The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster at Old Vic Theatre

Eve Best returns to The Old Vic in March 2012, in John Webster’s great Jacobean tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Jamie Lloyd.

She last appeared at The Old Vic in London and on Broadway opposite Kevin Spacey in A Moon for the Misbegotten in the 2006/2007 Season.

The Duchess of Malfi will open on 28 March 2012, previewing from 17 March.

Director: Jamie Lloyd
Designer: Soutra Gilmour
Lighting: James Farncombe
Music & Sound: Ben & Max Ringham
Casting: Maggie Lunn (Further casting to be announced)

Book tickets for The Duchess of Malfi

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Craig Chalmers in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

Craig Chalmers, one of the most popular Joseph’s of all times, returns by special request to don the famous coat for a Christmas Special at G-Live in Guildford from the 27 to 31 December.
 
Craig is absolutely delighted to be returning to the role of “Joseph” for a Christmas Special run between Boxing Day and New Years Eve in Guildford. The show was, and is a big part of his life and Craig holds a very dear place in his heart for “Joseph”.
 
Craig was known to millions from his success on the hugely popular BBC Saturday night series Any Dream Will Do, which searched the nation to find a Joseph to play the lead in the West End musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Craig fought off tens of thousands of hopefuls to make it into the TV final, eventually finishing up in fifth place and was subsequently offered the role of Joseph in 2007, a part he played with great success touring the UK . Since leaving the show in 2010 Craig has been kept busy with various hosting events, personal appearances, starring in Aladdin at Dunfermline, recording a new single “15 Minutes of Fame” which is about to be released, and most recently has joined up with a group of 4 other reality TV finalists to form the UK’s first celebrity pop group inspired by the songs from the worldwide TV phenomenon “Glee”. The group are just about to announce themselves officially to the UK after successfully impressing in events supporting Peter Andre, Lulu, and Scouting for Girls. The group are lined up for UK and International tours.
 
Having enjoyed sensational reviews, Bill Kenwright’s ‘AMAZING’, ‘SUPERB’, ‘WONDERFUL’ and ‘BRILLIANT’ production of TIM RICE and ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’s sparkling family musical continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance.
 
 This colourful retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours sings out to young and old alike with a score which is wall to wall hits – including Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do.

Bill Kenwright, one of the most successful and prolific producers in British theatre today, (whose current hit West End shows include the renowned musicals Blood Brothers and Dreamboats and Petticoats), was on the expert panel of judges alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, Denise Van Outen and John Barrowman.
 
Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Directed by Bill Kenwright, Designed by Sean Cavanagh, Choreographed by Henry Metcalfe, Lighting designed by Mark Howett and Sound designed by Chris Full.

The Art of Concealment – The Life of Terence Rattigan at Jermyn Street Theatre

John B Hobbs and GC Productions in Association with Jermyn Street Theatre present THE ART OF CONCEALMENT – The Life of Terence Rattigan by Giles Cole  from January 9th to 28th at Jermyn Street Theatre.

1977. Terence Rattigan, once regarded as the golden boy of the West End stage, is 66 years old and dying of leukaemia. As he waits for the curtain to rise on the first night of his last West End play (Cause Célèbre) he is haunted by memories from his earlier life – his schooldays at Harrow, his disagreements with his philandering exdiplomat father, his devotion to his mother, his lovers, his huge success and wealth followed by his spectacular fall from favour, his descent into delusion and paranoia – and, through all this, his relationships with two of his closest friends and the lover of whom they disapproved.

The Art of Concealment is a play not only about the demons that haunted one of our great playwrights but about the creative process itself, and the process of ageing, of loss, and the pain of love – with the ironic twist that we know Rattigan to be more honoured now – following the centenary of his birth in 2011 – than he would ever have expected in his lifetime.

Having premiered to great acclaim as a special commission for the Brighton Festival Fringe 2011, The Art of Concealment has been reworked for Jermyn Street Theatre. Written by Giles Cole, with the approval of Rattigan’s official biographer, this new production is directed by Knight Mantell and designed by Meg Witts.

