Visit London Blog » savoy theatre Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:49:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Video of the Week: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Stars Share London Tips Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:45:42 +0000

We ask Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ stars for their thoughts on the musical and top London tips ahead of the show’s opening at The Savoy Theatre on Monday.

Robert Lindsay (Lawrence Jameson) and Rufus Hound (Freddy Benson)

Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsHow would you describe your character?

RL: I’m the older guy who’s done very well, reached the top of his game, getting slightly bored who wants a bit of chaos in his life.

RH: I’m doing the same thing as Lawrence (a con man), but he’s doing it on a far grander, more professional scale. My character is so overwhelmed he wants to learn at the feet of the master.

Describe the show in a few words…

RL: It’s essentially a great story. People love a con man, they love a rogue. There are two wonderful rogues.

RH: Great big stuff…It’s a full-on, full-out class show…It’s so perfect for people who love a good West End musical.

What would you recommend for a first-time visitor?

RL: Book a ticket for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels!

RH: Go to the pub. Nowhere has pubs like London. Sit in one of those for 10 minutes and try some London Pride or something like that.

Samantha Bond (Muriel Eubanks) and John Marquez (Andre Thibault)

How would you describe your character?Samantha Bond and John Marquez

SB: I play Muriel, a very wealthy divorcee who has gone to France in search of love.

JM: Andre, chief of police. He’s not very good with women, but then…

Describe the show in a few words…

SB: I think it’s brilliant. Thrilling, exciting, funny, sexy. It’s phenomenal

JM: Hilarious, quality.

What would you recommend for a first-time visitor?

SB: You need to see architecture, go to art galleries, walk in our beautiful parks – there are hidden parts of St James’s Park that I only discovered last year. The London Eye is glorious. I also love the Duck Toursriver boats are great ways to see London.

JM: The thing that always strikes me is the history. I love going to the streets around London Bridge and Borough, standing looking around and imagining what actually went on there.

Do you have a secret hangout in London?

SB: I like to be in Covent Garden Piazza watching everything. There are also some fantastic walking tours to see the hidden parts of London.

JM: I always like to go to Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, just to sit and have some food there.

Where would you go for a post-show meal?

SB: Three of my favourites are: J. Sheekey, The Ivy and The Delaunay.

JM: I just did a play near J. Sheekey. I’m not a big one at eating but I did get into having a few oysters and champagne there after the show.

Katherine Kingsley (Christine Colgate) and Jerry Mitchell (director)

How would you describe your character?

Katherine Kingsley and Jerry Mitchell

KK: She’s the heiress of a soap company from America. She’s goes to the South of France where she meets two men who turn out to be con men.

Describe the show in a few words…

JM: A big, fun musical comedy where you get a chance to meet some fabulous people and get conned along the way.

KK: Fun, sexy, classy.

What would you recommend for a first-time visitor to London?

JM: The London EDITION  hotel has a wonderful bar called the Punch Room; but you can only get in with a reservation – I also recommend the Berners Tavern restaurant in the hotel. I’m a fan of J. Sheekey – it’s the theatre hangout, and you might even see a star or two.

KK. You could start off with a cocktail at The Savoy.

Where would you go for a post-theatre meal?

JM: J. Sheekey. But I’m dying to eat in The Savoy’s Grill, and there’s also Joe Allen and Orso.

KK: Joe Allen is probably easier to get a booking and not quite as expensive – it’s so theatrical, a great place.

Do you have a secret hangout in London?

JM: The thing that’s different about London from America is you have all these private clubs. I would also give a shout out to The Coal Hole, which is right next to the Savoy Theatre.

KK: Private clubs are really nice because they’re quite quiet so you don’t have to shout over people. Sometimes if you go to a pub after doing a show you can lose your voice.

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London Theatre News: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, Peppa Pig, Get Into London Theatre, Gemma Arterton, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Evening Standard Awards Wed, 13 Nov 2013 09:00:26 +0000

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels To Open in 2014

A host of exciting new musicals have opened and are due to open in London this year. If you love your tuners as much as I do, you’ll be delighted to hear that the trend looks set to continue in 2014 with the arrival of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The tale of conmen competing for the affections of an heiress brings Olivier Award winner Robert Lindsay back to the stage alongside comedian Rufus Hound and West End regular Katherine Kingsley. It plays at the Savoy Theatre from 10 March.

Child-friendly Musicals: Spamalot and Peppa Pig’s Big Splash

In more musical news, children’s TV stars Dick and Dom are leaving childish things behind – well, partly – to star in Spamalot. The kid-friendly double act will star as King Arthur and sidekick Patsy in the Monty Python-inspired musical from 2 December.

