Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Beyonce-Inspired ‘Leave It On The Floor’ Coming to London

Musical-movie ‘Leave It On The Floor’ is coming to the London stage! The two-week run from 1st-16th August 2012 will play at the Leicester Square Theatre.
leave-it-on-the-floor-musical-london
Image: Coventry Telegraph Blog
The musical numbers were written by superstar Beyonce’s creative director Kim Burse, who was the genius behind the ‘Single Ladies’ video and a song by the lady herself will feature too. The musical includes 10 original songs and is described as “a sizzling mash-up of Paris Is Burning, Rent & Dreamgirls”.
Set in downtown L.A., Brad is forced to leave home after his mother disapproves of his sexuality. He soon finds himself a part of the ‘House of Eminence’; an underground group from the ‘ball’ community. The group is made up of people from all walks of life, from young African-Americans, gay and transgendered, runaways, victims of rejection, violence and homelessness and they join together to be creative with music, dance, fashion and art.
This is the first time in popular culture that the ball community has been represented and it is hoped that the exposure will lead to the group becoming more understood as well as celebrated by the general public.
The musical aims to celebrate difference and creativity whilst also exploring the idea of how the young people form their own ‘unconventional family’. Although only a short run, there are hopes that it could become a permanent fixture in London’s West End.
Leave It On The Floor, like Drag Divas, Soho Cinders and Le Gateau Chocolat is another musical to have celebrate themes of sexuality and diversity.
If the show is anything like the movie, it’ll be colourful, vibrant, risky and a little naughty. It’s full of amazing choreography and music, as well as a hard-hitting storyline. It really is a musical for the 21st century!
Here is the film’s trailer to give you a taster of what to expect!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Volcano – Noel Coward Play Transfers to West End

Volcano, by Noel Coward, has been touring and is playing now in the Oxford Playhouse. It is coming to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End in August.
noel-coward-playwright
Noel Coward
Volcano was never shown in Coward’s lifetime, and this is the first full production. It was probably the play’s overt discussion of sex which was caught by the sensors in the 1950s. However, its plot was also probably just too close to home.
Set on the fictional island of Samolo, a barely disguised Jamaica, Volcano echoes Coward’s own leisurely lifestyle during his tax exile. He whiled away the days in his two Jamaican residences, Blue Harbour and Firefly. It was here that he entertained a whole crowd of theatre celebrities, before the days when the public and the paparazzi could easily pursue. Ivor Novello and Bette Davis also had residences nearby, Coward himself played host to John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier on occasion.
Starring Jenny Seagrove, Dawn Steele and Jason Durr, Volcano will be at the Vaudeville Theatre 14th August to 29th September.
Thursday, 26 July 2012

YouTube Star Search for Mini MJ!

It seems there may be a theme occurring…
As we blogged about earlier, the internet has become the platform to find theatre performers. It is now being used to find a young performer for an upcoming Broadway show Motown: The Musical, produced by Berry Gordy, the man behind the Jackson 5.
His aim to to find one performer to play three roles; a young Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and himself.
Motown: The Musical is looking for a 8-11 year old African-American boy to play all three parts. Gordy described what he is looking for, “I’m not looking for imitators,” “What I’m looking for is people that are smart and can be themselves in the role.  He has to be extremely talented, plus he has to give me the same chills that I got when I saw Michael Jackson in the first place.”
As well as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, music will come from Motown classic performers like The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes. The show is expected to open on Broadway in the spring of 2013.
The musical will be based on Gordy’s story and how he discovered the likes of The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder and created his music empire.
Those who want to audition have the choice of three songs to perform, “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There” and “Who’s Loving You”.  Their auditions will then have to be uploaded to YouTube where Berry Gordy will decide the winner.
This news comes after the campaign ‘Searching For A Twitter Star’ was using the internet for the same purpose – to find a new west end performer. The only difference being, the winner was voted by Twitter users.
It does seem like an obvious platform to find new theatre stars after many bands and artists, such as Justin Bieber for example, were discovered through YouTube.
It is such an accessible, convenient tool, that allows those who would not normally be able to travel to auditions to get a chance at stardom.  We predict that this method of finding talent will be used more and more.
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

45% Off Abigail’s Party Tickets

Good News!  A Flash Sale for Abigail’s Party‘s tickets is now on – for 48 hours only! Offer available from Theatrepeople.com
abigail-s-party-play-tickets-london

