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London Theatre News Today: Friday 23 April

First Published 23 April 2021, Last Updated 29 April 2021

Tickets for Only Fools And Horses The Musical now on sale!

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Stick a pony in your pocket – The Trotters are back in town! Following nearly 18-months of being holed up in Nelson Mandela House, Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad are heading back up West, as Only Fools and Horses The Musical is set to make a triumphant return to London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket on Friday 1 October. Tickets are on sale now from OnlyFoolsMusical.com.

Comedy giant Paul Whitehouse will return to star as Grandad, alongside Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney in this 5 star musical extravaganza. The re-opening of the show will form part of this year’s 40th anniversary celebrations of the legendary BBC sitcom. The TV show first graced our screens on 8 September 1981 with the episode ‘Big Brother’ and it’s been making millions of people laugh ever since.

Paul Whitehouse said: “I’m over the moon because, finally, the West End is coming back to life and Only Fools and Horses The Musical will return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket this October. The last year or so has been very difficult for a lot of people, so I know I speak for the whole cast when I say that we genuinely cannot wait to get back on stage in front of a live audience – we’ve missed it so much. Roll on 1st October, we can’t wait to see you. Mange tout!

Only Fools and Horses The Musical will once again be a truly cushty night out. Only a 42 carat PLONKER would miss! Grab your tickets below.

Casting announced for the anticipated return of ABBA MANIA in the West End

Rhiannon Porter, Loucas Hajiantoni and Edward Handoll

Acclaimed performers Rhiannon Porter (Finalist, Eurovision: You Decide 2018; Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Production, O2 Arena), JoJo Desmond (Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake; Lead Vocalist, Doctor Who Live, UK Arena Tour), Edward Handoll (BIG The Musical, West End; Saturday Night Fever, UK Tour), and Loucas Hajiantoni (One Night of Tina, European Tour) will step into the platform heels of one of the most famous pop supergroups of all time. This incredible ensemble will take to the spotlight at the Shaftesbury Theatre from 21st May 2021, marking the production’s West End return after 19 years.

Also joining the production will be previous ABBA MANIA cast members Tamsin Stewart (Romeo & Juliet The Musical, West End; Taboo, West End) and Duncan Walsh Atkins (Musical Director, Showstopper: The Improvised Musical) in the roles of Director and Choreographer and Musical Supervisor, respectively. They will both be dusting off their flares and saying ‘Thank You For The Music’ as they return to celebrate an evening of Euro-nostalgia.

JoJo Desmond and Tamsin Stewart

Supporting the cast will be the magnificent ABBA MANIA band who have delighted audiences across the world. Paul Gregory (The Book of Mormon, West End, UK and international tour; The Lion King, UK tour) will lead on drums with Dan Hall (The Drifters, UK and Ireland tour; The Blues Brothers, UK and Japan tour) on bass guitar and Anders Rye (The Blues Brothers, UK and Ireland tour; Rat Pack, world tour) on guitar.

The perfect party as we head out of lockdown, ABBA MANIA brings to life ABBA’s last ever concert in an exhilarating two-hour production celebrating the timeless joy of their songs. Featuring the Swedish supergroup’s irresistible music, fantastic costumes and electrifying staging, this concert is perfect for life-long ABBA fans and newcomers alike. Dig out your platforms and enjoy all your favourite hits including Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Waterloo, Fernando, Does Your Mother Know, Super Trouper and many more.

ABBA MANIA has delighted more than three million audience members since its formation in 1999, performing over 3,000 live shows in 30 countries across the world – from Germany to Tahititi, Sweden to Venezuela, USA to Australia. For the first time since 2002, West End audiences will have the opportunity to relive the iconic era when ABBA ruled the airwaves.

Cast member, Rhiannon Porter, comments, I’m so excited to slip into my platform heels and transform into the incredible world of the pop supergroup we all know and love. After a year of silence on the West End, we can’t wait to bring audiences the perfect tonic to the past year with a night of electrifying music, dancing and energy.

Click below to grab your tickets to this all-singing, all-dancing party!

Brand new magic show Wonderment Magic & Illusion to open in the West End this summer

There’s magic brewing on the West End once more. A vaudevillian journey of illusion, with performers at the cutting edge of their art, Wonderment is set to astonish audiences this summer at the Palace Theatre. This fun night for all the family must be seen to be believed.

Wonderment brings together some of the greatest illusionists live on stage in breath-taking displays of magic and illusion that will electrify, surprise and delight. Taking to the stage will be the multi-award-winning mind reader and TV star, Chris Cox, and the most talked about woman in magic, Josephine Lee.

