Visit London Blog » aldwych theatre Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Theatre News: Olivier Awards, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 1984, The Full Monty, We Will Rock You, RSC, Tom Conti and Ralph Fiennes. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:00:01 +0000

Did your favourite get the nod when the nominations for the Olivier Awards 2014 with MasterCard were announced? Tom Hiddleston and Jude Law both made the all-important list. So did Hayley Atwell and Judi Dench.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is on it too (in a big way – it received seven nominations). The Roald Dahl adaptation celebrated by announcing that Josefina Gabrielle would join its cast. She’s nominated for an Olivier too, for her work on Merrily We Roll Along, the only show to match Charlie’s seven nominations.

The hit production of George Orwell’s dystopian tale 1984 currently playing at the Almeida Theatre also picked up a nomination for Best New Play. Happily it has announced a West End transfer, so even more of us can see what caught the Olivier judges’ eyes.

Also among the nominees was the stage adaptation of The Full Monty, nominated for Best New Comedy. Sadly if you want to see the acclaimed production you’ll have to be swift as despite the award recognition producers have decided to close the show early, on 29 March.

West End long-runner We Will Rock You, itself a previous Olivier Award winner, is also bringing its London run to a close. It will say “Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go” for the final time on 31 May.

In happier news of London stage arrivals:

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies will transfer to the Aldwych Theatre from 1 May,
  • Tom Conti will replace Martin Shaw in the cast of Twelve Angry Men from 31 March, with the show extending until 14 June,
  • And Ralph Fiennes, currently impressing cinemagoers in The Grand Budapest Hotel, will return to the National Theatre next year to star in George Bernard Shaw’s Man And Superman.
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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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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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London Theatre News: Olivier Awards, Wicked, Young Vic, Soho Theatre, Rutherford & Son Thu, 04 Apr 2013 10:00:21 +0000 Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, LondonFirstly, congratulations to Wicked, which welcomed its 5 millionth audience member last week. Stewart Lyons, who was watching the matinee on 30 March with his partner Cristina Kane, was the lucky, unexpecting theatregoer to make Wicked history. Stewart, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, said it felt “fantastic”, saying, “We loved the show and even though it is our first visit to Wicked, it won’t be our last.”

This year’s Olivier Award nominations have been announced, with the National Theatre’s hit show The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time leading the way with eight possible prizes, including Best New Play.

Simon Stephens’ adaptation is also in the running for Best Actor for Luke Treadaway, Nicola Walker for Best Supporting Actress, as well as its creative team, with nominations for director Marianne Elliott, sound designer Ian Dickinson, lighting designer Paule Constable and set designers Bunny Christie and Finn Ross.

Olivier Awards 2013Two other productions scoring highly in the nominations are Top Hat and The Bodyguard with seven and four nominations each. Both have received nods in the coveted Best New Musical accolade alongside Loserville and Soul Sister. The lovely Tom Chambers, star of Top Hat, fights for the Best Actor in a Musical against six-time nominated Sweeney Todd star Michael Ball; Kiss Me, Kate’s Alex Bourne; and musical theatre newcomer and star of Cabaret, Will Young. For full details, go to the Official London Theatre website. The winners will be announced at a star-studded ceremony, hosted by double Olivier Award-winner Sheridan Smith and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, on 28 April at the Royal Opera House.

The Young Vic has announced three new productions for their Maria theatre later this year. The venue’s smaller auditorium will host Trash Cuisine, a co-production with Belarus Free Theatre; The Secret Agent co-produced with theatre O; and new David Greig play The Events between May and November this year. The three shows are linked by dark themes of political violence and terror. As if in contrast, Fevered Sleep’s acclaimed show for 3 to 5-year-olds, Brilliant, returns to the venue from 3 to 13 July, with its dreamlike world made of light.

Soho TheatreIn addition, the Soho Theatre has news of two new dramas with an international flavour as part of its summer programme. Kathrine Kressmann Taylor’s classic pre-war drama Address Unknown will be performed in a new French-and-English version in June with Belgian theatremaker Valentijn Dhaenens’ look at the manipulative nature of rhetoric, Bigmouth, following in July. The new pieces join a spring/summer line-up that includes The Life And Sort Of Death Of Eric Argyle, Verity Bargate Award winner Pastoral, and tale of returning soldiers developed with former servicemen, Glory Dazed.

Finally, Northern Broadsides critically acclaimed production of Rutherford & Son will transfer to the St James Theatre this summer. Directed by Jonathan Miller, Rutherford & Son will play at the Victoria-based theatre from 4 to 29 June with the Northern Broadsides Artistic Director Barrie Rutter in the lead role of John Rutherford.

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Thursday Theatre News: The New St James Theatre, Let It Be Launch, Mamma Mia Moving and Loserville Thu, 23 Aug 2012 18:30:22 +0000 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

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Six New West End Musicals to Look Forward to in 2012 Thu, 29 Dec 2011 14:00:43 +0000

It’s been an interesting year for West End musicals. 2011 has seen huge success stories like Matilda and Crazy For You transfer to the West End, as well as The Wizard of Oz, Shrek and Ghost The Musical.

