Peaky Blinders star Paul Anderson makes his West End debut in Tartuffe

Paul Anderson and Audrey Fleurot will star in the West End’s first ever dual language production: a new adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe. Adaptor Christopher Hampton and director Gerald Garutti have reimagined this 1600s French classic as a darkly comic story of human frailties set in present-day L.A.

When French film tycoon Orgon relocates to Tinsel town with his family, he has his heart set on becoming Hollywood royalty. And with a palatial Beverly Hills mansion and new studio to his name, he seems well on his way to establishing an infallible empire. But Orgon soon falls under the seductive spell of a radical American evangelist named Tartuffe. Completely hoodwinked, Orgon risks losing his fortune and family to Tartuffe’s sly machinations. The so-called evangelist plans to steal Orgon’s vast wealth, drive away his son, seduce his wife, and marry his daughter. Will Orgon come to his senses before it’s too late?

In 1664, Tartuffe, or The Imposter was regarded as one of Moliere’s best plays. Today, it’s a trenchant mockery of human frailties set against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s America. Both then and now, it’s a humorous tale with an undercurrent that’s frighteningly relevant.

The production finds a fitting home at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which was nicknamed “The New French Theatre” after its opening in 1720. To reflect its swiftly unfolding plot, the play will alternate between English with French surtitles and French with English surtitles.

In the title role of the radical evangelist is Paul Anderson, known for his star turn in the hit drama Peaky Blinders, as well as leading roles in The Revenant, In the Heart of the Sea, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Playing Orgon’s wily, strong-willed wife Elmire is French star Audrey Fleurot. Fleurot’s stage and screen roles include playing The Lady of the Lake in Kaamelott, Joséphine Karlsson in Spiral (BAFTA nominated), Hortense Larcher in Un village francais, and Magalie in international hit The Intouchables. She also played herself in Netflix’s Call My Agent! / Dix pour cent!

Additional casting has not yet been announced.

Adapting Moliere’s classic comedy is Academy, BAFTA, and Olivier Award-winning writer and director Christopher Hampton, whose vast screenplay credits include Dangerous Liaisons (Oscar winner), and Atonement. For the stage, Hampton has worked on an Olivier Award-winning adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Sunset Boulevard, and several original plays including Appomatox and The Talking Cure.

Director Gerald Garutti is well-poised at the helm of this dual-language production: he’s directed an English performance of Dangerous Liaisons at the Royal Shakespeare Company and is the former dramaturg of the French National Theatre (Théâtre National Populaire, 2006-11). His many other productions include Notes from the Underground, The Fall Of The House of Usher, and the sell-out French production Brief Praise of Night.

Tartuffe premieres for a limited ten-week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket starting Friday 25th May 2018. (Press Night is Tuesday 29th May.)

Find tickets from £18.

CREATIVES

Directed by Gerald Garutti
Adapted by Christopher Hampton
Composed by Laurent Petitgand
Designed by Tim Goodchild
Lighting design by Paul Anderson
Sound design by David Gregory

ADDRESS

Theatre Royal Haymarket
18 Suffolk Street
London
SW1Y 4HT

SEASON DATES

Friday 25 May – Saturday 28 July 2018

PRESS NIGHT

Tuesday 29 May at 7.00pm

15 things you didn’t know about the cast of The Rat Pack – Live From Vegas

The Rat Pack – Live From Vegas returns to the West End this Christmas, bringing the glitz, the glamour, and the smash-hits that we all know and love.

Transport yourself back to the 1960s where, at the famous Sands Hotel, Frank, Sammy, and Dean perform alongside the sensational Burrelli Sisters and The Rat Pack Big Band. With a wonderful array of seasonal classics, including Pack favourites Baby it’s Cold Outside, Let it Snow, and White Christmas, it’s an ideal festive treat for the whole family.

Final casting for this year’s Pack spectacular has been announced. From royal invitations, to approval from Sammy Davis Jr. himself, here’s everything you need to know about the new cast!

Garrett Phillips as Frank Sinatra

  1. Garrett is an Irish singer and actor, who’s a familiar face on both stage and screen, having starred as Dr Cathal Hennessy in five series of the popular TV drama Ros Na Rún.
  2. His most recent theatre credits include The Father in Blood Wedding and The King in Dr. Faustus. He also starred as Joseph in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  3. He is the winner of Best Male Voice at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera.

David Hayes as Sammy Davis Jr.

 

4. David certainly isn’t a newbie to the role: he has performed in The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas in the West End, around the UK, in Germany, Denmark, and across the US.
5. David is also a successful comedian and emcee, and has worked with a variety of stars including George Lopez, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Herbie Hancock, and Florence Henderson.
6. Sammy Davis Jr. himself saw David’s performance in Atlantic City and said: “That was the best singing impersonation of me that I’ve ever heard!”

