Thursday Theatre News: Oliver! New Musicals, Frankenstein, and the Return of the Rat Pack

Smash-hit show Oliver! may only have a couple of months left in the West End (it closes on 8 January), but that hasn’t stopped a couple of familiar faces making a return to the show. Griff Rhys Jones will return to play Fagin this December for a five-week run, while Jodie Prenger will play Nancy for one last time on 13 November. Jodie will stand in for current Nancy, Kerry Ellis, when Kerry takes to the Royal Albert Hall stage for the Festival Of Remembrance concert. When Oliver!’s gone from Theatre Royal Drury Lane, it’s all about green monsters as Shrek arrives in May.

More exciting casting news about this week: Benedict Cumberbatch (that’s Sherlock to you and me) and sexy Jonny Lee Miller have been announced as Dr Frankenstein and the monster he creates in the National Theatre’s upcoming production. “Which is which?!” I hear you cry. Turns out they’re going to be alternating parts each night! Sounds like I’m going to have to book to see more than one show when it comes to Danny Boyle’s National Theatre debut. Excited? I can’t wait.

If you’re a fan of new musicals, then Waterloo East Theatre is the place for you this Christmas. The new venue is producing two musical premiers this festive season. Choose between:

  • Striking 12: a musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Little Match Girl with a score that fuses jazz, rock and show tunes. It’s composed by the American “theatrical power trio” GrooveLily
  • Pinkalicious The Musical: aimed at children aged nine and younger, it’s the story of Pinkalicious, a girl who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes, despite warnings from her parents

Finally, for this week, a heads-up for Rat Pack fans. Christmas With The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas comes to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for just two performances this Christmas; a matinee and an evening show on 19 December. Book now!

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