Visit London Blog » a chorus line Enjoy the very best of London Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:26:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Theatre News: Charlie, Wind in the Willows, Stephen Ward and From Here To Eternity Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:00:56 +0000 Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryFirstly, sad news that A Chorus Line is closing early on 31 August. But with every early curtain comes news of an extension, and fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be pleased to hear that the Sam Mendes-directed show is now booking at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 31 May 2014.

This week, I’ve got news of two hit shows returning to the London stage: firstly, the Royal Opera House’s family-friendly production of The Wind in the Willows will play at the Duchess Theatre this Christmas. This perennial favourite has received three revivals since its first appearance and played more than 100 performances in the capital. Secondly, Lolita Chakrabarti’s Olivier Award-nominated play Red Velvet will return to the Tricycle Theatre as part of its forthcoming new season, with Adrian Lester reprising his role as Ira Aldridge.

Finally three very different new London shows have been announced: a farce, a musical, and a pantomime. Take your pick from Antony Sher playing Sigmund Freud in Terry Johnson’s farce Hysteria at the Hampstead Theatre this September; the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre from early December; or the ever-brilliant Hackney Empire panto team’s production of Puss in Boots from November.

Owain Arthur. Photo by Hugo GlendinningLondon Theatre Cast News

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Interview with John Partridge from A Chorus Line Wed, 01 May 2013 10:00:26 +0000 johnpartridgeJohn Partridge plays Zach in A Chorus Line currently playing at the London Palladium. John is best known for playing the role of Christian Clarke in EastEnders (BBC) for the past five years. In 2010, he was part of the panel on Over the Rainbow (BBC). He has worked extensively as a singer and dancer in musical theatre, playing Rum Tum Tugger in the official film production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats.

What does A Chorus Line mean to you?
It’s an iconic musical and being involved in it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A Chorus Line is the forefather of reality TV shows, such as X Factor, and is therefore particularly relevant today.

What’s your favourite song from A Chorus Line?
“Dance Ten, Looks Three” for obvious reasons!

When was the first time you saw A Chorus Line and how many times have you seen it?
I’d never seen the stage show, but I did see the movie while I was training myself.

Do you think A Chorus Line is the ultimate dancer’s musical?
I don’t think A Chorus Line is the ultimate dancer’s musical; I think it’s the ultimate performer’s musical.

A Chorus Line at the London Palladium

Why do you think A Chorus Line has been so successful?
I think it’s successful because it deals with real emotions and real-life stories. It isn’t a fairy tale or a fantasy, it offers a glimpse into the lives of performers striving to achieve their dreams. It’s inspirational.

What does performing at the London Palladium mean to you?
It’s legendary! Icons and idols have walked through the corridors, sat in the dressing rooms, laughed, cried, and sweated on that stage. It has an energy all of its own.

What do you bring to the role of Zach?
I bring my own experience to the role. I’m not so old that I can’t remember what it was like to be young, eager and excited by all the possibilities that lay before me. But I’m also old enough to know what it feels like to have a fresh batch of kids right behind you snapping at your heels. I know what it feels like to be rejected, to have your whole self worth wrapped up in a “Yes” or a “No”.

John Partridge in A Chorus Line

What part of a musical do you enjoy most; the dancing, acting, or singing?
I enjoy all of them equally.

Any lucky charms or rituals before you go on stage?
No, I am not superstitious. Preparation is King.

How important are your fans to you?
My fans are extremely important to me as they root for you, encourage you and support you – a little like family.

A Chorus Line is currently playing at the London Palladium. You can book tickets to see A Chorus Line here. You can follow A Chorus Line and John Partridge on twitter: @AChorusLineLDN and @mustbejp

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Olivier Awards 2013: Curious Incident Wins A Record-Equalling Seven Trophies Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:40:13 +0000 The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time won seven awards at last night’s Olivier Awards, equalling the record set last year by Matilda The Musical.

As well as Best New Play, Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel featured the following winners: Luke Treadaway for Best Actor, Nicola Walker for Best Supporting Actress, Marianne Elliott for Best Director, Paule Constable for the White Light Award for Lighting Design, Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for the XL Video Award for Best Set Design and Ian Dickinson and Adrian Sutton for Best Sound Design. The Curious Incident is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre, following a successful West End transfer in March. It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent years, so if you’re able to book a ticket, go! The show is now booking until January 2014.

Helen Mirren. Photo by Giles KeyteThe Audience, currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre and Sweeney Todd which ran at the Adelphi Theatre in the summer took two actor awards each: Helen Mirren won Best Actress for portraying The Queen and Richard McCabe took Best Supporting Actor for playing Harold Wilson in the former; Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won Best Actor in a Musical and Best Actress in A Musical for their roles in Sweeney Todd. The brilliant Sondheim musical also won the prize for Best Musical revival.