It stars Alistair Findlay and Dominic Tighe as the older and younger Rattigan respectively, and features Daniel Bayle, Judy Buxton, Charlie Hollway, Christopher Morgan, Graham Pountney and Benedict Salter.

For more informaiton, visit: www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk

Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn at The Union Theatre

After the success of ‘Confusions’ (2009) and ‘Absent Friends’ (2010) here at The Union, Ben De Wynter was given some suggestions from Alan Ayckbourn for the next staging.  The intimacy of The Union lends itself well to the intricacies and subtleties of Ayckbourns writing.  Therefore, Joking Apart was decided upon.

Written in 1978, Joking Apart is packed taut with maliciously funny observations of human foibles, teasing and toying with the audience.  Gently nudging the mood from languor to frenzy and back again as relationships are imperceptibly intertwined.

Played out in a back garden over a 12-year period, a near-perfect couple play host to a smug Scandinavian couple, a hesitant hungry Vicar, a neglected girlfriend, an aging lothario and a neurotic housewife.  Ayckbourn at his best.

Ben De Wynter has put together a strong cast of comedic actors. Including, Jamie Kenna (Communicating Doors and Life of Riley Stephen Joseph Theatre), Andrew Obeney (Comedians, On the Piste & Blue Remembered Hills at The Union, Sound of Music BAC), Charlotte Moore (Boeing, Boeing! Comedy Theatre), Claire Marlowe (U.K. Tours of Gaslight, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre, Confusions Union Theatre),

“A guaranteed Laugh” Scarborough Evening News

“Ben De Wynter’s production reminds us that there are few better analysts of everyday unhappiness than Alan Ayckbourn”.  The Evening Standard on Confusions.

“De Wynter’s intelligent direction perfectly suits Ayckbourn’s subtlety” London Magazine on Absent Friends.

“This is a darkly funny play that, despite being set forty-odd years ago, should perhaps come with a warning sign for any recently married couples who have moved to the suburbs – some of the contents may be a bit too close for comfort!” Indie London on Absent Friends.

Creatives:

Directed by Union Associate Director Ben De Wynter
Designed by Holly Best
Lighting Design by Steve Miller
Produced by Regan De Wynter Productions
By kind Arrangement with Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd

For more info: www.uniontheatre.biz

The Joy of Sketch: Time Out and Pleasance’s gourmet guide to sketch comedy at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue

Time Out and Pleasance present The Joy of Sketch: Everything you ever wanted to know about Sketch but were afraid to ask.

The stunning line-up includes Multi Award Winning American Duo The Pajama Men, Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees Idiots of Ants, ‘Comedy Lab’ stars Anna & Katy, duo Will & Greg (William Andrews and ‘Fresh Meat’ star Greg McHugh performing together for the first time in three years), five-star quintet Late Night Gimp Fight, Radio 2 stars Two Episodes of MASH (featuring ‘Him & Her’s Joe Wilkinson and ‘Mock the Week’s Diane Morgan’) and erudite Radio 4 regulars The Penny Dreadfuls plus some special secret guests.

On Monday 12th December, the crème de la crème of sketch comedy acts are coming together for a one-off sketch comedy extravaganza in the glitzy West End. The Joy of Sketch has arrived, bringing with it the very best in skits and sketches that live comedy has to offer.

If you want to catch the most exciting of sketch acts before your friends are all raving about them on the tellybox, then get yourself down to Time Out and Pleasance’s gourmet guide to sketch comedy at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

For more information: www.pleasance.co.uk

X Factor contestant Terry Winstanley to Join Dreamboats and Petticoats

Due to its phenomenal West End success, DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS, inspired by the million + selling albums, will continue its national tour throughout 2012.
 
The dazzling success of the first four albums in the ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ series sent the message loud and clear. With over 2 million copies sold and several weeks at the Number One spot in the compilation charts, the Great British public were saying that they didn’t just want to listen to pure nostalgia: they’d love to see it as well. Thus ‘Dreamboats’ was born as a musical, and so was an evening of pure hedonistic affection for a more innocent era, when love was young and so was rock ‘n’ roll.
 