Get tickets for the famous Mike Leigh play, starring Jill Halfpenny as the odious Beverly at 45% off!
£49.50 £25.50 on top price tickets
£29.50 £16.00 on second price tickets
£19.50 £11.00 on third price tickets
Starring: Jill Halfpenny
Venue: Wyndham Theatre
Offer valid: Monday to Friday performances, including matinees, from 25th July to 25th of August.
Seats: A range of great offers on all seats!
Offer Ends: Friday 27th July at 10:30am
In 1970s suburbia, Beverly and her husband Laurence are hosting a drinks party for their neighbours. There is plenty of alcohol, an array of cheese-pineapple savoury bites and olives, and Demis Roussos on the record player. But as prejudices are unmasked and tempers flare, the evening seems headed for disaster.  MIke Leigh’s classic play, famously starring Alison Steadman in the 1977 television play, is treading the West End boards with Eastender Jill Halfpenny. A satirical view of the rise of the middle class British snobbery, and more than a laugh a minute.

Dreamboats & Petticoats Closing 4th August 2012!

Another week, another show closes, and this time it’s Dreamboats & Petticoats! Although it was booked to run until late November, it is now due to close on the 4th August.
dreamboats-and-petticoats-musical

The jukebox musical featured fantastic hits from the 50s and 60s and really captures the rock ‘n’ roll era! The musical was set between the years 1957 – 1963, and has been running in the West End since September 2009.
In it’s short 3 year run, Dreamboats & Petticoats is thought to have been seen by over 1 million people in London alone! The musical numbers were so popular, that the CD soundtrack spent 4 weeks at number 1 of the compilation charts.
The show has had two homes, a short run at the Savoy Theatre, and most recently at The Playhouse Theatre. As well as a 3 year run in the West End, the show has also had 3 UK tours, which have brought all the fun to an even wider audience.
The show opened to mixed reviews, most stating that the show was geared towards an older audience. The Daily Mail fairly described it as,  ”innocent fun – particularly for those who lived through the songs first time round.”
If you’ve always wanted to go, but never got round to it, now is the time to catch it!
Tickets will be selling up to the 4th August, so be super quick to catch the last few performances of Dreamboats & Petticoats!
Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Soho Cinders – New Musical Announced

soho-cinders-new-musical
A new show, Soho Cinders is about to hit the West End. 
Based on the classic Cinderella story, Soho Cinders gives new life to the fairytale. Robbie, a student, becomes romantically involved with an engaged Mayoral candidate called James Prince. Things get serious, and his lap dancing step-sisters continue meddling even more in Robbie’s business. Robbie and James are forced to fight for their own happy ending.
Soho Cinders is a hilarious, colourful and grown-up version of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, that brings issues of politics and sex-scandal into the spotlight.
The cast includes Olivier Award nominee, Michael Xavier (Oliver & Love Story) as James Prince, Waterloo Roads’ Thomas Milner as Robbie and Jenna Russell (Les Miserables, Guys & Dolls) as Marylin Platt.  The show also includes narration from the one and only Stephen Fry!
With such a strong cast, and a truly unique take on Cinderella, we predict big things for Soho Cinders!
The world premiere of Soho Cinders will open on 2nd August at the Soho Theatre, London.

Monday, 23 July 2012

ITV’s Superstar…Not So Super

ITV1’s latest talent search for Andrew Lloyd Webber's next Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar is not going well, according to the ratings anyway.

Viewing figures have dropped by 2 million over two weeks. The highest ratings on the first episode, during prime time Saturday evening, were significantly lower than is normally expected too, (2 million lower!)
Along with the concerns over the programme, there are even bigger worries when it comes to what effect the show is having on the West End. The show is said to not portray the West End well, and senior theatre executives are worried that it is going to put people off going to the theatre!
Is it really that bad?
Perhaps these programmes are a little played out, and audiences are switching off the programme, because they have switched off from the idea of talent shows, or maybe Jesus Christ Superstar doesn’t have the same appeal anymore?
The first talent show of its type aired way back in 2006 called, ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’ on the BBC. Since there have been shows searching for Joseph (Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat), Nancy (Oliver) and Dorothy (Wizard of Oz). 
Mel C, Tim Michin and Chris Moyles will be starring in the UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar too, along with the eventual winner of Superstar.
Let’s hope the actual production will have higher audience numbers than the talent show!
Friday, 20 July 2012

See Something Different – Alternative West End Theatre

The best selling classics and popular musicals such as Les Miserables, The Lion King and Shrek are great for theatre trips this summer, but if you fancy seeing something a little different check out our recommendations for alternative West End treats!

