Work in Progress Production of Bonnie and Clyde Casting Announced

The Other Palace announced their casting for a new workshop production of Frank Wildhorn’s musical Bonnie and Clyde earlier today.

Evelyn Hoskins and Jamie Muscato will play the title roles of Bonnie and Clyde respectively. Evelyn has also appeared in Work in Progress musical Joybubbles as well as Carrie the Musical, This Is My Family and the Toronto production of Mrs Henderson Presents. Jamie played JD in the Work in Progress production of Heathers the Musical and he was also been seen in Lazarus, Bend It Like Beckham and Dogfight.

Sam Ferriday (Carl in Ghost UK tour) will play Ted opposite Joshua Dever (Rent UK tour) as Buck with Olivier award winner for Show Boat Rebecca Trehearn as Blanche.

Ako Mitchell will play Preacher, Amy Booth-Steel will be Clyde’s Mother and Governor, Nicolas Colicos will appear Clyde’s Father, Rebecca Lock is Emma Parker and Graham Bickley is Sherriff. They will all be part of the ensemble too.

Completing the cast will be Stanley Jarvis and Lucy Simmonds as Young Clyde and Young Bonnie respectively.

Bonnie and Clyde plays The Other Palace Studio from 26th June to 1st July. The show is now sold out.

Casting Announced for the West End Production of Hamilton

Full casting has been announced for the West End production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony award winning Hamilton.

Newcomer Jamael Westman will make his West End debut in the title role of Alexander Hamilton, whilst other newcomer Ash Hunter will alternate the role.

Star of The Book of Mormon and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Giles Terera will play Aaron Burr opposite Michael Jibson, original Joe Casey in Our House, as King George III.

The iconic Schuyler sisters will be played by Les Mis and Miss Saigon star Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza), Rachel John from Memphis and The Bodyguard (Angelica) and Christine Allado who has recently been seen as Vanessa in In The Heights (Peggy). Christine will also play Maria Reynolds. Marsha Songcome (Aladdin, Miss Saigon) will standby for all 3 roles.

Jason Pennycooke (Memphis) will play Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, with Obioma Ugoala (Motown the Musical) as George Washington and Cleve September (In The Heights, Annie Get Your Gun) as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.

Joining the ensemble are Courtney-Mae Briggs, Jack Butterworth, Jon-Scott Clark, Miriam-Teak Lee, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Jade Albertsen, Curtis Angus, Jonathan Bishop, Kelly Downing, Leslie Garcia Bowman, Lia Given, Gregory Haney, Leah Hill, Barney Hudson, Waylon Jacobs, Phoebe Liberty, Christopher Tendai and Lindsey Tierney.

Out of Order UK Tour Review

5-stars

Last night I went to see the current UK tour of Ray Cooney’s play  Out of Order. This play was absolutely hilarious – I can’t remember a time I saw a play that was so funny. It had a stellar cast of wonderful comedic actors, a cleverly created set and a brilliantly written script.

Leading the cast was Andrew Hall’s replacement, Jeffrey Harmer (Fox on the Fairway, Romeo and Juliet, Mamma Mia) playing Mr Richard Willey. Just the name led to hilarity but his performance was very very strong. You’d never have known he hadn’t been in the show since day one. His characterisation was spot on for a Conservative MP and he carried the show wonderfully. The pace never slowed down once. Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses) impressed as Pamela Willey even though she didn’t appear until the second half. Her first entrance just got a laugh!

Shaun Williamson (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Railway Children, Eastenders) played Mr George Pidgen and he too was hilarious! He portrayed his character amazingly and definitely gave the funniest performance in the show whilst still being still making a very believable political employee.

Susie Amy (Footballer’s Wives, Rehearsal for Murder, Murder on the Nile) did a great job as Jane Worthington. She made for a very believable Labour secretary and brought some tension to the play as the plot unfolded. Jules Brown (Les Liasons Dangereuses) made a perfect Ronnie Worthington who was hilarious yet brought in that tension with the affair that’s going on in the play.

Elizabeth Elvin (Anything Goes, Sister Act, Eastenders) did a wonderful job in the underused role of Nurse Foster and Arthur Bostrom (‘Allo, ‘Allo!, Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz) did a brilliant job as The Manager with such perfectly timed entrances with spot on reactions to the events of the play he walked in on. James Holmes (Miranda, The Boys in the Band, Sherlock) did a great job as the bonkers Waiter and was just as hilarious as I expected him to be. David Warwick also did an amazing job in his very bizarre role of The Body. You’ll have to go and see it to find out what that means.

