This week’s London Theatre update comes with the news that for the eighth consecutive year, London’s theatre reached record revenue levels. The sales figures for the Society of London Theatre’s members was more than £500 million for the third year in a row. Congratulations to all involved: it’s just another nod to the fact that London’s theatre scene is one of the greatest in the world.
So what’s coming up in this melting pot of money, success and creativity? Well, this week I’ve learnt the Hampstead Theatre is getting in on the mania for all things Olympic by staging a theatrical adaptation of the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. The play will run from 9 May to 16 June. Mike Bartlett (who wrote Cock and Earthquakes in London) is writing the script, and Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director, Edward Hall will direct. More details on the casting of the two runners (Scottish Christian Eric Liddell and English Jew Harold Abrahams) in due course.
The play is a classic comedy of showbiz and friendship from the 1970s; or you might know it from the Oscar-winning film starring George Burns and Walter Matthau; or the high-profile TV version with Woody Allen and Peter Falk. This will be DeVito’s West End debut; he’s better known for his film acting, including Terms of Endearment, Batman Returns, Junior and Twins. In contrast, his co-star Richard Griffiths is a regular on the London stage, including The History Boys, The Habit of Art, Rules of the Game, and The White Guard. It’ll make an interesting pairing: I can’t wait.
This Week’s London Cast News
- Andy Nyman, Natalie Casey, Joe Absolom and Susannah Harker join the already-announced Jill Halfpenny in Abigail’s Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory from March. This is shaping up to be a very exciting cast list!
- Noel Sullivan, who you’ll remember from Hear’Say joins the cast of We Will Rock You next month, replacing Alex Gaumond in the role of Galileo
- Natalie Dormer, Kieran Bew and Polly Frame will star in the Young Vic’s revival of Patrick Marber’s play After Miss Julie from March
- Finally, Claire Sweeney (Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde) and Matthew Kelly (best-known as the host of TV’s Stars in Their Eyes) are appearing in a revival of Educating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory from April
More next week.