The Hurly Burly Show


hurly-burly-burlesque-show-london
A burlesque show with a difference! Miss Polly Rae and her girls bring glitter and glamour to the West End, mixing traditional burlesque, pop, and fashion together to create a stunning show that is truly mesmerising. There are some great tunes from the likes of Madonna, Kylie and Prince, that will make you want to get up and dance! Popular with both men and women, the show celebrates everything beautiful about burlesque. Showing at the Duchess Theatre until the 22nd September 2012. 

London Road


This production is not your typical musical and has caused more than a little controversy in theatreland.  The show is set around the 2006 murders in Ipswich, where five female sex workers were killed by Stephen Wright.  Actual speeches have been taken from interviews with the residents of London Road after the murders and are set to music, creating a very unorthodox – yet intriguing musical. London Road is playing until the 6th September at the Olivier Theatre.

Democracy

democracy-play-london
Democracy is the story of secrecy, betrayal and political intrigue.  It follows West German chancellor Willy Brandt in his final months in office.  He is battling to keep his government together after there are suspicions of Stasi spies infiltrating his inner circles.  Democracy is a sharp-witted and stylish play, that is sure to get you thinking.  If you fancy seeing Democracy, it is showing at the Old Vic Theatre, don’t hang about though – the show closes on 28th July. For other political plays you may be interested in, read our post.

Drag Divas

Featuring hits from Whitney Houston, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli and Beyonce; Drag Divas is where the party is at!  Hosted by Titti La Camp and Mrs Moore, Drag Divas is a completely unique experience. The show features the best up and coming drag act London has seen.  You are guaranteed glitz and glamour, along with first-class performances so whether you are fan of drag, or want to experience it for the first time, Drag Divas is the show to see! Drag Divas is playing from the 10th-25th August 2012 at the Arts Theatre.

Le Gateau Chocolat


Le Gateau Chocolat offers something a little different. The opera trained performer along with his live band, performs everything from Radiohead to Shirley Bassey. This heart-warming show lets us into Le Gateau Chocolat’s heart – and wardrobe, taking the audience on an intimate journey filled with fabulous music and costumes. Playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Le Gateau Chocolat will play from the 15th – 26th August.

Abigail's Party Review

This Michael Leigh play, famous particularly for the TV version starring Alison Steadman, is superbly written, thought provoking and satirical. It gleefully, and at times tragically, exposes the snobbish self-perception of the middle classes. Much of this could have been lost in this 21st century revival, but it isn’t.

True, the play is clearly targeted towards an audience who have already seen the television play. There were murmurs, sometimes very loud, in the audience, giving away the plot to come. Bad luck on the few in the audience who didn’t know what happened at the end. Nevertheless, this revival of the stage play still more than holds its own.

Jill Halfpenny, the ex-Eastenders actor, plays a great wayward, self-deceived Beverly, in the same spirit as Alison Steadman. That she was actually frustrated with the boredom of her middle class life, and her boring work-obsessed husband, was clear. We hate her for her mistreatment of her husband, but still understand it, and also feel for her entrapment.

Her husband, played by Andy Nyman, also had that perfect blend of excruciating and funny. There is a perfect moment where he shows off his well-bound complete Shakespeare to the lower class visitors. He opens it at Macbeth, pauses... and dismisses it as ‘entirely unreadable, of course’, before stuffing it back on the shelf, momentarily abashed.

If we have a criticism, it is that this production plays too often for laughs, at moments which should be predominantly tragic. This is always a potential pitfall with tragicomedy. The closing scenes were roaringly funny, noisy, and repellent. By contrast, the end of the film was touching, and thought provoking. A production which had managed thoughtfulness in parts, slipped a little at the end.

This matinee audience was mainly made up of a middle-aged demographic for whom the ‘issue’ of the rise of the middle classes would have been memorable. With the classic 70s decor, pop culture and ‘blue nun and volovant’ attitude taking the brunt of the satire, its a great opportunity to laugh at social snobbery of the 70s.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Over 25% Off Chariots of Fire Tickets!

