Visit London Blog » duchess theatre Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Theatre News: Tell Me On A Sunday, The Pajama Game, Sunny Afternoon, Beckett Trilogy, Jeeves And Wooster and Harry Potter Wed, 08 Jan 2014 12:45:30 +0000 Happy New Year! What a 2014 we’ve got to look forward to. Have you made any resolutions? Aside from all the promises about exercising more or eating less chocolate, if your resolutions are about theatre I can help.

For instance, if you want to brush up on your Andrew Lloyd Webber I can tell you Tell Me On A Sunday, first performed in 1977, will be playing a two-week season at the Duchess Theatre in February.

If you want to use 2014 to dive into classic Broadway musicals you’ll be delighted to hear that romantic comedy The Pajama Game, which was a huge success in Chichester last year, will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre in May with a cast including double Olivier Award winner Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier.

Of course if your resolution is to try something new, you could head to the Hampstead Theatre in May instead. It will host the world premiere of new musical Sunny Afternoon, which features music of 60s Brit rockers The Kinks, whose hits include You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night and Waterloo Sunset.

But 2014 has more than musicals to offer.

Tickets for the Royal Court run of Lisa Dwan’s trilogy of Beckett plays, Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby, are all but sold out. So I was delighted to hear that they will also get a West End run at the Duchess Theatre in February.

Tickets for Jeeves And Wooster In ‘Perfect Nonsense’ have also been snapped up by audiences eager to see Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan on the London stage. They’ve been so popular, in fact, that the hit comedy has extended its run to September (new cast to be announced soon).

Then, of course, there is the small matter of the Harry Potter stage prequel that JK Rowling has announced will happen. We don’t know where or when, but when we do we’ll sell our favourite broomstick to get a ticket!

 This is a Guest Post by Official London Theatre, the premier website for London theatre. With the latest news, fantastic features, comprehensive listings & incredible offers it is your one-stop shop for everything about the theatre capital of the world.

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London Theatre News: Menier Chocolate Factory, Watch This Space, The Weir and More Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:00:36 +0000 Menier Chocolate Factory

Following the recent premiere of The Color Purple at the Menier Chocolate Factory (I thought it was fantastic, by the way), this week, I’ve news of another European premiere at the South London venue. Nicky Silver’s “savagely funny and heartbreaking” Broadway hit, The Lyons will run at the Menier from 19 September; tickets go on sale on 31 July. Silver’s dark comedy is the story of a family gathered around the hospital bed of their dying father. An exploration of a fractured family, the musical’s initially compassionate characters soon give way to bickering, sniping and betrayal.

With all this good weather we’ve been enjoying in London, it’s the perfect time for me to tell you about the National Theatre’s Watch This Space Presents… August Outdoors festival, taking place outside the iconic Southbank venue. Between 2 and 31 August, you can pop along to see free theatre, music, dance, puppetry and more, all for free. Check out to find out more.

Finally for this week: another West End transfer. Josie Rourke’s production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir will transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre next year following a successful run at the Donmar Warehouse. Starring Risteárd Cooper, Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan, Peter McDonald and Ardal O’Hanlon, McPherson’s play tells the story of a group of locals all eager to impress a stranger in their midst with their tall tales. The show will open in January next year.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-TimeLondon Theatre Cast News

  • Mike Noble will replace Luke Treadaway in the lead role in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time at the Apollo Theatre from 2 September this year. He’ll be joined by Amanda Drew, Trevor Fox and Rakie Ayola in the new cast of the successful show
  • David Horovitch, Adrian Schiller and Lydia Wilson will join Olivier Award winner Antony Sher in Terry Johnson’s self-directed production of Hysteria at the Hampstead Theatre
  • The full cast of the Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui will transfer to the West End from September. Henry Goodman will lead the cast at the Duchess Theatre, with support from Keith Baxter, Michael Feast, William Gaunt and Joe McGann
  • Christopher Biggins, Hugh Bonneville, Barbara Windsor, Larry Lamb and Simon Callow are just some of the big names playing God for a week each in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre this summer, all in the name of charity

See more London theatre shows at

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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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Thursday Theatre News: RSC, Omid Djalili, Shrek and The Globe’s West End Transfer Thu, 01 Mar 2012 18:00:30 +0000 Firstly, news of one of my favourite theatre company’s coming to the West End this year. The ever-brilliant Royal Shakespeare Company are bringing David Edgar’s Written on the Heart to the Duchess Theatre for a strictly limited run, opening on Shakespeare’s birthday: 23 April.

