Latest London Theatre News: Cuba Gooding on BBC1 and mixed reviews for ‘Dry Powder’ with Hayley Atwell

We’ve rounded up all the biggest news in London theatre this week, so you don’t have to miss anything! Here’s what’s happening:

Mel Giedroyc will play Sarah in Elliot & Harper’s new production of Company, directed by Marianne Elliott. It opens 26 September at the Gielgud Theatre.

Cuba Gooding Jr. will appear on the Graham Norton show tonight on BBC1. He’ll be playing Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre starting March 26. Watch Cuba talk about “coming home” to Chicago:


Sarah Burgess’ play Dry Powder, starring Hayley Atwell, receives mixed reviews after opening night at the Hampstead Theatre. Giving two and three-star ratings, most critics seem to agree that, while Atwell and the other actors give spirited performances, the play itself – a “so-so satire on the amoral world of high finance” (Tom Wicker of The Stage) falls short. Though reviewers acknowledge Dry Powder‘s strong beginning, the consensus is that the play doesn’t go anywhere once the initial story has been laid out. According to Andrzej Lukowski of TimeOut: “If you’re a card carrying fan of big name Hayley Atwell you’ll probably go home happy enough. But considering she’s much in demand, it’s a mystery as to why she’d want to invest her limited stage capital into this ropey endeavour.” Ouch.

Cirque du Soleil celebrates 1000 performance at the Royal Albert Hall. To commemorate the occasion, Cirque du Soleil will be holding a special morning performance of OVO on Saturday 24 February, at 11:30 a.m at the Royal Albert Hall.

Disney Theatrical announces a new partnership between The Lion King and charity organization Centrepoint which serves young homeless people. Along with the announcement, Disney released a new video of Nick Afoa (currently playing Simba) singing the song “Endless Night” from The Lion King. You can watch it on The Lion King‘s official facebook page.

Sadler’s Wells dance theatre celebrates 20 years with 20 new commissions for the year 2018.

Theatre Royal Haymarket is up for sale. Since opening in 1720, the historic theatre has premiered several Oscar Wilde plays and even sheltered John Gielgud during the blitz. It’s the third oldest London theatre still in use.

Opera North will return to Millennium Square in Leeds for its Summer Series in July 2018. The program will include an eclectic mix of opera and classical, orchestral club anthems, and a live screening of the classic film Brassed Off.

'Ken' at Hampstead TheatreTerry Johnson’s play KEN – after its run at Hampstead Theatre – will transfer for five weeks to The Bunker Theatre to kick off the venue’s spring season. If the Twitter reviews don’t clue you in (“impish delight”? “obscenely good theatre”?) the show’s website specifies that KEN is suitable for ages 18 and up. So don’t bring the kids.

Almeida Theatre announces a new season of works by female playwrights, starting with a new play by Ella Hickson. Expressionist masterpiece Machinal will come later in the season.

Ian McKellen will play King Lear in a West End revival scheduled to begin July 12. The production will run for 16 weeks at the Duke of York’s Theatre, directed by Jonathan Munby. Sinead Cusack also features as Kent.

Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies is set to return to the National Theatre in 2019, though casting and dates have yet to be announced.