What’s Up Wilma? Broadway, Bend It Like Beckham & beyond

Hello dears!

I’m back from my Broadway adventure! I spent a week in New York checking out some of my favourite theatre shows and also some news ones that we don’t have here in London.

You can read all about my trip on my blog. I saw the new revival of Les Misérables starring Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean and it was brilliant. It was very different to the original London version though and I have written a blog all about what the changes are.

West End Wilma takes Broadway

The big news in the West End this week is the Olivier Awards nominees announcement! Nine nominations for Memphis the Musical (including Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly for Best Actress/Actor), Beautiful, the Carole King musical is up for eight awards (despite only opening in the West End a week ago), King Charles III is up for six awards, and City of Angels at the Donmar Theatre is up for five.

The This Morning ITV Audience Award is the only one that can be voted for by the public from the shortlist that has been created. Shows in the running are Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Wicked and Matilda. You can cast your vote here.

It’s an exciting time for regional theatre around the UK right now. Hairspray has announced the show will go back out on tour in September, opening at Curve, Leicester and stopping off in Birmingham for the Christmas season. Tony Maudsley (from ITV’s Benidorm) will star as Edna Turnblad and Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle.

West End Wilma instagram

The international tour of Mamma Mia has recently stopped off in Blackpool and is about to finish its stint in Liverpool before heading off to South Africa. For the first time though, a UK tour has been announced. The West End production will soon celebrate 15 years in the West End and now a touring version will play Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham between March – June 2015, with more venues to be announced.

Lots of shows are due to close in the next week or so. Di and Viv and Rose (Vaudeville Theatre) and Taken at Midnight (Theatre Royal Haymarket) are both closing on Saturday, 14 March, Ghost Stories (Arts Theatre) on Sunday, 15 March. Next Saturday is your last chance to catch Ronan Keating in Once the Musical before it finishes its run at the Phoenix Theatre to make way for the new musical Bend It Like Beckham.

As for me, it’s been a busy week! On Friday, after just returning from New York, I went to see one of the last performances of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre, which is now closed to make way for Imelda Staunton in Gypsy, which opens later this month. On Sunday I went to Cabaret In The House at Lauderdale House in North London to see Kieran Brown (Phantom of the Opera) perform his new cabaret show, Once Upon A Song. Then on Monday, I was honoured to be asked to present an award at the 2015 London Cabaret Awards at Café De Paris. It was such a fun night with some fabulous cabaret acts being recognised for their work.

West End Wilma with Kieran Browns Cabaret

This week I’m off to see Alice: A New Musical at St James Studio, Phantom of the Opera and my dear friend Tim McArthur in Bathhouse the Musical at Above the Stag. I don’t know how I fit it all in!

I’d best be off; these shows aren’t going to go and watch themselves!!

Speak soon,

W x

West End Wilma