London Theatre Weekly Round-up: Maggie Smith onstage, lead casting for Tina and UK tour of Amelie, and more!

This week brings several exciting announcements for the London theatre world–including the return of a veteran actress (did someone say Maggie Smith?) and lead casting for several upcoming productions. Catch it all right here!

Dame Maggie Smith will star in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre. The performance will mark the legendary actress’ first return to the stage in 12 years, as she gives a solo performance in a new play by Christopher Hampton. A German Life tells the story of Brunhilde Pomsel–personal secretary to the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. The play is drawn from testimonies given by Pomsel to Austrian filmmakers in 2016. Jonathan Kent directs the production, which begins previews on 6 April ahead of a 12 April opening.

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Ashley Zhangazha join the cast of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, making her West End debut in the role of Tina, is currently starring in the Off-Broadway Alice by Heart. Ashley Zhangazha, last seen in Death of a Salesman at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, will play Ike Turner. Both join the production starting 15 April. Meanwhile, Adrienne Warren, currently playing Tina, is gearing up for the show’s Broadway transfer.

Katharine McPhee and Denise Van Outen will host the first Waitress London Cast Album Karaoke Night on 19 February. The second Waitress Karaoke Night will take place on 18 March.

Only Fools and Horses extends its West End run until 31 August. Tickets are now on sale. Based on the classic TV show, the new musical began previews on 9 February. Evidently, things are going well.

Only Fools and Horses banner London

Comedian Griff Rhys Jones and BAFTA Award-winner Miriam Margoyles will bring the tale of Peter Rabbit to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Where is Peter Rabbit? brings Beatrix Potter’s classic story to life through handcrafted puppets and original songs by Sir Alan Ayckbourn and Steven Edis. The show runs 3 to 18 April.

A new production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ is cast. After playing at Mercury Theatre Colchester, the production will come to London’s Southwark Playhouse in April. The cast includes Adrian Hansel (Hairspray), Renée Lamb (Six), Carly Mercedes-Dyer (Dreamgirls), Landi Oshinowo (Big Fish) and Wayne Robinson (Bat Out of Hell).

War Horse will return to London. The National Theatre production will open at the new Troubador Wembley Park Theatre for a run from 18 October to 23 November. Tickets are now on sale.

Audrey Brisson will star in the UK tour of Amélie the Musical, which kicks off 17 April in Newbury.

Amelie musical banner
Audrey Brisson will star as Amelie Poulain

The UK premiere of The Marvelous Wonderettes announces casting. The hit Off-Broadway musical comedy will play Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate Village, from 9 April. Sophie Camble (White Christmas, 42nd Street), Rosie Needham (Legally Blonde), Louise Young (Mamma Mia!) and Kara Taylor Alberts (The Wind in the Willows) will play the Wonderettes: four girls with high hopes at a 1958 high school prom. The musical follows the girls from high school to their 10-year reunion.

Caoilfhionn Dunne will soon become the first woman to play John Proctor in The Crucible. The Yard Theatre announces casting for its production of Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem witch trials, which begins performances 27 March. Dunne will lead the cast, joined by Jacob James Beswick, Nina Cassells, Emma D’Arcy, Sophie Duval, Sorcha Groundsell, Jack Holden, Syrus Lowe and Lucy Vandi. The Yard’s Artistic Director Jay Miller will direct.

Charles Court Opera’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore will play the King’s Head Theatre from 10 April to 11 May.

The studio cast recording of The Clockmaker’s Daughter is out now. Now available for download on all major platforms, the recording features West End stars like Ramin Karimloo, Fra Fee, Christine Allado, Matthew Croke and Lauren James Ray in a new faerytale musical.