London Theatre News

"Highly imaginative, mixed-media adaptation" of Brief Encounter returns 2 March 2018

Ten years after it was first seen in London, it has now been confirmed that Kneehigh Theatre's acclaimed live stage production of Noel Coward's Brief Encounter will return to London's Empire Cinema from 2 March 2018.
The lives and loves of three couples are played out in the famous station tearoom using the words and songs of Noel Coward to create a breathtaking, delightfully funny and tear-inducing show.
Kneehigh Theatre's Artistic Director Emma Rice adapted this production which switches between theatre and film, using a combination of Noel Coward's original stage play, Still Life, and the screenplay of Brief Encounter, presented in a live staging that promises to take audiences back to a bygone age of romance and the silver screen.
When this production was seen in London in 2008, Benedict Nightingale in the Times praised how "Emma Rice's staging of Noel Coward's screenplay is a delight: moving, funny, gripping and, even at its most inventive, true to the original and its all-English heart," while Paul Taylor in the Independent hailed the "highly imaginative, mixed-media adaptation."
Brief Encounter will play 'live on stage' at the Empire Cinema in the Haymarket from 2 March 2018.

Young Frankenstein: "An evening of gloriously impure fun"

Mel Brooks' musical comedy Young Frankenstein opened at London's Garrick Theatre on Tuesday 10 October 2017.
Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced ‘Fronk-en-steen’) inherits a castle in Transylvania leading him to fulfill his grandfather’s legacy by bringing a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from hunchback henchman Igor, buxom assistant Inga and needy fiancee Elizabeth, his experiment yields madcap success and monstrous consequences.
Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, the cast features Hadley Fraser as 'Dr Frederick Frankenstein', Ross Noble and Lesley Joseph.
When this production opened Michael Billington in the Guardian said "it offers an evening of gloriously impure fun," adding that "Susan Stroman, as director and choreographer, orchestrates the extravaganza perfectly... two-and-a-half hours of time-suspending pleasure." In the Times Ann Treneman said that "it's tremendously old-fashioned, the stage so crowded with double (make that triple) entendres that I'm surprised there was room for the cast. It's unashamedly politically incorrect."
Young Frankenstein continues at the Garrick Theatre where it is currently booking up to Saturday 29 September 2018.

Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst dance musical Sylvia opens 6 September 2018

Kate Prince's new dance musical Sylvia opens at London's Old Vic Theatre on 6 September 2018, following public previews from 1 September.
A modern dance musical, directed and choreographed by Kate Prince, that celebrates the life of the British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, her pivotal role in the campaign for women’s rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart.
This production is being staged to mark 100 years since the first women in Britain were granted the vote in 1918.
Sylvia will play at the Old Vic Theatre for a strictly limited three week season up to Saturday 22 September 2018.

Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls opens 17 July 2018

Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls opens at London's Old Vic Theatre on 17 July 2018, following public previews from 7 July.
Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.
This stage adaptation has been devised by the company from the novel by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea by Siobhan Dowd, and directed for the stage by Sally Cookson.
A Monster Calls will play for a limited six week season up to Saturday 25 August 2018.

Joe Penhall's Mood Music opens 2 May 2018

Roger Michell's World Premiere production of Joe Penhall's new play Mood Music openes at London's Old Vic Theatre on 2 May 2018, following public previews from 21 April.
In an expensive London recording studio two songwriters, their lawyers and their psychotherapists go to battle over music. A play about the drama and the psychodrama of making music.
Mood Music will play for a limited two month season at the Old Vic Theatre up to 30 June 2018.

Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander opens 1 March 2018

Stephen Beresford's stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander opens at London's Old Vic Theatre on 1 March 2018, following public previews from 21 February.
Sweden in the 1900s. Sister and brother, Fanny and Alexander’s world is suddently turned upside down when their widowed mother remarries the iron-willed local bishop. As creative freedom and rigid orthodoxy clash, a war ensues between imagination and austerity in this magical study of childhood, family and love.
Directed by Max Webster and presented in London to mark the 100-year anniversary of Ingmar Bergman's birth.
Fanny and Alexander will play at the Old Vic Theatre for a seven week season up to Saturday 14 April 2018.

Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle: "Many moments of quiet pleasure"

Marianne Elliott's West End Premiere of Simon Stephens' play Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle opened at the Wyndham's Theatre on Monday 9 October 2017.
In this uncertain world, who can predict what brings people together? When two strangers meet by chance amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, their lives are changed forever.
The cast for this two-hander features Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham.
When this production opened Michael Billington in the Guardian thought that, "while it is presented with great panache, Heisenberg is basically a slender, romantic fable that uses science to provide a bit of intellectual stiffening... Both actors are excellent and the play has many moments of quiet pleasure," while Neil Norman in the Daily Express said that it "delivers an unvarnished tale of two characters adrift in their own lives and is aided by a brace of intoxicating performances."
Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle continues to play at the Wyndham's Theatre up to Saturday 6 January 2018.

