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Famous faces coming to the West End in 2021

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 27 May 2021, Last Updated 7 June 2021

As if the return of theatre #BackOnStage isn’t exciting enough, we have a whole lotta famous faces coming to the West End in 2021. From Broadway stars and TV legends to Tony and Olivier Award winners and international dance superstars, there are so many exciting stars for us to see at theatre across London.

Gemma Arterton in Walden

Fehinti Balogun (as Bryan) and Gemma Arterton (as Stella). (Credit: Johan Persson)

Playing now until 12 June 2021

In Amy Berryman’s debut play, Gemma Arterton (Made In Dagenham, The Duchess Of Malfi) plays the role of Stella, a former NASA architect and estranged twin sister of NASA botanist, Cassie. When the sisters are reunited, old wounds resurface as they attempt to pick up the pieces of the rivalry that broke them apart.

The Olivier Award nominee who made her professional stage debut playing Rosaline in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Globe Theatre, may be recognised for her various performances both on the small and big screen. Gemma made her film debut in St. Trinian’s before stepping into her breakthrough role as Bond Girl Strawberry Fields in the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. She continued to sparkle on the big screen starring in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Clash of the Titans Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters. More recently, Gemma has appeared in Netflix comedy, Murder Mystery where she stars alongside Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.

From two-time Olivier Award nominee to Bond Girl and beyond, actress and film producer Gemma Arterton is proving you can do it all! We’re so excited to welcome her #BackOnStage in Walden, playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited season only. We captured the curtain call at the productions first performance (watch here) and if the standing ovation is anything to go by, this play is not one to be missed.


Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove in Love Letters

Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove in Love Letters at Theatre Royal HaymarketMartin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove in Love Letters at Theatre Royal Haymarket (Photo credit: Paul Coltas)

Playing now until 13 June

You might remember the last time you saw Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove together, in the finale of the BBC’s hugely popular TV series, Judge John Deed, with their characters Judge John Deed and barrister Jo Mills left in an empty wedding chapel. Now the iconic couple are together again live on stage in a heart-warming love story…

Martin’s TV stage credits include key roles in A Streetcar Named Desire (1974), Saturday, Sunday, Monday starring alongside Laurence Olivier and An Ideal Husband on Broadway, for which he won a Tony Award nomination. And that’s just to name a few!

Jenny Seagrove is known for her role as Jo Mills in Judge John Deed but has also starred in a number of TV shows including the lead role in the dramatisation of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance (1984) and the 10-episode series of the BBC production Diana (1984).

The famous duo will be returning #BackOnStage in this tender, tragi-comic story which first opened in New York in 1989 and was a finalist in the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Gaining huge popularity, it has since played in theatres across the globe. Love Letters follows the story of two people physically separated yet brought together by candid communication and shared confidences, a romance blossoming across the miles and the years. It promises, laughter, tears and a whole lotta romance!


Willam, Latrice Royale, Myra Dubois & more in Death Drop

LoUis CYfer, Don One, Willam, Myra DuBois, Holly Stars, Anna Phylactic and Latrice Royale. (Credit: Matt Crockett)

Playing now until 11 July

The smash hit sold-out sensation of Death Drop has sashayed back into the West End as theatre returns #BackOnStage and is serving up all the drama, comedy, twists and turns you’ll ever need!

Starring RuPaul’s Drag Race legends Willam and Latrice Royale alongside Britain’s Got Talent 2020 semi-finalist Myra Dubois, this brand-new comedy is a West End first bringing together a full cast of leading drag performers, in a hilarious murder mystery like nothing you’ve ever seen before. 

Latrice and Willam made their Drag Race debuts in series four of the US edition in 2012. Both will be making their West End debuts alongside Myra Dubois, who will also be making her long-anticipated debut in the ‘Dragatha Christie murder mystery.’ 

Myra is a comedian, drag act and entertainer who made the Semi-Finals during Series 14 of Britain’s Got Talent and they will be joined by LoUis CYfer, Anna Phylactic and Holly Stars who all performed in the show last year and will be reprising their co-starring roles.