How can 2012 top that? Well, if the rumours are true, we could be in for some pretty exciting new musicals for the Olympic year. There are whispers of Bridget Jones’ Diary The Musical (with the ever-brilliant Sheridan Smith as the lead); murmurs of Viva Forever The Musical (Spice Girls songs and Jennifer Saunders writing – what more could you want?!); hints about a musical version of The Bodyguard, complete with Whitney Houston’s songs; and suggestions of a Wind In The Willows musical too…

While I love rumours as much as the next person, my tips for 2012 are all based on facts. These shows are definitely coming, and you should be getting excited about them!

1. Master Class, Vaudeville Theatre, from 21 Jan
Tyne Daly has already wowed Broadway audiences with her performance as Maria Callas in Master Class. Next month, she’s heading to London to do the same. I can’t wait.

2. Singin’ In the Rain, Palace Theatre, from 4 Feb
One of my favourite films of all time, it’ll be great to see Singin’ In The Rain on the London stage in February. Particularly with star dancer Adam Cooper in the lead role, and Scarlett Strallen as Kathy.

3. Sweeney Todd, Adelphi Theatre, from 10 Mar
I’m thrilled that Michael Ball is heading back to the West End. He’s such a fantastic singer, and an all-round musical superstar. Sweeney Todd has already had rave reviews from Chichester; I’m so excited about seeing this show when it comes to London in the spring

4. Top Hat, Aldwych Theatre, from 19 Apr
I was a big fan of Tom Chambers when he was on Strictly Come Dancing, so I can’t wait to see him in Top Hat in the West End. My parents have already seen this show on tour, and promise that we’re in for a real treat when it comes to the Aldwych next year. And there’s another one of those Strallen sisters to look out for! (Summer, this time.)

5. Wah! Wah! Girls, Peacock Theatre, from 24 May
Just while you were thinking that all I was going to recommend for 2012 were revivals and transfers, I give you a sparkling new musical from Sadler’s Wells, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Kneehigh. It’s East London meets Bollywood, and part of the exciting World Stages London collaboration for 2012.

6. Porgy And Bess, London Coliseum, from 11 Jul
Finally for summertime (when else?!), the Cape Town Opera comes to the London Coliseum to mark 75 years since George Gershwin’s death. This vibrant, physical production of Porgy And Bess shifts the action to apartheid-era Soweto, with all the classical-jazz-opera musical combinations as strong as ever. It should be a real spectacle.

What musicals are you looking forward to seeing in 2012? Let us know in the comments below…

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Dirty Dancing Valentine’s Day Charity Gala Performance with Magic 105.4fm Tue, 26 Jan 2010 16:06:47 +0000 I don’t know anyone who’s seen the film Dirty Dancing and doesn’t like either the whole movie OR at least one scene, song, or line of the script – agreed?

What about the scene when Baby first sees Johnny Castle walking into Kellerman’s Holiday Camp to start the summer season?


The two classic lines of the film:
“I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

My two favourite songs in the film are Cry To Me by Solomon Burke (when they do THAT dance!), and Hey Baby by Bruce Chanel – do you remember Baby and Johnny dancing over the river on the log??  

It’s such a lovely film and will go down in history for so many reasons.

Well, Dirty Dancing is now a musical in its sixth successful year in London’s West End. London’s No 1 radio station Magic 105.4 is hosting a gala performance in time for Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s on Saturday 13 February at the Aldwych Theatre and all proceeds will go to Cash for Kids – Magic’s chosen charity. 

One of the scenes I’m really looking forward to seeing again when Johnny (Martin Harvey) and Baby (Hannah Vassallo) dance to Solomon Burke’s Cry To Me. The audience generally go wild as the actors and actresses on stage re-produce the scenes from the film verbatim. It’s just like watching a live version of the film!

The character of Penny, played by Nadia Coote is so faithful to the film: with those legs that seem to go on for eternity!

And the soundtrack always has everyone singing along – need I say more? Dirty Dancing is just one of those productions which you find yourself talking about all the way home, and then telling your friends about when you go to school, college or work the following day.

Why not experience it for yourself? Get some friends together and join us for the Gala Performance.

I would also say bring your husband or boyfriend along… For some reason, men are normally in short supply in the audience for this production(!), so twist your hubby’s arm – I’m sure he’ll end up enjoying it too.

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Photo of the Week: Melons Have Time of Their Life in London Wed, 05 Aug 2009 15:00:31 +0000 Dirty Dancing fans queue for free tickets

What are this bunch of melons doing queuing up outside the Aldwych Theatre? Trying to get their hands on a free pair of Dirty Dancing tickets apparently.

But why and how you might reasonably ask? Turns out, yesterday was National Watermelon Day and the first hundred people to turn up with one got free tickets. So, what’s the link between tropical fruit and Dirty Dancing? The immortal, “I carried a watermelon” line of course, as uttered by Baby when she first met sexy Johnny Castle (played by Patrick Swayze).

To keep watermelons off this page, please join Visit London’s Flickr Pool and send us your London pics.

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