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Firstly, news of two hot new musicals: The Commitments comes to the Palace Theatre in September, in a new stage version of Roddy Doyle’s novel directed by Jamie Lloyd. It’s the story of Jimmy Rabitte, a young working-class music fan who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, The Commitments. You might’ve seen the brilliant 1991 film of the novel. All preview tickets for the show will be half-price; after opening night on 8 October, the producers continue their commitment (ahem!) to cut price tickets, offering more than 10,000 seats for just £10 for the show’s first year.
In addition, new musical American Psycho, a co-production with the Headlong theatre company, will play at the Almeida Theatre from December. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho is the story of Patrick Bateman, a young man publically embracing the high life in 1980s Manhattan while concealing a particularly nasty secret. The new show has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, choreography by Lynne Page and designs by Olivier Award winner Es Devlin. Together, these two shows make for a promising autumn / winter on London’s theatreland…
Good news now for Horrible Histories fans. The family-friendly series returns to London at the Garrick Theatre this autumn with a brand new show. Barmy Britain – Part Two offers a fresh – and no doubt sometimes disgusting – look at Britain’s grisly past. Barmy Britain – Part One will help fans brush up on the series, kicking off the Horrible Histories residency at the theatre from 7 August to 1 September. Part Two then follows from 26 September to 5 January.
Finally, I’m very excited about the news coming from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the newly built indoor theatre next to Shakespeare’s Globe. The first season, starting in 2014, will feature drama, opera and live music in its candlelit interior. The first shows will be Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, Francis Beaumont’s anarchic comedy The Knight Of The Burning Pestle, the satirical The Malcontent, performed by the Globe’s Young Players, and Cavalli’s rarely performed opera L’Ormindo. There’ll also be music from Grammy Award-winning guitarist John Williams.
Talking about the venue’s first season, Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole says, “We could not be more delighted than to be opening this theatre with three such shining jewels from this time: a macabre tragedy, a riotous comedy and a beautiful philosophical satire. We hope that the Wanamaker Playhouse will afford as many insights, and prove as theatrically rejuvenating, as the Globe has proved over the last 16 years.”
London Theatre Cast News
- Charity Wakefield, Honeysuckle Weeks and Alec Newman will star in the UK premiere of Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives at the new Park Theatre in Finsbury Park from 8 May
- Imelda Staunton and Toby Jones join forces in the Royal Court’s latest Theatre Local scheme this summer. The pair will perform in Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation at the Rose Lipman Building in Haggerston from 5 July
- Lesley Manville will take on the role of Helene Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre from September, alongside Will Keen and Jack Lowden
- Finally, our first piece of news about Christmas! Steven Webb returns to the Lyric Hammersmith to star in the pantomime Jack And The Beanstalk from 23 November