Thriller Live West End Run Extended!

Thriller Live opened on 2nd January 2009 at London’s Lyric Theatre and was originally slated to play until the 12th April. However, because of it’s great popularity, the production will be now be playing until 3rd of January 2010.

THRILLER – LIVE is a spectacular, high octane show celebrating the career of the world’s undisputed King of Pop – Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5. Fully backed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK, THRILLER LIVE marks the first Jackson’s dedicated live theatrical experience ever!

Moonwalking into the West End after three acclaimed UK tours and standing ovations across Europe, THRILLER – LIVE opens at the Lyric Theatre on 2 January 2009.

To bring to life on stage the sensational dancing and distinctive sound of the Jackson’s greatest hits, THRILLER – LIVE includes eye-popping multi-media effects and dazzling choreography by the shows award-winning director Gary Lloyd (who has previously worked with artists including Leona Lewis, Will Young, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson and Girls Aloud), plus additional choreography by 5 time MTV award-winning LaVelle Smith Jnr.

In a career spanning 40 years, Michael Jackson has sold an unparalleled 750 million records worldwide with the Thriller album still the world’s best-selling recording of all time. THRILLER – LIVE includes over two-hours of non-stop hit songs in a show that boasts the world-class spectacle that marked their legendary live performances.

Expect your favourite Jackson songs delivered by an exceptionally talented cast and live band, including the smash hits: I Want You Back, I’ll BeThere, Show You The Way To Go, Can You Feel It, Rock With You, She’s Out Of My Life, Beat It, Billie Jean, Earth Song and Thriller plus many more!

Book Tickets for Thriller Live

Arts Council is Investing in the Future of Contemporary British Musical Theatre

Arts Council is pleased to announce that it is investing in the infrastructure and grassroots of musical theatre, most recently with an award of £188,860 to producers Perfect Pitch Musicals.

Musical theatre is one of the most popular artforms and contributes significantly to the UK economy in terms of employment, tourism and tax revenues, but very little support from the industry is reinvested to develop the grassroots of contemporary British musicals. This can be seen in the current crop of West End musicals, which is reliant on revivals, imports, jukebox musicals and already established and celebrity names.

Perfect Pitch Musicals is an organisation committed to developing contemporary British musicals by working with writers to develop and showcase their work. Initially the organisation started as a one-off showcase event organised by Andy Barnes, then he received a small Arts Council grant which helped take the project further. This has now developed to an organisation managing a professional network that works with and develops writers and their work, as well as providing performance showcases.

Andy Barnes, Executive Producer at Perfect Pitch explains:

‘I founded Perfect Pitch in 2006 as a one-off showcase of new musicals. I was struggling to find something contemporary, new and relevant as well as something developed enough to put on stage.

‘When we put on the showcase, I was hoping to find a few other people that might want to help me develop one or two of those shows. Luckily, a number of venues and producers that I had invited were interested in moving a couple of them forward and so I began a series of collaborations. In 2008, with the support of more than 15 partners around the UK including venues, training establishments, agents and producers, Perfect Pitch has, by necessity, expanded into a network for developing new musicals and annually showcasing them in the West End.’

Dougal Irvine’s first and award winning musical Departure Lounge was featured in the first Perfect Pitch showcase and was picked up by three commercial producers. His second musical Get In Touch is also currently being developed through the Perfect Pitch network. He commented:

‘Perfect Pitch is fantastic for a writer because your material is presented at a level which the industry recognises. It’s a joy to have your work developed with top actors and a hand picked creative team. Andy Barnes is great because he respects each writer as an individual with specific needs.’

The Arts Council first supported Perfect Pitch as an organisation in 2007 with a £45,000 award to research the creation of a network to support new British musical theatre. With our most recent award, we have invested in the long term aims of the organisation and have, ultimately, made a commitment to the development of new musical theatre work in the UK.

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London said:
‘Traditionally musical theatre is considered to be a commercially sustainable artform which doesn’t require public subsidy. However, there is a definite need for investment in the developmental infrastructure which will help support the next generation of musical theatre practitioners in this country.

‘We don’t expect results over night, but our investment is helping create conditions where emerging talent can thrive.’