Written by Holly Stars, wee cannot wait to see these superstars in this hilarious whodunnit.


Robert Lindsay, Sutton Foster & Gary Wilmot in Anything Goes

Felicity Kendall stands in a white gown and Robert Lindsay and Gary Wilmot stand in evening suits. A photo of a Sutton Foster is in a circle to announce her addition to the cast.

Booking from 23 July – 16 October

Olivier and Tony Award-winning stars Robert Lindsay and Sutton Foster will be playing the lead roles in this major new production of Cole Porter and P.G Wodehouse’s classical musical set aboard the S.S America.

Stage and TV star Robert Lindsay’s has appeared in several major screen roles including Jakey Smith in the ITV comedy series Get Some In (1975-1977) and Wolfie Smith in the BBC sitcom Citizen Smith (1977-1980), however it was his performance in the leading role in Alan Bleasdale’s dark comedy series G.B.H (1991) that earned him a BAFTA .

And the awards didn’t stop at his TV career. Robert played the role of Bill Snibson in the hugely acclaimed 1984 revival of Me and My Girl for which he won an Olivier Award. It subsequently earned him a Tony Award when the show transferred to Broadway.

Robert will be stepping into the role of Moonface Martin alongside Broadway star Sutton Foster who will be reprising her Tony Award-winning performance as Reno Sweeney. The first was awarded in 2002 for her role as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie and the second in 2011 for her performance as Reno in Anything Goes. More recently, Sutton has taken the lead role in popular American comedy-drama series, Younger, where she stars alongside Hilary Duff. Following her time in the West End production of Anything Goes, she will be returning to Broadway to star opposite Hugh Jackman in the revival of The Music Man.

Gary Wilmot is a much-loved singer, actor, comedian, presenter, writer and director. While he is known for presenting a number of TV shows, theatre fans will recognise him from his stage appearances in the West End productions of Me And My Girl, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and more recently, The Prince Of Egypt. In 2018, Gary was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama and charity.

We can’t wait to see these iconic stars in this musical of pure escapism. Exploring the story of two unlikely pairs who set off on the course to find true love, Anything Goes is filled with antics and timeless fun and features a joyful, gold-plated score of theatre’s most memorable standards, including ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’, ‘You’re the Top’ and ‘It’s De- Lovely!’


Danny Mac, David Rintoul, Cassidy Janson, Derek Griffiths & more in The Mousetrap

Playing now until 30 January 2022

The world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap, is #BackOnStage with two different star-studded casts featured in various performances between now and July, including Danny Mac, Daniel Rintoul, Cassidy Janson and Derek Griffiths. 

You may recognise Danny from various touring productions including Amélie The Musical and Wicked and more recently in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre. He will be stepping back into the iconic role of Edward in Pretty Woman: The Musical when it returns to the West End this summer. You may also recognise Danny from the small screen as Dodger from Hollyoaks, BBC soap opera Doctors and as a finalist on Strictly Come Dancing.

David Rintoul holds an equally impressive career history having starred in the international smash hit TV series The Crown as Michael Adeane, in Game of Thrones as Aerys Targaryen and alongside Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor in the movie The Ghost Writer. Theatre fans may recognise David from a number of productions at the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe including The Trojan War Will Not Take Place, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Rivals and Nell Gwynn respectively.

Other famous faces making an appearance in Agatha Christies world-famous whodunnit include; the Olivier Award-winning Cassidy Janson (& Juliet), Nicholas Bailey – long-running star role as Anthony Trueman in EastEnders, Derek Griffiths – the legendary star of various children’s TV programmes from the 1970s and 1980s, and has recently starred in Steve McQueen’s highly acclaimed TV series Small Axe, Charlie Clements – instantly recognisable for his long-running role of Bradley Branning in EastEnders, Susan Penhaligon – the acclaimed actress known for her roles in Bouquet of Barbed Wire, A Fine Romance and as Jean Hope in Emmerdale, Louise Jameson – whose many TV credits include Doctor Who, Bergerac and EastEnders and many more!


