Thursday Theatre News: Mackenzie Crook, Ralf Little, Chris Fountain and Matt Willis

Please note this blog is no longer active. This post was last updated 7 years, 8 months ago and may contain out of date prices, opening times, links and information. Go to for the lastest visitor information for London.

This week’s theatre news is all about cast announcements.

Firstly, former Busted star Matt Willis will be wielding a welding torch in Flashdance next month, alongside West End regular Victoria Hamilton-Barritt. The kitsch 80s musical, which is choreographed by Arlene Phillips, will be Matt’s West End debut. Good luck, Matt!

Another teen idol, Hollyoaks star Chris Fountain is also coming to the West End this September. Chris will lead the cast of new musical Departure Lounge at the new Waterloo East Theatre, alongside Verity Rushworth and Liam Tamne, who both previously starred in Hairspray.

A second soap star to head to the London stage from September is Kevin Kennedy. You and I know him better as Curly from Corrie. But from 6 September, he’ll play Pop in the Queen rock musical, We Will Rock You.

Finally for musicals this week is the news that Sally Dexter is to join Sister Act, taking over from Whoopi Goldberg in the role of Mother Superior from the end of the month. They’re pretty big shoes to fill, but we think London stage regular Sally’s got the feet for the job!

And last but not least, Mackenzie Crook (who was so brilliant in the multi-award-winning Jerusalem last year) and Ralf Little (from BBC sitcoms The Royle Family and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps) will star in The Aliens at the Bush Theatre, which starts previews from 15 September. This is the UK premier of this new play by Annie Baker, about two professional dropouts musing on magic mushrooms and music…

Finally, next Sunday (29) there’ll be a particularly special performance at the London Palladium. The Front of House team and stage crew will emerge from their places behind the scenes and take to the stage for one night only. The unique variety show is raising money for The Theatrical Guild, a charity for Backstage & Front of House staff and U Can Ask Angels, an organisation which helps families affected by disability. You can book tickets to Gareth Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium here.