Theatre.London · The official home of London Theatre | News https://www.theatre.london/ Discover the best of theatre in London from West End musicals, plays, opera, dance and kids theatre. Buy cheap London theatre tickets for the latest shows. en-gb National Theatre announces Romeo & Juliet, starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, to become an original film for television https://www.theatre.london/news/national-theatre-announces-romeo-juliet-starring-josh-oconnor-and-jessie-buckley-to-become-an-original-film-for-television https://www.theatre.london/news/national-theatre-announces-romeo-juliet-starring-josh-oconnor-and-jessie-buckley-to-become-an-original-film-for-television Tue, 27 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 The National Theatre has today announced it is creating a new filmed version of Romeo & Juliet for television, temporarily transforming the vast stage spaces of its Lyttelton Theatre into a film studio to capture Shakespeare’s timeless play for a new generation of audiences.

The National Theatre has broadcast stage productions to cinemas for over a decade through its National Theatre Live programme, but this will be the first time an original production for screen has been created in its South Bank home.

Romeo & Juliet will be directed by National Theatre Associate Simon Godwin (Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night), adapted for screen by Emily Burns and with Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Judy) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country, The Crown) as the star-crossed lovers.

Romeo & Juliet was originally to have played to theatre audiences in the National Theatre’s Olivier auditorium from Summer 2020. Reconceived for the screen, this new 90-minute version will be shot over three weeks with a collaborative team of theatre and film experts, embracing the architecture of the theatre space in telling the story.  

It will premiere in 2021 on Sky Arts and PBS, in the UK and US respectively. Sky Arts went free-to-air this September and is now available for everyone on Freeview channel 11 in the UK. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and has just renewed its partnership for a further three years. In the US, the Emmy Award-winning performing arts series Great Performances will present Romeo & Juliet on PBS.

As previously announced for the Olivier production, Fisayo Akinade (The Antipodes, Barber Shop Chronicles) will play Mercutio. Also announced today as joining the cast of Romeo & Juliet is Deborah Findlay (Coriolanus, The Split) in the role of the Nurse, Tamsin Greig (Twelfth Night, Talking Heads) as Lady Capulet, Lucian Msamati (Master Harold…and the boys, His Dark Materials) as the Friar, Shubham Saraf (A Suitable Boy) as Benvolio, David Judge (My Brilliant Friend) as Tybalt, Alex Mugnaioni (The Visit) as Paris and Ellis Howard (Catherine the Great) as Sampson.

Set in modern Italy in a world where Catholic and secular values clash, two young lovers strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption. Uniting key talent from both theatre and film, the Director of Photography is Tim Sidell (I Hate Suzie), with production design by Soutra Gilmour.

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Treason the Musical - An explosive new musical drama https://www.theatre.london/news/treason-the-musical--an-explosive-new-musical-drama https://www.theatre.london/news/treason-the-musical--an-explosive-new-musical-drama Mon, 26 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 Treason is an exciting new musical drama based on the notorious gunpowder plot of 1605. With a stunning score and lyrics by Ricky Allan, featuring a fusion of original folk and pop songs, this wonderful new musical tells one of the most intriguing tales in England's history.  

Remember, remember the 5th of November,
for its gunpowder, treason, and plot
We’re here to tell you the rest of the tale,
the one that history books forgot
Guy Fawkes remains an anonymous figure, 
we have more to bring to the table
It’s time to meet the rest of the plotters,
in our fiery musical fable

Whilst the musical is still in development, theatre fans will however be able to listen to the show’s songs, performed by a selection of the West End’s most talented musical theatre performers: Kelly Agbowu (Les Misérables, Waitress), Daniel Boys (Falsettos, Nativity Rocks!), Rosalie Craig (Company, City of Angels), Hadley Fraser (Young Frankenstein, City of Angels), Waylon Jacobs (Hamilton, Memphis), Emmanuel Kojo (Oklahoma!, Showboat), Rebecca LaChance (School of Rock, Beautiful), Christina Modestou (Six, Little Shop of Horrors), and Oliver Savile (FalsettosWicked). 

The first exclusive track Take Things Into Our Own Hands, featuring Hadley Fraser, will be released on Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music on Thursday 5 November 2020, marking the 415thanniversary of the infamous gunpowder plot. 

Subsequent tracks will be released every two weeks (excluding Christmas and New Year’s). Follow Treason the Musical at treasonthemusical.com to be the first to hear the latest news and information. 

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Casting announced for The Show Must Go On! LIVE at The Palace Theatre https://www.theatre.london/news/casting-announced-for-the-show-must-go-on-live-at-the-palace-theatre https://www.theatre.london/news/casting-announced-for-the-show-must-go-on-live-at-the-palace-theatre Mon, 26 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 After a record breaking on-sale and due to phenomenal public demand, THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE at the Palace Theatre will play a further two dates and will now run from 11th to the 15th November. 

After selling out the first four performances in just 24 hours, Theatre Support Fund+ have announced two more performances on the 11th and 12th November and will now play for seven performances in total with all profits going to Acting For Others and The Fleabag Support Fund. 

The producers are also thrilled to announce the initial line up and casting for the concert which includes:

Aisha Jawando in a performance from Tina - The Tina Turner Musical , Sam Tutty in a performance from Dear Evan Hansen, Layton Williams in a performance from Everybody’s Talking About JamieCollette Guitart and Hana Stewart in a performance from SIX, Gavin Spokes in a performance from HamiltonDom Simpson and Tom Xander in a performance from The Book of Mormon, Helen Woolfe and Laura Pick in a performance from WICKEDTilly-Raye BayerImogen ColeAlyssa D’SouzaAlex Munden and Carly Thoms in a performance from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The MusicalJordan Luke Gage in a performance from & Juliet, Shan Ako and Frances Ruffelle in a performance from Les Misérables, cast members in a performance from Disney’s The Lion King, Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime in a performance from The Prince of Egypt, Alice Fearn in a performance from Come From Away, Holly-Anne Hull and Rhys Whitfield in a performance from The Phantom Of The Opera, Zizi Strallen in a performance from Mary Poppins and Mazz Murray in a performance from MAMMA MIA!. There will also be a choir of 16 which is made up of Musical Theatre 2020 graduates.

The concert will also include a brand-new opening number, written by Stiles & Drewe called ‘The Show must Go On!’ which celebrates the theatre industry in these current times.

The concert will be directed by Luke Sheppard and Anna Fox, Set Design by Soutra Gilmour, Lighting Design by Neil Austin and Howard Hudson, Video Design by Fray Studio, Sound Design by Adam Fisher and Musical Supervisor and Conductor is Stephen Brooker

Capacity at the Palace Theatre has been reduced to comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines for social distancing plus robust risk mitigation. In addition to hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace, other measures will include contactless tickets, temperature testing and the deep clean and sanitation of the theatre.

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Janie Dee, Max Bowden & Stephen Boxer star in new supernatural thriller https://www.theatre.london/news/janie-dee-max-bowden-stephen-boxer-star-in-new-supernatural-thriller https://www.theatre.london/news/janie-dee-max-bowden-stephen-boxer-star-in-new-supernatural-thriller Fri, 23 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 Original Theatre Company, the production company behind the critically acclaimed lockdown productions of Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong Online, Louise Coulthard’s Watching Rosie and the new commission by Torben BettsApollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon, is delighted to present its fourth original online production since theatres were closed by the Government in March this year. 

The Haunting of Alice Bowles is a new supernatural thriller by Philip Franks adapted for the first time from the M.R. James chilling short ghost story, The Experiment.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles will be available to watch via originaltheatreonline.com from 7.30pm on 17 December 2020 until 28 February 2021. 

In 1918, the recently widowed Alice Bowles is left destitute as she seeks to solve a mystery left by her late husband Francis.  Moving to 2020, YouTube urban explorers Matt and Caitlin uncover a mysterious grave in an abandoned churchyard.  What starts as harmless entertainment soon turns darker when their discovery begins to unwrap a mystery which has lain dormant for over a century. 