    Michael Ball, Marisha Wallace & Les Dennis in Hairspray


    Booking from 22 June – 29 September

    The multi-award-winning smash-hit musical Hairspray will be opening in the West End for a strictly limited 19-week season and starring a number of famous faces including Michael Ball in his Olivier Award-winning role of Edna Turnblad, entertainment legend Les Dennis and American actress Marisha Wallace.

    The Tony and two-time Olivier Award-winning actor, singer and broadcaster Michael Ball made his West End debut in Les Misérables in 1985 and has since gone onto star in the lead role of The Phantom Of The Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street to name just a few. As a singer, Michael has reached number two in the UK singles chart with Love Changes Everything and went on to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the 2015 Birthday Honours, Michael was appointed an OBE for his services to musical theatre.

    Joining Michael in the cast of Hairspray is Liverpool-born Les Dennis. Les became a stalwart of Saturday Night TV in the 80s and 90s, starring in TV comedies including The Russ Abbot Show and The Les Dennis Laughter Show performing sketches and impressions, and most famously as the host of Family Fortunes between 1987 and 2002 on ITV.

    In recent years, Les has enjoyed a busy career as an actor, starring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in numerous hit plays and musicals in the West End (Chicago, Me And My Girl) and on tour (High School Musical 2, Legally Blonde The Musical, The Addams Family) as well as playing a regular role for two years on Coronation Street. As a comedian, impressionist, game show host, reality TV star, soap, screen and stage actor, Les Dennis’ showbiz career has spanned 50 years. Now, he is to return to the West End in the multi-award-winning smash hit musical as Wilbur Turnblad having previously performed the role on tour. 

    Most known for her work in musical theatre, Marisha Wallace, will be stepping into the role of Motormouth Maybelle. She has previously starred in the original Broadway production of Aladdin and Something Rotten! and became the alternate Effie White in the West End production of Dreamgirls, later taking over the role. London theatre fans may recognise Marisha from the West End cast of Waitress where she played the role of Becky.

    With all the incredible talents between them, we can’t wait for this star-studded cast to perform in this the all-dancing, all-singing story of Tracy Turnblad, a teenage girl with big hair and big dreams. 


    Shane Richie in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

    Shane Richie (Hugo) in Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre (3). Photo credit Johan Perrson.Shane Richie (Hugo) in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre. Photo credit Johan Perrson.

    Playing now until 29 August 

    Many of you will know Shane for playing the comedic fictional character of Alfie Moon in BBC soap opera, EastEnders but he has plenty of other credits under his belt. He has starred in Channel 4’s Skins and ITV drama The Good Samaritan, presented numerous game shows including Reflex and Win Your Wish List and appeared as a contestant on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here.

    In addition to his television career, theatre fans may also have seen him on stage, having performed in various shows including The Perfect Murder at Theatre Royal, as Robin Hood in the pantomime and most recently as Hugo/Loco Chanelle in West End hit musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which he will be reprising until 18 July.

    As an actor, comedian, TV presenter and singer, Shane really does have it all! We’re thrilled that he will be reprising his fabulous role in this inspiring, uplifting show all about a boy with a secret to tell and a dream to live.


    Aljaž Škorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Graziano di Prima & more in Here Come The Boys

    Playing now until 9 June

    If you’re a dance fan, or love some good Saturday night television, you’ll probably recognise the stars above from the popular BBC dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing.

    Dance superstars Aljaž Škorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Graziano di Prima and Robin Windsor will be joined by Strictly finalist Karim Zeroual and special guest star Strictly’s Nadiya Bychkova in what has been described as the biggest party in town!

    Aljaž Škorjanec is a 19-time Slovenian champion in Ballroom, Latin and Ten Dance and has been a dancer on eight seasons of Strictly Come Dancing, similar to Pasha Kovalev, who prior to starring in Strictly took part as a choreographer/All-Star partner in nine seasons of the American version of So You Think You Can Dance.

