What’s going on? You’re away from your laptop for 5 days and then come back to a bonkers amount of activity happening in London’s West End theatreland! Mind you, I’m not complaining as the busy-ness (is that even a word?) of it all is what makes British theatre so exciting and always entertaining.
So in a nutshell, here’s what’s been in the news over the last 5 days…
Last seen on the London stage in 2014’s Made In Dagenham, ex-Bond actress Gemma Arterton will return next year in the Shakespeare Globe’s transfer of Nell Gwynn when it opens at the Apollo theatre on 12th February.
Directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical) Ralph Fiennes and James Dreyfus lead the cast of Ibsen’s The Master Builder at The Old Vic from 3rd February (previews from 23rd January). The two British actors are joined on stage by a multi-national cast including Sarah Snook and Linda Edmond.
Jade Ewen, current star of In the Heights at the Kings Cross theatre, will play Princess Jasmine opposite 2008 Britain’s Got Talent finalist Dean John-Wilson when Disney’s Aladdin – the theatre event of 2016 – opens at the Prince Edward in May next year.
Looking decidedly different from his Harry Potter days, actor Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the Potter films, will join Janie Dee, Neil Pearson, Jemima Rooper and Kevin Mains on stage at the Vaudeville theatre when “irreverent Broadway comedy” Hand To God opens on 5th February.
ITV’s Tricked star Ben Hanlin has been announced to join fellow illusionists at the Shaftesbury theatre for a limited amount of performances in The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible during November and December.
Burt Bacharach’s musical magic will continue to entertain London theatre goers until 14th February 2016 at the Criterion theatre as Close To You extends for another 4 weeks.
Talking of booking extensions, it’s good news for the Kings Cross theatre where both its shows are now showing until 10th April 2016. Latin style music mixed with urban rap and street dance In the Heights will lift the spirits during the cold winter nights and The Railway Children featuring a real steam locomotive will delight families well into Spring of next year.
And finally, the highlight of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre season has to be the staging of Jesus Christ Superstar next summer. And if their stunning production of 2015’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is anything to go by, then it will be the hottest ticket in town come next July.
Now, go out and enjoy it all!