Credit must also go to Rebecca Brower for designing a very clever set, which is the cause for lots of the comedy.

If you can catch this show, you really must. You won’t find a funnier show on tour at present.

Out of Order is written and directed by Ray Cooney OBE and is produced by Tom O’Connell Productions.

Out of Order plays the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield until 17th June before touring to Bromley Churchill Theatre, Oxford New Theatre, Swansea Grand Theatre, Southend Palace Theatre and the tour concludes at Nottingham Theatre Royal on 22nd July.

Julius Caesar Review

5-stars

Last night I went to see Robert Hastie’s first production as Artistic Director, Julius Caesar. Shakespeare’s slightly less commonly performed play is fast paced, intense and, in some parts, hard to watch but it is completely relevant in the 21st century, hence why there seem to be quite a few productions all happening around now.

Robert Hastie directed this production and his use of the unique space in the Crucible was very inventive and effective. The set, designed by Ben Stones, was incredible. Simple but stunning to look at and very effective. Taking out a row of seats to create more performance space really made the production feel very immersive and you almost always felt right in the centre of the action. Johanna Town designed some incredible lighting and Emma Laxton’s sound design was very effective. Credit must go to casting director Robert Sterne CDG for assembling an outstanding and incredibly diverse cast but not making a big deal of that. The show was cast purely based on talent. The use of Sheffield People’s Theatre as the ensemble was a genius idea and they were integrated seamlessly into the performance – you couldn’t tell who were the members of People’s Theatre and who were the employed professional actors.

Being a relative newbie to Shakespeare I struggled  to  get my head  round who  was who for a while. Despite this, there were many standout performances.

Pandora Colin (The Country Wife) made a great Casca and there was a wonderful chemistry between the leading trio of conspirators, Casca, Cassius and Brutus. Sheffield Theatres artistic director of 2005-2007 Samuel West played the central character of Brutus. He did a wonderful job of portraying this character caught in the middle of something he didn’t appear to want to be involved with. He had a great chemistry that seemed romantic with Zoe Waites (Hobson’s Choice) who played Cassius. The way she delivered the Shakespearean language was spot on sounding completely natural in a way you forgot you were watching a Shakespeare play.

Abigail Thaw (Ladies in Lavender) made an incredible Trebonius, although she was underused in the first half. She truly shone in the second half though with quite an emotional ending. Lily Nichol impressed in the small role of the Soothsayer and Arthur Hughes as Lucius was one of the very few likeable characters in the whole play.

Jonathan Hyde (The King’s Speech) made a wonderful Julius Caesar although his time in the play was short lived to great surprise to me. I felt the character needed more because although he is ended in a very gory way, the audience hasn’t really understood the character yet so doesn’t know how to feel about the event.

Chipo Chung (Boys Will Be Boys) made a very warm and likeable Portia and had some lovely chemistry with Samuel West as Brutus and she truly showed how capable she is as an actress playing Octavius as well in the second half, an entirely contrasting character. I didn’t for one moment think Octavius was played by the same performer as Portia.

The final performer I will mention is Elliot Cowan (Don Carlos) who played Mark Antony who gave an incredible performance, especially at the funeral towards the end of Act 1.

This production was gripping, intense and very imaginative and I cannot wait to see what Robert Hastie does with other shows in the future.

Julius Caesar runs at the Crucible Theatre until 10th June. Robert Hastie directs Of Kith and Kin in the Studio Theatre in September before returning to the Crucible stage with The Wizard Of Oz, this year’s Christmas musical.

Son of a Preacher Man The Musical to Tour the UK

New musical ‘Son of a Preacher Man‘ is set to the tour UK starting later this year, not to be confused with the previously announced ‘Dusty A New Musical’ that is to be directed by Maria Friedman. Son of a Preacher Man has a book by Warner Brown and will be directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, who has recently directed and choreographed Fiddler On The Roof and Sister Act and he has recently starred in the Annie UK tour as Miss Hannigan (which is currently playing at the Picadilly Theatre in London with Miranda Hart as Miss Hannigan).

The plot of the show, as quoted from the website, is as follows:

“Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them…

Welcome to the Preacher Man, the swinging 1960s Soho joint where the kids danced the night away to the latest crazes and dared to dream of love, while the legendary owner, The Preacher Man himself, dispensed advice to cure the loneliest of hearts.