Good news, for 48hrs only, there is a Flash Sale on Chariots of Fire tickets – just in time for the Olympics!
Top price tickets worth £55 are down to £39.50.  Thats 28% off!
Starring: Jack Lowden, James McArdle
Venue: Gielgud Theatre
Offer valid: Monday to Friday evening performances, from 18th July to 7th of September
Seats: Top price tickets in stalls and dress circle
Offer Ends: Friday 19th July at 10:30am
Adapted from the legendary Oscar-winning movie, this spectacular and ingenious retelling of Eric Liddell’s and Harold Abrahams’ quest to become the fastest men on earth is an electrifying and immensely moving tale of two men’s rivalry, and their unwavering determination to conquer the world in the face of prejudice, immovable beliefs and overwhelming odds.

The Prize – New Play Using Olympic Athletes’ True Stories

The Prize is a new play being played at the Live Theatre featuring testimonials of 23 people who have in some way been affected by the Olympics or the Paralympics.
The aim is to represent a wide range of athletes and share their experiences with the Olympic games.  The creators, Steve Gilroy and Richard Stockwell run a theatre company called Murmur. Richard explained their reasons for using the Olympics as inspiration by saying, “I thought all around the country there are athletes preparing for this big thing and some will get there and some won’t.  I thought there must be some stories that are worth telling.”
Those whose stories feature in the show include Olympic silver medal-winning runner Roger Black, Paralympian thrower Stephen Miller and diver Charmian Welsh, who became the youngest Great Britain team member (age 15) at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952.
The five cast members will voice the 23 athletes’ stories on stage and play multiple people.  The cast includes Chris Connel, Helen Embleton, Serocca Davis, Melissa Johns and Carl Kennedy.  Carl will play Roger Black along with Nick Beighton, a British Army Officer who lost both his legs. He will compete in the mixed double sculls at the Olympics this year.
The hope is that The Prize will give a more genuine portrayal of how the Olympics can affect people from many different walks of life.  Each athlete involved was interviewed for an average of 2 hours, which differs from the quick conversations we normally see with athletes after an event.  It is hoped to give more insight into their goals and desire to win.
Chris Connel who will play Norman Strike and Paralympic powerlifter Ali Jawad echoed this by saying, “One of the things we’ve discovered in doing this piece is that the prize (of the title) is different for some people.”
The Prize seems a great way to get to know the athletes as people, rather than just a name we associate with a sport. This is another example of where the Olympics and culture have collided, in the likes of Chariots of Fire as well as the arts in general being popular and promoted during the Olympics.

Politics on Stage in the West End

We couldn’t help but notice how politically focused some of the productions are. Many are very poignant and discuss that are very much a part of contemporary culture today.
Some are focused on key political figures of the recent past from around the world but it’s the British-focused plays that seem the most risky and controversial. At a time like now, when Britain is in the world’s spotlight, to have so much attention on British politics is particularly brave.
Nevertheless, there is something dramatic, secretive and controversial about world politics, and it’s clear audiences want theatre to lift the lid on the secrets of past politicians.
Democracy, a play by Michael Frayn is very timely, focusing around the difficulties surrounding the coalition government in Germany in 1974. The show, which is based on fact, depicts the final months in office of the West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt. There is suspicion surrounding Stasi spies infiltrating his inner circle and it explores the lengths to which Brandt is willing to go to save his government.  The play is stylish and full of political intrigue. Democracy is playing at The Old Vic until 28th July 2012.
A Walk on Part: The Fall of New Labour has just closed in the West End but had major success during its 4 week run. The play is based on Chris Mullin’s diary entries. He is the former Sunderland South MP. Full of political humour and satire, the play portrays the turbulent time of the British Labour Party during the transition from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown. Quite ingeniously, 5 actors play over 100 characters in politics including John Prescott, Brown, Tony and Cherie Blair.
Yes, Prime Minister is a stage adaptation of the original sitcom of the same name. The stage play has been brought into the present day. The classic pairing of Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey remain, but the play is scattered with topical references, including some to BlackBerrys and to a coalition agreement. The biting satire scorns the Prime Minister’s handling of the Afghan war, the Euro crisis, and the dog-eat-dog international scraps over oil reserves.  The moral debate surrounding a possible 15 year old prostitute and a visiting dignitary also seems very relevant, given the ever-present moral mazes in today’s news. Yes, Prime Minister is booking until January 2013 at the Trafalgar Studios.
Posh is an original play by young writer Laura Wade and is set around an elite dining society at Oxford University. Although not set in typically political surroundings, obvious themes of class, education, and elitism are all currently relevant debates in contemporary British society. The club leader, James, inspired by his Tory MP godfather, decides to start a revolution naming them, ‘The Riot Club’.  Posh is playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre until the 4th of August 2012.
Friday, 13 July 2012

I’d Do Anything to Solve Any Dream Over The Rainbow – Where Are They Now?