Stomp to close 7 January 2015 after 15-year run

It has been announced that Stomp will close at London's Ambassadors Theatre on SUnday 7 January 2018 after a West End run of just over 15-years.
Originally staged in London at the Bloomsbury Theatre in 1991, Stomp went to Edinburgh followed by a world tour that culminated in a sell-out season at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in January 1994, returning to London in 1995 for a season at the Royal Festival Hall, and again in 1998 at the Roundhouse Theatre. The show then finally made it into London's West End when it opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in September 2002, playing up to 2007 when it transferred to it's current home at the Ambassadors Theatre - where it finally closes after a West End run of just over 15-years.
In May 2014 it was announced that Sir Cameron Mackintosh would be buying the Ambassadors Theatre from it's current owner, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, and would be seeking permissions from the local council to remodel the building from a traditional proscenium arch theatre into a 450-seater thrust-stage auditorium to be renamed the Sondheim Theatre.
Stomp continues to play at the Ambassadors Theatre up to Sunday 7 January 2018.

Labour of Love: 'a brilliant new play, sparklingly acted'

Jeremy Herrin's World Premiere production of James Graham's new play Labour of Love opened at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 3 October 2017.
A political comedy set in the Labour Party's traditional northern heartlands and set against the backdrop of the past 25 years when the Labour Party has moved on from Neil Kinnock through Tony Blair into Jeremy Corbyn... and beyond?
The cast features Martin Freeman as the Labour MP 'David Lyons' and Tamsin Greig as his constituency agent, 'Jean Whittaker'.
When this production opened Michael Billington in the Guardian hailed it as being a "brilliant new play" that "is sparklingly acted," and Ann Treneman in the Times highlighted that "when Tamsin Greig and Martin Freeman are together on stage, they are magic. She's acerbic, funny, vulnerable. He's bustling and earnest and, as a politician, can see the bigger picture," adding that "Jeremy Herrin directs with confidence."
Labour of Love continues to play at the Noel Coward Theatre up to Saturday 2 December 2017.

'Exceptional' and 'magnificent' Girl from the North Country transfers 29 December 2017

Following an eleven-week season at the Old Vic Theatre, it has now been confirmed that Conor McPherson's acclaimed production of his own play Girl From the North Country - featuring the songs of Bob Dylan - will transfer to the Noel Coward Theatre on Friday 29 December 2017 for a three month season.
1934. Duluth, Minnesota in the midst of the Great Depression. A family adrift, their future on a knife edge. Lost and lonely people drifting through rooms of their guesthouse. But Nick Laine thinks he's seen a way out...
When this production opened at the Old Vic Michael Billington in the Guardian praised how "the constant dialogue between the drama and the songs that makes this show exceptional," while Paul Taylor in the i newspaper explained that "rather than move the show forward, the songs open it up, conversing with the drama and amplifying the mood of Depression-era despair or hope, and providing the lift to transcendence... Two formidable artists have shown respect for the integrity of each other's work here and the result is magnificent."
Girl From the North Country will play at the Noel Coward Theatre from Friday 29 December 2017 through to Saturday 24 March 2018.

The Grinning Man opens 18 December 2017

The new musical The Grinning Man, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, opens at London's Trafalgar Studios on Monday 18 December 2017, following public previews from Tuesday 5 December.
A strange new act has arrived at the Stokes Croft fair, a grotesque oasis of entertainment. Soon everyone from the gutter rats to the new Queen has fallen for the handmade freak Grinpayne and his hideously beautiful face. But who is he really? And how did he come to be so marked? Together with an old man, a blind girl and a wolf, he has a story to tell. A tale so tragic and so strange that not even he can guess how it will end.
Based the Victor Hugo 1869 novel The Laughing Man and adapted for the stage by Carl Grose, with lyrics by Carl Grose, Tom Morris, Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, and music by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler. This production comes into London's West End following an acclaimed run at the Bristol Old Vic in October 2016.
The cast in London will feature Louis Maskell as 'Grinpayne', the grinning man, and Julian Bleach as 'Barkilphedro', who are both reprising their roles from the Bristol production.
The Grinning Man is scheduled to play a limited two month run in the main space at the Trafalgar Studios up to Saturday 17 February 2018.

