London Theatre News - August 2016

"Rollicking good fun" Half a Sixpence transfers to London 17 November 2016

It has been officially confirmed that Rachel Kavanaugh's acclaimed revival of the musical Half a Sixpence, a hit at the Chichester Festival Theatre earlier this year, will transfer to London's Noel Coward Theatre on Thursday 17 November 2016, following public previews from Saturday 29 October.
The musical - best known for the show-stopping 'Flash, Bang, Wallop' song - is about Arthur Kipps, an orphan who works as a draper's assistant in Folkestone, at the turn of the last century - but then he unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society.
'Arthur Kipps' was origianlly played by Tommy Steele in the 1963 staging and the 1967 film. In this, the show's first West End revival, it will be played by Charlie Stemp who is reprising his role from the Chichester Festival Theatre season which was hailed by Sam Marlowe in The Times as being "rollicking good fun" and by Gary Shipton in The i Newspaper as being "a genuine masterpiece... a triumph."
Half a Sixpence is currently booking up to Saturday 11 February 2017.

Kenneth Branagh in The Entertainer "is never less than thoroughly arresting"

Rob Ashford's revival of John Osborne's The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh as 'Archie Rice' opened at the Garrick Theatre on Tuesday 30 August 2016.
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborne's modern classic conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. The cast also features Gawn Grainger and Greta Scacchi.
When this production opened Paul Taylor in The i Newspaper highlighted how "Kenneth Branagh rises to the occasion with a performance that is never less than thoroughly arresting," while in The Guardian Michael Billington noted that, "while Kenneth Branagh is never less than fascinating to watch," adding how director Rob Ashford "gives us a razzle-dazzle show but, for all Branagh's skill, it is not quite the one John Osborne intended." The Entertainer continues up to Saturday 12 November 2016.

Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace in The Last Tango opens 28 September 2016

Acclaimed Argentine Tango Champion dancers Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace present their brand new show The Last Tango in London opening at the Phoenix Theatre on Wednesday 28 September 2016, following public previews from Thursday 22 September.
After twenty amazing years of dancing together Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have finally decided to say goodbye to the stage in this thrilling, new, live performance - yes, it's time for The Last Tango.
This is the couple's third West End and it comes into London's West End following a hugely successful UK and Ireland tour.
The Last Tango will play a strictly limited 11 week season up to Saturday 3 December 2016.

42nd Street revival returns to Drury Lane on 4 April 2017

Having wowed London audiences for over 3,500 performances in the late 1980's - it has now been confirmed that the West End's first major revival of the classic 'tap-dancing' musical 42nd Street will return to it's original London - the Theatre Royal Drury Lane - on Tuesday 4 April 2017, following public previews from Monday 20 March.
This timeless, inspiring tale of small town Peggy Sawyer's rise from chorus line to Broadway star is a backstage musical set to get you tpping your feet away to such songs as We're in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, Keep Young and Beautiful, I Only Have Eyes For You and, of course, the spectacular title number.
This eagerly awaited brand new production is directed by the musical's book writer Mark Bramble and features choreography by Randy Skinner. 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is currently booking up to Saturday 22 July 2017.

Guys and Dolls to close 21 August 2016 after eight month run

It has been confirmed that the musical Guys and Dolls at the Phoenix Theatre will close after a run of eight months on Saturday 21 August 2016.
Gordon Greenberg's revival of Guys and Dolls, featuring choreography by Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright, was originally seen at the Chichester Festival Theatre in West Sussex before it transferred last December to the Savoy Theatre to critical acclaim with Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail hailing it as a "blistering production... with inventive choreography and extensive use of dry ice and blue lighting, there is no shortage of spectacle" and Sarah Hemming in The Financial Times saying that "Gordon Greenberg's revival is irresistible... this is a warm-hearted, effervescent show, sprinkled with scintillating choreography." The production transferred to the Phoenix Theatre to continue it's West End run, but that has now been cut four months short of it's current booking period. The closure also coincides with the depart of the show's current star: Rebel Wilson as 'Miss Adelaide'.