Visit London Blog » once http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Olivier Awards 2014: Almeida Theatre the big winner on the night http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:51:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38413

The Royal Opera House hosted the 2014 Olivier Awards with Mastercard last night, where the cream of British theatre were saluted in a star-studded ceremony.

The show was opened by the company from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before hosts Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton, who is due to star in Made in Dagenham at The Adelphi Theatre in October, got things underway. The first award was presented by the ever-cool James McAvoy and went to Ghosts for Best Revival at the Almeida Theatre.

The Almeida itself made plenty of headlines, beating off the bigger West End theatres with plays Ghosts and Chimerica scooping eight awards between them, including the American Airlines Best New Play award for Lucy Kirkwood’s political epic Chimerica.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be thrilled today, as their musical The Book of Mormon took away four awards, including Mastercard Best New Musical. Book of Mormon is one of the big winners that you can still catch on the West End stage, as its current run at the Prince of Wales Theatre doesn’t end until 3 May.

Other winners that can still be seen include Best New Comedy winner Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, which has recently swapped leading man and last night’s host, Stephen Mangan for Robert Webb. You can also catch the Best Actress in a Musical Zrinka Cvitešic in Once at the Phoenix Theatre.

The prestigious BBC Radio 2 Audience Award went to Les Miserables for the second time, which of course can still be booked at The Queen’s Theatre.

The National Theatre continues to get the best out of its actors, with Rory Kinnear winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Iago in Othello and Sharon D Clarke named Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Amen Corner.

The show was rounded off in style by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus reuniting to celebrate 15 years of Mamma Mia!, in one of 14 live performances on the night.

See the highlight reel above for a quick look at the red carpet, including the dashing Tom Hiddleston, Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame, host Gemma Arterton in a full-length pale blue Prada gown and even ballet stars Let Marianela and Thiago from our London Story competition.

Full highlights of the ceremony can be seen on ITV Player for the next 29 days.

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London Theatre News: Made In Dagenham, Memphis, In The Heights, Ruthie Henshall, Arthur Darvill, Stephen Ward, Let The Right One In http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/london-theatre-news-made-in-dagenham-memphis-in-the-heights-ruthie-henshall-arthur-darvill-stephen-ward-let-the-right-one-in/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/london-theatre-news-made-in-dagenham-memphis-in-the-heights-ruthie-henshall-arthur-darvill-stephen-ward-let-the-right-one-in/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:30:49 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38000

My latest load of London theatre news is more musical than an old fashioned jewellery box.

Hot off the press is the missive that the much rumoured Made In Dagenham musical, based on the hit British film, is driving into the West End with acclaimed director Rupert Goold at the steering wheel and British big screen star Gemma Arterton in the passenger seat as his leading lady. It will open at the Adelphi Theatre, currently playing host to The Bodyguard, this autumn.

Current star of The Bodyguard, UK soul sensation Beverley Knight, has got a taste for the London stage having made her debut in the Whitney Houston musical. She’ll lead the cast of the Tony Award-winning Memphis when it opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October.

Another Tony Award-winning tuner, In The Heights, receives its London debut at the Southwark Playhouse this May.

Musical theatre superstar Ruthie Henshall, who’s previously stunned audiences in shows including Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Chicago, is heading back to the stage to play dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot The Musical from 12 May.

Arthur Darvill, who may not be a musical theatre superstar just yet – give it time – but is certainly well known to anyone with a passing interest in sci-fi or family television having played Rory in Doctor Who, is taking to the London stage in Once. The actor and musician will play Guy, a role he previously played on Broadway, from 17 March.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward, which explores the story of the Profumo Affair, has announced the curtain will come down on its tale of scandal and scapegoats in late March.

In non-musical news, the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of vampire tale Let The Right One In will bring its story of unlikely friendship and brutal attacks to the Apollo Shaftesbury from 26 March.

Oooh, almost forgot, tune into the Olivier Awards website or Official London Theatre on 10 March from 11:30 (GMT) to discover who’s been nominated for this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard.

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London Theatre News: Show Extensions, Award Winners, Back To The Future, Kathleen Turner & Kristin Davis http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/london-theatre-news-show-extensions-award-winners-back-to-the-future-kathleen-turner-kristin-davis/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/london-theatre-news-show-extensions-award-winners-back-to-the-future-kathleen-turner-kristin-davis/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 10:00:27 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37610 Ghosts

A big well done to everyone who saw a show in London last year, and I include myself in that group. Because of us, the number of London theatregoers hit a record high of 14,587,276 in 2013.

That incredible audience number undoubtedly had much to do with the quality of shows on offer. Many of them have proved so popular that they’ve announced extensions over the last week. So now:

Theatre Awards

Lesley Manville was on hand at the Critics’ Circle Awards to collect the Best Actress Award for her performance in Ghosts. Other winners included performers Rory Kinnear and Lenny Henry, and the production Chimerica, which won three awards.

Speaking of awards, the Olivier Awards with MasterCard has launched its BBC Radio 2 Audience Award. This is the only Olivier Award that you, the theatregoing public, has complete control over. You vote for your favourite long-running show and the one with the most votes wins. If you vote, you go into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to each of the shows that make the Audience Award shortlist to be revealed on 10 March along with the rest of the Olivier Award nominees. Vote at the Olivier Awards website.

Back to the Future, Bakersfield Mist and Fatal Attraction

What have I missed? Bakersfield mistOnly the small news that Back To The Future is to be made into a musical and brought to the West End in 2015. And that Kathleen Turner’s coming back to London in new show Bakersfield Mist in May. And Sex And The City’s Kristin Davis – who played Charlotte in the hit show – has joined the cast of Fatal Attraction. Not much then!

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London Theatre News: National Theatre’s Plans for 2013; Private Lives; and Olivier Awards News http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/london-theatre-news-national-theatres-plans-for-2013-private-lives-and-olivier-awards-news/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/london-theatre-news-national-theatres-plans-for-2013-private-lives-and-olivier-awards-news/#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:00:19 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=31489 Yesterday the National Theatre announced their exciting plans for their 50th anniversary year. As well as the premiere of Tori Amos’ musical The Light Princess, there’ll be performances from stars including Simon Russell Beale, Anne-Marie Duff and Clive Rowe, and a season of shows to play in new temporary venue The Shed. Another highlight of their thrilling-sounding season is Nicholas Hytner’s Othello, starring Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, and opening in April. Find fuller details here.

In other news, the National Theatre’s West End transfer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has extended its run at the Apollo Theatre by 14 weeks, following huge demand for tickets. It now runs from 1 March to 31 August.

After a sell-out run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Private Lives is coming to the Gielgud Theatre this summer. Starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor as the divorced couple who fall in love again, this classic Noel Coward comedy is directed by Jonathan Kent and runs from 22 June. Anthony Calf and Anna-Louise Plowman reprise their roles as the pair’s newly hitched and soon-to-be-spurned other halves.

Finally, don’t miss all the excitement building around the Olivier Awards. Firstly, theatre fans are being called on to vote for their favourite long-runner. Then there’s the news that Sheridan Smith (one of my favourite actresses) is going to be hosting the event. And not only is the show being broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, there’ll be highlights on ITV following the ceremony AND a live event for theatre fans in Covent Garden on the night. Put 28 April in your diaries now for a lot of theatrical fun.

London Casting News:

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Five New West End Musicals to Look Forward To in 2013 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/12/five-new-west-end-musicals-to-look-forward-to-in-2013/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/12/five-new-west-end-musicals-to-look-forward-to-in-2013/#comments Wed, 26 Dec 2012 11:00:42 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=30806 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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