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London Theatre News Today: Friday 7 May

Published 7 May 2021

Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaž & Pasha and Public Domain writers/stars join us on Theatre Chat Live

Tune into Theatre Chat Live on Tuesday 11 May at 6pm on Official London Theatre’s Instagram channel where we will be joined by a host of special guests including Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaž Škorjanec and Pasha Kovalev (Here Come The Boys) and Francesca Forristal & Jordan Paul Clarke, writers and stars of new British musical Public Domain.

We’ll be chatting all things theatre getting the lowdown on their upcoming shows so mark your diaries and we’ll see you there! In the meantime, you can watch our previous episodes of Theatre Chat Live here.

Our previous guests have included Louise Dearman and Oliver Tompsett, Magic FM presenters Alex Baker and Ruthie Henshall and Aimie Atkinson, Millie O’Connell, Natalie May Paris, Grace Mouat, Alexia McIntosh, Jarneia Richard-Noel and Maiya Quansah-Breed – the Olivier nominated stars of the original West End production of Six the Musical.

Cruise release new single ahead of world premiere

‘Rhythm of Us’ is the brand-new single released from the world premiere of CRUISE is available on all streaming platforms now. Written and recorded by the show’s composer John Elliott, the song is a love note to synth-drenched 80s pop and features guest vocals from Jack Holden and Jamie Lambert.

John Elliott said: “With ‘Rhythm of Us’ I was trying to tap into that iconic mix of heartbreak and euphoria that so much of the best 80s dance floor music has. Those tunes that take loss and pain and wrap them up in delicious beats and melodies that you just can’t help but dance. I wanted this track to have that cathartic feeling of release and celebration amidst the sorrow of losing someone. Like Michael says in the play, “Turning heartbreak and anxiety into physical liberation / That’s the power of music, that’s the power of dance!”

Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre), CRUISE is an urgent, moving and inspirational new play with live music and spoken word. Bringing to life 1980’s Soho, this one-man show is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis. CRUISE will reopen the Duchess Theatre in the West End from 18 May – 13 June.

Based on a true story Jack was told whilst volunteering for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service, this new play, directed by Bronagh Lagan, shines a light on a generation devastated by HIV and AIDs. The show will feature an uplifting 80s electronic soundtrack featuring classic anthems as well as original new music performed live by John Elliott.

Click here to check out the single and book your tickets to see the show using the button below! And, if you’d like to find out more about writer and star Jack Holden, you’ll definitely want to check out our Tell Us In 10 interview (below) and Theatre Chat Live episode with Jack here.

Related Article: Tell Us In 10: Jack Holden
In this week's Tell Us In 10, we’re talking to Jack Holden, writer and lead star of Cruise, a new play opening at the Duchess Theatre from 18 May.

Linzi Hately joins Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for special performances

 Linzi Hateley – who starred in the original London Palladium production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – will make a sensational return to the musical in this summer’s strictly limited season at the iconic theatre.

Linzi – who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the Narrator, and starred alongside Jason Donovan in the title role – will perform as in the role at special performances, in the new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s legendary musical.

Click below to read the full story!

Related Article: Linzi Hateley joins the cast of Joseph for special performances
Linzi Hateley – who starred in the original London Palladium production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - will make a sensational return to the musical in this summer’s strictly limited season at the iconic theatre.


Les Dennis joins the cast of Hairspray The Musical

Entertainment legend Les Dennis is to join the huge-hearted new production of Hairspray the Musical which is set to play a limited season at the magnificent London Coliseum from Monday 21st June – Wednesday 29th September 2021.

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. He stars alongside Michael Ball, who returns to his legendary, Olivier Award-winning role of Edna Turnblad.

For more details, you can read the full story below.

Related Article: Les Dennis to star in the role of Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray The Musical
Entertainment legend Les Dennis is to join the huge-hearted new production of Hairspray the Musical at the magnificent London Coliseum from next month!


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announce casting for Romeo & Juliet

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today confirmed the casting for the title roles in Romeo and Juliet, which opens the 2021 season on Thursday 17 June.

Joel MacCormack and Isabel Adomakoh Young play Romeo and Juliet, in the production directed by Kimberley Sykes.

Also released is the artwork for the production created by Feast Creative following their photoshoot in March 2020.

Joel MacCormack (Romeo) recently played the role of John Jasper in BBC Radio 4’s dramatization of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. On stage he won the UK Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Play for Each His Own Wilderness (Orange Tree). Other credits include: Describe the Night (Hampstead), The Oresteia (Shakespeare’s Globe), Safe House (ITV), and film credits include Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg.

Isabel Adomakoh Young (Juliet) joined the RSC for the 2019 Swan Season (Venice Preserved, The Provoked Wife) on completing her training with the NYT Rep. She appeared in Meatballs (Hampstead) and with the acclaimed cabaret company Pecs Drag Kings. As a writer, her trilogy The Lionboy, co-written with her mum under the pseudonym Zizou Corder, has been published in 36 languages and was adapted for the stage by Complicité.

Isabel Adomakoh Young and Joel MacCormack

The 2021 season, which will follow covid-secure procedures for as long as necessary – including an initial 50% reduction to seating capacity – also includes: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (31 July – 25 September) directed by Timothy Sheader; a co-production with Unicorn Theatre of Anansi the Spider (7 – 24 July) directed by Justin Audibert for ages 3-7; and Dragons and Mythical Beasts directed by Derek Bond and Laura Cubitt for ages 3+ (13 August – 5 September). A series of MOREoutdoor events includes comedy from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, and Luisa Omielan, and Canned Laughter present a comedy fundraiser in support of The Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Kemah Bob, Jen Brister, Bridget Christie, Ed Gamble, Rosie Jones, Jamali Maddix, Rose Matafeo, Mawaan Rizwan, and Suzi Ruffell. The Luna Cinema also present a 20th anniversary screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and a screening of The Shining.


New musical adaption of the infamous Lady Chatterley’s Lover comes to the West End in June

The new musical adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s infamous literary classic, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, will come to the West End for a strictly limited run this summer. Crafted by composer John Robinson (Behind the Iron Mask, Duchess Theatre; Closer to the Sun, Harold Pinter Theatre), this world premiere at Shaftesbury Theatre will reenergise Lawrence’s sensation for a new audience.

This world premiere adaptation will be filmed to stream later in the year before future live performances.

The impassioned tale of female agency and Lady Chatterley’s pursuit of a life more than halflived changed the literary landscape of Britain. Banned as scandalous erotica when first published and subject of a watershed obscenity trial, Lawrence’s text caused outrage not just because of the expletives and explicit sexual relationship, but because it presented a physical relationship that traversed social class divides. This intense and fiery classic will find new frenzied power in its translation to the stage.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is directed by the award-winning Sasha Regan (Blondel, Union Theatre; The Last Five Years, St. James Theatre) with original libretto by Phil Willmott (Once Upon a Time At the Adelphi; Relativity: The Einstein Musical), and production design by Andrew Exeter (High Fidelity, Turbine Theatre; Scaramouche Jones, Stream.Theatre).

Composer John Robinson comments, I am thrilled to be back in the West End with my latest musical – it’s a project very close to my heart given my own roots in D.H. Lawrence country and I hope to give due justice to both the ground-breaking novel as well as the area in which it is set. By recording the show for streaming later this year we’re also guaranteeing it a fabulous future life to ensure more audiences can enjoy the work.


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