Thursday Theatre News: More Henry IV, Birdsong News & the Apollo Victoria’s 80th

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First up this week is news that the fantastic double whammy of Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is extending.  You’ve now got until 9 October to catch this pair of incredible shows. I’ve seen both, and can confirm that Roger Allam’s Falstaff is unmissable, and Jamie Parker makes a great Prince Hal.

London theatre’s other cast news this week includes a treat for Over The Rainbow fans. Jessica Robinson (my favourite Dorothy wannabe) will take over from Stephanie Fearon in Smokey Joe’s Café at the Landor Theatre from 20 to 22 August. (Fearon’s recovering from a wrist operation: get well soon, Steph!)

And I now have full cast details for Birdsong, the new play based on Sebastian Faulks’s novel, which opens next month. You’ll recognise Genevieve O’Reilly from Spooks, and Lee Ross from EastEnders, Ashes To Ashes, Life On Mars and The Catherine Tate Show. They’ll star alongside Nicholas Farrell and Iain Mitchell, both regulars at the National Theatre. You’ll remember sexy Hollywood star Ben Barnes is playing the lead…

Other September openings to look forward to include Spare, which marks the opening of the New Diorama Theatre’s first full season. This new play by Sebastian Rex promises to be a provocative look at sexual abuse, where, in an unusual experiment in gender-neutral writing and gender-blind casting, the actors will pick a role at random each night. Also opening Off-West-End next month is Love on the Dole at the Finborough Theatre. This Jagged Fence production of Walter Greenwood’s classic Great Depression text opens on 7 September.

Finally, Happy Birthday Apollo Victoria Theatre! The theatre is celebrating its birthday on the same day as me (although I’m not 80!) – 10 October – with a gala performance featuring West End stars past and present. The theatre has been entertaining London audiences since it opened in 1930, then called the New Victoria Theatre. It seems like only yesterday I saw my first West End show there, back in 1988, aged about 7 (Starlight Express, if you’re wondering!). If you pop along today, you can see another great musical, Wicked. I’m looking forward to bringing you more news about this special gala show in the coming weeks…


  1. Yolanda says:

    So many great shows, which to choose? ;)

    Another great one I saw recently was War Horse which, unsurprisingly, focuses on the impact of the world war. It’s a stirringly moving piece. With some lovely horses too!