One of the wonderful things about the West End is its unpredictability. From surprising shows to unexpected casting, its eclectic nature is what makes it truly exciting and September’s news was no exception.
A case in point, this fortnight we learnt that Nicole Scherzinger and Emma Thompson – could that be the first time their names have been used together in the same sentence? – will both take on iconic roles in two very different legendary musicals in the coming months.
Pop star Scherzinger will be swapping Pussycat Dolls for, well, just Cats to make her West End debut as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical this December. Only time will tell whether the X-Factor judge’s performance becomes a West End Memory or if it’s the start of a sparkling new career.
While it may be 25 years since Thompson last appeared on the London stage, her casting came as less of a surprise. Rumours of New York’s recent hit Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street coming to London have wafted down Shaftesbury Avenue like the heady whiff of one of Mrs Lovett’s “delicious” pies ever since Thompson and her co-star Bryn Terfel earned critical acclaim for their Big Apple run. They’ll reunite for the production at the London Coliseum next March.
Rounding up our Broadway-related news is the forthcoming London premiere of Tony Award-winning hit Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Katie Brayben will play the title role in the story of the legendary songwriter’s career at the Aldwych Theatre from 10 February.
Lastly, a date for your diaries. The Olivier Awards with MasterCard will return to the stunning surroundings of the Royal Opera House for 2015’s ceremony on 12 April. By our calculations, that means there’s just short of 200 days until the starriest night in the theatrical calendar!