Joining the fantastic Dreamboats cast for the 2012 tour will be X Factor contestant TERRY WINSTANLEY.  Scaffolder Terry made it through to judge’s houses after he impressed with his audition rendition of Michael Bolton’s To Love Somebody, which won him a legion of fans on twitter.

In 1961 emotions run high as young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win a national song writing competition – and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue! But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock ‘n’ roll fame beckons…

The original tour premiered in February 2009 at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley to rave critical reviews and widespread audience acclaim. Having sold out its return there in November 2009, the national tour extended throughout 2011 and continues in 2012.
 
Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesmen and Shine On Harvey Moon, this spectacular feel-good production will give you ‘the greatest time of your life’ – taking you back to a time when each passing week brought another classic track.
 
Featuring songs from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, Chuck Berry and many more, including Let’s Dance, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Shaking All Over, Bobby’s Girl, Little Town Flirt, Only Sixteen, Sleepwalk, Runaround Sue, Happy Birthday Sweet 16, What A Wonderful World, Let’s Twist Again, Let It Be Me and many more hits from music’s golden era!

Cast: Terry Winstanley, Ben James Ellis, David Ribi, Samantha Dorrance, Dan O’ Brien, Anna Campkin, Patrick Burbridge, Christopher Wheeler, Matthew Quinn, James Nitti,
Josef Pitura-Riley, Emma Jane Morton, Mike Slader. Rachel Nottingham
 
Crew Credits: Directed by Bob Tomson; Musical Supervision by Keith Strachan; Choreography by Carole Todd; Designed by Sean Cavanagh; Lighting Designed by Mark Howett; Sound Designed by Ben Harrison; Executive Producer Brian Berg.

Zach Braff UK debut in All New People at the Duke of York’s Theatre

American actor Zach Braff (Scrubs and Garden State) is to make his UK stage acting debut in a new comedy, All New People. The witty play, written by Braff, will be directed by award-winning Peter Dubois.

All New People will open at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 22 February 2012.  Before arriving in London for a strictly limited 10-week run, audiences in Manchester and Glasgow will get the chance to enjoy the play when it is staged at the Manchester Opera House, between 8 – 11 February and the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, between 14 – 18 February. 

This angst-fuelled comedy saw New York’s Second Stage Theatre packed out nightly and received rave reviews from US critics, with its present day dilemmas and take on four very different characters way of life.

In the dead of winter, at his wealthy friends’ luxury Long Beach Island apartment, Charlie (Zach Braff) has hit rock bottom on his 35th birthday. Away from the rest of the world, this perfect escape is interrupted by a motley parade of misfits who show up and change his plans. A hired beauty, a fireman, and an eccentric British real estate agent desperately trying to stay in the country all suddenly find themselves tangled together in a beach house where the mood is anything but sunny, while Charlie just wishes they’d leave and let him get on with it.

Best known for the smash-hit TV comedy Scrubs – nominated for 17 Emmy Awards and watched by over 22 million people worldwide – writer, director and star of the award winning Garden State, Zach Braff is a three time Golden Globe nominee and Grammy Award winner. Peter Dubois was awarded the Callaway Award for Excellence in Directing from the Society of Stage Directors, and recently won the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production from the Boston Theatre Critics Association. Earlier this year DuBois directed Becky Shaw at the Almeida Theatre, which was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award.

The UK production will feature an all new cast and further casting announcements will follow.

“Zach Braff scores with All New People, a morbidly funny play about the trendy new existential condition of being young, adorable and miserable.” – Marilyn Stasio, Variety.

“Sensationally funny! The jokes are delivered with the precision of ace dart throwers in this slick and lively comedy.” – Charles Isherwood, NY Times.

“All New People is a hipper, edgier take on the bantering comedies that were once the domain of playwrights like Neil Simon.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter.

For more information: visit: www.allnewpeople.co.uk

American Anthems: The Spectacular Rock Musical on UK TOUR with John Parr

American Anthems in association with Harley-Davidson, are delighted to announce that John Parr, who had Worldwide hits with “St Elmo’s Fire” and “Naughty Naughty” will be appearing as a guest star on ALL the UK dates.

