All the hottest news and gossip from the West End and beyond…
Dame Helen Mirren ‘shouts at drummers’ making noise during a performance of The Audience
According to several news reports, on Saturday 4 May, Dame Helen Mirren ran into the street – in full Queen costume – to shout at a group of drummers who were making a noise outside the Gielgud Theatre, during a production of The Audience. The actress, who is currently playing the monarch in Peter Morgan’s play, is said to have stormed out during the interval after a group of 40 drummers disrupted the first act. The noise-makers, who were promoting upcoming LGBT festival As One In The Park, received a shock when Mirren reportedly shouted, ‘Quiet! I’m trying to do a play in here! People have paid a lot of money for tickets.’ You go Queenie!
New play Houdini to tour from September 2013
Houdini, a sharply written, dramatic, darkly comic new play about two of the greatest performers the world has ever known – the Houdini Brothers: stuntmen, illusionists, magicians – will premiere at Stoke-on-Trent Repertory Theatre on 9 September 2013 before touring the UK throughout September and October. Featuring a dynamic script, sharply drawn characters and breathtaking live stunts, Houdini was has been written by BAFTA award-winning actor (Risen) and filmmaker Stuart Brennan. Principal casting is currently underway to find the perfect Harry Houdini, and Evanna Lynch, well known for her role as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, will be taking the role of Bess, Harry Houdini’s wife and stage assistant.
Seth Numrich joins Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth at The Old Vic
Acclaimed Broadway actor Seth Numrich is to join Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth, directed by Marianne Elliott. Tennessee Williams’ powerful and poetic play will open at The Old Vic on 12 June 2013, with previews from 1 June. Numrich most recently starred in the celebrated Broadway production of Golden Boy and was part of the original Broadway cast of War Horse, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. Also joining them in the cast are Owen Roe and Brid Brennan. The story follows fading Hollywood legend Alexandra Del Lago (Kim Cattrall) as she flees the disastrous premiere of her comeback film. Travelling incognito, she seeks refuge in drink and drugs and the arms of Chance Wayne (Seth Numrich), an idealistic young dreamer turned gigolo, hellbent on achieving his own movie stardom. A trip to Chance’s hometown in a bid to win back his childhood sweetheart sees their relationship of convenience unravel in Williams’s vivid and haunting portrait of the destruction of dreams.
West Side Story dances into Sadler’s Wells
The international sell-out hit West Side Story is to return to Sadler’s Wells from Wednesday 7 August to Sunday 22 September 2013, prior to a national tour opening at the Liverpool Empire on Tuesday 24 September 2013. This production of West Side Story features the entire original Jerome Robbins choreography. Over Christmas 2012, this production played a completely sold out season at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, having previously sold out in cities around the world, including Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid, and Beijing. This production was last seen in the UK in 2008/9 when it also sold out for a season at Sadler’s Wells and played to capacity houses throughout a year-long UK tour. Featuring a beautiful score which includes the unforgettable songs ‘Maria’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘America’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’, this show promises to wow audiences once again. Tickets start at £15.
Mamma Mia! hits Blackpool for an exclusive summer season
For the first time in more than 10 years, Blackpool is hosting a summer season of a major West End musical production. The International Tour of the worldwide hit Mamma Mia! will be staged exclusively in the resort with Blackpool Opera House being the only UK date outside of London to host the production next year. Mamma Mia! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. To date, it has been seen by more than 50 million people in 37 productions in 14 different languages, grossing more than $2 billion at the box office. Nick Grace, Associate Producer of the International Tour, said: ‘Mamma Mia! is the perfect feel-good summer show for a summer season in one of Europe’s premier seaside resorts.’ The production runs at The Opera House in Blackpool between 20 June and 31 August 2014. Tickets start at £20.
The Voice’s Jordan Lee Davies announces intimate gig
Full casting announced for The Ladykillers’ return to the West End
Casting was announced last week for Graham Linehan’s award-winning comic adaptation of The Ladykillers, which returns to the West End from 29 June. The new cast will include Ralf Little (The Royle Family), Simon Day (The Fast Show), Angela Thorne (To the Manor Born) and Olivier Award-winning actors John Gordon Sinclair (She Loves Me and classic film Gregory’s Girl) and Con O’Neill (Blood Brothers and Telstar). Chris McCalphy will reprise his role as One Round, following the show’s recent UK tour. Based on the Ealing Comedy screenplay, this stage production has been adapted by Graham Linehan, best known for being the writer behind TV comedies Father Ted, The I.T. Crowd, Black Books and upcoming BBC 2 show Count Arthur Strong. Director Sean Foley is a multi award-winning stage director whose work in the West End includes The Play What I Wrote, Do You Come Here Often, Ducktastic and Pinter’s People. He is to make his RSC debut next month with Thomas Middleton’s A Mad World My Masters. The production is booking until 25 October 2013 at The Vaudeville Theatre; tickets start at £20.
Once releases West End trailer
New London musical Once has just released a brand new trailer advertising the production currently playing at The Phoenix Theatre. Featuring a beautiful score, and the Oscar winning song ‘Falling Slowly’, the 50-second clip will have you diving into your wallets and heading to the box office. You can read our 4* review of the show here.