes itself far too seriously, without a whiff of self-awareness, leaving audiences baffled and simply laughing to fill the awkwardness. The song list is cliche, the orchestrations boring, and the book’s humour barely existent. It’s very hard to quite string a sentence together to describe this production when it doesn’t even seem to know itself, so I’ll leave you with an audience comment I heard while leaving the auditorium last night, “It was like it was written over a weekend with a few beers”.

The smash-hit & box office breaking Heathers The Musical starring Carrie Hope Fletcher transfers to London’s West End

Heathers
Heathers

Heathers

After smashing all box office records with its European premiere at The Other Palace, the sold-out production of Heathers – The Musical will make its highly anticipated West End transfer this Autumn. The 2018 Class of Westerberg High will be graduating to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited 12-week run, from 3 September 2018, with Carrie Hope Fletcher reprising her role as Veronica Sawyer.

Heathers – The Musical is now the highest grossing show at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace and St. James’ history having sold over 20,000 tickets across the run and having sold out prior to its opening gala performance. It is the first show in the theatre’s history to move from a studio workshop to a main house production and it now becomes The Other Palace’s first West End transfer, having reached a brand new audience; 70% of which are under the age of 30. The production will continue to develop and celebrate its younger and more diverse audience by offering over 15,000 seats at £25 across the West End run.

 Greetings, salutations. Welcome to Westerberg High, where popularity is so very a matter of life and death, and Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day.

 But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams finally start to come true.

 Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…

Based on one of the greatest teen films of all time, the 1988 cult classic starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The award-winning writing team, Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde, Bat Boy) and Kevin Murphy’s (Reefer MadnessDesperate Housewives) hit musical adaptation has enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and New York, and finally arrived in the UK for its European premiere on 9 June 2018, following a rapturous response to its 2017 workshop at The Other Palace.

The musical is directed by acclaimed screen and stage director Andy Fickman, with choreography by Gary Lloyd, design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound by Dan Samson and casting by Will Burton. The full cast of Heathers – The Musical will be announced in due course.

Heathers – The Musical is currently running at The Other Palace until 4 August and is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor Mills.

 

LISTINGS

HEATHERS – THE MUSICAL

THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET

3 SEPTEMBER – 24 NOVEMBER 2018

 

Production Images: Can be downloaded HERE – Pamela Raith Photography.

Press Performances:

Tuesday 11 September – 7.45pm

Wednesday 12 September – 7.45pm

Thursday 13 September – 3.00pm

Thursday 13 September – 7.45pm

*Reviews embargoed until 00.01 on Friday 14 September*

Performances:

Monday – Saturday – 7.45pm

Thursday & Saturday – 3.00pm

Ticket Prices: From £25.00

Address: 18 Suffolk Street, London, SW1Y 4HT

 Box Office: 020 7930 8800

 Website:

www.heathersthemusical.com

www.trh.co.uk

 Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:

@HeathersMusical

@TRH_London