London Theatre News

Open Air Theatre revives On The Town - opens 25 May 2017

It has been announced that, as part of their 2017 Summer Season, the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park will revive the Leonard Bernstein musical On The Town, opening on Thursday 25 May 2017, following public previews from Friday 19 May.
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town! Written in 1944 as an expansion of Leonard Bernstein's jazzy ballet score Fancy Free which he wrote for Jerome Robbins, the story concerns three sailors who are on 24-hour shore leave in New York City and the women they meet along the way!
This revival of On The Town will be directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie and will play a strictly limited six week season up to Saturday 1 July 2017.

Open Air Theatre's "fantasic" Jesus Christ Superstar returns from 11 August 2017

Following an acclaimed run last year, Timothy Sheader's revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's seminal musical Jesus Christ Superstar will return to the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park for a five week season from Friday 11 August 2017.
Set against the backdrop of Jesus Christ's last weeks alive on earth as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Includes the songs I Don't Know How to Love Him; Gethsemane; and Superstar. Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail hailed it as being "a must-witness version... this production is a work of rare mission and artistic merit... fantastic show," and Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph described the musical as being "reborn here in euphoria-inducing style. Hallelujah!"
Jesus Christ Superstar will play up to Saturday 16 September 2017.

Charles Dickins' A Tale of Two Cities opens 13 July 2017

A new stage version of Charles Dickins' A Tale of Two Cities, written by Matthew Dunster, opens at London's Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park on Thursday 13 July 2017, following public previews from Friday 7 July.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us - sound familiar? How much more do those in power think Europe’s poor can take? When will the people take to the streets of the cities and roar enough is enough?
Directed by Timothy Sheader, A Tale of Two Cities will play a limited four week season up to Saturday 5 August 2017.

Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist 17 July to 5 August 2017

The Open Air Theatre present the Anya Reiss' stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist in London for a strictly limited three week season from Monday 17 July through to Saturday 5 August 2017.
Especially created for everyone aged six and over, this stage production promises to allow families to discover the original story of Victorian London's most famous child - and is sure to have you on the edge of your seat and wanting more!
Oliver Twist will play special daytime performances in mornings and early afternoons.

School of Rock: "loud and cheeky - a big-hearted, family-friendly show"

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage musical School of Rock opened at the New London Theatre on Monday 14 November 2016.
This new stage musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight 'A' pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out? Adapted from the movie by Julian Fellowes, with 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater along with all the original songs from the movie.
When this production opened Henry Hitchings in The London Evening Standard highlighted that "this fresh and charming musical" is "loud and cheeky, a feelgood experience with a hint of anarchic wildness...With an exuberant silliness that feels like a seasonal tonic, this is a big-hearted, family-friendly show," and Ann Treneman in the Times descried it as being "Andrew Lloyd Webber at his most playful... The script, sharp and current, is by the ubiquitous Julian Fellowes. The lyrics, by Glenn Slater, are clever and never naff."
School of Rock is currently booking up to Saturday 12 February 2017.

"Adam Penford's slick revival" of The Boys in the Band transfers to West End 7 to 18 Feb 2017

It has been confirmed that, following a successful run at the Park Theatre in North London earlier this year, Adam Penford's revival of Mart Crowley's landmark 1968 play The Boys in the Band will have a strictly limited 15 performance run at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre from Tuesday 7 February 2017.
Nine men. One secret. A hell of a party. Michael invites his fellow gay friends around to celebrate Harold's birthday but their comic camp haven is exploded when Alan, Michael's homophobic ex-college roommate decides to pay an unexpected visit. As the booze is drunk and the dope smoked, the mood swings from hilarity to heartbreak.
When the production was seen at the Park Theatre Claire Allfree in the Daily Telegraph highlighted that, "in Adam Penford's slick revival... Mart Crowley's play may no longer be radical but it still has the power to bite" and in the Times Ann Treneman said that "the performances are top-notch."
The Boys in the Band will play in the West End for a two week season up to Saturday 18 February 2017.

An Inspector Calls: 'thrilling & remarkable' - extends limited season by seven weeks

Stephen Daldry's multi award-winning 1992 production of JB Priestley's classic thriller An Inspector Calls opened at London's Playhouse Theatre on Thursday 10 November 2016.
When it opened Lyn Gardner in the Guardian commented that, "as good as they are, the actors play second fiddle in a production that, from Stephen Warbeck’s doomy music to Rick Fisher’s eerie lighting, magically reinvents a middlebrow drama and transforms it into thrilling and pertinent theatre." Dominic Maxwell in The Times wrote that "Stephen Daldry's spectacularly successful remounting of JB Priestley has returned to the West End. Even 24 years after its first run at the National Theatre, even if you know that what's coming is not going to be your average drawing-room thriller, it remains a remarkable evening... This magnificent mix of the strange and the familiar still needs to be seen."
The producers of An Inspector Calls have announced that the production's limited season has now been extended by seven weeks and it will now continue up to Saturday 25 March 2017.

