London Theatre News

The Ruling Class: "a blast of theatrical energy"

Jamie Lloyd's revival of Peter Barnes’ comedy The Ruling Class, starring James McAvoy, opened at the Trafalgar Studio 1 on Tuesday 27 January 2015. After the 13th Earl of Gurney passes away his son, Jack, should be in line to be the new 14th Earl - but Jack is a possible paranoid schizophrenic who has a Messiah complex and a ruthless power struggle takes place as his scheming family strives to uphold their reputation and keep Jack from taking up his title as they view him as being singularly unsuited to a life in the upper echelons of elite society. When the production opened Dominic Maxwell in the Times highlighted: "Don't expect an easy evening. Do expect a blast of theatrical energy that ensures this psychedelic oddity makes a strange kind of sense all over again" and Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard hailed the "immensely charismatic performance by James McAvoy [that] anchors this rare revival of Peter Barnes’s subversive Sixties play." The Ruling Class continues up to Saturday 11 April 2015.

Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man returns 14 July 2015

Matthew Bourne's award-winning full-length dance show The Car Man - originally seen at London's Old Vic Theatre in 2000 - will return to London, opening at Sadler's Wells Theatre on Tuesday 14 July 2015 for a strictly limited four week season. Loosely based on Bizet's popular opera Carmen, the familiar 19th Century Spanish cigarette factory is now re-imagined as a greasy garage-diner in 1960s America, where the dreams and passions of a small-town are shattered by the arrival of a handsome stranger. The original production won the Evening Standard Award for 'Musical Event of the Year'. Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man will play for a strictly limited four week season only up to Sunday 9 August 2015.

James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman in Harvey opens 23 March 2014

Lindsay Posner's revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer prize-winning comedy Harvey will open at the Haymarket Theatre on Monday 23 March 2015, following public previews from Tuesday 17 March. Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six foot tall, invisible rabbit, named Harvey, much to the dismay of his long-suffering sister Veta. This production, which comes into the West End following a short tour, stars James Dreyfus as 'Elwood P. Dowd' and Maureen Lipman as 'Veta.' Harvey is currectly scheduled to play for a limited season up to Saturday 2 May 2015.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels confirms 7 March 2015 closing

Following the announcement that Jonathan Kent's revival of the musical Gypsy will start public previews at the Savoy Theatre on Saturday 28 March 2015, it has now been confirmed that that the current show at the Savoy Theatre - the musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Robert Lindsay - will close at the end of its current booking period, on Saturday 7 March 2015, after a run of 12 months.

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy opens 15 April 2015

It has been confirmed that, after a sell-out run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Kent's acclaimed revival of the Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne musical Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton will transfer to London's Savoy Theatre, opening on Wednesday 15 April 2015, following public previews from Saturday 28 March. Imelda Staunton will reprised her role as ''Momma' Rose Hovick' in this production which fetures choreography by Stephen Mear. When this revival was seen at the Chichester Festival Theatre last October Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph hailed "Jonathan Kent's exemplary revival which is nothing less than a triumph for Imelda Staunton" and Paul Taylor in the Independent highlighted that "Imelda Staunton's knock-out, psychologically searching performance as Momma Rose, the showbiz mother from hell, brilliantly puts the 'ow' in 'wow-factor' and positions the 'wow' up there in italics and neon lights... in this terrific production." Gypsy will play for a strictly limited season up to 18 July 2015.

Damian Lewis in American Buffalo opens 27 April 2015

Daniel Evans' revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo starring Damien Lewis will open at the Wyndham's Theatre on Monday 27 April 2015, following public previews from Thursday 16 April. As three small-time crooks, Donny Dubrow, Walter 'Teach' Cole and Bobby plan one big-time heist, a tragedy of errors spins this razor-sharp and darkly funny play into a blistering account of divided loyalties, insatiable greed… and a coveted Buffalo nickel as David Mamet examines the fickle nature of honour among thieves. Damien Lewis - who is probably best known for TV's Homeland - will play 'Walter 'Teach' Cole', with other casting to be announced. American Buffalo will play for a strictly limited season up to Saturday 27 June 2015.

Beatle's Let It Be returns from 28 February 2015

The theatrical concert ahow Let It Be returns to London's West End from 28 February 2015 when it plays a seven month season at the Garrick Theatre prior to a UK tour. This live concert-style show follows The Beatles rise from Liverpool's Cavern Club, through Beatlemania, though to their later studio masterpieces in this multimedia presentation. This show returns having already played a total of 19 months in the West End psince its London premiere in September 2012 when Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph described it as being "essentially a concert with a brilliant covers band offering a non-stop parade of hits in more or less chronological order," and Michael Billington in the Guardian said it "offers an evening of faithfully executed Beatles hits." Let It Be will play at the Garrick Theatre up to Sunday 27 September 2015.