Five Guys Named Moe: "So full of energy that it zings"

Clarke Peters' revival of the musical Five Guys Named Moe opened at London's 'pop-up' Marble Arch Theatre on Thursday 14 August 2017.
Nomax's girl has walked out on him and he's got the blues. As he sits in his apartment drinking with the radio playing, suddenly five 'Moes' - Big Moe, Little Moe, No Moe, Eat Moe and Four-Eyed Moe - all appear from out of the radio to tell him about life and women... all to the soundtrack of forties saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan's music.
When this production opened Ann Treneman in the Times noted that this revival "is so full of energy that it zings. The plot revolves around the Moes trying to convince Nomax to stop drinking and go back to his woman, who has dumped him. Mostly it's a ploy to showcase some brilliant numbers," while Tim Auld in the Daily Telegraph described how "the choreography by Andrew Wright is a mixture of slick, relaxed and witty; the singing is accomplished; the dancing and acrobatics at times breathtaking; the music, by a five-man and one-woman band, on the money."
Five Guys Named Moe is currently playing at the 'pop-up' Marble Arch Theatre up to Saturday 17 February 2018.

An American in Paris to close 6 January 2018

It has been confirmed that the Gershwin dance musical An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre will close on Saturday 6 January 2018, following a West End run of 11 months.
Based on George and Ira Gershwin's classic Oscar-winning film and reimagined for the stage the musical follows a young American GI who pursues his dream to make it as a painter in Paris in the aftermath of war - but then he has a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer...
Directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, with a cast of over 50 actors, dancers and musicians, this production transferred from New York's Broadway where the show run for 17 months at the Palace Theatre.
When this producion opened in London in March 2017 Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail praised the "repeatedly inventive staging" while Neil Norman in the Daily Express described how "there isn't a weak spot or a dull moment... gobsmackingly brilliant."
The next production at the Dominion Theatre has not been announced yet.
An American In Paris continues at the Dominion Theatre up to Saturday 6 January 2018.

Oslo: "An absorbing mix of historical reconstruction and political thriller"

Prior to transferring into London's West End, Bartlett Sher's acclaimed production of J.T. Rogers' new Tony Award-winning play Oslo opened at London's National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre on Tuesday 12 September 2017.
The true story of two maverick Norwegian diplomats who coordinated the top-secret talks and inspired seemingly impossible friendships between Israeli, Palestinian, Norwegian and American people in the early 1990s. Their quiet heroics led to the ground-breaking Oslo Peace Accords. A darkly funny political thriller.
The cast features Toby Stephens as 'Terje Rød-Larsen' and Lydia Leonard as 'Mona Juul', and this production will transfer to the Harold Pinter from Monday 2 October 2017.
When this production opened Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard hailed it as being "an absorbing mix of historical reconstruction and political thriller... richly theatrical," and Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times praised it as being a "tremendous piece of theatre... witty, gripping, Shakespearean in scope, makes fizzingly light work of complex negotiations and is delivered by a flawless ensemble."
Oslo coninues at the Lyttelton Theatre up to 23 September 2017, before transferring to the the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre on Monday 2 October 2017 where it is currently scheduled to play up to Saturday 30 December 2017.

Stephen Sondheim's Company starring Patti LuPone opens 10 October 2018

It has been announced that Marianne Elliott's 'gender-reversed' revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical Company will open at London's Gieldgud Theatre on Wednesday 10 October 2018, following public previews from Wednesday 26 September.
The legendary Broadway musical as you've never seen it before - with the lead role gender-swapped from 'Bobby' to 'Bobbi'.
It's Bobbi's birthday, and she's got company... Bobbi has always been content living alone. But now, on the eve of her 35th birthday, images of her married friends begin to haunt her. As she looks over her life she begins to wonder whether she's as happy and independent as she thought she was... A wry and witty take on love, sex and relationships in the big city.
The cast features Rosalie Craig as 'Bobbi' and Patti LuPone as 'Joanne', who sings 'The Ladies Who Lunch'.
Company at the Gielgud Theatre is currently scheduled to play uo to Saturday 22 December 2018.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical opens 17 April 2018

The new stage show Tina: The Tina Turner Musical opens at the Aldwych Theatre on Tuesday 17 April 2018, following public previews from Wednesday 21 March.
Presented in association with Tina Turner, this new musical reveals her untold story from Nutbush in Tennessee through to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock'n'Roll - defying the bounds of age, gender and race.
Tina Turner says: "I am so excited to be bringing my musical to the West End! London is a place that means so much to me and had such a big impact on my music and my life. Returning now to tell my full story, in the city I love, feels like an important chapter and is truly exciting."
This production is directed by Phyllida Lloyd who is best known for bringing the long-running global smash-hit musical Mamma Mia! to the stage.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is currently taking bookings at the Aldwych Theatre up to Saturday 16 June 2018.