 

Nigel Casey as Dean Martin

 

7. Nigel’s career really set off with his role of Greaseball in Starlight Express, and he has since enjoyed tremendous success throughout Europe.
8. Nigel starred as Billy Flynn in Chicago, Danny in Grease and Monty in Saturday Night Fever.
9. Like David Hayes, he is not new to the role; he has previously played Dean Martin in the Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas at the Savoy Theatre and in various states across America.
10. He has written and produced his very own album called “Forever’s A Long Time” which has achieved huge success in Germany.

  • Matthew Freeman as Musical Director of the Rat Pack Big Band

    Matthew Freeman

11. Matthew is a platinum and gold disc award-winning conductor, arranger and pianist who enjoys a diverse international career.
12. He conducted and arranged IQ Magazine’s award-winning ABBA The Show, which has played in 38 countries and at London’s Wembley Arena.
13. In 2015, he conducted the BBC’s Planet Earth Live in Germany and Austria. He will also be conducting the new BBC Planet Earth 2 across Europe in 2018.
14. Matthew has conducted and arranged over 50 albums, including Larry Adler, Dame Shirley Bassey, Vic Damone, Ruthie Henshall, David Soul and many more.
15. He also received an invitation to arrange and conduct Decca’s celebration of the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday!

 

Now’s your chance to hang with the coolest pack in town! The Rat Pack – Live From Vegas plays at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 13 December until 3 February.

Book your tickets for The Rat Pack – Live From Vegas today.

Stephen Mangan, Toby Jones & Zoë Wanamaker to star in The Birthday Party

After its world premiere almost 60 years ago, Harold Pinter’s landmark play The Birthday Party returns to the London stage in a new production by Ian Rickson featuring a power trio of Olivier Award winners: Stephen Mangan, Toby Jones and Zoë Wanamaker. Written in 1957, The Birthday Party was Pinter’s second full-length play, which soon became his most well-known and frequently performed work.

Stanley Webber (Toby Jones), an unemployed piano player, leads a mundane but peaceful life as the only guest in Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Petey Boles’ rundown seaside boarding house. When two strangers, Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) and McCann, arrive on Stanley’s birthday, their intentions grow increasingly sinister, and the harmless birthday party organised by Meg slowly turns into chaos. Everyone from the resort owners, to the innocent next door neighbour, becomes entangled in the turmoil of Stanley’s bizarre birthday party.

Widely recognised as one of the greatest plays of the late twentieth century, this intriguing drama is commonly classified as a ‘comedy of menace’: it has a unique ability to keep audiences amused but simultaneously on the brink of terror.

birthday party cast collage .png
Stephen Mangan, Toby Jones and Zoë Wanamaker (left to right)

Stephen Mangan is a British actor, best known for his roles as ‘Guy Secretan’ in Green Wing, andDan Moody’ in I’m Alan Partridge. Mangan’s previous stage credits include his portrayal of ‘Norman’ in The Norman Conquests on Broadway – for which he was Tony-nominated – and his role of ‘Bertie Wooster’ in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Toby Jones is a British actor and voice artist, most well-known for his roles as ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ in The Girl and ‘Truman Capote’ in Infamous; he also provided the voice of ‘Dobby’ in the Harry Potter films. Described by the Independent as ‘Britain’s most versatile actor’, Jones’ stage credits include Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National Theatre and Parlour Song at the Almeida Theatre. This will be his first stage role since 2011.

Zoë Wanamaker, who is known for her roles in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and My Family, has worked extensively with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Following critically-acclaimed productions of Betrayal and Old Times, Ian Rickson returns to direct this new production at the Harold Pinter Theatre, open from Tuesday 9 January for a strictly limited 14 week run. Book tickets for The Birthday Party now!

New cast announced for WICKED at the Apollo Victoria

Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans will head the new London cast of WICKED from Monday 24 July 2017. Also joining the cast are Bradley Jaden, Melanie La Barrie, Andy Hockley, Jack Lansbury and Laura Pick. 

Now in its 11th smash-hit year at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, the West End musical phenomenon WICKED, tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz and an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Based on Gregory Maguire’s acclaimed, best-selling novel, the show ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters in L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’.

alice fearn

Alice Fearn, who will be replacing Willemijn Verkaik in the role of Elphaba (the illegitimate daughter of Melena Thropp and the Wizard of Oz), originally joined the London production in 2016 as a standby for the role. Her previous appearances in the West End include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical, Into the Woods, Les Misérables and The Woman in White. 

sophie evans

Sophie Evans, who will be playing Glinda, was the acclaimed runner-up in the BBC talent show ‘Over the Rainbow’ and subsequently played ‘Dorothy Gale’ in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.

bradley jaden

Bradley Jaden will take on the role of Fiyero (Elphaba’s love interest), which is his current role in the musical’s international tour. Previously, he starred in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre as ‘Enjolras’.

melanie

Melanie La Barrie is starring as Madame Morrible, and is currently part of the acclaimed Everyman Company at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Previous roles include ‘Mrs Phelps’ in the original cast of Matilda, ‘Madame Thénardier’ in Les Misérables and ‘Mrs Corry’ in the original cast of Mary Poppins.