RSC veterans Oliver Ford Davies and Stephen Boxer will star in the drama, which marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. Edgar’s play tells the story of two men translating the word of God into English: for one, it means death at the stake, for the other, it could bring an archbishop’s mitre.

Another exciting piece of transfer news this week: Mark Rylance’s Shakespeare’s Globe productions Richard III and Twelfth Night (the latter starring Stephen Fry) are moving to the Apollo Theatre in the West End from 2 November. It’s a long time to wait, but I think tickets are going to sell fast, so be quick if you want to see these shows!

An earlier play for your calendars is What The Butler Saw, also announced this week. Comic Omid Djalili, who you might’ve seen in Oliver at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane a couple of years’ ago, will lead the cast of this new production. What The Butler Saw is a comedy of twists, coincidences and sharp one-liners, by Joe Orton, and will play at the Vaudeville Theatre from 4 May to 25 August.

Fans of The Inbetweeners should look out for Blake Harrison (Neil from the show) making his West End debut in Rob Hayes’s Step 9 (Of 12) at the Trafalgar Studios, also in May. Step 9 (Of 12) sees Harrison playing Keith, a drug and alcohol addict, apologising for his past. But as his earlier actions are assessed, it becomes clear they have shocking repercussions for the present.

Finally, Shrek The Musical has announced a new “school night” performance schedule: starting Wednesday night shows at the more kid-friendly time of 7pm. The team have also introduced a new family ticket package for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances with prices starting at £99, making it more affordable for families to see the hit show.

And on 16 May, Shrek will play a special, relaxed performance for children with special needs: tickets are free for the kids, and just £5 for adults. This one-off show is presented by theatre educational charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects. For more info on the work they do, check out their website.

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Butley at The Duchess Theatre Tue, 14 Jun 2011 09:16:26 +0000
English actor Dominic West is best known for his role in HBO series The Wire, in which he played detective Jimmy McNulty from 2002 to 2008. He’s now returend to the London stage to play the title role in Simon Gray’s hilarious play Butley. Celebrities, actors and critics turned up to support the play on press night last week.

The play takes place on a single day. University professor Ben Butley is having a tough time, his personal and professional lives are collapsing simultaneously. He is suffering the final breakdown of his marriage, while his friendship with best friend Joey is also on the rocks. At work he is accused of poaching a student from another lecturer, and is hassled constantly by his melodramatic colleagues. Butley deals with his woes by annoying his friends as much as possible.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lindsay Posner’s production of this humorous piece. Effective direction enables the actors to make the most of Gray’s hilarious script. The action is set in a campus office, dusty books balancing precariously on the bookselves, with Ben’s desk and surrounding floor littered with the day’s debris – a visual depiction of the turmoil wrecking Ben’s life.

Dominic West gives a witty and intelligent portrayal of the play’s selfish protagonist. Butley is a charismatic and clever man, but is also sulky and solitary in a juvenile way that reminded me of Hugh Laurie as Dr House (another British actor in a successful American show). Butley seems overly interested in his gay friend’s relationship, so much so that it suggests he may be bi-sexual, though this remains ambiguous. He is totally preoccupied with rhyming verse and regularly pesters those around him with relentlessly silly rhetoric. It is wonderful to watch West tackle this fast paced dialogue with such ease and panache.

Simon Gray wrote Butley 40 years ago and yet I felt this well-adjusted and amusing production was as undated and fresh as ever.

Butley at the Duchess Theatre until 27 August 2011. Book tickets

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