After a year absence, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for West End Stars has returned to television.  

jesus-christ-superstar-theatre
This year, ‘Superstar’, on ITV, has a definite classy edge that the camp and colourful BBC searches did not – more X-Factor than ‘I’d Do Anything to Solve Any Dream Over The Rainbow’.  ‘Superstar’ looks for the next Jesus Christ, for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s searches for West End stars began on the BBC in 2006. They found a winning formula in ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ and followed up in searches for Joseph, Nancy and Oliver, and Dorothy.

Critics said that Webber’s talent shows saturated the West End with fresh faces, totally unused to the relentlessness and responsibility of being a West End leading man or lady.  We take a look at the BBC searches’ winners, to find out whether they have been truly successful in finding lasting stars.
2006, ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?’ – Connie Fisher
Connie Fisher was the first winner of the show, and was flagged as an early favourite, as having an amazing voice.  She performed in the show until early 2008, but had to reduce her number of performances from 8 to 6 shows a week, after straining her vocal chords – a problem from which she has continued to suffer.
In comparison to some of the later winners she has had a less-than-remarkable career. After finishing her run as Maria, she was set to embark on a concert tour which was cancelled due to poor sales.  She starred alongside Alistair McGowan in ‘They’re Playing Our Song’, and in an ITV drama ‘Caught in A Trap’, her TV debut.  In 2009, another tour, of her album ‘Secret Love’, was cancelled, this time due to an operation on her vocal chords rather than poor sales.
Singing skill rating: 8/10
Followers of the official account on twitter, @Conniefisher1: 2,802
Success rating: 4/10
2007, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ – Lee Mead
Lee Mead has been one of the more successful of Andrew’s golden finds.  He started off as a professional musical theatre performer, though took parts on cruise ships, minor roles in touring productions, and understudy parts before ‘Any Dream Will Do’.
Following the show, he enjoyed a sell out run as Joseph, of 600 performances, Lee Mead has had leading roles in a play adaptation of Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime, by Oscar Wilde, and two hit West End Musicals: ‘Wicked’ (Fiyero) and ‘Legally Blonde’ (Emmett).  He has released three solo albums, and performed two successful music tours.
He has also married judge of the show, West End leading lady, and pop star in her own right, Denise Van Outen.  That’s pretty well done!
Singing skill rating: 7/10
Followers of the official account on twitter, @leemeadofficial: 15,689
Success rating: 9/10
2008, ‘I’d Do Anything’ – Jodie Prenger
Jodie Prenger has also had a successful post-Nancy career, as a bit of an all-rounder.  In her early days, Jodie became moderately well known as an overweight beauty, who later won the show ‘The Biggest Loser’ (of weight).  Though she won ‘I’d Do Anything’ in 2008, she first performed in the ensemble cast of ‘Les Miserables’ to gain some much needed experience.
Jodie had a successful run as Nancy from December 2008 to March 2010.   After Nancy, she starred in the touring production of ‘Spamalot’, and since then she has focused mainly on television presenting and acting.  She presents the Lottery midweek draw on an occasional basis, and has had guest roles in television shows including Hustle and Waterloo Road.
She is currently making her non-musical stage debut as Elsie Tanner in the West End comedy, One Man, Two Guv’nors.
Singing skill rating: 5/10
Followers of the official account on twitter, @Musicalmissy: 17,334
Success rating: 9/10
2010, ‘Over The Rainbow’ – Danielle Hope
‘Shy’ school girl Danielle Hope was an outsider to win at the beginning of the competition to be Dorothy.  It was only in the last few weeks that it looked likely that she would win.  She played Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for a year from February 2011 to February 2012.  She was recently cast as Eponine in Les Miserables, the longest running musical in the West End.
Its a bit early to tell with miss Danielle Hope in terms of success, but she’s now been in two massive West End musicals and held her own – and, as a young zero-to-hero star, she is incredibly popular!
Singing skill rating: 7/10
Followers of the official account on twitter, @OfficialDanielleHope: 9,614
Success rating: 7/10
So, its been a mixed bag of success for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s zero-to-hero stars.  Two questions:  

Who is your favourite out of this bunch?  
And who will win his new search, Superstar?
Thursday, 12 July 2012