Elsewhere, there were prizes for Top Hat, currently on at the Aldwych Theatre for Best New Musical, Costume Design and Choreography. Leigh Zimmerman won Best Performance in a Supporing Role in a Musical for A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. And long-runner Billy Elliot won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award – voted for by the members of the public.

For a full list of winners, go to

Congratulations to everyone involved. Do you agree with the judges’ choices? Let us know in the comments below.

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Five New West End Musicals to Look Forward To in 2013 Wed, 26 Dec 2012 11:00:42 +0000 This year has been an exciting one for top West End musicals. From Top Hat to Kiss Me, Kate, with the brilliant Sweeney Todd, and The Bodyguard, not to mention Viva Forever, there have been some fantastic musicals on offer.

Here are just some of the great shows we have to look forward to next year:

A Chorus Line1. A Chorus Line, London Palladium from 2 Feb
Back in the West End for the first time since the 70s, the award-winning A Chorus Line comes to London’s Palladium in February, starring John Partridge and Scarlett Strallen as Zach and Cassie, with Leigh Zimmerman playing Sheila and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt playing Diana. Altogether now: “One… singular sensation, every little step she takes…”

2. The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre from 26 Feb
Another multi-award winning show, The Book of Mormon is the first of two Broadway imports to hit the West End in 2013. This first will make its UK premiere at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s the story of two teenage Mormon missionaries trying to convert a Ugandan village. As it contains explicit language, this is a show for over 18s only: time will tell whether UK audiences love it as much as their US counterparts.

3. Once, Phoenix Theatre from 16 Mar
This year’s Tony Award for Best New Musical went to Once; and from March we can see it on our side of the pond at the Phoenix Theatre. Based on the 2006 Irish musical film of the same name, Once features an ensemble cast of actor/musicians and tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant and their shared love of music.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 18 May
Hot on the heels of Matilda comes a new Roald Dahl-based musical. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features a host of musical stars including music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a book by the award-winning playwright David Greig and choreography by Peter Darling, the chap behind both Billy Elliot and Matilda. It’s directed by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, and stars Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, and plays at the wonderful Theatre Royal Drury Lane from May. Sounds like a perfect recipe for success…

5. The Sound of Music, Open Air Theatre from 25 Jul
Finally for musicals in 2013, I’m really excited about a new production of The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre. Opening in July, this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is sure to be a real treat: the past few musicals from the Open Air Theatre have been amazing, including three winners of the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.

If you prefer your shows without all that lovely singing and dancing, check out my tips for the top London plays coming in 2013.

What musicals are you looking forward to seeing in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.

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Thursday Theatre News: Record-Breaking Matilda, A Chorus Line, and Show Extensions Thu, 13 Sep 2012 16:30:08 +0000 Firstly (and fittingly for Roald Dahl Day) congratulations to Matilda the Musical for making it into the Guinness Book of Records! The hit musical won the awards for Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Director, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Set Design and Best Sound Design at the Olivier Awards last year, stealing the record Nicholas Nickleby (1980), which had retained the title for Most Olivier Award Wins for more than 20 years.

Second, there’s a new musical on the horizon. A Chorus Line opens at the London Palladium next year: the first London revival of the show ever. Featuring the iconic songs One (Singular Sensations), What I Did For Love, I Can Do That and Hope I Get It, the Olivier Award-winning musical is the story of 17 dancers auditioning for a Broadway show. It’ll play a limited season from 2 February (press night 19 February) to 29 June.

London Cast News

  • Janie Dee will lead the cast of NSFW at the Royal Court, Lucy Kirkwood’s debut play opening in late October
  • Tricycle season regular Simon Chandler and Charlotte Lucas (last seen in Posh) are among the cast joining Adrian Lester in Red Velvet at the Tricycle theatre
  • West End star Oliver Tompsett is swapping one rocking West End musical for another as he’s leaving Rock Of Ages to join We Will Rock You in October
  • Conleth Hill, Will Keen, Felicity Montagu and Malcolm Sinclair will join the previously announced Rowan Atkinson in Quartermaine’s Terms at Wyndham’s Theatre
  • Damian Humbley, Jenna Russell and Mark Umbers return to the Menier Chocolate Factory this winter to star in Maria Friedman’s forthcoming production of Merrily We Roll Along

London Shows Extending

  • Chariots of Fire has extended its West End run at the Gielgud Theatre until 2 February 2013
  • Top Hat has extended its booking period at the Aldwych Theatre until 28 September 2013
  • Matilda is now booking at the Cambridge theatre until 22 December 2013
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