This week brings plenty of good news for fans of London theatre. Find out when you can see the Mary Poppins revival, how you can listen to the new Follies cast album, and what upcoming events you should put on your calendar (including a Sarah Brightman concert and an All About Eve broadcast)!
Mary Poppins announces the dates for its West End revival. The beloved musical will play the Prince Edward Theatre starting 23 October (previews) with an opening night of 13 November. Starting on 28 January, tickets will be available for performances through March 2020.
Fiddler on the Roof, currently at the Menier Chocolate Factory, will transfer to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre from 21 March. Starring Andy Nyman and Judy Kuhn, and directed by Trevor Nunn, this immersive production sold out at the Menier. Full casting is yet to come.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time announces a relaxed performance. Currently at the Piccadilly Theatre, the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will play a relaxed performance on 6 April at 2:30 pm, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Week. During the relaxed performance, lighting and special effects will be modified, and noise and movement in the auditorium will be welcome. A quiet space will be set up in the foyer, and staff will be available throughout the theatre for the entire performance. Afterward, there will be a question and answer session with cast members.
Follies releases a cast album from the 2017 London revival. Digitally released by Warner Music Group, the cast album features Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee, Peter Forbes, Philip Quast and Tracie Bennett. Follies returns to the National Theatre on 12 February with new cast members Joanna Riding and Alexander Hanson; Janie Dee, Peter Forbes and Tracie Bennett will reprise their roles. In the meantime, you can enjoy the cast album on Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify. And stay tuned for news about a physical release of the album!
And speaking of cast albums, Company will release its cast album digitally on 1 February.
Richard Eyre will direct a revival of David Hare’s The Bay at Nice starring Penelope Wilton. The cast also includes Martin Hutson, Ophelia Lovibond and David Rintoul. Set in Leningrad in 1956, The Bay at Nice tells the story of Valentina Nrovka: a personal friend of Henri Matisse, and her daughter Sophia: a painter in need of financial and political help. This is the first London revival of the play since its National Theatre premiere in 1986. The Bay at Nice begins previews at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 14 March, opening on the 19th and running until 4 May. Public tickets are on sale 28 January.
Sarah Brightman is bringing her new international tour to the Royal Albert Hall. HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert will come to London for one night only on 11 November. Tickets go on sale today.
Mischief Theatre (The Play That Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery) announces a new production, titled Groan Ups. In this new show, Mischief Management creators Henry Shields, Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer play a group of unruly schoolchildren growing up. Dave Hearn, Charlie Russell, Nancy Zamit and Bryony Corrigan will also star, with Kirsty Patrick Ward directing. Groan Ups opens at the Vaudeville Theatre 20 September, with tickets on sale Monday.
Clarke Peters (The Wire, Five Guys Named Moe) joins the cast of The American Clock at The Old Vic. He will replace Giles Terera, withdrawing from the production for personal reasons, as Robertson/Moe 3/Taylor. Peters will play these roles until 2 March, after which Sule Rimi (Sweat, Barber Shop Chronicles) will take over. Directed by Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Arthur Miller’s Depression-era play opens at The Old Vic on 13 February, with previews starting on the 4th.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical announces a limited eight-week run at The Other Palace. In addition to monthly performances at the Lyric Theatre, the company will give eight performances–presenting a new, spontaneous musical each time–per week at The Other Palace. And the company is preparing to celebrate the1000th performance of Showstopper!
Mark Gatiss will voice a talking computer in the upcoming world premiere of Dark Sublime. Known for his TV roles in A League of Gentlemen and Sherlock (and as a writer for Sherlock and Dr. Who), Gatiss recently starred in The Madness of King George at Nottingham Playhouse, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse. He joins Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation) in this science fiction-inspired comedy at Trafalgar Studio Two, with performances beginning 25 June.
All About Eve will be broadcast in movie theatres around the world on 11 April. National Theatre Live will broadcast the upcoming London production, starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James, to international audiences. Information about participating cinemas is yet to come.
Andrew Scott will star in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter at the Old Vic. Directed by Olivier Award-winner Matthew Marchus, this production of Coward’s classic comedy opens in June.
Theatre Royal Stratford East announces full casting for King Hedley II. Directed by Artistic Director Nadia Fall, the production will star Lenny Henry, Dexter Flanders, Martina Laird, Aaron Pierre, Cherrelle Skeete and Leo Wringer. This production of August Wilson’s drama plays at Theatre Royal Stratford East 17 May through 15 June.
A new musical, & Juliet, featuring songs from songwriter Max Martin, will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre in November. Miriam Teak-Lee (On The Town, Hamilton) will play Juliet in this musical inspired by Shakespeare’s heroine. Martin has written songs for big names like Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Ellie Goulding and The Weeknd. & Juliet will feature hits like “Oops… I Did It Again,” “Love Me Like You Do” and “I Can’t Feel My Face.” Tickets go on sale in February.
2018 was a record-breaking year for London theatre! According to SOLT (Society of London Theatre), theatre attendance exceeded 15 million for the first time ever last year–largely due to more people attending musicals like Hamilton and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Keep it up, London!