King Lear: "Glenda Jackson’s return to the stage is a triumph"

Deborah Warner's revival of Shakespeare's King Lear - starring Glenda Jackson in the title role - opened at London's Old Vic Theatre on Friday 4 November 2016.
A quarter of a century after she gave up acting for politics, Glenda Jackson returns to the London West End stage to play the title role in King Lear with a company that includes Celia Imrie, Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans and Harry Melling.
When this production opened Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard hailed "Glenda Jackson’s return to the stage is a triumph... She finds revealing readings of well-known lines and uses her voice with forensic precision... Glenda Jackson is immense - this will surely rate as one of her greatest achievements," while Michael Billington in the Guardian highlighted how "Deborah Warner’s production offers a clear framework for a shattering performance... Glenda Jackson’s performance catches perfectly the zigzag patterns of Lear’s mix of insight and insanity. This is 'reason in madness' to the very life."
King Lear continues at the Old Vic Theatre up to Saturday 2 December 2016.

The Wind in the Willows opens 29 June 2017

The new British musical - written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe - of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows opens at the London Palladium on 29 June 2017, following public previews from 17 June.
This musical comedy follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. But with his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.
The cast Rufus Hound as 'Mr Toad' and the story has been adapted from the Kenneth Grahame book by Julian Fellowes.
The Wind in the Willows is scheduled to play a limited season up to Saturday 9 September 2017.

Dead Funny: "by turns funny and painful - sometimes both at once"

Terry Johnson's revival of his comedy Dead Funny opened at London's Vaudeville Theatre on Thursday 3 November 2016 in a production starring Katherine Parkinson, Steve Pemberton and Ralf Little.
The death of comedian Benny Hill sets off a chain of events in Terry Johnson's exploration of sexual repression, male impotence and the English sense of humour. Eleanor wants what Richard won't give her. Richard wants to be left in peace. Benny would rather rest in peace, but for tonight, at least, his fans won't let him.
When this production opened Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph highlighted how "the evening is by turns funny and painful - sometimes both at once... Assisted by sundry skeletons tumbling out of closets, this deft anatomy of marriage and mirth climaxes in a melee of uproarious slapstick," while Neil Norman in the Daily Express thought that "the combination of wit, physical comedy and nostalgic sketches results in a comic cocktail laced with cyanide. A sterling cast all unpack their characters while maintaining the humour."
Dead Funny continue up to Saturday 4 February 2017.

Tape Face returns to West End from 6 June to 22 July 2017

The Boy With Tape on His Face AKA Tape Face returns to London's West End for a seven week season at the Garrick Theatre from 6 June 2017.
It's the show that's got everyone talking... except for him. Funny, magical, innovative, spectacular and inspiring, this is stand-up with no talking, drama with no acting, punchlines with no words, a one-man show that speaks for itself.
Sam Wills is a New Zealand-born street entertainer who created the mute Tape Face back in 2005 since when he has garnered acclaim from around the world including performing at the Royal Variety Performance, winning a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award, starring in his own West End show during Christmas 2012 and appearing in his own BBC TV special television special The Tape Face Tapes. He was also a finalist on America's Got Talent 2016. Now he returns to the West End for a strictly limited seven week season which will run up to Sunday 22 July 2017.

David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho opens 28 March 2017

Patrick Marber's revival of his own play, Don Juan in Soho, opens at the Wyndham's Theatre on 28 March 2017, following public previews from 17 March.
Loosely based on Molière's tragicomedy Don Juan, this modern update transports the action to contemporary London and follows the final adventures of its debauched protagonist - a cruel seducer who lives only for pleasure.
The cast features David Tennant in the title role along with Adrian Scarborough and Gawn Grainger.
This revival of Don Juan in Soho will play for a limited 11 week run up to Saturday 10 June 2017.

"Brilliant" Travesties transfers to West End 15 February 2017

Following an acclaimed sold-out run at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, it has been confirmed that Patrick Marber's revival of Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties will transfer to the West End, opening at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday 15 February 2017, following public previews from Friday 3 February.
Henry Carr, a British consular official, agrees to play Algernon in an amateur production of The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich, during the war. Little does he imagine that he will help found the Dada movement, influence the writings of Ulysses, or be responsible for the emergence of Lenin in the Russian Revolution.
When this production was seen earlier this year at the Menier Chocolate Factory Neil Norman in the Daily Express praised it as being "drop-dead brilliant" with a "virtually flawless" cast, while, somewhat propheticaly, Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph said that "a West End transfer must be on the cards - anything less would be a travesty."
Travesties will play a limited season at the Apollo Theatre up to Saturday 29 April 2017.