If the kids don’t fancy dancing knights, pre-school favourite Peppa Pig has announced a festive run of Peppa Pig’s Big Splash at the Criterion. The porky protagonist, who’s so popular she has her own theme park, will play during the daytime while comic thriller The 39 Steps continues in the evenings.

Discounted Theatre Tickets

Looking forward to the new year, annual discount ticket promotion Get Into London Theatre has revealed it will go on sale from 10 December for performances from 1 January to 13 February. More than 45 London shows are taking part, offering cut price tickets from £10 to £40.

As if all that news wasn’t enough, we’ve also heard:

  • 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: Open Air Theatre; Donmar Warehouse; A Doll’s House; Let It Be; and X-Factor The Musical Thu, 23 May 2013 15:00:10 +0000 Let It BeFirstly, congratulations to Let It Be – the show has extended its run at the Savoy Theatre until 18 January next year. More a concert than a story-and-script-led musical, Let It Be presents a chronological run-through of The Beatles best bits from the 1960s pop of Hard Day’s Night to the 70s psychedelia of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and everything in between. Let It Be will also become the latest show to introduce lower priced tickets: from 3 June, there’ll be seats available from just £15.

In other musical news, the highly anticipated X Factor Musical, called I Can’t Sing! will open at the London Palladium next year, with tickets going on sale today. Written by comedian Harry Hill and directed by Sean Foley, I Can’t Sing! begins previews at the Palladium on 27 February. The title sets the tone for the talent show-inspired musical, which features 19 original songs by Hill and Spend Spend Spend’s Steve Brown, and aims “an affectionate poke” at the popular ITV series, according to Hill and Brown.

A Doll's HouseAnother week; another West End transfer. The Young Vic’s acclaimed production of A Doll’s House will transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre this summer, following two sell-out runs at the Young Vic. Hattie Morahan will reprise her Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Award-winning role as Nora in the production, which runs from 8 August to 26 October, alongside fellow original cast members Dominic Rowan, Nick Fletcher and Steve Toussaint.

London Theatre Cast News

  • Jane Asher will star as Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Pride and Prejudice this summer. She’ll be joined by Jennifer Kirby, Imogen Byron, Yolanda Kettle, Eleanor Thorn and Leah Brotherhead as the five Bennet sisters, Timonty Walker and Rebecca Lacey as Mr and Mrs Bennet, David Oakes as Mr Darcy, Barnaby Sax as the charming Mr Wickham and Rob Heaps as wealthy bachelor Mr Bingley
  • Michael Xavier and Charlotte Wakefield will star as Captain Von Trapp and Maria in the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre
  • Jessica Raine, Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss and Tom Hiddleston are all to appear in the Donmar’s new season of plays from August this year. The season includes the premiere of Nick Payne’s new play The Same Deep Water As Me (with Daniel Mays); a revival of Arnold Wesker’s Roots (starring Jessica Raine and Linda Bassett); and Coriolanus (with Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss).
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Thursday Theatre News: Pop Goes The Musical, Hampstead Downstairs and the Open Air Theatre Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:00:04 +0000

A new charity initiative was launched this week that sees pop stars taking to the West End stage for special encores. Pop Goes The Musical raises money for Children in Need by offering special £80 tickets for fab West End shows, which are then followed by special performances by pop stars.

Tickets can be purchased exclusively at and include a top price seat, signed programme, Pudsey bear toy, complementary drink and access to a VIP after show reception hosted by the famous bear himself.

Hampstead Downstairs has announced its autumn season this week. Three plays, Brain, Blue Sky and Ignorance will be produced by the theatre; both Brain and Ignorance are new shows, the first by writer Rona Munro; the second by Steve Waters. The space was created for new writers to showcase their work, so if you’re a fan of seeing and feeding back on new theatre, book now.

If you’re looking ahead to theatre production in London for the summer 2013, I’ve got some great news from the Open Air Theatre. Their summer season will contain a production of Harper Lee’s American classic To Kill A Mockingbird alongside the much-loved musical The Sound Of Music. Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Mockingbird will play from 16 May to 15 June. And the Von Trapp family will be encouraging you to Climb Every Mountain and consider your Favourite Things from 25 July to 7 September. These are just two of the four shows on offer at the venue next summer.

London Theatre Casting News:

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Thursday Theatre News: Jumpy, Posh, The Sunshine Boys, Samantha Bond and Derren Brown Thu, 22 Mar 2012 18:15:24 +0000 Firstly for this week, news of two Royal Court shows transferring to the West End. From May, the 2010 hit Posh will open at the Duke of York’s Theatre; it’s followed by Jumpy from  last year’s hit season, starting on 16 August and running until November. Both plays tackle the subjects of class, gender and age. Laura Wade’s Posh is about a group of 10 elite Oxford university students, planning a night of debauchery. Jumpy stars Tamsin Greig as a 50-year-old wife and mother trying to find her place in the world, and tame her teenage daughter.

