One Night Only: Pink Singers at Cadogan Hall

This Saturday, 4th June, Europe’s longest-running LGBT choir bring glitz, glamour and pizazz to London’s Cadogan Hall with one fabulous night of West End, Broadway & Opera classics. One Night Only features songs from Les Misérables, Wicked, Anything Goes and Little Shop of Horrors as well as classic works by Verdi, Rossini and Sondheim.

There’s something spine-tingling about hearing nearly 90 voices performing full choral arrangements in the beautiful Read more

School of Rock flies in to the West End

Based on the hit 2003 movie and now adapted for the stage by Julian Fellowes, School of Rock The Musical follows failed, wannabe rock star Dewey Finn as he turns a class of straight-laced, straight-A prep school students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. Can this loveable, crazy buffoon get them to the Battle of the Bands without their folks – and the school’s strict headmistress, finding out? Read more

Romeo & Juliet: Retweeted

There have been numerous recent twitterfeuds – The Kardashians, Lily Allen vs Katie Hopkins but what if twitter had been around 400 years ago? Would Romeo & Juliet have been any different? What if Shakespeare had been on twitter….

Shakespeare

Hiya… got idea 4 new play: 2 families @ war, their kids fall in luv & everyone dies. Bit Jeremy Kyle but < 2 hours. Better than it sounds Read more

Ronnie Corbett: Theatreland mourns one of their own

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett has died at the age of 85. Best known for entertaining the nation in The Two Ronnies, this diminutive genius also lit up the London Palladium in a glittering career on Stage, Screen and TV.

Ronnie developed a love of the stage performing in amateur pantomimes and attended stage school in Edinburgh. Spotting Ronnie’s enormous talent, Sir Cedric Hardwicke encouraged him to pursue a career on stage.

Before his TV career, Ronnie also appeared in the musical Read more

Disney’s The Lion King – Up Close and Personal

Getting to romp backstage with the lions at the Lyceum Theatre has to be one of the most fun things we’ve ever done in the West End. The Lion King’s opening Circle of Life is truly one of the great moments of live theatre, and being offered the chance to explore this enthralling backstage world is a genuine thrill.

Backstage photography at Disney's The Lion King in London [Helen Maybanks]
Backstage photography at Disney’s The Lion King in London [Helen Maybanks]

We’re with Laura O’Toole, marketing co-ordinator for the London Production of Disney’s The Lion King. From the first moment Laura meets us at Stage Door, we can feel that she has a real passion for the show. There is a buzz about every part of the building and as we walk through to the stage we pass actors, crew, wardrobe and dozens of other people resetting for that evening’s performance. Read more

THE LOWDOWN ON THE GO-BETWEEN

A new British musical called The Go-Between is coming to the West End in May. This is exciting news and yet a little intriguing because not many people have heard of it until now. What is it about? Who’s in it? What’s its target audience? We have the answers… Read more

Kenneth Branagh in The Painkiller – Photos from the rehearsal room

Two men. Two lonely hotel rooms. An adjoining door…One of them is a killer… one of them wants to die… What could possibly go wrong?

Garrick Theatre, London, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson
Garrick Theatre, London, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson

The fourth production in his Plays at the Garrick season unites five-time Academy Award nomimee Sir Kenneth Branagh with Welsh wonderman Rob Brydon. Read more

Cinderella and the Beanstalk: Theatre503

They’ve booked the venue
They’ve bought the costumes.
There’s just one problem. They’ve forgotten to cast any actors.

When award-winning comedy trio Sleeping Trees brought their unique brand of slapstick comedy to Battersea’s Latchmere last year, they sold out with their fast, furious and madcap humour.

Now James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua George Smith and John Woodburn return, jumping from character to character with a seemingly supernatural elasticity. Sleeping Trees comes from a tradition of anarchic buffoonery – but don’t let that fool you – it’s all choreographed with military precision.

Cinders and the giant vegetable
Three men with an unusual gift for climbing vegetables…

Join Cinderella on her perilous adventure as the scheming Rumpelstiltskin blackmails the would-be princess into retrieving his golden eggs from the top of the beanstalk. Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and Jack’s pregnant cow all do their best to get in the way, so the delicious, oversized eggs may not be so easy to reach. Is poor Cinders doomed to spend her life climbing vegetables with just one shoe?

The Latchmere Battersea
The Latchmere Battersea

If you’re looking to treat the family to a magical Christmas but you fancy a change from the usual celebrity-over-substance, try this gem of a show.

