facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Katharine McPhee as Jenna in Waitress

Katharine McPhee as Jenna in Waitress

McPheever hits London, Evita returns and more – the weekly round-up

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements First Published 23 November 2018, Last Updated 26 November 2018

Fresh out the oven is our weekly round-up of theatre news. Find all of the week’s biggest theatre news stories below and get informed without having to trawl the internet for all the latest goss.

This week, we have some US TV stars making their way to the West End stage for the first time, we’ve rounded up 11 of the hottest shows that have star casts so you can get your stargazing on this winter, plus we’ve got a panel of theatre experts discussing how to break into the theatre industry.

Waitress casting announced!

Katharine McPhee as Jenna in Waitress

Well, the lead has been cast at least. Katharine McPhee – American Idol and Smash star – will be making her West End debut when she reprises the role of Jenna in Waitress in February. Katharine made her Broadway debut when she played Jenna on Broadway earlier this year so we’re expecting amazing things.

Kelsey Grammer is coming to the West End

Kelsey Grammer will star in Man Of La Mancha

Another TV star set to make their West End debut is Kelsey Grammer! He will be starring in Man Of La Mancha at the London Coliseum from April. It’s the first time the classic musical – based on the classic novel Don Quixote – will be staged in London for over 50 years. He will star opposite the international opera star and soprano Danielle de Niese.

David Thaxton to star as The Phantom

David Thaxton in Jesus Christ Superstar (Photo: Johan Persson)

More casting announcements come in the form of Welsh singer and Olivier Award-winning actor David Thaxton who will be donning the mask and cape to play The Phantom. The star, who recently played Javert in Les Misérables, will be covering for Tim Howar from Monday 10 December 2018 until May 2019 while Mike is touring with his band, Mike And The Mechanics.

We got a sneak peek at Summer And Smoke

Matthew Needham and Patsy Ferran in Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Summer And Smoke was a runaway success when it played at the Almeida. It was a complete sell-out with rave reviews. So a West End transfer was eagerly anticipated. It happened this week when it opened on Tuesday (20 November) at the Duke Of York’s Theatre, and we gave you a sneak peek at the production shots of this hot, hot show. Not only that, we sat down with leads Patsy Ferran and Matthew Needham which you can watch, too.

Wicked extends its West End run

Alice Fearn (Elphaba) and Sophie Evans (Glinda) in Wicked (Photo: Darren Bell)

No one mourns the wicked because Wicked’s sticking around for a while! 500,000 new tickets have been released and the run extended until 30 November 2019. Five additional matinee performances have also been added to the current Christmas schedule so you can have a truly magical festive season!

Do some stargazing in the West End this winter

Company at Gielgud Theatre (Photo: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg)

The stars are well and truly out this winter… and they’re all hanging out on London stages. From the biggest names in film and TV to Broadway legends, comedians to reality TV judges, we have them. We’ve listed 11 brilliant shows that have starry casts so you don’t miss the show that has your fave famous face in. Find out what Kit Harington, David Suchet, Todrick Hall, Lee Evans, Dawn French and a whole host of other celebs are doing, below.

Jamie Lloyd is going to direct Evita for the 2019 Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre season

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (Photo: David Jensen)

After the rip-roaring success of the Pinter At The Pinter season, Jamie Lloyd is set to direct Evita at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre next summer. The rousing musical will conclude the season and will run from 2 August – 21 September. 

Why you should visit Theatreland this Christmas

Let the lights of Theatreland add a bit of sparkle to your festivities this Christmas. We’ve put together a handy little guide that’ll help you get more out of your theatre trip including meal deals, 2-for-1 river cruises and more!

This week was TheatreCraft!


To see this content you’ll need to allow us to set some additional cookies!

Update your cookie preferences here and enable ‘social and advertising cookies’

On Monday, we welcomed the next generation of theatremakers at TheatreCraft. The one-day event was packed full of talks, workshops and panels that were created to help people aged 16-30 break into the theatre industry. Watch the final panel of the day via the video above or click below to watch it on YouTube.

You can watch Maisie Williams in I And You free on Instagram

Maisie Williams (Caroline) in I And You at Hampstead Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Phones and theatre don’t generally go hand in hand, but with this brand new initiative from Hampstead Theatre, that might be a thing of the past. They’ve paired up with Instagram to screen the acclaimed play I And You for 72 hours for free from 30 November. Find out exactly how to watch by clicking below.

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


Sign up

david thaxton katharine mcphee kelsey grammer man of la mancha summer and smoke the phantom of the opera waitress wicked

Related articles

Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.