Second, following his Olivier Award nomination last week, Derren Brown is returning to the West End. His hit 2011 show, Svengali will play at the Novello Theatre from 12 July to 11 August only. Little is known, or talked about with this secretive show: I can tell you to expect psychological tricks, mind control, incredible stunts, and of course, lots of audience participation.

Finally, congratulations to Gregory Doran who, it’s been announced today, will succeed Michael Boyd as Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2014.

London Casting News

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Thursday Theatre News: Chariots of Fire, Danny DeVito, Noel Sullivan, Abigail’s Party and Educating Rita Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:55:48 +0000 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.

Two chaps who won’t be donning the running shorts(!) are Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths, because they’re to appear in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre.

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

More next week.

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Thursday Theatre News: Legally Blonde, American Idiot, The Wizard of Oz and Jodie Prenger Thu, 26 Jan 2012 21:39:50 +0000 This week’s theatre news has been coming in twos: two shows leaving London; two extending; two award ceremonies; and two fantastic bits of cast news…

Firstly, sad news for a musical lover like me. Legally Blonde and Crazy for You are both leaving London in the near future. After three years at the Savoy Theatre, Legally Blonde will close on 7 April. And Crazy For You, which was booking until 28 July, is now going to tap dance off into the sunset on 17 March. If you love musicals, you’ll love these shows, so book your tickets now before it’s too late!

Next up, two shows that have extended their London runs. Green Day’s award-winning rock musical American Idiot is running for an extra week at the Hammersmith Apollo in December this year, due to an overwhelming demand for tickets. And The Leisure Society has also extended its run in London by a week: the cause for such high interest in this toxic comedy is surely the casting of model Agyness Deyn (alongside the lovely Ed Stoppard!)

It’s awards season in Theatreland, and the first of the bunch have already been given out. Congratulations to the National Theatre which scooped more than half the Critics Circle awards on offer, including gongs for Frankenstein (and its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) and One Man, Two Guvnors. Other awards went to Sheridan Smith for her performances in Flare Path and Mike Leigh, for his direction for Grief. And there’s more awards coming: this week, it was announced that the Olivier Awards will be taking place in the Royal Opera House on 15 April: if you want to watch the action as it unfolds (with Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball hosting!), you can, as there’ll be a live stream of the ceremony on a big screen in Covent Garden. (Or you can listen on Radio 2; or watch on the BBC’s Red Button.)

London Cast News:

More next week.

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Your Views: Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre Tue, 19 Jan 2010 13:18:08 +0000 Legally Blonde is the latest big musical to open in London. I’ve been excited about seeing this show since the cast was announced in September. The official launch back in October just made the waiting even harder.

And last night, I finally got to see the show. Regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that I loved it. (It’s a girly, giggly, pink, hilarious musical – what’s not to like?!) To be honest, I’d happily watch it again tonight. And tomorrow. And the next day…

But what about the other audience members? We asked a few for their views on London’s hottest new show:

Christine, Senior Citizen
“I thought it was surprisingly brilliant. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good as it wasn’t marketed at me – too pink and Barbie. The reviews said it was just for women, but there was so much too it, every scene was so different.”

Barry, 18
“I was pleasantly surprised. It was really fun. I thought the dog was the best bit. And by that, I mean the Boxer, not the Chihuahua.”

Amy, 28
“I laughed so hard, it blew the January blues clean away! This is the best West End fun I’ve had since Avenue Q and Mamma Mia. Sheridan Smith is mesmerising.”

Victoria, 33
“The show was high energy and full of colour, excellent for a young crowd. The songs were well orchestrated and choreographed but rather unmemorable and it was a bit too “panto” in its humour for me, with obvious cultural references. But an excellent choice for a teenage outing!”

Foamy, 42
“I went straight home and stayed up all night practising my bend and snap! To my wife’s amusement.”

Have you seen Legally Blonde yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

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Thursday Theatre News: Hair, Petticoats and Star-Studded Lamps Thu, 19 Nov 2009 19:00:19 +0000 Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to the West End in JanuaryThis week’s news is dominated by the news about Hair coming back to London’s West End!

We’re too young to know anything about the original(!) but we’ve heard our parents talking about it, recognise the songs (Aquarius and Let The Sunshine In) and it all the stories about it from the 60s sound incredible. (Plus, anything starring Elaine Paige, Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry and Paul Nicholas must’ve been amazing!)

