London Theatre Weekly Round-up: new Tina cast, new National Theatre season, West End Proms and more!

Trevor Nunn’s long anticipated Fiddler on the Roof opened this week on the West End! But that’s not the only news. We hear The Tina Turner Musical has found its new star. Read on for all the latest and greatest in the world of London Theatre.

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical announces casting for its second year. From 15 April, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe will play Tina. Obi-Melekwe recently starred Off-Broadway in the new musical Alice by Heart. She’ll be making her West End debut in Tina.

Joining her will be Ashley Zhangazha (Ike Turner), Maria Omakinwa (Zelma), Aisha Jawando (sharing the role of Tina), Irene-Myrtle Forrester (GG), Howard Gossington (Phil Spector and Terry Britten), Francesca Jackson (Rhonda Graam), Ava Brennan (Alline Bullock), Jammy Kasongo (Richard Bullock and Raymond Hill), Edward Bourne (Erwin Back) and Oscar Batterham (Roger Davies). Meanwhile, current Tina Adrienne Warren is preparing to star in the show’s Broadway transfer.

headshot of Nkeki Obi-Melekwe

The National Theatre announces a new season that includes the return of Brian Friel’s Translations. Ciaran Hinds, Seamus O’Hara and Judith Roddy will reprise their roles in Translations. The lineup of this year’s productions also includes Hansard, The Secret River, ‘Master Harold’… and the Boys, Jellyfish and Peter Gynt.

Bianca Del Rio will join Everybody’s Talking About Jamie from 6 May. The RuPaul’s Drag Race star will take on the role of Hugo/Ioco.

John Owen-Jones, Ben Forster, Rachel John and John Robyns are coming to West End Proms! Also joining them will be Jodie Steele, Jamie Muscato, Lauren Samuels and Marisha Wallace. Proms will feature music from shows like Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Greatest Showman, Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen–performed by a live orchestra and some of the biggest names on Broadway and the West End. The show plays in London 4 July and in Scarborough 5 July, with tickets on sale today.

West End Proms banner

Big, a new musical based on the 1988 film, will play the Dominion Theatre this autumn. Jay McGuiness, of boyband The Wanted, will star as Josh Baskin. He starred in the musical’s UK touring production from 2016, and can currently be seen in Rip It Up at the Garrick Theatre. Big runs from 6 September to 2 November.

Casting is announced for The Glass Menagerie at Arcola Theatre. Directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr. (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives), the production will star Michael Abubakar, Lesley Ewen, Charlie Maher and Naima Swaleh. Set in an African American community, the production opens in Watford before coming to the Arcola Theatre in London from 23 May to 13 July.

Casting is also announced for the Arcola Theatre’s Hoard–starring Ellen Thomas (EastEnders). Also featured will be Elizabeth Ita (The Favourite), Emmanuella Cole (An Octoroon), Kemi Durosinmi (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives) and Tyler Furose (Much Ado About Nothing). Femi Elufowoju Jr. directs this new play by Bim Adewunmi that runs from 15 May to 8 June.

Danielle Hope, Joe McElderry, Jamie Muscato and Marisha Wallace will give solo performances at The Other Palace. They’ll perform as part of the Sunday Favourites concert series in May and June.

production still from Trevor Nunn's Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Johan Persson.

Reviews are pouring in for Trevor Nunn’s Fiddler on the Roof, which just opened on the West End. And the critics appear to have only good things to say: praising Nunn’s directorial magic and the show’s intimacy and resonance. But if you go see it, just be warned–we hear it packs an emotional punch.