Zoe Wanamaker in Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party opens 18 January 2018

It has been announced that Ian Rickson's revival of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party will open at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Thursday 18 January 2018, following public previews from Tuesday 9 January.
Stanley lodges in the seaside boarding house owned by Meg and Petey Boles. One day his peaceful existance is threatened by the arrival of mysterious strangers Goldberg and McCann who organise a birthday party - except Stanley insists it is not his birthday...
The cast for this revival will feature Zoe Wanamaker along with Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan and will be directed by Ian Rickson.
The Birthday Party is scheduled to play a three month season at the Harold Pinter Theatre up to Saturday 14 April 2018.

Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom opens 11 April 2018

It has been announced that Drew McOnie's stage musical production of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom will open at London's Piccadilly Theatre on Wednesday 11 April 2018, following public previews from Friday 16 March.
Based on the Baz Luhrmann's 1992 multi-award-winning film, this stage musical tells the inspiring story of Scott Hastings - a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules and follows his heart, not only to find his true calling but also his true love. Featuring all the hit songs from the movie including Love Is In The Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time along with a number of new songs.
This production, which is directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, comes into London's West End following a successful Christmas season last year at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom is currently booking at the Piccadilly Theatre up to Saturday 14 July 2018.

"Beautiful Funny Impossible" La Soirée returns 1 December 2018

The hit cabaret show La Soirée returns to London for a Christmas and New Year holiday season at the Aldwych Theatre opening on Friday 1 December 2017, following public previews from Friday 24 November.
Returning to London for it's fifth season since it was first staged at the Big Top Tent on London's Southbank in 2010, this show promises to once again amaze audiences with it's heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety in an inspirational night of live entertainment.
When this production was originally seen in London Brian Logan in The Guardian exclaimed: "Beautiful. Funny. Impossible. La Soiree's triumph is that there's not a single moment when one, two or all three of those terms don't apply" while Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph wrote that "frankly, good nights out don't come much better... mixing good humour and glamour with a thrilling frisson of danger, La Soiree offers a wonderfully warm and welcoming refuge from the cold, scary world outside."
This show is recommended for ages 18 and above - but for the first time, as part of the show's run, a special 'family-friendly, fun and daring hour-long show for cabaret fans of all ages from 8 to 80' is being presented under the title La Petite Soirée which take place at 3.00pm on Saturdays and selected days during the Christmas holidays.
La Soirée will play a two month season at the Aldwych Theatre up to Saturday 3 February 2018.

Christian Slater in Glengarry Glen Ross opens 9 November 2018

Sam Yates' major revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross starring Christian Slater opens at the Playhouse Theatre on Thursday 9 November 2018, following public previews from Thursday 26 October.
Lie, Cheat, Steal... All in a day's work. David Mamet's modern classic is set in an office of cut-throat Chicago salesmen. Pitched in competition against each other, they will do anything, legal or otherwise, to sell the most real estate. In this world of high stakes and hard sell, the mantra is simple: close the deal and you've won a Cadillac; blow the lead and you're f***d.
The cast features Christian Slater as 'Ricky Roma' long with Robert Glenister, Kris Marshall, Stanley Townsend and Don Warrington.
Glengarry Glen Ross will play a three month season up to Saturday 3 February 2018.

Five Guys Named Moe extends over Christmas and New Year

Clarke Peters' revival of the musical Five Guys Named Moe - which opens at London's 'pop-up' Marble Arch Theatre on Thursday 14 August 2017 - has announced a three month extension over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, up to Saturday 17 February 2018.
Nomax's girl has walked out on him and he's got the blues. As he sits in his apartment drinking with the radio playing, suddenly five 'Moes' - Big Moe, Little Moe, No Moe, Eat Moe and Four-Eyed Moe - all appear from out of the radio to tell him about life and women... all to the soundtrack of forties saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan's music.
This production is performed 'in-the-round' in a specially built theatre which is located next to Marble Arch in central London.
Five Guys Named Moe will play for an extended season up to Saturday 17 February 2018.

Suranne Jones and Jason Watkins in Frozen opens 21 February 2018

Jonathan Munby's revival of Bryony Lavery's play Frozen opens at the Haymarket Theatre on Wednesday 21 February 2018, following public preview from Friday 9 February.
One sunny evening, 10-year-old Rhoda goes missing. Her mother, Nancy, retreats into a state of frozen hope. Agnetha, an American academic comes to England to research a thesis Serial Killing - a forgivable act? Then there's Ralph, a loner with a bit of previous who's looking for some distraction... Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three embark upon a long dark journey which finally curves upward into the light.
The cast for this revival, which is directed by Jonathan Munby, features Suranne Jones and Jason Watkins.
Frozen will play a 12-week season up to Saturday 5 May 2018.