It’s also exciting to have the first entire Tony-award-winning Broadway cast opening a musical in London. We’ve got to wait til April, but it’s down in our diaries to get tickets!

In other theatre news, Dreamboats and Petticoats, the musical inspired by an album of 50s songs, is due to reopen in January. From a successful touring show, this musical was so popular at the Savoy this summer, it extended its run by seven weeks!

And now it’s coming back: book your tickets to see it at the Playhouse from 6 January. Anyone out there seen it and want to tell us about it? We’re yet to catch this one.

If you’re looking for a shorter-term theatre fix, Panto season is very nearly upon us! We’ve had news from the Lyric that the rehearsals for Jack and the Beanstalk are well under way. Backstage, the Dame’s seven (count them!) dresses are almost finished, and the 4-metre-tall Giant is getting close to being brought to life…

Over at the New Wimbledon Theatre, we’ve heard news their panto has added another jewel to its star-studded Aladdin’s lamp. Anita Dobson (fresh from baring all in Calendar Girls, but best-known to the world as Angie Watts from EastEnders in the 80s) is the final star to share the role of the Genie of the Lamp alongside Ruby Wax, Pamela Anderson and Paul O’Grady.

Do you have plans to see any of London’s fantastic Pantos? Let us know which baddie you’ll be booing and hissing at over the Christmas season…

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Legally Blonde The Musical Launch at Café De Paris Thu, 01 Oct 2009 11:29:19 +0000 Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods The cast of Legally Blonde The Musical at the Cafe de Paris launch Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods

Sheridan Smith is very, very excited. “Parts like this don’t often come along,” she told an eager audience at the launch of Legally Blonde the Musical, at London’s fabulous Café De Paris on Leicester Square. 

Smith is about to start rehearsals for the lead role of Elle Woods in the forthcoming musical.

A huge, eager audience was served champagne and canapés as sparkly as the venue, while listening to various people behind and in the forthcoming show telling us what to expect come Christmas time. (Legally Blonde starts previews on 5 December.)

First, Legally Blonde’s feisty producer, Sonia Friedman, talked about falling in love with the show while it was still in previews on Broadway; and how, despite having a background based more in dramas and revivals, she begged the creative team to let her bring this musical to London.

Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (the guy behind Hairspray The Musical) then appeared via video from Las Vegas(!) to tell us how excited he is to be working with such a top British cast, including Sheridan Smith and Peter “Davidson”.

Peter Davison then appeared on stage to correct Mr Mitchell’s pronunciation, and tell us he’s “thrilled to be doing this show. It’s astonishing to think that I’m a musical star now, after doing Chicago in 1999 and later doing Spamalot.” Davison stars at Professor Callahan. Self-deprecating Davison gave us an anecdote about his younger self wandering around musical auditions with his guitar, singing Beatles and Bowie songs with limited success. He also paid tribute to the “enormously talented cast, who I get to be very rude to every single night.

“Which is great, because I’ve spent most of my career being hopelessly nice to people.”

After seeing another pair of stars from the show via video link (Duncan James – playing Warner – who guaranteed men will enjoy this show as much as women; and Sheridan Smith, who’s “so chuffed” about getting the part of Elle), we were treated to a medley of sparky songs from the show, performed with tantalising talent on the tiny Café de Paris stage.

Once we were attuned to the American accents, it became clear these are songs that’ll stick in your head and put a smile on your face. Kudos to the girls who managed to skip and dance at the same time in Whipped Into Shape (Aoife Mulholland as Brooke), and to the whole company for putting on a great showcase just a couple of days into rehearsals.

Jill Halfpenny shone the moment she stepped on stage as Paulette. She really has such star quality. And we were pleasantly surprised by Sheridan Smith’s performance. She’s got a mellow, alto singing voice, and while her brilliant acting is perhaps yet to be matched by her singing, we’re sure she’s going to be great come December. She told Official London Theatre:

“I’ve had to have some singing lessons and I’m having a personal trainer, because I am the laziest person and get a stitch walking to the car, so this is quite a big ask for me.

“But it’s good, the director’s brilliant, very strict, so he’s getting my ass in shape. It’s great to have something to work towards and challenge yourself.

“Most leading ladies in musicals are sopranos… but this one particular part was the only one I could get away with, so I’m just going to give it my all every night and just enjoy every minute.” (Read the full report on Official London Theatre.)

She’s starting to sound like the fantastically positive Elle already!

We returned to the office carrying our Legally Blonde goody bags with pride (loving the nailfile and benefit make-up treats) and started counting down the days until this bright pink, sparkly, positive show arrives to perk up the West End.

Book your Legally Blonde tickets now!

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