Thursday Theatre News: Avenue Q, Priscilla, Bells Are Ringing & the Old Vic’s New Season

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I’ll start with the sad news: it turns out Avenue Q really is “only for now” as its final song suggests.

The hilarious West End musical has posted closing notices this week: the final performance will be on 30 October. Having seen the show three times, I guess I’ll have to be content with continuing to snigger at the soundtrack on my commute to work.

In other news, Alf from Home and Away, sorry, Ray Meagher is going to star in Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical from 30 September. Ray’s playing mechanic Bob in the London production at the Palace Theatre, a role he first played in 2007 in Sydney.

And finally for musicals this week, Anna-Jane Casey is to lead the cast of Bells Are Ringing at the Union Theatre this autumn. Casey  is currently starring in the fantastic Comedy of Errors at the Open Air Theatre. From 29 September, she’ll play Ella Peterson in a rare revival of this Broadway musical, scored by Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl) with a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town).

Last but not least for this week, I’ve got news of the Old Vic’s new season. Highlights include:

  • Noël Coward’s unconventional rom-com Design For Living (3 Sep-27 Nov), starring Tom Burke, Andrew Scott, and Lisa Dillon
  • Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear (4 Dec to 5 Mar), a comedy of misunderstandings with the lovely Tom Hollander and Lisa Dillon again, directed by Richard Eyre
  • Cause Célèbre by Terence Rattigan (17 Mar to 11 Jun), directed by Thea Sharrock, who also directed Rattigan’s After The Dance, currently playing at the National

Artistic director Kevin Spacey says:

“These are three great plays that all rather brilliantly explore the attitudes of their time and offer wonderful roles to actors. I am delighted to welcome Lisa Dillon, such a compelling and exciting young actress, to our stage in two productions, alongside Tom Burke, whose work I’ve admired since we acted together in the movie Telstar, and Tom Hollander, one of the finest and funniest leading actors of his generation. We are also delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations for Terence Rattigan and I can’t wait to see Thea Sharrock translate his work to the stage.”

Read the full quote on the SOLT website.


  1. Claire Doble says:

    I love Priscilla the movie, keen to see the Musical. The addition of Alf is an added bonus – strewth!

  2. Milly says:

    Priscilla is my favourite musical on at the moment – I guarantee you will walk out smiling!