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London Theatre News Today: Friday 14 May

Published 14 May 2021

Sutton Foster to reprise role of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes

Multi award-winning actor and legendary Broadway star Sutton Foster will reprise her Tony Award-winning performance as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes at the Barbican this Summer. Sutton will be replacing Megan Mullally who has unfortunately had to withdraw from the production due to a foot injury.

Mullally says: “My body has informed me (mainly while at tap class) that I need to have a few rods replaced before I can get back on stage.”

Sutton, known to many from successful TV series, Younger, played Reno in the 2011 Broadway production. After being offered the role in London, Sutton said: “Honestly, I burst into tears at the thought of being on the stage again.”

This splendid major new production of Cole Porter and P. G. Wodehouse’s classic musical 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!’, it’s everything you want a big Broadway musical to be and more!

Clive Rowe to join The Prince Of Egypt as Jethro
Close up photo of Clive Rowe wearing a navy shirt

Olivier Award-wining Clive Rowe will join the hit musical based on the classic DreamWorks Animation film as ‘Jethro’ for a limited engagement from Thursday 1 July to Saturday 16 October 2021.

From his celebrated debut performance as ‘Mr Snow’ in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Carousel to his Olivier Award-winning performance as ‘Nicely-Nicely Johnson’ in Richard Eyre’s revival of Guys and Dolls, Clive Rowe is one of the UK’s most prolific and popular stage actors.  He has also been an enduring presence on children’s television for the past two decades with his many starring roles including four seasons as ‘Norman “Duke” Ellington’ in Jacqueline Wilson’s award-winning The Story of Tracy Beaker (CBBC).

The Grammy Award-nominated musical will resume performances at London’s Dominion Theatre on Thursday 1 July 2021 with tickets on sale until Saturday 8 January 2022.  Performances between Thursday 1 July and Saturday 4 September 2021 are currently expected to follow social distancing guidelines.

Full cast announced for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Michael Harrison is delighted to announce the full cast for the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s legendary musical gets ready for a strictly limited season at the iconic London Palladium.

The production will begin performances on Thursday 1 July (Gala Night: Thursday 15 July) and will be one of the highlights in the return of theatre to the UK cultural landscape.

Joining the previously announced principal cast will be Steffan Lloyd Evans, who will play Reuben, Bobby Windebank as Simeon, with the rest of the company Femi Akinfolarin, Jabari Braham, Gemma Buckingham, Thalia Burt, Jasmin Colangelo, Jonathan Cordin, Francessca Daniella-Baker, Alexander Day, Andre Fabien Francis, Llandyll Gove, Abigayle Honeywill, Blythe Jandoo, Danny Nattrass, Perry O’Dea, Georgina Parkinson, Emily-Ann Potter, Jon Reynolds, Rochelle Sherona, Katie Singh and Callum Train.

Alexandra Burke will play The Narrator in the celebrated musical. Her many West End credits include the lead roles in The Bodyguard, Sister Act, Chess and Chicago. Alexandra first rose to fame winning The X-Factor in 2008, and has since gone on to sell over 5 million records.

Alexandra Burke

Jason Donovan will return in the role of Pharaoh. He was originally in the show when he made his defining stage performance as the title character of Joseph in the 1990s, in a sold-out 18-month run which produced a No.1 single and best-selling soundtrack album. Jason raised the roof of the London Palladium in 2019 as Pharaoh, who rocks ‘Song of the King’ in the iconic musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Jac Yarrow caused a sensation when he made his professional stage debut playing Joseph, following in the footsteps of a line of stars who have previously played the title character. His portrayal of Joseph won him unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination, with his rendition of ‘Close Every Door To Me’ regularly stopping the show with standing ovations.

Linzi Hateley – who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the Narrator, and starred alongside Jason in the original London Palladium production – will perform again in the role at special performances.

