Theatre

West End Wilma: Kinky Boots & Gypsy triumph at 2016 What’s On Stage Awards

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Hamlet, Gypsy and Kinky Boots triumph at 2016 What’s On Stage Awards

Last night (Sunday 21 February 2016) saw the annual WhatsOnStage.com awards take place at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London’s West End. The stars of the stage and screen all turned out to accept their awards for some of the best theatrical performances of the past twelve months.

Hamlet at the Barbican and Gypsy both won four awards (Hamlet – Best Actor in a Play for Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Play Revival, Best Set Design and Best Lighting and Gypsy – Best Actress for Imelda Staunton, Best Supporting Actress for Lara Pulver, Best Direction and Best Musical Revival) and Kinky Boots took three (Best New Musical, Best Actor for Matt Henry and Best Choreography).

Kinky Boots London

Photo: Matt Crockett

Nicole Kidman won Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Photograph 51 and the show also won Best New Play. Other winners included Judi Dench, Mark Gatiss and David Bedella. Mary Poppins won Best Regional Production, Carrie – Best Off-West End Production and Les Misérables took Best West End Show.

Check out all of the winners here on my blog.

These winners made me think about the fairness of putting film stars up against theatre performers in award categories and so I wrote my latest blog: Is celebrity casting overshadowing the real stars of the theatre? Take a look at it here and see what you think.

Casting news: 

UK Touring cast announced for Mamma Mia!

The UK tour of the smash hit jukebox musical Mamma Mia! heads out on a UK Tour next month, playing in seven major towns and cities until January 2017 (with further dates to be announced).

Mamma Mia tells the story of Sophie – a 20 year old girl who has been brought up by her mother on a Greek Island. With her wedding to lover Sky fast approaching, she trawls through her mothers diaries to find out who her father is, in the hope she can invite him to the wedding and walk her down the isle. Sophie gets more than she bargains for when she discovers that there are three potential fathers and when they all arrive the day before the wedding she has to try to work out which one is her real father.

The show features all the great classics of Swedish 1970’s pop group, Abba. From Dancing Queen to Waterloo it is a two and a half hour romp through some of their greatest hits that will have you up in the aisles dancing in your spandex.

Check out the cast of the UK Tour here.

Mamma Mia UK tour

Richard Fleeshman, Maxwell Caulfield, Louise Dearman and Anna O’Byrne to star in the UK Tour of Guys and Dolls

Following critical acclaim and announcing an extension in the West End, the Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Guys and Dolls will tour throughout the UK, opening at the Liverpool Empire on 16 March 2016. Casting for the tour includes Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, Ghost the Musical, Call the Midwife) as Sky Masterson, Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2, Emmerdale, The Colbys) as Nathan Detroit, Louise Dearman* (Wicked, Evita) as Adelaide and Anna O’Byrne (Love Never Dies) as Sarah Brown.

Check out the full cast and tour dates. 

Four Billys Announced for UK and Ireland Tour of Billy Elliot The Musical

The producers of the multi award-winning smash hit Billy Elliot the Musical have announced that the four boys who will play the title role in the first ever UK and Ireland tour of the iconic musical are Adam Abbou (12 years old from Liverpool), Matthew Lyons (11 years old from Leeds), Haydn May (11 years old from Bath) and Lewis Smallman (12 years old from West Bromwich). The boys were cast following nationwide auditions and after months of intensive rehearsals will alternate in the role when the show opens at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on Wednesday 24 February 2016.

Check out all the details here.

West End Wilma pub quiz

Come join my old-fashioned, theatre pub quiz!

On Tuesday 15 March 2016, I will be hosting an old-fashioned pub quiz, themed around theatre, at the Phoenix Artist Club in London’s West End. Tickets are £5 each and all money raised is being donated to the Make A Difference Trust Charity – fighting HIV and AIDS one stage at a time.

So why not get a team together (4-6 people) or just come down on your own and make some new friends. Tickets and full details here.

 

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