High Society opens 14 May 2015

Maria Friedman's revival of the classic Cole Porter musical High Society opens at the Old Vic Theatre on Thursday 14 May 2015, following public previews from 30 April. Long Island socialite Tracy Lord is planning her lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband appears to try and win her back. His unwelcome arrival threatens to disrupt proceedings. When tabloid reporter Mike Connor arrives to cover the nuptials, he too takes a shine to the bride-to-be. But which of these three suitors will she choose? High Society will be performed 'in-the-round' at the Old Vic Theatre up to Saturday 22 August 2015.

JM Barrie's 'Original' Peter Pan opens 21 May 2015

The first production in the Open Air Theatre's 2015 Season is a 'rediscovery' of J M Barrie's original play Peter Pan which will open on Thursday 21 May 2015, following previews from 15 May. Staged by the directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel, who rediscover JM Barrie's original Never Land where danger stalks dreams and adventure breeds mischief. This production of the original play is unlikely to be suitable for younger children. Peter Pan will play nine performances-a-week at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park for a four week season up to Sunday 14 June 2015.

Anton Chekhov's The Seagull opens 24 June 2015

The second production in the Open Air Theatre's 2015 Season is Torben Betts new English version of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull which opens on Wednesday 24 June 2015, following public previews from 19 June. Matthew Dunster directs this revival of Anton Chekhov's masterpiece play that entwines both comic and tragic situations in the lives of a famous actress, her son and their lovers. As the young strive for fulfilment, their older counterparts look back to youthful dreams that remain unfulfilled. The Seagull will play at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park for a three week season up to Saturday 11 June 2015.

A View From The Bridge transfers 16 February 2015

It has been officially confirmed that, following an extended, sell-out season at the Young Vic earlier this year, Ivo van Hove's acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge starring Mark Strong will transfer to the West End's Wydnham's Theatre on Monday 16 February 2015, following public previews from 11 February. In Brooklyn New York, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Italian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie's jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret - one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal. When this production was seen at the Young Vic Paul Taylor in the Independent praised it as being "unforgettable" and Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard hailed it as being a "magnificent, electrifying production." A View From The Bridge will play at the Wyndham's Theatre for a strictly limited season up to Saturday 11 April 2015.

Di and Viv and Rose: "a moving & memorable evening"

Anna Mackmin's staging of Amelia Bullmore's acclaimed play Di and Viv and Rose, which was originally seen at the Hampstead Theatre last year, transferred to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre on Thursday 29 January 2015. Following the fortunes of three women over some 27 years from when they meet at university in the early 80s, the play features Tamzin Outhwaite, Samantha Spiro and Jenna Russell as the three title characters. When the production transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard highlighted that "the performances in Anna Mackmin’s easy-going production are top-notch," adding "this is heartfelt, watchable drama." Dominic Maxwell in the Times noted how, "even when the mood turns sourest, Amelia Bullmore has some blackly funny one-liners in reserve. It's a moving, memorable evening." Di and Viv and Rose continues up to Saturday 23 May 2015.

Taken at Midnight: "holds you spellbound"

Jonathan Church's production of Mark Hayhurst's new play Taken at Midnight, which was seen at the Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva Theatre last year, transferred to the West End Haymarket Theatre Royal on Monday 26 January 2015. Set in pre-war Nazi Germany where Irmgard, the mother of celebrated German Jewish lawyer Hans Litten confronts his captors at enormous personal risk to fight for his release against the seemingly impossible might of the Nazi regime. The cast features Penelope Wilton who reprises her acclaimed role as 'Irmgard' from the Chichester season. When the production opened in the West End Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph highlighted that "there's something about the inspiring heroism of this tale, and the way it's told, that holds you spellbound" and Dominic Maxwell in the Times noted that "Penelope Wilton is magnificent." Taken at Midnight continues up to Saturday 14 March 2015.

Felicity Kendal in Hay Fever opens 11 May 2015

Lindsay Posner's revival of Noel Coward's classic comedy Hay Fever - which was seen last year at the Theatre Royal in Bath - will transfer to London's Duke of York's Theatre on Monday 11 May 2015, following public previews from Wednesday 29 April. The Bliss family are incapable of sharing the spotlight. Unconventional, risqué and often downright rude, they are everything a respectable English family shouldn’t be. When each member of the family invites a guest to their rural retreat, the unassuming visitors are thrown into a living melodrama. Felicity Kendal reprises her role as 'Judith Bliss' from the Bath staging, with other cast members for the London run to be announced. Hay Fever will play for a limited season up to Saturday 1 August 2015.