Linzi Hateley (Photo credit: Laura Lewis)

The young performers in the show are Ava Belle Alexander, Toby Byers, Mei Chiu, Esme Connolly, Hattie Connolly, Alinah Dagpin, Amelie Davison, Josselyn Ospina Escobar, Kaylenn Aires Fonseca, Noah Swer Fox, Bella Harding, Amber Hodder, Rafferty Ison, Holly Jade Roberts, Harry Jelley, Livi Kent, Tamar Laniado, Charlie McGonagle, Isabelle Mullally, Edesiri Paula Okpenerho, Amy Osborn, Millie Playle, Riley Plummer, Teddy Probets, Austin Riley, Harrison Skinner, Ethan Sokontwe, Ellis Sutherland, Charlie Tumbridge and Lilli Watkins.

The production will begin live performances on Thursday 1 July, after the proposed “Step Four” in the Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions, and therefore is planning to accommodate full-capacity audiences in accordance with the intended lifting of all limits on social contact.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat enjoyed a completely sold out season in 2019. Audiences and critics were unanimous in their acclaim for the legendary musical – the first major collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – as it returned to the London Palladium.

Told entirely through song with the help of the Narrator, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into hardship by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

Showbiz legend Arlene Phillips unleashed in the West End

Arlene Phillips CBE is best known as one the UK’s top choreographers, an international theatre director, talent scout, TV judge, presenter, and dancer who has worked with legends from Elton John and Diana Ross to Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood.

Now at an intimate event in the West End she promises to share her biggest secrets and lift the lid on what it was really like working with the biggest pop and movie stars in ‘An Evening with Arlene Phillips’ at the Duchess Theatre on Monday 7 June.

Arlene first became a household name as the director and choreographer of Hot Gossip, a groundbreaking mixed race dance troupe that scandalised Britain in the 1970s after they exploded onto TV screens with risqué costumes and provocative dance routines on ‘The Kenny Everett Video Show’. Clean-up campaigner Mary Whitehouse led a huge campaign to have them axed from teatime television and there were even questions asked in Parliament. “We were decades ahead of our time,” she says, “everything before then was sweet and nice and Hot Gossip were all about using your body as you wished, without fear or prejduice. Kenny adored the group.”

Arlene is a multiple Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee for her work in theatre. She is internationally renowned and responsible for the routines of many hit West End and Broadway musicals including, ‘‘Grease, the wonder-on-wheels that is ‘Starlight Express’, the creative combination of Queen and Ben Elton, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Flashdance’.

Arlene will be in conversation with La Voix. La Voix is the stage name of the brilliantly talented drag queen seen on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. Chris Dennis. La Voix said: “Arlene has worked with everyone! The biggest names in music, theatre and television. I get to sit down with a legend and grill her for the best gossip, untold stories and secrets that no one has got out of her. It’s going to be a night of Hot Gossip, a hot red head and the hottest ticket in town.”

MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL confirms UK Premiere dates

Global Creatures, the producer of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, is thrilled to announce today that the UK premiere of the acclaimed show will begin performances at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on Friday 12 November 2021.

“At its heart, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is about a group of artists fighting to keep their stage show alive. That element of the story has felt very real for us as a company, as we’ve contended with the Covid shutdown and delay to our UK premiere. But now we are so excited and so honoured to finally confirm that our show will form part of a revitalised West End. We cannot wait for the red windmill to start turning in London!” said producer and CEO of Global Creatures, Carmen Pavlovic.

Directed by Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, Tony Award®-nominated for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher) Moulin Rouge! The Musical has a book by John Logan (Tony Award® for Red, three-time Academy Award nominee, including for Gladiator and The Aviator), choreography by Sonya Tayeh (Lucille Lortel Award and Obie Award for Kung Fu, and Emmy winner), and music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Justin Levine (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson).

Through the pandemic, the production process has progressed wherever possible, including holding auditions for the UK cast.

Alex said: “The last 12 months have proven uniquely challenging in engaging with performers as we look to cast the UK production. Nevertheless we have all been astounded by the perseverance and sheer talent of those we have seen, and I am excited to see the cast coming together.

“It feels great to finally be confirming our UK premiere dates. I am thrilled now that we can look forward to bringing Moulin Rouge! to life in London and to welcome our audiences”.