Philip Franks said:

“I’ve loved M. R. James ever since I was terrified by ‘Whistle and I’ll Come To You’ on the BBC in 1968.  A series of brilliantly subtle and scary adaptations of his ghost stories were a highlight of Christmas viewing for many years.  Now it’s my turn.  I’ve taken a very short story of his - as far as I know never dramatised before - and given it a modern twist for our troubled times.  I hope audiences find it pleasurably terrifying.” 

The Haunting of Alice Bowles stars Janie Dee (Follies, Comic Potential, Carousel) as Alice, Max Bowden (EastEnders, Waterloo Road, Birdsong) as Matt, Stephen Boxer (The Crown, Humans, Garrow’s Law, countless productions for the RSC and National Theatre) as Dr Hall, Jack Archer (Monogamy, Quaint Honour, Nivelli’s War) as Joseph, Alexandra Guelff (Witness for the Prosecution, The Habit of Art) as Caitlin, Robert Mountford (Holby City, North Square, The Habit of Art) as the Lawyer, Poppy Roe (A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, Royal Matchmaker) as Mrs Ivey and Tim Treloar (Birdsong, King Lear) as the Boatman.

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Panto is coming to the National Theatre https://www.theatre.london/news/panto-is-coming-to-the-national-theatre https://www.theatre.london/news/panto-is-coming-to-the-national-theatre Fri, 23 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 Join Dick Whittington and friends on an adventure to save the true spirit of London as pantomime comes to the National Theatre for one year only.

In a newly transformed Olivier theatre, Ned Bennett directs this wild new version of the classic tale which has been freshly updated for 2020 by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd.

This hilarious and heartfelt panto is packed with the cheekiest of jokes, the chattiest of animals, the awesomest of songs and the messiest of silliness.

Initial casting includes Dickie BeauAmy Booth-SteelLawrence Hodgson-MullingsGeorgina Onuorah, and Cleve September.

In a season when many UK theatres have been forced to postpone their pantomimes, help us to celebrate its place at the heart of British theatre.

Peformances start from 11 December 2020.

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Virtual Exhibition Of Stars of Stage and Screen Backstage By Legendary Theatre Photographer Simon Annand Extended Until Christmas https://www.theatre.london/news/virtual-exhibition-of-stars-of-stage-and-screen-backstage-by-legendary-theatre-photographer-simon-annand-extended-until-christmas https://www.theatre.london/news/virtual-exhibition-of-stars-of-stage-and-screen-backstage-by-legendary-theatre-photographer-simon-annand-extended-until-christmas Thu, 22 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 The thrilling experience of seeing actors live on stage is under threat during the present Covid restrictions. This new book reminds us of what we are missing while theatres are closed. Through the eyes of this legendary photographer we observe how performers get ready to astonish their audiences.

The virtual exhibition that was launched early October to celebrate the publication of Simon Annand’s TIME TO ACT (TimeToActPhotos.com) showcasing selected images from the book has now been extended until Christmas. Many of the photographs, in small editions, are for sale, which would make an excellent gift, including those of: Simon Callow, Sharon D Clarke, Kit Harington, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Rylance, Annabel Scholey, Josette Simon and Layton Williams.

The exhibition will be regularly re-hung to show a changing selection of photographs from the collection together with a commentary on the images.

Because the first UK edition of the TIME TO ACT has now sold out, a reprint is underway to ensure delivery well in time for Christmas. As before the publishers are making a donation from the sale of every book in the UK to The Theatre Artists Fund.

“We are delighted that £1 from every sale of Simon Annand’s new book TIME TO ACT will be donated to The Theatre Artists Fund. We must continue to support the freelance workforce who contribute so much to the theatre industry in this time of crisis” Julian Bird, CEO SOLT

SIMON ANNAND has been shooting photographs backstage at West End theatres in London for 35 years. In these meditative portraits, often shot in the intimate space of the dressing room, he witnesses the focus and tension of world-class actors in the moments before they go on the stage

With an introduction by Cate Blanchett, TIME TO ACT continues to explore the moments of vulnerability which every actor experiences before they go onto stage no matter how long they have been working. Amongst the over 230 images are insightful portraits of Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sharon D Clark, Paapa Essiedu, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lenny Henry, Anthony Hopkins, Andrew Scott, Josette Simon and Judi Dench.

