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Production news round-up: February 10 to 16

Strictly Ballroom will run at West Yorkshire Playhouse from November
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Baz Luhrmann‘s Strictly Ballroom the Musical is to have its first UK staging at West Yorkshire Playhouse in November. The show, which is based on Luhrmann’s 1992 film, will run in Leeds from November 30. It will have a press night on December 6 and is currently booking until January 21, 2017.
Creators: Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Terry Johnson (book)
Director/choreographer: Drew McOnie
Producers: West Yorkshire Playhouse and Global Creatures
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Sheffield Theatres’ production of Show Boat is to transfer to the West End later this year. The musical will begin a run at the New London Theatre on April 9, with press night on April 25. It is currently booking until January 7, 2017 at the theatre, where it replaces War Horse.
Authors: Jerome Kern (music), Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics)
Director: Daniel Evans
Design: Lez Brotherston (set), David Hersey (lighting), Paul Groothuis (sound), Tim Reid (video)
Choreographer: Alistair David
Musical director: David White
Producers: David Ian with Bob Bartner and Norman Tulchin
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Samantha Spiro and Oliver Tompsett are to join the cast of musical Guys and Dolls. They join alongside US actor Richard Kind when the show moves to the Phoenix Theatre on March 19. Billy Boyle and Jason Pennycooke also join the cast, with Siubhan Harrison and Gavin Spokes continuing in their roles as Sarah Brown and Nicely Nicely Johnson respectively.
Authors: Frank Loesser (music and lyrics), Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows (book)
Director: Gordon Greenberg
Producers: Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Oliver Royds for BOS Productions, Richard Darbourne and Tulchin Bartner Productions
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Motown the Musical has extended its run at the Shaftesbury Theatre until February 2017. The show was previously booking until October, but will now run in the West End until at least February 18, 2017.
Author: Berry Gordy (book)
Director: Charles Randolph-Wright
Producers: Berry Gordy, Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Adam Spiegel
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Don Black has written new lyrics to previously unheard Jule Styne songs for a new production of Bar Mitzvah Boy. The musical will run Upstairs at the Gatehouse for six weeks from March 3 to April 10, with a press night on March 10. It marks the show’s first staging since its original 1978 production in London.
Authors: Jule Styne (music), Don Black (lyrics), Jack Rosenthal (book), David Thompson (revised script)
Director: Stewart Nicholls
Design: Grace Smart (set), James Smith (lighting), Charles Parry (sound)
Cast includes: Robert Maskell, Lara Stubbs, Nicholas Corre and Adam Bregman
Producer: Aria Entertainment

Anna-Jane Casey will lead the cast of a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie that will be rehearsed and staged in just 48 hours. The event, at the Adelphi Theatre on March 20, will be hosted by Warwick Davis, and the cast of more than 100 also includes Robert Colvin and Suanne Braun.
Authors: Richard Morris (book), Dick Scanlan (book and lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (music)
Director: Esther Biddle
Design: Sheara Abrahams
Choreographer: Ashley Nottingham
Producer: Ian Haig for Showtime Challenge 48-Hour Musicals
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Matthew Rickson has joined the UK tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad. Rickson will begin the role on March 15 when the show visits the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. The tour is currently scheduled to run until May 2016 and also stars Claire Sweeney.
Authors: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (music and lyrics), Mark O’Donnell, Thomas Meehan (book)
Director: Paul Kerryson
Producers: Mark Goucher and Laurence Myers, Tom O’Connell Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Gale King Productions, Gary Brown and Curve

Casting has been announced for Rifco’s new show Laila: The Musical, which premieres at Watford Palace Theatre on April 7. Reece Bahia, Ravin J Ganatra, Mona Goodwin, Kush Khanna, Sami Lamine, Sheena Patel, Vedi Roy, Shin and Yinka Williams will feature in the musical, which will tour until June 4 following its run in Watford.
Authors: Sumeet Chopra (music), Dougal Irvine (lyrics), Pravesh Kumar (book)
Director: Pravesh Kumar
Producers: Rifco, Watford Palace Theatre and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch


Happy Valley actor James Norton has been cast in Tracy LettsBug at pop-up space Found111. He will star alongside Kate Fleetwood, whose stage credits include High Society and London Road. It runs from March 24 to May 7, with press night on March 29.
Author: Tracy Letts
Director: Simon Evans
Producer: Emily Dobbs for Emily Dobbs Productions
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Alan Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves will be revived for a West End run later this year. The comedy opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on March 23, with press night on March 31. It will run until June 25.
Author: Alan Ayckbourn
Director: Alan Strachan
Design: Julie Godfrey (set and costume)
Producer: Bill Kenwright
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People, Places and Things has extended its West End run until June 18. The production, which premiered at the National Theatre last year, opens at Wyndham’s Theatre next month and will now run two weeks longer than planned.
Author: Duncan Macmillan
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Producer: National Theatre, Headlong and National Angels

