London Theatre Weekly Round-Up: StageCon, Hadestown casting, Motown Closing Date, and much more!

Production shot from Motown the Musical London Among other news this week, Motown the Musical sets closing date. Credit: Tristram Kenton

This week, we’ve rounded up a plethora of exciting news about the world of London theatre. The first ever StageCon, full casting for Hadestown, Foxfinder, and Heathers, and a lot more. Just wait til you hear it all!

Calling all fans of British theatre! The first ever StageCon arrives in London this November. A celebration of musicals, plays, opera, dance, and theatre life, StageCon will take place at London’s Shoreditch Town Hall on November 3-4. If you’ve heard of NYC’s BroadwayCon, it sounds like StageCon will be roughly the same thing – but this one’s all about West End theatre, not Broadway. The program will feature meet and greets, live performances, cast reunions, sing-alongs, workshops, and previews.

As James Yeoburn, StageCon’s general manager, puts it:

“StageCon presents a really exciting opportunity for fans from across the UK and the EU to come together in London to celebrate the magic of theatre. Those attending can expect to enjoy a diverse programme of 100+ hours of events and performances from everyone’s favourite artists, theatre makers and shows – from the West End to London’s Fringe and beyond.”

But wait, there’s more. Some of the convention’s special guests have already been announced! The line-up includes Carrie Hope Fletcher, Sharon D. Clarke, Christina Bennington, Samantha Bond, Michael Xavier, Cherrelle Skeete, David Hunter, and many more. You can find more details about StageCon on the convention’s website.

Headshots of Hadestown London cast
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, and Patrick Page will appear in The National Theatre production of Hadestown.

Way down… Hadestown! We’ve got casting! The National Theatre production of Anaïs Mitchell’s musical Hadestown will star original New York Theatre Workshop cast members Amber Gray (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) and Patrick Page (Saint Joan) as Persephone and Hades, respectively. Reeve Carney (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) will play Orpheus, with Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon) as Eurydice and André De Shields (The Full Monty) as Hermes. Playing the three Fates will be Rosie Fletcher (Wicked), Carly Mercedes Dyer (Dreamgirls), and Gloria Onitri (Brighton Rock). Performances run at the National Theatre from 2 November through 26 January, with an expected Broadway transfer to follow.

Matilda the Musical announces new casting. Hayden Tee (Les Misérables) will take over the role of Muss Trunchbull starting 11 September, with Rob Compton and Holly Dale Spencer as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood. Isobel Hubble and Francesca McKeown will share the starring role of Matilda with Sarah Munday and Olivia Wells.

Foxfinder banner

Foxfinder now has full casting. Olivier nominee Bryony Hannah (Call the Midwife) and Paul Nicholls (Law & Order, EastEnders) will join the previously announced Heida Reed and Iwan Rheon. Foxfinder begins performances 6 September at the Ambassadors Theatre, but you’d better get tickets while you can. It’s a limited engagement through 5 January, and with a cast this terrific, there’s no telling how quickly seats will sell out. If you need more details, we’ve got you covered here.

But with all this new casting comes a sadder announcement: Andrew Polec (Strat) will leave Bat Out of Hell on 1 September. As an original cast member, Polec has expressed his profound love for the show and admiration for its cast and creative team.

Who’s excited for the opening of Heathers next month??? We now have final casting: Hugh Maynard (Miss Saigon) will play Ram’s Dad; John Lumsden (Les Misérables) will play Hipster Dork; and Merryl Ansah (Beautiful) will play Drama Club Drama Queen. When Heathers opens on 3 September, it will also feature an updated script and a brand new song, sung by Veronica, called “I Say No.”

Production still from Heathers the Musical London
Heathers the Musical. Credit: Pamela Raith Photography.

This 19 and 20 October, you may be able to catch a special concert performance of Guys and Dolls, starring actor Adrian Lester, comedian Jason Manford, and international cabaret star Meow Meow (Melissa Madden Gray), at the Royal Albert Hall.

However, you’ll only have a little under a year to catch Motown the Musical if you haven’t already. The West End production will close April 2019 after a run of over three years. Last chance to revel in the hits of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye all in one evening.

Tradition! Trevor Nunn will direct a new production of Fiddler on the Roof this Christmas at the Menier Chocolate Factory. We can’t wait!