‘It’s a slow process developing musicals’ added Andy Barnes, ‘and you rely on inspiring and creative artists in all fields to ultimately achieve a quality show. As each year passes, the musicals feel stronger, the opportunities seem to be more widespread and more of the shows are breaking through. Hopefully soon, audiences will have the opportunity to decide on the quality themselves.’

www.perfectpitchmusicals.com

Wicked the Musical Welcomed its 2 Millionth Theatregoer, Louisa Robb From Newark

Louisa, with boyfriend Craig Robinson, was surprised by the WICKED producers with an upgrade to the best seats in the house and VIP treatment for the evening.

WICKED opened at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre in September 2006 and celebrated its 1000th performance on Saturday 14 February 2009. As it heads towards its 3rd birthday and fourth year (in September), WICKED continues to break Box Office records, most recently during the Easter fortnight where it achieved a combined gross of £1,416,824.50 with almost 36,000 seeing the show. The week commencing 6 April was the production’s highest grossing 8-show week, playing to 99.8% capacity. WICKED has grossed almost £75 million at the Box Office since opening.

In addition to the London production, the international hit musical is also currently running in North America (4 productions), Japan, Germany and Australia.

Tickets are currently on sale until Saturday 3 April 2010.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfill their destinies as ‘Glinda The Good’ and the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.

Book tickets for Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre

Austentatious, A new musical at the Landor Theatre

Peter Huntley is proud to present the British premiere of AUSTENTATIOUS in March 2009. Fresh from a sell-out run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, new musical comedy AUSTENTATIOUS is a love letter to the theatre. Stage manager Sam is stretched to breaking point during a chaotic new production of Pride and Prejudice. Will the cast learn to stop arguing? Will Mr Darcy choose the right girl? Will those tap shoes ever come in handy? Find out at the Landor Theatre in March 2009!

AUSTENTATIOUS will feature Cassidy Janson (Tick Tick Boom, Wicked, Only the Brave) as Sam, Simon Lipkin (Avenue Q, Footloose, The Wedding Singer) as Blake, Richard Meek (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rocky Horror Show) as David, Fem Belling (Hairspray, Footloose) as Emily, Jenna Boyd (Les Misérables, Acorn Antiques) as Jessica, Lucy Mills (Simply Cinderella) as Lauren and Ilan Goodman (Old Vic 24 Hour Plays, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Glass Menagerie) as Dominic.

AUSTENTATIOUS was created by emerging musical theatre writers Matt Board, Jane Caplow, Kate Galvin, Luisa Hinchliff and Joe Slabe. The group began their collaboration whilst studying musical theatre at Goldmiths, University of London.

The UK premiere of AUSTENTATIOUS will be directed by Lotte Wakeham. Most recently, Lotte has assisted Matthew Warchus on The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic, and directed the acclaimed Language of Love Shakespeare festival at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, which accompanied Peter Hall’s production of Love’s Labour Lost. She has championed new writers, winning last year’s Cameron Mackintosh New Writing Festival with her production of Play on Words by Tom Crawshaw.

Following his success as Musical Director of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Union Theatre, Chris Mundy joins our team as Musical Director. AUSTENTATIOUS will be designed by Sophie Mosberger, a finalist of the 2007 Linbury Prize and recipient of the Royal Opera House design bursary. She was the set designer of the recent sell-out Union Theatre production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Information on AUSTENTATIOUS

Music and Lyrics by Matt Board and Joe Slabe
Book by Matt Board, Jane Caplow, Kate Galvin, Luisa Hinchliff and Joe Slabe
Producer: Peter Huntley
Director: Lotte Wakeham
Musical Director: Chris Mundy
Designer: Sophie Mosberger
Lighting: Will Reynolds
Choreography: Tim Jackson

AUSTENTATIOUS plays at the Landor Theatre, 70 Landor Road, London, SW9 9PH from 4 to 28 March,
Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday matinees (8, 15, 22 March) at 3pm. Tickets available from the

Landor Theatre box office: www.landortheatre.co.uk and 020 7737 7276.

SUNSET BOULEVARD returns to the West End

Norma Desmond was the greatest silent movie star of them all, until the advent of the talkies made her a has-been. Joe Gillis was a struggling screenwriter until, by chance, he pulled his car into the driveway of 10086 Sunset Boulevard, home to the reclusive Miss Desmond. This chance encounter would change their lives, forever.