The musical, which features a lavish, immersive set, follows aspiring writer Christian and dancer Satine as they fall in love. But pressure mounts on Satine as her boss, Moulin Rouge owner Harold Zidler, relies on her to appease the Duke of Monroth, whose money will keep the establishment running.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed for today in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Moulin Rouge! The Musical invites you to enter a world of passionate romance and eye-popping splendour… a place where Bohemians and aristocrats revel together in electrifying enchantment… a place where all your wildest dreams come true!

Bringing Moulin Rouge! The Musical to the stage was a decade-long journey, spanning 3 continents, encompassing 75 songs credited to 165 songwriters, administered by 31 publishers, representing over 160 years of music, including recent hits released since the movie premiered 20 years ago.

A theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and — above all — love, this is more than a musical… it is a state of mind. Welcome to the Moulin Rouge!



Comedians Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris are Commentators for Olivier Award-winning The Showstoppers’ 2nd annual ‘Alternative Eurovision Song Contest’ streaming this Saturday

Following the success of last year’s glitterfest, Olivier Award-winning improvisers The Showstoppers are presenting the ‘Alternative Eurovision Song Contest’ for a second year on Saturday 15 May.

Comedians Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris are now lined-up to provide pithy commentary. He said “This is it! This is our time. This will make music history. In a good way.”

They are joined by an all-star cast of celebrities including actor Les Dennis, comedian Russell Kane, comedian London Hughes and cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat as judges and Grace Mouat (‘& Juliet, ‘Six’), singer Jordan Gray and improv legend Mike McShane as guest performers.

Featuring brand new songs parodying all your favourite Eurovision genres, expert commentary and interactive voting, The Showstoppers invite you to join them as they recreate the extraordinary production values, high camp and musical merriment of the world famous competition.

Left to right, top top bottom: Australia – AD/BC (Dylan Emery, Philip Pellew), Austria – Marti and Marta (Lucy Trodd, Jonathan Ainscough), Cyprus – Melody (Grace Mouat), Czech Republic – Yana Novakovakova (Jordan Gray), Germany – Hemlick Maneuver (Matthew Cavendish), Greece – Hercules Vigoros (Joshua Jackson), Iceland – Tødd Ogren (Mike McShane), Ireland – Aoifee O’Sullivan (Susan Harrison), Italy – Marla (Julie Clare), Latvia – Hej! And Kristina Jansons (Justin Brett, Ali James), Montenegro – Marco Falatio (Adam Meggido), Russia – Arkhangel (Sean McCann), Sweden – Kristian Älska (Francesca Forristal), Turkey – Hakkan (Dylan Emery), Germany (2020 winner) – Rama Stein (Heather Urquhart)

So don your sparkliest outfits, your brightest make up and get ready for the biggest Europop party of the year!

A lockdown highlight that brought joy and hilarity to the UK’s living rooms, the 2020 event raised over £7,000 for The Care Workers’ Charity. This year’s show is also in aid of that charity. Songs will be written and recorded by The Showstoppers and the guest stars in collaboration with the company’s musical directors – Duncan Walsh Atkins, Christopher Ash and Jordan Clarke. Showstopper hosts Pippa Evans and Andrew Pugsley will live present this livestreamed event on the 15th May.

To vote, viewers will need to make a donation via The Showstopper  PayPal on the night, with profits going to The Care Workers’ Charity.

Dates and times: Livestreaming on YouTube from 8pm (UK time) on 15th May 2021,  catch all the action on:https://showstopperthemusical.com/alternative-eurovision-2021/

The event will be captioned and the Facebook event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/494059658259587

If you’d like to see The Showstoppers live on stage, you’re in luck! Now, with well over 1000 performances under their belts, they’re back in a new home at the Garrick Theatre for a limited run of singular, one-night-only musical extravaganzas. 

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical transforms your suggestions – for setting, musical styles, show title and more – into an entirely different show every single night! Click below to find out more and grab your tickets to support theatre returning #BackOnStage.


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