★★★★ WHATS ON STAGE
★★★★ WEST END WILMA
★★★★★ BRITISH THEATRE

The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW
Booking: 020 7978 7040
https://theatre503.com/book-online/
Tickets £15/£12 (Plus pay what you can Sundays at 7pm)

Until Saturday 2 January 2016

If you’re looking for other seasonal treats, why not also try one of these fabulous festive fancies:

A Christmas Carol (Rose Theatre Kingston)
Will Scrooge open his heart to the true spirit of Christmas before it’s too late? Find out in the Rose Theatre Kingston’s beautiful production of the Charles Dickens classic.

La Soiree (Southbank)
LA SOIRÉE’s heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety is more potent than ever.

La Soiree's Blue Bunny
La Soiree’s Blue Bunny…jump to it!

Wonder.Land (National Theatre)
A giant green screen, astonishing dance numbers and a cast of extraordinary characters make this ambitious and modern production a hugely satisfying re-telling of Carroll’s masterpiece.

The Little Match Girl (Lilyan Baylis Studio)
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, this touching tale of an impoverished young street girl’s hopes and dreams is beautifully told through dance, song and original music performed live on stage.

The Lorax (Old Vic)
Inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic tale, The Lorax tells of a moustachioed and cantankerous critter who’s on a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler.

Derren Brown: Miracle (Palace Theatre)
Hot on the heels from his sensational sell-out show Infamous, master of the mind Derren Brown returns to London’s Palace Theatre with his most daring magic show yet.

Finally…don’t miss the BBC4 broadcast of Gypsy on Sunday 27th Dec. The show was filmed live at the Savoy Theatre, and stars Imelda Staunton and the delightful Gemma Sutton – you can read our interview with Gemma here.

Whatever you choose to do this festive season,
May your days be merry and bright,
Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good-night!”

NELL GWYNN: RESTORATION BOND GIRL

“They’ve disgraced our trade. Ruined our art. They’ve put a woman on the stage.”

At first glance, James Bond and Restoration Comedy might not seem to be natural bed-fellows. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find both contain a world of brave, brash and bawdy women unafraid to charm and calculate their way to notoriety. The Pussy Galore of the Seventeenth Century was without doubt Nell Gwynn, a woman who helped to challenge the male dominated world of British Theatre and went on to immortality in the names of numerous pubs.

So who better to play this Jewel of the Restoration than Bond Girl Gemma Arterton? One of the finest young talents of her generation, don’t underestimate Arterton’s versatility. She is a fine stage actress with a hugely diverse CV ranging from leading roles in Ibsen’s The Master Builder (Almeida) to Made In Dagenham (Adelphi). Like Nell herself, Arterton is ambitious, witty and fearless.

Jessica Swale’s blissfully entertaining comedy, Nell Gwynn, comes to the Apollo Theatre from 4th February 2016. Nell Gwynn celebrates an unlikely heroine, who went from Front of House orange seller to top comedy Actress, winning the adoration of the public and the heart of the King in the process.

Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale
Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale: Feat. Gemma Arterton

Although best known now as the mistress of King Charles II, here are five things you may not know about Nell Gwynn:

  1. She was nick-named “Cinder Nelly” and did actually buy a glass carriage!
  2. She had a mouth like a sewer
    Courtiers at the Palace said ‘Anybody may know she has been an orange-wench by her swearing’
  3. Her son was the Duke of St Albans
    Nell made good use of her filthy tongue. She reputedly called “Come here you little bastard” to her son in front of a horrified King. As Nell said, “what should she call him, was not bastard true?” A Dukedom followed very quickly.
  4. Nell’s greatest rival was the Duchess of Portsmouth, the Catholic Louise de Keroualle
    When Nell was insulted by a crowd, she leant out of her carriage and cried “Pray good people be civil, I am the Protestant whore”
  5. She almost ended up in the Debtor’s Prison
    Following King Charles’s death in 1685, Nell appealed to King James who settled her immediate debts and provided her a pension of £1500 a year
Nell Gwynn: Used her considerable wit and charms to change British Theatre forever.
Nell Gwynn: Used her considerable wit and charms to change British Theatre forever.

Following a critically acclaimed and sell-out limited season of 11 performances at Shakespeare’s Globe, don’t miss this opportunity to see Nell Gwynn in the West End.

Until 30th Apr 2016
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

‘A delight, silly and serious… full of crowd pleasers, lilting music and sumptuous costumes… there is even a dog.’

★★★★

The Times

‘Falls between Restoration comedy, My Fair Lady, Carry On films and Blackadder.’

★★★★

Meet West End Wilma: The First Lady of Theatreland

We all love a good gossip, and few women have their finger more firmly on the pulse of Theatreland than top-blogger and all-round glamourpuss West End Wilma. So what of the lady behind the teapot? Join us for an exclusive peek through Wilma’s stage door!

Hi Wilma. It’s a tremendous honour to meet you – and you’re looking fabulous by the way! You’re well known for your love of tea and interviewing the great and the good of West End Theatre, but what we really want to know is….

Read more