Andy Hockley

Andy Hockley, who is starring as The Wizard, has long been part of The Phantom of the Opera, playing ‘Monsieur Firmin’ at London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre. He most recently played ‘Grandpa Potts’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on the UK & Ireland Tour.

jack lansbury

Jack Lansbury, graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, is making his West End debut in WICKED as Boq.

laura pick

Laura Pick, Elphaba’s standby, played ‘Maria von Trapp’ in The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) continue in their current roles.

Current cast members Willemijn Verkaik (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Sue Kelvin (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard) and Idriss Kargbo (Boq) are set to play their final performances on Saturday 22 July 2017.

Already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history, the show has astonishingly won the WhatsOnStage Award for ‘Best West End Show’ three times, and is proudly a two-time winner of the Olivier Audience Award.

Book your tickets to the West End favourite, multi-award-winning show WICKED here.

Meet Janique Charles: The Lion King’s new Nala

Janique Charles officially replaces Ava Brennan in the role of Nala, Simba’s childhood friend, in Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. We sat down with her to discuss her journey in getting the role, what it’s like to work for Disney and, ultimately, how it feels to be part of the most successful musical in history.

'Can You You Feel The Love Tonight' - Nick Afoa as Simba, Janique Charles as Nala 2017 ©Disney.jpg

Congratulations on getting the role! Has musical theatre always been the ultimate goal for you?

I’ve always wanted to work for Disney. Whether it was through performing in a Disney musical, on the Disney channel or on a Disney cruise ship – I just knew I wanted to work for Disney. Having grown up endlessly watching Disney movies and Disney TV, I’ve always felt very connected to it – so this is a real dream come true for me.

So how did you get the role of Nala? 

I’ve been working on The Lion King for 4 years. I moved here from Trinidad and Tobago in 2013 to join Disney’s The Lion King UK tour, which also stopped in Basel, Switzerland, and that’s where my journey began! About a year ago, I made it to the West End, playing a number of different roles in the ensemble: the banana lady, a white bird, a hyena (which was so much fun!) and a lioness. Once I had a taste of playing a lioness, it became clear to me how much I’d enjoy playing Nala.

What do you particularly like about her?

She’s sweet, but fierce. She stands up for herself and those she cares about. It’s not in my character to be this fearless, so I love that in this role, I get to be fierce every day.

What’s your favourite thing about being part of such a successful musical?

I think the thing I appreciate the most is having the opportunity to work with so many professional and truly talented people. I learn so much from these world-class performers, whilst playing a part in a story that I adored growing up. It’s a wonderful experience.

'Shadowland' - Janique Charles as Nala 2017 ©Disney

If you could see any other film made into a musical, what would it be?

I’ve always liked the Prince of Egypt, I think that film has potential to be an incredible musical. There are some really underrated, beautiful songs. In terms of Disney films, The Lion King is of course my favourite, however, The Little Mermaid comes a very close second! I love the innocence of Ariel, but if it was made into a musical, I’d have to play Ursula – I have so much fun playing these bolder, more daring characters.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

Well, working for Disney is what I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve been working for years to get here. So I often have to remind myself to breathe, relax and enjoy what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

I think on a less serious note, falling over most days in rehearsals is a challenge. It’s a very physical show – particularly the fight scene between Nala and Simba – so it’s bound to happen. It’s past the stage of embarrassing now, but it sure does hurt!

So what’s your relationship like with Nick Afoa (Simba)?

Nick’s great – he’s a really funny, cool guy. He’s from New Zealand – so it’s really interesting learning about his culture and hearing all of his stories from when he played rugby professionally. We’ve had a lot of laughs since beginning rehearsals. But I love every member of the cast; they’re all so inspiring and bring so much to the show.

'The Embrace' - Nick Afoa as Simba, Janique Charles as Nala 2017 ©Disney .jpg

For people who haven’t seen the show yet, what can they expect?

It’s so beautiful. You just can’t even imagine how much you’ll enjoy it. There’s one particular scene with white birds that makes me fall in love with the show more each time; their costumes flow out like a flower in bloom. You can’t put into words how beautiful it is. The music, the costumes – it’s all mind-blowing.

One last question – is there any advice you’d give to aspiring actors/actresses?

To put it simply, never give up. Keep trying, auditioning, playing the smaller parts. I played so many characters in the ensemble for the show and I learned so much. I had to know the show in and out; that experience was truly invaluable.

Janique performs her role of Nala for the first time tonight at 7.30pm.
Book tickets for Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre here.

Watch the official trailer below.