Craig Revel Horwood’s poignant, compelling and inventive new production sold out prior to the opening of its run at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury this summer and has now transferred to the West End’s intimate Comedy Theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stunning musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s classic 1950 film captures the haunting world of the Golden Age of Hollywood. With book and lyrics by the Oscar-winning partnership of Don Black (Born Free, Diamonds are Forever) and Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Atonement).

Book Tickets for Sunset Boulevard

Blood Brothers has now extended bookings till July 2009!

This award winning (winning ‘Best Musical’ awards from Society of West End Theatres, Drama Magazine, Ivor Novello and Play and Players) musical tells the story of two twins who are separated at birth, but whose paths cross again when they are older. The musical is set in Liverpool and contains the song ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.

Interestingly of all the long-running musicals currently in London, Blood Brothers is unique in that the current production, which originally opened at the Albery Theatre in 1988, is actually its second incarnation – the original production failed to score a West End success at the Lyric Theatre in 1983 (where it run for six months). The producer Bill Kenwright picked up the rights to the musical in 1987, and a re-vamped Blood Brothers returned to the West End the following year.

Blood Brothers has now extened its run till July 2009! Blood Brothers is currentnly running at Phoenix Theatre.

Book Tickets for Blood Brothers!

The Lion King – The Award-Winning Musical

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award winning musical THE LION KING will redefine your expectations of theatre.

A spectacular visual feast, this adaptation of Disney’s much-loved film transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

Now celebrating its 10th triumphant year at the Lyceum Theatre, THE LION KING is still the West End’s most unforgettable show.

Book Tickets for The Lion King

Never Forget Moves to Lyrics

Never Forget is going the transfer from the Savoy Theatre of Never Forget to the Lyric Theatre. The season will run from Thursday 20th November 2008 to Saturday 25th April 2009 and is is now available for bookings.

Please check for more details as the performance schedule has been changed.

Never Forget is currently booking until 25th of April 2009 Book Tickets for Never Forget

Sanjeev Bhaskar will be a new King Arthur!

Sanjeev Bhaskar will be a new King Arthur in a hilarious Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, role that was also performed by Tim Curry, Simon Russell Beale, Peter Davison and Alan Dale. Best known as the host of The Kumars at No. 42 and for his appearances in the award-winning radio and television sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, Sanjeev Bhaskar’s first performance at the Palace Theatre will be on 23 June 2008.

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT opened in the West End in October 2006 and after over two years of coconut smashing, fish schlapping and grail searching the show, which has played to audiences including royalty, rock stars, soap stars and supermodels, will head off from the Palace Theatre on Saturday 3 January 2009 in preparation for a UK tour beginning April 2009.

Directed by Mike Nichols, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT is “lovingly ripped-off” from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Book and lyrics are by Eric Idle with a Grammy Award-winning score by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. Other members of the SPAMALOT creative team include Casey Nicholaw (choreography), multiple Olivier Award-winners Tim Hatley (sets and costumes) and Hugh Vanstone (lighting) and Acme Sound Partners.

Spamalot has recently announced another extention of its successful run up to 3rd of January 2009 Book Tickets for Spamalot

AvenueQ Booking Extended!

Hilarious puppet show staged in the Noel Coward Theatre that was named “Sesame Street for grown-ups” has been a great success and therefore management of the theatre has decided to prolong its run.

Avenue Q is not the most upmarket of New York streets, and is about as far away from Park Avenue as you can get, but it is home to some lively and off the wall characters performed by an unholy comedic alliance of humans and puppets!

Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate, has just moved to this neighbourhood as he desperately tries to follow his dreams and discover his ever-elusive purpose in life.

A tiny bank balance, the distraction of a busty blonde and a variety of weird and wonderful friends and neighbours lead Princeton on a hilarious story of self-discovery. Life may suck on Avenue Q but being jobless, homeless, politically incorrect, having sex (whether hetero, homo or porno… and that’s just the puppets) are just some of the topics featured in the terrific songs of this show.

AvenueQ is currently booking until 25th of April 2009 Book Tickets for Avenue Q