Cats the Musical: "a top-whisker revival"

Trevor Nunn's revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and TS Eliot musical Cats opened at the London Palladium on Thursday 11 December 2015. This revival has been restaged and updated by the orginal creative time and features former Pussycat Doll popstar and X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger in her West End stage debut as 'Grizabella'. When it opened Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail hailed it as being "a top-whisker revival of Lord Lloyd Webber’s 33-year-old musical" and Dominic Maxwell in the Times commented that "Andrew Lloyd Webber's pumped-up and retweaked version of his humongous hit musical can leave even cynics purring with pleasure," adding that "the show's greatest moments come close to pure sensation." Cats continues up to 28 February 2015.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers opens 23 July 2015

Next year's musical at the Open Air Theatre will be a revival of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers which opens on Thursday 23 Juy 2015, folowing public previews from 16 July. Set in Oregon in 1850 this musical tells the story of Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, who goes to town to get a wife. He convinces Milly to marry him that same day. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover he has six brothers - all living in his cabin. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Rachel Kavanaugh directs this revival which will play at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park for a six wek season up to Saturday 29 August 2015.

"Brilliantly staged" Lord of the Flies returns 3-12 Sept 2015

Timothy Sheader's 2011 staging of William Golding's Lord of the Flies returns to the Open Air Theatre on Saturday 5 September 2015, following public previews from 3 September, for a strictly limited run of just 14 performances in total prior to a major UK tour. After a group of schoolboys survive a massive plane crash, what starts as a classic desert island adventure quickly becomes a struggle for survival as superstition and immorality sees the community slide into a darkly sinister world. William Golding's groundbreaking and disturbing novel has been adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams. When this production was originally seen in 2011 Michael Coveney in the Independent hailed it as being a "tremendous two-hour production" and Libby Purves in the Times praised it as being "brilliantly staged... a remarkable evening." Lord of the Flies will play at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park for just 14 performances from 3 to 12 September 2015.

Sweeney Todd in concert from 30 March to 12 April 2015

Following its premiere by the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center in February 2014, Lonny Price's semi-staged production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd will be staged by English National Opera at the London Coliseum for 13 performances between 30 March to 12 April 2015. Both Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson will reprise their roles as 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Mrs Lovett' from the New York staging, in London they will be joined by Philip Quast as 'Judge Turpin'.

My Night With Reg transfers 23 January 2015

The Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed production of Robert Hastie's 20th Anniversary revival of Kevin Elyot's comedy My Night With Reg transfers to the West End's Apollo Theatre on Friday 23 January 2015, following public previews from 17 January. Set in the Summer 1985 when a group of old and new friends gather to party through the night, but their world is about to change forever. When this production opened at the Donmar Warehouse in August 2015 Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail hailed it as "a landmark production of a landmark play" and Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times hailed it as a "touching and superbly acted revival." The entire cast from the Donmar reprise their roles in the West End transfer of My Night With Reg which will run for a strictly limited season up to Saturday 11 April 2015.

Urinetown to close two weeks early - 10 January 2015

It has been announced that the musical Urinetown, currently playing at the the Apollo Theatre, will close two weeks earlier than expected on Saturday 10 January 2015 after a run of 14 weeks in the West End. Set sometime in the near future in a world where the privilege to pee has become a punishable offence, the show transferred to the West End following a run at the St James Theatre in Victoria. Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard praised this "sparky production full of notable ensemble pizzazz that revels in the piece's gleeful self-referentiality." It has also been announced that Phill Jupitus will be joining the cast in the role of 'Caldwell B. Cladwell' from Monday 1 December 2014, while Jenna Russell who is currently playing the role of 'Penelope Pennywise' will be leaving on Saturday 29 November 2014. Urinetown The Musical continues at the Apollo Theatre up to Saturday 10 December 2014.

Made in Dagenham: "witty, fun, fitfully inventive and distinctly English"

The new musical comedy Made in Dagenham, adapted for the stage from the hit 2010 British movie, opened at the Adelphi Theatre on Wednesday 5 November 2015. Adapted from the film by Richard Bean with original songs by David Arnold and Richard Thomas, the show is inspired by the true story in 1968 of the women workers at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Essex, who were the first women to challenge for equal pay leading to them going on strike and winning their case. When it opened Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail hailed it as being "witty, fun, fitfully inventive and distinctly English... with its feel-good approach to a long-won battle for fairness, this show will win plenty of friends out for an evening’s easy entertainment." Made in Dagenham is currently booking up to Saturday 28 March 2015.

White Christmas: "an explosion of song & high-energy hoofing"

The stage version of the classic Irving Berlin movie White Christmas opened at the Dominion Theatre on Wednesday 12 November 2014 starring Aled Jones and Tom Chambers. Two successful Broadway partners stay at a ski resort in Vermont, but as there is no snow, there are no other guests - so they arrange to stage their Broadway bound revue at the resort. When the production opened Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph ssaid it "seemingly compresses 12 days' worth of hearty good cheer into two and a half hours" while Lyn Gardner in the Guardian highlighted that "it liberally sprinkles snowflakes and cosiness and throws in an explosion of song and high-energy hoofing." White Christmas plays for a strictly limited holiday season at the Dominion Theatre up to Saturday 3 January 2015.

October 2014 News