‘The Doctor’ Matt Smith is Theatre’s Latest Patron

Matt Smith, the current Doctor Who has been made a patron of the National Youth Theatre, where he trained as a teenager.
Matt Smith joined the theatre in 2002 and enjoyed praise from countless critics for his roles in ‘The Master and Margarita’ and ‘Murder in the Cathedral’. He has since starred on stage in ‘The History Boys’, and ‘Swimming With Sharks’, as well as his famous role as ‘Doctor Who’ on the BBC.
Smith said himself that the theatre, “completely transformed my life. No understatement. I’m proud to be a part of it still. I care very deeply about it”, so there is no doubt that this latest role as patron to the NYT is very important to him.
Paul Roseby the artistic director of The National Youth Theatre also added “As we continue to operate in challenging economic times, like everyone in the arts, it’s always good to have a Doctor in the house.” (Nice pun, Paul!)
This refers to the financial constraints the theatre has faced over recent years, but has since declared that in terms of finance, the theatre is back on track, thanks to the Arts Council England and other organisations.
The theatre company are doing all they can to encourage more young people to join the theatre so Matt Smith as a patron could go a long way in doing so. The NYT have also changed their age range from 14-21 to 16-25 to encourage those who may not be in education or employment to seek involvement in it’s social inclusion programme.
Other NYT alumni include Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Dame Helen Mirren and David Walliams.
Even from that list alone, it is easy to see how The National Youth Theatre is such a great stepping stone for young aspiring actors. Hopefully Matt Smith’s new status as patron will help encourage young people to become part of The National Youth Theatre, and therefore produce more Matt Smiths!
References: BBC
Wednesday, 11 July 2012

50% Off Spamalot Tickets!

Good news, for 48hrs only, there is a Flash Sale on Spamalot tickets.
Tickets worth £55 are down to £27.50. Thats 50% off! The offer is available from Theatrepeople.com
Starring: Marcus Brigestoke, Jon Culshaw and Bonnie Langford
Venue: Harold Pinter Theatre
Offer valid: Tuesday to Saturday evening performances, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees, from 24th of July to the 9th of September.
Seats: Top price and second price seats.
Offer Ends: Friday 13th July at 14:30.
Monty Python’s Spamalot, by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, is the most infectiously funny musical of the millennium.  It features a clutch of hilarious song including He’s Not Dead Yet, and Nation’s Favourite Comedy Song 2009 (Reader’s Digest Poll) ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. Don’t miss it!
Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Cher – The Musical!

A musical about the life and career of Cher is currently being written. Cher herself will be part of the production and writing!

cher-new-broadway-musical
the lady herself!
The musical, which will also feature many of the superstar’s songs will present the singer’s life before and after fame. Three actresses will play Cher, at three different times in her life. The first, before she met her partner, Sonny Bono, the next after they had separated in 1999 and the last will play her in the present day. It is hoped that the show will open in New York’s theatre district, Broadway first.
Her biggest hits include ‘Believe’, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ and ‘The Beat Goes On’.
This announcement comes after another pop act-inspired musical, Viva Forever (Spice Girls) is set to open in the West End this year. Meanwhile Thriller Live! (Michael Jackson-inspired) and Jersey Boys, (telling the story of The Four Seasons) among others are still going strong in the West End!
However, the production process will be slow and although the aim is to open on Broadway, there have been no official announcements as to when or where it’ll open.
There was surprisingly positive responses on Twitter to this announcement!
Are you excited for the prospects of this musical or is Cher really not your thing?!

Twitter Talent Show to Find West End Star

Twitter is the new platform to find talent it seems! Ten potential West End stars will perform in front of a 900-strong audience at the Lyric Theatre. The show, #seachforatwitterstar LIVE will use the social network, Twitter to cast votes.
As well as voting, the audience will tweet their feedback using a specific hashtag,#searchforatwitterstar.
The talent show, launched by anonymous tweeter @westendproducer has had 600 people enter through YouTube videos and tweets. @westendproducer will be at the event, tweeting, and will possibly appear on stage in a mask.
The final will take place on Monday with singer and stage star, Aled Jones presenting the show. The judges are made up of 6 West End Industry experts including actress Louise Dearman (Wicked, Guys & Dolls), director Mike Dixon (Grease, We Will Rock You), agent Gemma Lowy-Hamilton and West End casting director Anne Vosser.
The winners, one male and one female, will get the chance to perform as a leading roles and perform duets with West End favourite, Kerry Ellis who has starred in Les Miserables, Wicked and My Fair Lady as well as former S Club 7 member Jon Lee, who has recently starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys.
The talent contest is a first of its kind, allowing every audience member to interact with the performance through social networking. The competition was launched on Twitter, and the winner will be decided by tweets!
It also bucks the trend of television talent shows, which are now regarded as big money spinners. Unlike text and telephone votes, tweeting costs the user nothing.
Only time will tell whether Twitter will become a new platform to find new talent. Much like YouTube, it is becoming a quick, direct way of approaching everyone and anyone, and a way of showcasing what people have to offer. This talent show is proof of the power that it is having.
Monday, 9 July 2012