Josette Simon will join the previously announced Mel Giedroyc in Luce at Southwark Playhouse. The show, which is having its UK premiere, will run from March 9 to April 2, with press night on March 11.
Author: JC Lee
Director: Simon Dormandy
Design: Dick Bird
Producers: Frankie Parham and Oliver King for Fuse Theatre

A stage adaptation of Rex Pickett’s book Sideways will have its European premiere at the St James Theatre later this year. Pickett has adapted the play from his novel, which was turned into an Oscar-winning film in 2004. It will run at the London venue from May 26 to July 9, with a press night on May 31.
Author: Rex Pickett
Director: David Grindley
Producers: Matt Chisling and Amy Anzel for Pinot Productions
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A new production of Clybourne Park is to tour the UK, following a run at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre. It will run there from April 8 to 23, before a five-venue UK tour.
Author: Bruce Norris
Director: Daniel Buckroyd
Cast includes: Ben Deery, Rebecca Oldfield, Dan Gaisford, Rebecca Manley, Gloria Onitiri, William Troughton, Wole Sawyerr, Mark Womack
Producer: Made in Colchester
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Kirsty Bushell has been cast in the title role in Salisbury Playhouse’s production of Hedda Gabler, which runs at the theatre from March 17 to April 2.
Author: Henrik Ibsen (original), Brian Friel (adaptation)
Director: Gareth Machin
Cast includes: Ben Caplan, Damian Humbley, Jane Wymark, Petra Markham, David Bark-Jones, Kemi-Bo Jacobs
Producer: Salisbury Playhouse
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Richard Bean’s The Nap has extended its run at the Crucible in Sheffield by a week. The play, set in the world of snooker, will now run from March 10 to April 2. Press night will be on March 15.
Author: Richard Bean
Director: Richard Wilson
Producer: Sheffield Theatres

Tessa Peake-Jones, Paul Kemp and Emily Burnett have been cast in Beacons at the Park Theatre. The play runs from March 22 to April 16, with press night on March 24.
Author: Tabitha Mortiboy
Director: Philip Wilson
Design: Tom Rogers (set), Matt Daw (lighting
Producer: Attic Theatre Company

A reimagining of The Jungle Book featuring street dance and circus is to tour the UK later this year. Jungle Book transposes Rudyard Kipling’s story to a “contemporary urban jungle” which also features skateboarding and spoken word. The tour will open at Theatre Royal Windsor on April 21 and will tour until June 4.
Author/director: Poppy Burton-Morgan
Design: William Reynolds (set), Filipe Gomes (sound), Kate Lane (costume)
Choreographer: Kendra J Horsburgh
Producer: Metta Theatre
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Casting has been announced for Wipers at Curve, which runs in April. Jassa Ahluwalia, Waleed Akhtar, Sion Rivers and Sartaj Garewal will feature in the production, which runs from April 8 to 23 with press night on April 14.
Author: Ishy Din
Director: Suba Das
Design: Isla Shaw (set), Prema Mehta (lighting), Jon Nicholls (sound)
Producers: Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Watford Palace Theatre

After Independence by May Sumbwanyambe is have its premiere at the Arcola Theatre in May. The play is produced by Papatango and is the first production outside the company’s new writing prize. It runs from May 4 to 28, with press night on May 6.
Author: May Sumbwanyambe
Director: George Turvey
Design: Max Dorey (set), Christopher Nairne (lighting), Richard Hammarton (sound)
Producer: Papatango

The world premiere of a new play by Rose Lewenstein will run at Southwark Playhouse in April. Called Darknet, it has been commissioned by Potential Difference and will run from April 14 to May 7, with press night on April 18.
Author: Rose Lewenstein
Director: Russell Bender
Producer: Potential Difference

Danielle Bird has been cast in NotMoses, which has its world premiere at the Arts Theatre in London in March. She completes casting for the show, which runs from March 10 to May 14, with press night on March 15.
Author/director: Gary Sinyor
Design: Carla Goodman (set), Humphrey McDermott (lighting), Luke Swaffield (sound)
Music: Erran Baron Cohen
Producers: Magnet Productions with Julian Stonemason for MPSI

A new site specific show set in the 80s is to run for two dates in March. On the Line, which is set during the miners’ strike in 1985, will run at the Ivy House in Nunhead on March 2 and at the Arcola Bar on March 13.
Author: Aled Pedrick
Director: Yasmeen Arden
Producer: Robin Linde Productions

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