“It is as difficult to capture actors and creative teams in unselfconscious action as it is to arrest birds in flight [but] there lies Simon’s skill.”  Cate Blanchett
 

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Brand new Strictly Come Dancing UK tour announced for 2021 - Strictly Presents: The Power of Dance https://www.theatre.london/news/brand-new-strictly-come-dancing-uk-tour-announced-for-2021--strictly-presents-the-power-of-dance https://www.theatre.london/news/brand-new-strictly-come-dancing-uk-tour-announced-for-2021--strictly-presents-the-power-of-dance Wed, 21 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 Strictly Come Dancing is delighted to announce a brand new dance extravaganza that will tour the UK in 2021, Strictly Presents: The Power of Dance.

This all-new spectacular will feature the awe-inspiring and sequin-clad Strictly professional dancers Janette Manrara, Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden and Neil Jones - together with two very special guest stars to be announced soon - who will tell the story of what it is to be a dancer.

Kicking off in Halifax on 22 June, the tour will then cha-cha-cha around the UK for 23 scintillating shows, before culminating in Wolverhampton on 17 July. Tickets for this dancing spectacle will go on sale on Friday 23 October from strictlypresents.com. Further dates to be announced.

Directed and choreographed by former Strictly professional dancer Trent Whiddon  and his wife Gordana Grandosek, this tour will give each of these incredible performers the opportunity to tell the audience about their relationship with dance through stunning choreography and beautiful storytelling. Audiences will enjoy an array of magical music and dazzling dance from all around the world - from Latin and ballroom to rock and roll and street dance and everything in between.

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Sony masterworks Broadway to release original cast album to Back to The Future - The Musical https://www.theatre.london/news/sony-masterworks-broadway-to-release-original-cast-album-to-back-to-the-future--the-musical https://www.theatre.london/news/sony-masterworks-broadway-to-release-original-cast-album-to-back-to-the-future--the-musical Wed, 21 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 MASTERWORKS BROADWAY is delighted to announce that in early Summer 2021, it will release the Original Cast Recording to BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical.  

The musical is scheduled to open in early Summer 2021 at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End and features new music by multi-Grammy winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie.  

As a special treat for audiences eager to connect with ‘Back to the Future’ and to the exciting musical adventure awaiting them, Back to the Future Day on 21st October 2020 will see the release of the single ‘Back in Time’ featuring Olly Dobson.

Behind this eagerly-anticipated stage show are Producer Colin Ingram (Ghost – The Musical) and Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy.  The show moves to the West End following an out-of-town opening in March 2020 at the Manchester Opera House where it was enthusiastically received by critics and public alike.  Roger Bart and Olly Dobson will reprise the roles of ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively. Also returning are Hugh Coles as ‘George McFly’, Rosanna Hyland as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Cedric Neal as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Aidan Cutler as ‘Biff Tannen’ and Courtney-Mae Briggs as ‘Jennifer Parker’. 

Mark Cavell, President, Sony Masterworks notes: “I am thrilled beyond all measure that Sony Music Masterworks will be bringing you the fantastic music from this great show, featuring a host of new songs from the combined talents of Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard together with firm favourites from the movie”.

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase

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There’s a new WOMAN in the life of legendary Queen guitarist Brian May… and it is all in aid of a very good cause, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. https://www.theatre.london/news/theres-a-new-woman-in-the-life-of-legendary-queen-guitarist-brian-may-and-it-is-all-in-aid-of-a-very-good-cause-breast-cancer-awareness-month https://www.theatre.london/news/theres-a-new-woman-in-the-life-of-legendary-queen-guitarist-brian-may-and-it-is-all-in-aid-of-a-very-good-cause-breast-cancer-awareness-month Tue, 20 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 After several mysterious teases on social media, Queen legend Brian May has now confirmed the upcoming release of what he calls a ‘kick a**’ track’; one he has produced and that’s performed by sensational singers WOMAN and accompanied by May’s guitar.  The WOMAN supergroup features four of rock musical theatre’s most powerful female voices and ‘We Will Rock You’ alumni - Mazz Murray, Kerry Ellis, Gina Murray and Anna-Jane Casey.