Olympics: West End Shows To Close During 2012 Games

Sweeney Todd currently showing at the West End’s Aldephi Theatre is to close during the London Olympic Games this summer.

sweeney-todd-musical-london

With the Games starting in less than a month, talk has turned to other sectors it will affect, both positively and negatively. Security, transport, hospitality, entertainment and healthcare are assumed to feel the strain of the estimated 6 million extra people who will be in the city for the Olympics.
The show, which is officially booking until 22nd September, will close during 29th – 12th August whilst the Games are on.
Although this is the only show that will close for the whole of the Olympics, other shows such as Matilda The Musical, Phantom of the Opera, Shrek the Musical and Singin’ in the Rain will all close on 27th July, the day of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, due to assumed low ticket sales.
Interestingly, all of these shows are part of The Really Useful Group, headed up by theatre legend, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. Earlier this year, Webber predicted a “bloodbath of a summer” for West End theatre.
He was right in some ways. Ticket sales for the summer across the UK are down with a reported 20% fall.
However, the assumed negative impact doesn’t seem as bad as first thought. As we blogged about earlier, the Olympics seems to have encouraged more people to seek out other London attractions.
It seems a bit hasty of Lord Andrew to shut the shows down for the night of the Opening Ceremony and has been a little defeatist and perhaps shot himself in the foot.
Of course the Opening Ceremony will be a huge event that will draw audiences to London as well as their televisions to watch. But there are of course people who aren’t bothered about the sport, and would possibly take the opportunity to see a West End show.
To us, what would have made more sense, Andrew, is offering an ‘Olympic’ discounted ticket rate on busy Olympic event days, rather than shutting up shop completely!
On popular Olympic day events, what’s stopping people visiting the theatre in the evening. Where is Lloyd Webber’s British fighting spirit?!
A survey by OnePoll discovered that 2.4 million Olympic ticket holders have already bought tickets to a musical, play, concert or exhibition. Another 1.7 million said they want to buy tickets to a show of some kind, but had not yet purchased tickets.
This is great news! So come on Andrew, don’t give up too easily!
Anyone out there got Olympic Tickets AND planning to see a show?

Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis & Laurence Fox Join Cast of ‘Our Boys’

A new run of Our Boys plays the Duchess Theatre from Septembe. The cast has just been announced, and it’s an impressive one.

our-boys-new-play-poster

Laurence Fox, most famous for his lead role in ITV’s Lewis will take on the role of Joe, whilst Matthew Lewis, Harry Potter’s, infamous character Neville Longbottom will play Mick.
Joining these two will be;
- Cian Barry, (New Tricks, Titanic)
- Lewis Reeves (Holby City, White Van Man)
- Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who)
- Jolyon Coy (Posh, All’s Well That Ends Well)
The original play, written in 1993 tells the story of five young soldiers recovering from war injuries. The arrival of a young officer ruins their daily routine of TV and banter the boys have got so used to. A dangerous incident and betrayal lands them in trouble with army officials and that’s when the real fighting starts.
It seems just a good and poignant time to run this play now as when it was first run in 1993. With much controversy surrounding wounded and veteran soldiers, this is sure to get people thinking.
For Fox, who is preparing to film the last series of Lewis, this will be a new challenge to conquer. Speaking of him and his co-star Kevin Whately, ”Kev and I have decided we want to do other things, otherwise it all gets a bit ‘samey’,” he told The Telegraph.
Like many of the plays opening this year, Our Boys will have tickets for sale from £10, to encourage more people to go to the theatre, and particularly plays. It joins Michael Grandage’s series of plays as well as Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval in offering audiences £10 tickets.
Our Boys is booking now for performances starting 26 September until 15 December 2012.
Friday, 6 July 2012

Show of the Month: The 39 Steps!

The 39 Steps is Show of the Month.  Book any time this month, and get great rates, on top price tickets!