Chris Cox has sold out UK tours and runs at Fringe Festivals from Edinburgh to New Zealand, and is no stranger to the Palace Theatre as the Magic and Illusions Assistant for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Josephine Lee took the magic world by storm after her appearance on Britain’s Got

Talent in 2017. Her dynamic and modern spin on illusion saw her act hit millions of views overnight. Both stars of The Illusionists which has played on Broadway, the West End and across the globe, as well as Impossible which travelled from the West End on to a world tour, Josephine and Chris are only the first incredible artists to be announced. Five acts will showcase their awe-inspiring talents at every performance and the rest of the line-up will soon be announced.

Wonderment Magic & Illusion will be playing at the Palace Theatre from 16 July – 30 August and you can grab your tickets below!

The Showstoppers announce return to the West End

The Showstoppers are storming back to the West End to take up an initially (socially distanced) six-month residence at the Garrick Theatre.

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’, will play Mondays at the Garrick Theatre, on 7 June, 5 July, 9 August, 13 September and 11 October, 2021.

It has had 12 sell-out years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, two West End runs, an Olivier award for Best Entertainment and Family Show and a BBC Radio 4 series. In the show, the audience meets a writer of musicals who is on a deadline – and needs their help. The audience shouts out suggestions of a setting, musical styles and the title of the show and they’re off! The Showstopper team – cast and band – then weave a brand-new musical in front of the very eyes of the audience, complete with hilarious characters, fabulous dance routines, beautiful songs, epic story lines, all sprinkled with the pizzazz of a Broadway show.

Capacity at the Garrick Theatre has currently 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.

The Showstoppers also continue their run of monthly livestreamed shows this weekend on 23 and 24 April! Streaming from their socially distanced studio, audience ideas for setting, songs and styles will be taken live from viewers at home and transformed on the spot into a brand-new musical comedy. These exceedingly talented performers are guaranteed to have those watching both crying with laughter and gasping in astonishment.

So whether you fancy ‘Chicago’ in a chocolate factory or ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ in Dundee, you suggest it and The Showstoppers will make it happen and stream it straight to your sofa!

The shows are available to purchase and to watch for 7 days after the live event so if viewers can’t join The Showstoppers on the night, they can catch up afterwards.

 

Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt returns to the West End from 7 August

Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, directed by Patrick Marber and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, will return to Wyndham’s Theatre for a 12-week run from 7 August – 30 October 2021.  Casting will be announced shortly.

Patrons whose bookings were affected by the Government’s previous directives will be contacted from today Friday 23 April 2021 regarding their current bookings with public booking opening at 10am on Friday 30 April 2021.

Sonia Friedman said: “I am deeply relieved that after a year of immense loss and struggle for so many, including the unthinkable shutdown of our theatre industry, to announce the new dates for the return of Tom’s astonishing play to the West End. Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of enduring love and familial bonds that asks us to bear witness to our pasts, no matter how painful that may be. The audience response throughout our seven weeks of sold-out performances before the pandemic struck in March 2020 was incredibly moving and humbling to witness. Over a year later and now having won the 2020 Olivier Award for Best New Play, Leopoldstadt could not be more pertinent. I so look forward to returning to the Wyndham’s Theatre, to welcome back our very special audiences as we continue to share this epic, truly great new play.”

Patrick Marber said: “Tom and I visited the Leopoldstadt area of Vienna in October 2019. We started rehearsals a month later in London. The play opened in February 2020 and then had to close in March. When we gather to re-rehearse in July 2021 it will be an incredible moment for all involved. It has been a long journey. We were all thrilled by the reception this production received first time round and we’re so excited to be able to share this mighty and beautiful play with audiences again. I’m so grateful to Sonia and Cameron for this opportunity and so proud to be working with these amazing and loyal actors on such a powerful, moving and painfully relevant play. I’ve admired Tom’s work since boyhood, he influenced me enormously as a fledgling playwright and now it’s my great honour and joy to be his collaborator once more.”

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna. But Hermann Merz, a manufacturer and baptised Jew married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world. Gathered in the Merz apartment in a fashionable part of the city, Hermann’s extended family are at the heart of Tom Stoppard’s epic yet intimate drama. By the time we have taken leave of them, Austria has passed through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and – for Austrian Jews – the Holocaust in which 65,000 of them were murdered. It is for the survivors to pass on a story which hasn’t ended yet.

Leopoldstadt received its world premiere on 25 January 2020 and was originally planned for a 20-week run.  As initial casting was announced the run was extended due to public demand scheduled to play until 13 June 2020. The final performance before lockdown was 14 March 2020.

Tickets will be available to purchase on Official London Theatre from 30 April so mark your diaries and be sure to head back to our Theatre Tickets page then.

