Thursday Theatre News: The New St James Theatre, Let It Be Launch, Mamma Mia Moving and Loserville

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This week’s top London theatre news stories:

Let It Be Rootfop Launch

One London rooftop echoed with the sounds of 1969 earlier today as the boys from the new Beatles musical, Let It Be, copied their heroes with a gig at Vista bar on top of the Trafalgar Hotel. In a nod to the famous 1969 concert on top of the Apple Corp building on Savile Row, Emanuelle Angeletti, Gordon Elsmore, Reuven Gershon and Stephen Hill, (who play Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison) entertained an audience of journalists and guests. I was lucky enough to get to the front of the busy scrum of people to hear songs including Hard Day’s Night, Twist And Shout and, of course, Let It Be.

A Sneak Preview of the St James Theatre
Yesterday I had a sneak preview of the new St James Theatre in Victoria. The new complex includes a state-of-the-art 312-seat theatre and an intimate 100-seat studio, perfect for comedy, cabaret and jazz nights. There’s also a swanky foyer bar and a lovely first-floor restaurant with space for 60 covers. Some of the space reminded me a little of the Trafalgar Studios, but with more luxurious touch (fitting for a venue so close to Buckingham Palace!). The first show, Bully Boy, opens on 18 September. Check out some more photos of the venue here.

Top Hat Cast Release Album
Great news for any fans of the lovely Top Hat musical, currently running at the Aldwych Theatre: they’re releasing a cast album recording of the acclaimed show. If you want a sneak preview, you can listen to some teaser clips on the production’s Facebook page:

Loserville Comes to London’s West End
Loserville, the new musical from Busted star James Bourne, is coming to London’s Garrick Theatre this October, following a successful regional run. The 1970s-based musical tells the story of a computer geek and his misfit friends, who are all set to change the course of history… but don’t know it yet! The good news? There will be 25,000 tickets available for £25 or less during the first booking period. Find out more here.

Mamma Mia Charity Show for Children in Need
Following last week’s news about the West End supporting Children in Need, there’s another gala performance taking place in aid of the charity, this time of Mamma Mia! on 12 September. Celebrating the musical’s move to the Novello Theatre, this special show will feature appearances by BBC Radio 2 presenters Vanessa Feltz, Anneka Rice and Penny Smith, alongside a celebrity-packed audience.

London Theatre Casting News:
Just one piece of casting news this week: The Royal Court’s much-anticipated new show, The River will star Dominic West, Laura Donnelly and Miranda Raison. The reason this new play is such a hot ticket? It’s by the same team as the Royal Court’s previous smash: Jerusalem. That’s writer Jez Butterworth, director Ian Rickson and designer Ultz. All I know about the story is that it’s about a man, a woman, and a remote cabin on some cliffs. It runs from 18 October to 17 November, and (unusually) there are no tickets available for advanced purchase – instead you can buy tickets on the day of the performance.

Check out London’s top theatre shows, musicals, watch videos, and book tickets here