Oh my, what a week it’s been!
Made in Dagenham the Musical has announced that it will not be extending its booking period at the Adelphi Theatre and will end its run on 10 April. I wonder what will go into that theatre next?
Meanwhile, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has extended its booking period this week to 4 June 2016! The show broke the record for the highest weekly gross sales at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the last week of 2014, with every show entirely sold out. I’m off to see the Roald Dahl classic myself in a couple of weeks and shall be preparing by eating as much chocolate as I can.
Jim Dale opens at the Vaudeville Theatre on 28 May (previews from 26 May), running for a limited season until 20 June. Jim made his musical debut at the same theatre in the 1965 production of The Wayward Way.
David Suchet will then star in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vaudeville Theatre from 24 June 2015. The show is returning to the West End despite running at the Duke of York’s Theatre late last year; I guess you can never have enough Oscar Wilde in your life! It will be interesting to see how much this production differs.
American Buffalo will run at the Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited season between 16 April and 27 June 2015, starring Damian Lewis, known internationally for his performance as Nicholas Brody in Homeland. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner, John Goodman, and Outer Critics Circle Theatre Award winner, Tom Sturridge, will also star in the show.
Rumours that The Elephant Man will transfer to London from Broadway have been confirmed. The production will run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited season between 19 May and 8 August 2015. The US cast including Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola will all star in the production.
Anna Francolini and Michael Xavier will join the cast of Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory when Aaron Tveit departs from 10 February (due to filming commitments). Catherine Tate also departs from 10 February for two weeks only (returning to complete the run).
This week I went to see Wicked the Musical because I wanted to check out Broadway Elphaba, Jennifer DiNoia, play the role before she finishes this coming weekend. I was blown away by her performance and she hit notes higher than I ever imagined could be possible. If you can get to the Victoria Apollo Theatre by Saturday then you won’t regret checking her out.
Also this week, I went to see the Donmar Warehouse transfer of My Night With Reg which has just opened at the Apollo Theatre. The play, which tells the story of gay men with HIV in the mid-1980’s, has caused a stir this week when London Underground banned its saucy poster (featuring a half-naked man), labelling it inappropriate.
It’s been announced that the world’s biggest celebration of musical theatre, West End LIVE in association with MasterCard, will this year take place on 20 and 21 June, returning to its home in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square. It’s totally free and a great way to get a taster of all the shows that are on in the West End before you part with your hard earned money to see the full show! You can usually find me milling about between the local pubs and the stage on these days, so say hello if you see me!
Last but not least, another exciting theatrical event coming up soon is the What’s On Stage Awards, being held at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 15 February. The glitzy event will be hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Steve Furst and features performances from Miss Saigon stars, Eva Noblezada and Rachelle Ann Go, singing The Movie In My Mind. I’m off to see Miss Saigon for the sixth time in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to see them at the awards show as well.
Anyhoo, that’s all my news for this week. I’m off to see Matilda later this week and so will let you know all about that and everything else happening in the West End next week!
West End Wilma