Only, that was a long time ago and all that remains are the memories, the stories and the myths. Until now, that is, when three random strangers, generations apart but all in need of help with their hopeless love lives, are inexplicably drawn to the site of the original venue. The Preacher Man is long gone, but his son, with help from the wonderful Cappuccino Sisters, might just find it in himself to channel the spirit of The Preacher Man and once more give these three lovesick strangers the look of love.”

The musical play will feature the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield including The Look of Love, I Only Want To Be With You and Son of a Preacher Man.

It has been announced today that X Factor finalist Diana Vickers will star in the show. She has had theatre experience in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show and most recently, the UK premiere of Big the Musical starring opposite Jay McGuiness.

Tour dates for this new musical are as follows:

Bromley Churchill Theatre – 4th to 9th September

Birmingham Alexandra Theatre – 12th to 16th September

Sunderland Empire – 19th to 23rd September

Manchester Palace Theatre – 26th to 30th September

York Grand Opera House – 3rd to 7th October

Stoke Regent Theatre – 10th to 14th October

Edinburgh Kings Theatre – 17th to 21st October

Oxford New Theatre – 24th to 28th October

Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall – 31st October to 4th November

Hull New Theatre – 7th to 11th November

New Wimbledon Theatre – 14th to 18th November

Belfast Grand Opera House – 21st to 25th November

Wycombe Swan – 28th November to 2nd December

Southend Cliffs Pavilion – 16th to 20th January 2018

Nottingham Theatre Royal – 30th January to 3rd February

Coventry Belgrade Theatre – 13th to 17th February

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre – 6th to 10th March

Blackpool Grand Theatre – 20th to 24th March

Torquay Princess Theatre – 10th to 14th April

Brighton Theatre Royal – 17th to 21st April

Woking New Victoria Theatre – 24th to 28th April

Glasgow Kings Theatre – 6th to 10th May

Liverpool Empire – 3rd to 7th July

Further tour dates are to be announced.

 

Cabaret UK Tour Initial Casting Announced and The Sound of Music to Tour Again

Bill Kenwright’s production of Cabaret is set to tour the UK again. Cabaret has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The show is to be directed by Rufus Norris and choreographed by Javier de Frutos, with Katrina Lindsay designing.

The show is set in the Kit Kat Klub, owned by character Emcee, in 1931 Berlin and is based around the character of singer Sally Bowles.

Initial casting was announced today. Will Young will reprise his Olivier-nominated role as Emcee and Louise Redknapp will make her musical theatre debut in the role of Sally Bowles.

Currently confirmed tour dates are: New Wimbledon Theatre (21st to 30th September), Blackpool Opera House (3rd to 7th October), Cardiff New Theatre (17th to 21st October), Leeds Grand Theatre (24th to 28th October), Milton Keynes Theatre (31st October to 4th November), Salford Quays Lowry (7th to 11th November), Edinburgh Playhouse (14th to 18th November), Bromley Churchill Theatre (21st November to 25th November), Theatre Royal Brighton (5th to 9th December).

Bill Kenwright’s production of The Sound of Music will head back on the road again, opening at Dublin Bord Gais from 19th December to 6th January starring Irish opera sensation Celine Byrne as Mother Abbess. The show will also play Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre from 16th to 20th January, Glasgow Kings Theatre from 23rd to 27th January and Manchester Palace Theatre from 13th to 17th March. Further tour dates and casting are yet to be announced.

All Star Cast Lined Up For Dick Whittington at the London Palladium

Baz Bamigboye announced several new cast members joining the previously announced returning members to the Palladium for this year’s Christmas pantomime, Dick Whittington.

Returning to the Palladium after popular performances in Cinderella last year are comedian Julian Clary, this year playing the Spirit of the Bells, Coronation Street’s Nigel Havers playing Captain Nigel and America’s Got Talent’s ventriloquist Paul Zerdin playing Idle Jack.

Dancer Ashley Banjo will take to the stage as the Sultan with the rest of dance troop Diversity appearing as his entourage.

Theatre star Gary Wilmot, who has recently been seen in UK tours of Oklahoma and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and can soon be seen The Wind in the Willows at the Palladium, will take on the role of Sarah the Cook.

Newcomer to the West End, currently starring in Half A Sixpence, Charlie Stemp will take on the title role of Dick Whittington opposite well renowned musical theatre legend Elaine Paige as Queen Rat. This will be her first pantomime since 1966!

Dick Whittington will play at the London Palladium from 9th December through until 14th January. There are no shows on Mondays. Tickets are available through See Tickets, over the phone or in person at the theatre.