39-steps-play-criterion-theatre

All below offers for top price seats:
Monday – Thursday: get tickets for £25
Friday and Saturday Matinees: get tickets for £29.50
Wednesday Matinees: get tickets for £15.99 (That’s a massive 66% savings!)
Saturday Evening: get tickets for £32.50
This offer can be on tickets at these times on any date, subject to availability. Go to theatrepeople.com to take advantage of this offer.
‘It is 1935, rumour of war is rife in London, and somehow innocent bystander Richard Hannay has been caught up in a top secret spy mission regarding the rumours.’

The 39 Steps is a laugh-a-minute comedy, parodying the Alfred Hitchcock film.  It is showing now, at the Criterion Theatre.  Book your discount tickets now!

Magic Mike – Strippers On Broadway!

We have a new tantalizing film, Magic Mike, starring hunks, Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey!

magic-mike-to-become-musical
(photo courtesy of screencrush.com)
Not only is it tipped for great success on screen, but now there are already talks of it becoming a Broadway musical.
The film is set around a group of strippers and follows the story of Mike, or ‘Magic Mike’ to his fans, a successful stripper at the club Xquisite, and Adam who falls into stripping accidentally through meeting Mike at his second job as a roofer. The pair indulge in a lifestyle of drink, drugs and women until it suddenly gets serious and they have to face up to the consequences of their actions.
The story, which is based on the life of Channing Tatum, who was a stripper before becoming a film actor, definitely has potential to become a big musical hit.
Both Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum have expressed their interest in the musical’s prospects with Alex suggesting the whole cast should perform on the opening night. (Yes please!)
Reid Carolin, the producer of the film, told USA Today, “I’m almost more excited about that [prospects of Broadway show] than the movie because I think it’s the perfect thing for women to go see on Broadway, to be participants in the show.”
That’s true! The audience would actually act as if they were in Xquisite club, seeing the strippers live. The show seems like it will have a seamless transfer to stage.
There’s something fresh and different about the story too, which has never really been played out on stage. This has the potential to be a 21st century show phenomenon.
It’ll surely have a strong female fan base if the show is anything like the movie! What do you think guys and girls, could Magic Mike work on Broadway or possibly the West End?
Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cracking weekend planned at Hard Rock Calling

Hard Rock Calling London is fast approaching – and what a weekend it promises to be!
hard-rock-calling-festival
(Photo courtesy of dryfish on Flickr)
A stellar line-up is set to play across three days on July 13, 14 and 15 in Hyde Park in what has now become a much-loved event on the music calendar.
This year’s Hard Rock Calling concert includes a wide range of acts from all over the world and here’s a rundown of who’s playing on the different days.
Friday July 13
Hard Rock Calling 2012 is poised to get off to a rocking start as the likes of the iconic Iggy Pop and Chris Cornell arrive in London with their bands Iggy & The Stooges and Soundgarden respectively. Expect the volume to be cranked up to 11!
Main Stage: Soundgarden, Iggy & The Stooges, Cold Chisel, Black Stone Cherry, Kids In Glass Houses
Pepsi Max Stage: The Mars Volta, Skindred, Red, White & Blues, Hawk Eyes, The Dirty Youth
Hard Rock Rising Stage: Deap Vally
Saturday July 14
Undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend takes place on the Saturday night when Bruce Springsteen’s headlining set is expected to consist of an array of his classic hits from down the years. Former Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello is also well worth a watch.
Main Stage: Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, John Fogerty, Lady Antebellum, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Hey Monea!
Pepsi Max Stage: Amy Macdonald, Dawes, Gary Clark Jr, Lawson, NEEDTOBREATHE, The Night
Hard Rock Rising Stage: Jonathan Wilson, Dylan LeBlanc, Gabriel Bruce
Sunday July 15
The honour of closing Hard Rock Calling 2012 falls to Paul Simon, who will perform his influential album Graceland in its entirety. That special treat should prove a fitting finale after the likes of the Guillemots and Big Country play earlier in the day.
Main Stage: Paul Simon, Alison Krauss & Union Station ft Jerry Douglas, Christina Perri, Karima Francis,
Pepsi Max Stage: Big Country, Guillemots, Punch Brothers, Robert Randolph, Robert Ellis, Marlon Roudette, Ryan Sheridan
Hard Rock Rising Stage: Marcus Foster, Life In Film, Nina Nesbitt
Are you heading to Hard Rock Calling? Who are you excited about seeing?