Thursday Theatre News: Ladykillers, the New Bush, Casting Updates and Extensions

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Firstly, news that the classic Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers has been adapted for the stage by the writer behind hit TV comedies Father Ted and The IT Crowd, Graham Linehan, and will be coming to the Gielgud Theatre in November. The cast sounds fantastic: Peter Capaldi from the Thick of It will play Professor Marcus (the Alec Guinness role from the film). And he’ll be backed up by a gang played by James Fleet (Hugo from the Vicar of Dibley), comic Ben Miller, Stephen Wight and everyone’s favourite pantomime dame, Clive Rowe. The quintet is joined by multi-Olivier Award-winner Marcia Warren as Mrs Wilberforce.

Next, I’m thrilled to hear both War Horse and Billy Elliot: The Musical are extending: War Horse to October 2012, and Billy to December 2012. Congratulations to both these incredible shows.

And so to casting news:

  • Another member of the Rock of Ages line-up was announced this week: Shane Ward from The X-Factor is to play the disillusioned rock bad boy Stacee Jaxx when Rock Of Ages opens at the Shaftesbury theatre in September
  • Supermodel Christie Brinkley┬áis going to be the latest star to take on the role of Roxy Hart in Chicago. She’ll be donning the fishnets from 11 July to 6 August.
  • Carley Stenson, who’s currently playing Margot in Legally Blonde will step up later this summer and play the lead role of college sweetheart Elle Woods. Carley starts on 11 July; Any Dream Will Do-winner Lee Mead will be Stenson’s leading man as he’s joining the cast from 20 June.

Finally, the Bush Theatre has announced the show that will welcome audiences to its new home. Sixty Six Books is an epic celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Sixty-six playwrights, poets, songwriters and novelists from 12 different countries will create a response to each of the 66 books in the Kings James Bible. The impressive list of contributors includes Jeanette Winterson, Carol Ann Duffy, Billy Bragg, Neil LaBute and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Artistic Director Josie Rourke is working with a team of directors to present three hour, six hour and two 24 hour epic performances, with every room, corner and cupboard(!) of the new venue put to use.

You can read more about the Bush’s future plans here on the Official London Theatre website.


  1. Lettice says:

    Rather excited and impressed by the cast list for the Ladykillers.