Theatre

West End Wilma: Funny Girl, The Bodyguard and more theatre news

Get the latest theatre news from our blogger West End Wilma…

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Hello dears,

Well, well, well, what a week it’s been for theatre news! Everything seemed to happen at once late last week with announcement after announcement being released! Here’s the lowdown on what’s been going on…

NEWTON FAULKNER JOINS THE CAST OF GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT UK TOUR

Double Platinum selling artist Newton Faulkner joins the cast of Green Day’s explosive Tony Award-winning musical, American Idiot, on it’s UK Tour. Newton will be taking on the role of Johnny from May 2016 after Matt Thorpe, who will open the role from 19 March at the Curve Theatre, Leicester until 7 May at the New Theatre, Oxford.  One of the UK’s finest contemporary singer-songwriters, Newton’s unique style of guitar playing and soaring vocals have made him a worldwide success since he burst onto the music scene back in 2007.

Photo: Tristram Kenton

Photo: Tristram Kenton

MICHAEL CRAWFORD TO STAR IN A NEW PRODUCTION OF THE GO-BETWEEN

Michael Crawford – internationally renowned for originating the title role in The Phantom of the Opera and loved by millions for his role as the hapless Frank Spencer in the classic British sitcom, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em– will return to London’s West End this summer in a new production of The Go-Between.

Based on the classic novel by L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between is a new musical with a score written by Richard Taylor. The production will begin performances at the Apollo Theatre on Friday 27 May.

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FUNNY GIRL STARRING SHERIDAN SMITH EXTENDS WEST END BOOKING PERIOD TO 8 OCTOBER 2016

Due to unprecedented demand, the critically acclaimed production of Funny Girl, which is fast selling out its run, extends booking for a further four weeks until 8 October 2016.

With music by Jule Styne (whose musical Gypsy recently completed its award-winning run at the Savoy Theatre, starring Imelda Staunton), lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, is revived with book revisions by Harvey Fierstein. Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice, who rose from being a Brooklyn music hall singer to become one of Broadway’s biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfeld.  While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, off stage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved.  With a score featuring now-classic songs such as People, You Are Woman, I Am Man, I’m the Greatest Star and Don’t Rain on my Parade, this brand new production promises to be the must-see musical of 2016.

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Photo: Marc Brenner

GLEE STAR AMBER RILEY BRINGS DREAMGIRLS TO THE WEST END THIS NOVEMBER

Amber Riley will make her West End debut this year in the UK premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls. The American actress and singer best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in the Golden Globe Award winning television musical comedy Glee, will play soulful singer Effie White in the production which will open at the Savoy Theatre with performances from November 2016. Tickets will go on sale this spring with further dates, casting and creative team to be announced soon.

Dreamgirls

BEVERLEY KNIGHT RETURNS TO THE WEST END FOR A SIX MONTH RUN OF THE BODYGUARD AT THE DOMINION THEATRE

The international hit musical The Bodyguard will return to the West End for a limited six-month run with Beverley Knight playing the title role of Oscar-nominated superstar Rachel Marron.  Performances begin at the Dominion Theatre on 15 July 2016 and runs to 7 January 2017.

The Bodyguard received its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in November 2012 where it opened to critical acclaim with Heather Headley as Rachel Marron and due to public demand the show’s run was extended.  In 2013 Beverley Knight joined the cast and took over the lead role.  The show continued to play to packed houses and released a further 300,000 tickets for sale.  Alexandra Burke followed Knight as Rachel Marron in June 2014 who continues to play the role in the show’s UK and Ireland sell-out tour which completes its hit run in June this year.

Bodyguard Beverley Knight

Speak to you all next week!

Wilma xx

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