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Billy Elliot welcomed its four millionth audience member to the Victoria Palace Theatre this week. Sharon Hick, who watched the show with her friend Jane Horsewood and daughters Amy and Meagan Horsewood, celebrated on the stage with cast members Killian Donnelly and Deka Walmsley. The lucky theatregoers were presented with a weekend stay in London and goody bags for the children before being taken backstage to meet the cast.
Hick said, “Jane and I had been discussing taking Amy and Meagan to see their first West End show, and we thought Billy Elliot would be perfect. It is a real testimony to how magical this show is that so many people have been through the doors to see it.”
Elsewhere in the West End, Thriller – Live has been celebrating its success with a booking extension: you can now see the musical based on the songs of Michael Jackson at the Lyric Theatre until March 2014.
Ahead of the forthcoming Olivier Awards, there’s been another win for London theatre. Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which opens at the Bush Theatre next month, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Akhtar’s first ever stage play, Disgraced charts the story of a successful corporate lawyer who is about to land the promotion of his life. But, as the play progresses, it’s clear that this success has come at a price. Talking about his win, Akhtar said, “It’s tough to put it into words what an honour and privilege it is to receive this award. I think I might be dreaming.”
Finally, two transfers have been announced this week. The Two’s Company production of London Wall, a play about an office manager and his unsolicited advances towards his new teenage typist transfers to the St James Theatre from 7 May. And fast-paced new comedy The Play That Goes Wrong transfers to the Trafalgar Studios from 30 April. It’s presented by Mischief Theatre, a company specialising in comedy writing.
London Theatre Cast News
- Harriet Thorpe returns to Wicked next week to step into the role of Madame Morrible after Louise Plowright had to leave the show due to ill health. Thorpe takes on the role from 22 April to 16 November
- The Wire star Clarke Peters makes his Hampstead Theatre debut in May in David Mamet’s politically charged drama Race
- Broadway star Seth Numrich will make his London stage debut in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic opposite Kim Cattrall in June
- Anna-Jane Casey joins the cast of hit West End show Billy Elliot next month when the show welcomes a host of new faces including Kevin Wathen, Howard Crossley and Alexander Loxton
- Daniel Radcliffe will be joined by a strong Irish cast for the forthcoming The Cripple Of Inishmaan, including Ingrid Craigie, Pádraic Delaney, Sarah Greene, Gillian Hanna, Gary Lilburn, Conor MacNeill, Pat Shortt and June Watson
- London theatre regular John Light joins Olivier Award-winning actress Michelle Terry in the forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe