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Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) and Charlie Stemp (Bert) in Mary Poppins (Photo: Seamus Ryan)

Mary Poppins, Dolly Parton, Gillian Anderson – big names, big theatre news

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published 21 September 2018

Who run the world? Girls! And now they’re taking over the West End, too. This week, we had a lot of massive news. From brand new musicals and triumphant returns, sad departures and more stars than you can shake Mystic Meg at, it’s all happening in theatreland.

But you have a busy life! You can’t stay up-to-date with every piece of theatre news. That’s why we’ve collected all the biggest theatre news of the week for your reading pleasure.

Mary Poppins is sailing back into the West End

Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) and Charlie Stemp (Bert) in Mary Poppins (Photo: Seamus Ryan)

As if by magic, the trailer for Mary Poppins Returns landed this week, around the same time that the return of the brilliant Mary Poppins musical was announced. The internationally award-winning musical from Disney will star Zizi Strallen (currently starring in Strictly Ballroom The Musical) as the eponymous Mary, and Charlie Stemp as Bert. It will open at the Prince Edward Theatre in autumn 2019.

Disney’s Aladdin to fly out of London

Disney's Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that Mary Poppins is scheduled to enter the very theatre Disney’s Aladdin is currently calling home. Which sadly means the glitzy show will be departing from the West End. The Olivier Award-nominated musical will be taking its last magic carpet ride in August 2019 – just in time for Mary Poppins to touch down in its place.

Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5 The Musical clocking into the Savoy Theatre

Natalie McQueen, Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies and Brian Conley will star in 9 To 5

Tumbling out of bed and straight into the Savoy Theatre is the Tony-nominated musical 9 To 5. The hilarious show is based on the 1980s film of the same name and features the music and lyrics from country’s favourite dynamo, Dolly Parton. The limited run will have an all-star cast including Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies, Natalie McQueen and Brian Conley.

Michelle Visage to make her West End musical debut

Michelle Visage will star in Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Photo: Mathu Andersen)

YAS QUEEN! The stern-but-fair judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to the London stage to star in a role that might as well have been written for her. Michelle will appear in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie as his teacher, Miss Hedge, from 18 October.

Gillian Anderson and Lily James to star in All About Eve

All About Eve Gillian Anderson and Lily James. Photo by Perou

Another film-to-stage adaptation and more international superstars. The long-awaited All About Eve is coming to London next year and will star Gillian Anderson and Lily James. Olivier and Tony Award-winner Ivo van Hove has adapted and directed the iconic, multi-Oscar-winning film for this strictly limited run which is making its world premiere in February 2019.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time returns

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time touring cast (Photo: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg)

Another West End comeback is on the books as the multi-Olivier Award-winning The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time makes its way back, this time to the Piccadilly Theatre. It will play a limited run until 23 February 2019.

First look at Royal Opera House’s spectacular renovations

The new Royal Opera House exterior (Photo: Luke Hayes)

It feels like forever since the beautiful Royal Opera House went under renovation. But it was worth the wait as we can now see the stunning new entrance that took three years to complete. Not only does the building located in the heart of Covent Garden have a shiny new exterior, but it is also the home of the West End’s newest and most intimate theatre, The Linbury Theatre.

Simon Callow’s A Christmas Carol returns this winter

Simon Callow in A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre)

We hate to say it but Christmas is fast approaching. So the news that Simon Callow’s festive show, A Christmas Carol, is making its way back to town is much-welcomed news. The beloved adaptation, which played critically acclaimed seasons in 2011, 2012 and 2016, will take residency at the Arts Theatre for a strictly limited season from 8 December to 12 January.

We got schooled by the cast of Heathers The Musical

Back to school with the cast of Heathers The Musical

To celebrate the opening of Heathers The Musical at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, we sat down with Carrie Hope Fletcher (who plays Veronica Sawyer), Jamie Muscato (JD), and Jodie Steele, T’Shan Williams and Sophie Isaacs (the three titular Heathers) and gave them a grilling.

Pics from the 4,000th performance of Thriller Live featuring Peter Andre

Peter Andre performing at Thriller Live's 4000th show (Photo: Betty Zapata)

This month, the show dedicated to the back catalogue of Michael Jackson celebrated its 4,000th performance. To mark the event, Peter Andre and a whole host of other celebs performed live at Thriller Live for one night only.

There was plenty of other news this week. To see what else you missed, click here.

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9 to 5 the musical a christmas carol aladdin all about eve amber davies brian conley carrie hope fletcher charlie stemp everybody's talking about jamie gillian anderson heathers the musical lily james louise redknapp mary poppins michelle visage natalie mcqueen Peter Andre royal opera house simon callow the curious incident of the dog in the night-time thriller live zizi strallen