 

Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black returns to the Fortune Theatre in September

Terence Wilton and Max Hutchinson in The Woman In Black. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

PW Productions is delighted to announce that the West End’s second longest running play, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black will embark on a UK Tour, opening at Cambridge Arts Theatre on Thursday 17 June 2021. The show will also return to the Fortune Theatre in the West End on Tuesday 7 September 2021. Tickets are on sale from Friday 23 April.

The producers are thrilled to confirm that in response to the show’s enduring popularity with young people, those aged 18 and under will be able to see the West End production free of charge, alongside each full paying adult ticket. Additionally, persons aged 25 and under will be eligible for a £25 ticket rate in the West End and at select tour venues. Casting for both productions will be announced soon.

The 2021 UK Tour opens at Cambridge Arts Theatre before visiting Bath, Guilford, Oxford, Malvern, Shrewsbury, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow, York, Blackpool, Stoke and Edinburgh. Further tour dates to be announced. www.thewomaninblack.com

Producer Peter Wilson said, “The Woman in Black is a now iconic piece of British theatre, offering a masterclass in storytelling, direction and performing, whether on tour across the United Kingdom or in the West End. Young people are amongst the most loyal supporters of The Woman in Black, and they have suffered significantly from the absence of art and entertainment throughout the past year.  With this in mind, we are pleased to be offering younger audience members free and reduced-price tickets in the West End and some touring venues. We cannot wait to bring The Woman in Black to you all again.

In June 2019 THE WOMAN IN BLACK celebrated its 30th Anniversary in London’s West End with a special gala performance.

 

BFI at Home presents: BACK TO THE FUTURE: FROM SCREEN TO STAGE

After 36 years, classic sci-fi adventure and 1985’s highest grossing film, BACK TO THE FUTURE has become a hi-tech stage musical, led by a creative team that includes the co-writer of the original trilogy Bob Gale, and the Oscar-nominated composer behind the iconic score for the film Alan Silvestri. Ahead of BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical opening in the Adelphi Theatre from 20 August, the BFI present an online discussion with members of the cast and crew, broadcasting globally, for free, on BFI YouTube at 19:00 on Thursday 29 April.

The panel comprises Bob Gale, who, as well as co-writing the original trilogy, has written the book for the musical, and multi award winning composer Alan Silverstri, who has written new music and lyrics for the show alongside six-time Grammy award winner Glen Ballard, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Also on the panel are key cast and creatives from the show including producer Colin Ingram, director John Rando and actors Olly Dobson (Marty McFly), Rosanna Hyland (Lorraine Baines), Cedric Neal (Goldie Wilson / Marvin Berry) and Courtney-Mae Briggs (Jennifer Parker).

During the online event, the panel discusses how they went about adapting the hit film for the musical stage, what they did to make the story relevant to a new audience and what one studio exec wanted the film to be called before Steven Spielberg stepped in.

BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical is set to begin its run at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End on 20 August 2021. Grab your tickets below!

Public Domain releases new Tik Tok video

Acclaimed new musical ‘Public Domain’ releases the song and video ‘TIK TOK’ ahead of its live world premiere in the West End. You can watch it here.

Adam Lenson, the show’s director, said “This video release gives audiences a taste of the exciting, multi-sensory world that they will experience when they watch the live world premiere of ‘Public Domain’ at the Vaudeville Theatre in May. Audiences will feel like they are literally falling into the internet as they watch as there are more than 1,300 different video and special effect cues! There has never been a new musical like this in the West End”

‘Public Domain’ is a dark, funny, verbatim musical about the internet: Those who own it; those who live in it; and YOU!

Following an acclaimed digital debut at Southwark Playhouse, this thrilling, new musical, composed entirely from the real-life words of YouTube vloggers, Instagram influencers, Facebook’s tech giants, and everyday internet users now has its live world premiere in the West End.

Written and performed by the hugely talented Francesca Forristal (Oddball) and Jordan Paul Clarke (Showstoppers), this blackly comic musical follows two teenage influencers; Millie (sporty spice, health guru, buddha bowls – millennial) and Z (GCSEs existential dread, swag – generation Z), as well as featuring exclusive ‘footage’ of inside Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan’s family home.

You’re gonna get their honest, true selves… with some serious bass, obvs. Authentic, right?

It’s like ‘Black Mirror’ but real and set to music.

“And just like that we felt a little less alone…”

Public Domain will perform from 27 – 30 May, 2021 at the Vaudeville theatre where COVID-19 Secure guidelines for social distancing will include robust risk mitigation, hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace, contactless tickets,temperature testing and the regular deep clean and sanitation of the theatre.

Book your tickets to see this epic show now.

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abba mania Back To The Future fortune theatre leopoldstadt only fools and horses public domain the woman in black theatre royal haymarket Wonderment Magic & Illusion wyndham's theatre

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