    Graziano has appeared on a number of Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two episodes with Zoe Ball and is the current Guinness World Record holder for the most Botafogo steps (a Latin American dance move), performing 90 steps in 30 seconds in a 2019 challenge.

    Robin is best known as a Latin and Ballroom dancer and has represented England, winning numerous championships both on domestic and international level. He’s also starred in various theatre productions including Puttin’ On The Ritz, Dance To The Music Tour and Floorplay (London and Broadway) to name a few.

    The boys will be joined by Ukranian-Slovenian ballroom and Latin American dancer Nadiya Bychkova, who, along with her dance partner, have won World Champions in ’10’ Dance in 2014 and 2015.

    Television presenter, actor and Strictly finalist Karim Zeroual has a number of TV appearances to his name including EastEnders and Blue Peter, CBBC HQ and has performed in London’s West End in musical theatre shows including Disney’s The Lion King and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    Following our Theatre Chat Live episode with Graziano and Nadiya, we’re certain this dance extravaganza will get you up on your feet and dancing the night away. So, if you want to banish those lockdown blues, grab your tickets to see Here Come The Boys.

    Related Article: Theatre Chat Live: Graziano di Prima & Nadiya Bychkova and the cast of Public Domain
    In this week's Theatre Chat Live, Jess speaks to special guests from party extravaganza, Here Come The Boys and new musical, Public Domain.

    Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Zoë Wanamaker, Anna Maxwell Martin, Chris O’Dowd & more in Constellations

    Booking from 18 June – 12 September

    Nick Payne‘s beautiful and heartbreaking romance Constellations is revived at the Vaudeville Theatre this summer with four different casts, each exploring the play in a fresh way.

    Actor, singer, composer and playwright, Sheila Atim will be starring alongside Ivanno Jeremiah from 18 June – 1 August and is best known for her critically acclaimed stage roles in Donmar Warehouse‘s all-female Shakespeare triology in 2016 along with many others. In 2018, Sheila own the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Marianne laine in Girl From The Country North. You may also recognise her from several television series including the cancelled Game Of Thrones successor series, Bloodmoon and the BBC’s The Pale Horse.

    American-born British actress Zoë Wanamaker needs no introduction. She is known for not only being the daughter of famous actor and director Sam Wanamaker CBE, but also for her incredible talent both on stage and screen. She has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre and is a nine-time Olivier Award nominee and two-time winner (Once In A Lifetime and Electra). Besides her work on stage in the West end, Zoe is also well known in Broadway, having received four Tony Award nominations for her work in Piaf, Loot, Electra and Awake and Sing. In addition to her stage career, Zoe has made several film and TV appearances including Wilde, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Prime Suspect, for which she received two BAFTA TV Award nominations for Best Actress. Zoë will be playing opposite Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Thick of It) from 23 June – 24 July.

    This West End revival will also see a number of other famous faces including; Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans, Black Mirror, Doctor Who), Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland, Line Of Duty), Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids, Thor: The Dark World, State of the Union), Omari Douglas (Wise Children, It’s a Sin) and Russell Tovey (Being Human, Doctor Who, Sherlock).

    With four new casts, one relationship and infinite possibilities, this star-studded play is sure to be a hit!

    Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwan in Anna X

    Booking from 9 July – 4 August

    You may recognise Golden Globe Award-winner Emma Corrin as playing Princess Diana in Netflix’s The Crown while Royal Television Society’s 2019 Breakthrough star Nabhaan Rizwan rose to fame following his leading role in the BBC crime drama, Informer.

    The super talented duo will be making their West End debuts in Anna X, a new play inspired by real events and explores the searing tale of self-invention, determination, and deceit.

    We’re thrilled to welcome back our audiences and can’t wait to hear about your experiences back in theatre. Please be sure to use #BackOnStage in your social posts so we can share all your wonderful experiences as you return to theatre as well as supporting all the wonderful shows returning/opening in our beloved Theatreland. You can check out what others have been saying about being their #BackOnStage experiences, here.



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