Royals, rock stars, and Charles Darwin — this week’s news round-up proves one thing: theatre is for everyone. Learn which West End musical to catch before it closes, which new shows to check out, and which hit musical Prince Harry is a fan of.
Strictly Ballroom, Baz Lurhmann’s musical based on the 1992 film, will close in the West End following a run of seven months. The show plays its last performance on 27 October, which means you’d better get yourself a ticket fast if you want to see it before it’s gone!
Here we go again! Björn Ulvaeus is bringing an immersive Mamma Mia! party experience to the O2 next spring. Around 500 people will be able to attend, but we imagine it won’t be easy to snag a ticket when they go on sale later this year.
The Wider Earth, David Morton’s award-winning play about Charles Darwin opening at the Natural History Museum this October, announces casting. Bradley Foster (Common) will play Charles Darwin. Joining him will be Ian Houghton, Andrew Bridgmont , Matt Tait, Jack Parry Jones, Marcello Cruz, Melissa Vaughan, Rory Fairbairn, and Kim Scopes. Also among the cast will be 30 puppets, representing the animals Darwin met during his five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle. The show was developed in partnership with Handspring Puppet Company — and may we just say, it looks breathtaking.
We’ve also got casting for Nina Raine’s Stories, a new play set to open at the National Theatre 17 October. The cast includes Claudie Blakley, Stephen Boxer, Beau Gadsdon, Thusitha Jayasundera, Margot Leicester, Molly Simm, Katie Simons, Sam Troughton, and Brian Vernel.
Divorced. Beheaded…Live! Six — a new pop musical about the six wives of King Henry VIII — has barely just opened, and it’s already extended. The show, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, will now run through 14 October at the Arts Theatre. After its London run, Six will tour Kingston, Southampton, Salford, and Glasgow.
After playing Charlie Price on Broadway, frontman Brendan Urie of Panic! At the Disco has the West End stage in his sights. In a recent interview with BBC, Urie said he’d love to play Jean Valjean (Les Misérables) or Elder Price (The Book of Mormon). However, he doesn’t want to play a British character, because, in his own words, “I wouldn’t want to butcher their language in front of them.” It’s all right, Brendan, we’ll take you with or without an accent.
Apparently Prince Harry is a Hamilton fan. He and Duchess Meghan of Sussex sat next to Lin-Manuel Miranda at a Hamilton gala on Wednesday. The event, a fundraiser for young people affected by HIV in Africa, featured a performance of Hamilton by the current West End cast, followed by a speech from Prince Harry in which he started to sing the opening lines of “You’ll Be Back” (the song sung by King George III in the show). He stopped after the first two words, much to everyone’s disappointment, but according to Meghan, the prince sings Hamilton all the time in private. It just goes to show that everyone loves musical theatre — even royals.