American Anthems takes audiences on a journey from the East to the West Coast of the USA, searching for a huge Rock star that disappeared at the peak of his career in the early 90’s, to bring him back for one last concert.

The Show has a hugely talented cast of singers, dancers, fully live band and features some of the greatest American Anthems including Born To Run, Livin’ On A Prayer, We Built This City, Bat Out of Hell, Proud Mary, Born to be Wild, St Elmo’s Fire, Walking in Memphis, Sweet Child of Mine, and many more.
 
JOHN PARR. Few musicians from England have made such a mark on America as John. Calling America his second home, he has spent decades building a successful career working with some of the biggest stars in the business, including Meatloaf, Heart, The Beach Boys, Celine Dion, Roger Daltry and Tina Turner as well as writing songs for films including ‘Three Men and a Baby’ ‘Running Man’ and ‘St. Elmo’s’ Fire’, where his song became a No. 1 hit Worldwide and gained John many awards.    John has also written some of the most iconic hits of the 80’s for Meatloaf, Tom Jones, The Monkeys and many others. For the last 25 years St. Elmo’s Fire, “Man in Motion” has been the anthem for the Rick Hansen Foundation and helped raise over a quarter of a billion dollars for spinal injury research
 
John was also involved with the Pepsi company and Jack Calmes Satellite Corporation where a gig from London was beamed live across America, Japan & Australia. Parr was the featured act, having done two similar shows (one from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where the flame was lit for a special performance of “St. Elmo’s Fire”, and was beamed live for Japan and the New Year Christmas Show from London. The show was a great success, reaching almost 50-million people and making broadcast history for the network.
 
Recently John has toured with the likes of Richard Marx, Journey and Bryan Adams and has just released his 5th album titled “Letter to America”. John has just been signed a new deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, completed a 35 city American Media Tour, has music being featured on ESPN, signed on with The USO and is working on his upcoming Military Album along with a plethora of other exciting avenues  See http://www.JohnParrAmerica.com

Essence Productions is one of the leading production companies in the UK, with a reputation for excellence in producing and promoting everything from major attractions, to prestigious corporate and private events. Responsible for major touring production shows “Essence of Ireland” and  “Back to Broadway” which have received critical acclaim from the press, theatres and public alike. See http://www.essenceproductions.co.uk

For more information, please visit: www.americananthems.co.uk

The Maddening Rain at Soho Theatre

Following its acclaimed transatlantic tour, Upstart and Darbourne Luff’s co-production of Nicholas Pierpan’s thrilling one-man play The Maddening Rain opens at Soho Theatre Upstairs this evening, and runs until Saturday 10th December.

Felix Scott’s barnstorming performance has been grabbing audiences in Exeter, New York, Salisbury, Bradford and Hull – now London audiences have the chance to see this darkly comic story of one man’s journey through the financial crisis, brilliantly directed by Matthew Dunster.

“A blistering performance … Felix Scott is fascinatingly watchable.” The Guardian

“An astute and gripping play … a star-making performance.” Metro

Matilda The Musical – Now booking until 21 October 2012

Following a sensational sell-out season at The Courtyard Theatre, the RSC’s production of MATILDA THE MUSICAL has extended its booking period to 21 Oct 2012 at the Cambridge Theatre, London.

Roald Dahl’s much-loved story bursts into life on stage in this brand new musical version by Dennis Kelly  and award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Her parents think she is a nuisance and she thinks, quite rightly, they are only interested in watching telly. Life is not much better at school, where the monstrous headmistress Miss Trunchbull terrifies both students and teachers ALIKE. Then one day Matilda discovers she has a very special power and decides it’s time the grown-ups were taught a lesson. Be warned, the children are revolting…

Captioned performances: Thursday 12 April 7.30pm, Wednesday 13 June 7.30pm, Saturday 18 August 2.30pm, Sunday 21 October  2.30pm
Audio-described performances: Wednesday 21 March 2.30pm, Sunday 10 June 3pm, Thursday 30 August 7.30pm, Thursday 11 October 7.30pm