Together May and WOMAN have created a storming blues rock version of famed songwriter duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s classic 1962 ‘I’m A Woman’, originally made famous by Peggy Lee. This special 2020 cover on which May performs as well as producing, is released in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to support the work of two leading women’s cancer charities – Target Ovarian Cancer and The Caron Keating Foundation, the latter being the family run cancer charity in memory of the much loved TV personality that was established by her mother Gloria Hunniford, and Caron's two brothers.

WOMAN’s “I’m A Woman” track featuring Brian May’s guitars is available as a digital download this Friday October 23, click here to pre-order and with CD and Vinyl single versions also available to pre-order from here.

Says Brian: “This recording was conceived as a response to a calling to promote this great cause for women’s health.  But it evolved into a magnificently raunchy and defiant rock track in its own right. These four ladies all rock out sensationally, and it was pure joy to underpin their performances with my guitar.  I actually stole that down-and-dirty riff from “I’m a Man” so I would claim this arrangement kicks more a** than all previous !!  Woman Rocks !!! “ 

The track’s inspiration was to create something special in the memory of Rebekah Gibbs, another female West End star. The British actress became a household name in TV soap ‘Casualty’ before she was diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer in 2009, and tragically died in 2014. 

WOMAN founder and close friend Mazz Murray said: “We are thinking particularly of our dear friend and fellow performer Rebekah, who we lost, but not before she brought about a change in the rules of diagnosis and specialist referrals through which she has saved so many lives.  We remember #gorge.”

The single’s music video is truly something to behold, with May having BMG create the “World’s Pinkest Pink Guitar” for his use on the track. “Try Googling ‘pinkest pink’, May suggests. “As far as I know, this is truly the first pinkest pink guitar. It has a strange effect on the video cameras – coming out burning hot.”

WOMAN first teamed up with Brian May for a performance of “I’m A Woman” at the "Pinktober Women of Rock Charity Concert” at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November 2009 which supported the Caron Keating Foundation.

WOMAN’s Kerry Ellis says: “Sometimes things happen for a reason, this song has been waiting in the wings for the right moment to make some noise! The time is now! Cancer affects us all in some way and I am beaming with pride to have joined with an incredible team of talented friends to produce a powerful performance and message. We are strong, we are women and we can make a difference!”

Long viewed as a positive statement for female reliance, in this 2020 Brian May produced guitar driven and deliciously playful vocals version, I’M A WOMAN today stands as a POWERFUL proclamation.

All proceeds from the recording will go to Target Ovarian Cancer and The Caron Keating Foundation.

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Michael Morpurgo shows Cast of Private Peaceful the Village that inspired his Novel https://www.theatre.london/news/michael-morpurgo-shows-cast-of-private-peaceful-the-village-that-inspired-his-novel https://www.theatre.london/news/michael-morpurgo-shows-cast-of-private-peaceful-the-village-that-inspired-his-novel Tue, 20 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 Yesterday, Monday 19 October, renowned author, poet and playwright, Michael Morpurgo gave the company of the West End transfer of PRIVATE PEACEFUL a walking tour of his village, Iddesleigh in North Devon, where he was inspired to write his book, followed by an impromptu performance from the cast on the village green.

PRIVATE PEACEFUL will be the first new production to be staged indoors in London’s West End since the Government closed theatres in March. It will also be the first time the play has been performed as a two-hander and the first time the role of Private Tommo will be played by a woman.

The limited two-week season at the Garrick Theatre will run from 7 to 22 November 2020, with a Remembrance Day Gala and Press Night in aid of the Royal British Legion and Farms for City Children (founded by Michael and Clare Morpurgo) at 7pm on Wednesday 11 November.

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PRIVATE PEACEFUL relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in the countryside: his exciting first days at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; his adventures with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line.

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