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Production news round-up: February 3 to 10

Amber Riley as Effie in Dreamgirls. Photo: Blair Caldwell
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MUSICALS

Glee star Amber Riley will play the lead role in Dreamgirls when it opens in the West End in November. Riley will play Effie White in the show, which will run at the Savoy Theatre. It comes to the West End 35 years after it opened on Broadway, where the show won six Tony awards.
Authors: Henry Krieger (music), Tom Eyen (book and lyrics)
Director/choreographer: Casey Nicholaw
Producer: Sonia Friedman Productions
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Singer Newton Faulkner is to join the Green Day musical American Idiot. Faulkner will take on the part of Johnny in the show, replacing Matt Thorpe, who plays the role from the tour’s opening on March 19 at Curve in Leicester until May 7 at the New Theatre in Oxford.
Authors: Green Day (music), Billie Joe Armstrong (lyrics and book), Michael Mayer (book)
Director: Racky Plews
Producers: David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell a Door Theatre Company and Stephen McGill Productions
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Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith has extended its forthcoming run at the Savoy Theatre, London, by another month. The musical will open on April 9 and is now booking until October 8. It has already extended its run at the venue by two months.
Authors: Jule Styne (music), Bob Merrill (lyrics), Harvey Fierstein (book)
Director: Michael Mayer
Producers: Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis Productions, Chocolate Factory Productions and Finnemore and Co
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Beverley Knight is to reprise her role in musical The Bodyguard when the show returns to the West End this year. It previously ran in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre from 2012 to 2014 and will return for a run at the Dominion Theatre. It will open on July 15, running until January 7, 2017.
Author: Alexander Dinelaris
Director: Thea Sharrock
Producers: Michael Harrison and David Ian
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Michael Crawford is to return to the West End to star in a musical version of The Go-Between. He will lead the cast for the show, which will run at the Apollo Theatre from May 27 to October 15. Press night will be on June 7.
Author: Richard Taylor (music and lyrics), David Wood (lyrics)
Director: Roger Haines
Producers: Greene Light Stage and Bill Kenwright
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West End show Matilda the Musical is to host a third relaxed performance, aimed at people with autism and learning difficulties. Following events in 2014 and 2015, the Royal Shakespeare Company is working with the National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects to produce the performance on June 12. It will take place at the Cambridge Theatre, where Matilda has been running since 2011.
Authors: Tim Minchin (music and lyrics), Dennis Kelly (book)
Director: Matthew Warchus
Producers: Royal Shakespeare Company with Andre Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as executive producers
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A production of Jason Robert Brown musical Parade is among the first shows announced for the new Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester. The venue, which will specialise in producing musical theatre, will also stage Hair and a workshop of a new musical. Parade will run rom May 13 to June 5, with press night on May 18.
Authors: Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics), Alfred Uhry (book)
Director: James Baker
Producers: Hope Mill Theatre and Aria Entertainment
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In the Heights has extended its run at the King’s Cross Theatre for a third time, meaning it is now booking until October 30. The musical opened in October 2015 and currently stars David Bedella and Jade Ewen.
Authors: Lin-Manuel Miranda (music and lyrics), Quiara Alegria Hudes (book)
Director: Luke Sheppard
Producers: Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment and Paul Taylor Mills

The St James Theatre Studio is to host a production of musical Forever Plaid in April. The show, featuring close-harmony songs of the 1950s, will run from April 5 to 24, with press night on April 8.
Author: Stuart Ross
Director: Grant Murphy
Design: Ben Rogers (lighting)
Producers: Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Guy James

Valerie Cutko is to star in new musical Something Something Lazarus at the King’s Head Theatre in north London. The show, which opens on March 8, also features Daisy Amphlett, Ralph Bogard and Daniel Cech-Lucas. It will run until April 2.
Authors: Simon Arrowsmith (music), John Myatt (book and lyrics)
Director: Dan Phillips
Producers: Broken Cabaret in association with the King’s Head Theatre

PLAYS

Tanya Franks and Alexander Hanson lead the cast of Florian Zeller’s The Truth at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The cast will also include Frances O’Connor and Robert Portal.
It runs from March 10 to May 7, with press night on March 16 and will then play at the Theatre Royal Bath from May 9 to 14.
Authors: Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton (translation)
Director: Lindsay Posner
Design: Lizzie Clachan (set and costume), Howard Harrison (lighting) Gregory Clarke (sound)
Producer: Menier Chocolate Factory in association with Theatre Royal Bath
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John Malkovich is to make his London directorial debut at the Rose Theatre Kingston with the UK premiere of Zach Helm’s Good Canary. It will run from September 16 to October 8, with press night on September 21. The season also includes a production of King John directed by Trevor Nunn and the venue’s first staging of an Arthur Miller play, which will be All My Sons.
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Amanda Drew is to join Kenneth Cranham in The Father when it returns to the West End. They will be joined by Rebecca Charles, Brian Doherty, Daniel Flynn and Jade Williams. The Father will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre form February 24 to March 26.
Authors: Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton (translation)
Director: James Macdonald
Producers: Theatre Royal Bath Productions, the Tricycle Theatre and Simon Friend

Work inspired by the global migration crisis and a large-scale circus show performed in a graveyard feature on the programme for the 2016 London International Festival of Theatre. On the Move, a series of 10 works by artists affected by the current refugee crisis, will take place at the Royal Court Theatre from June 9 to 11. Depart, led by Australian company Circa, will feature more than 100 artists and will run in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park from June 16 to 26. LIFT runs throughout June across London, with other shows including the UK premiere of Taylor Mac’s solo show and a reinvention of Sarah Kane’s Phaedra’s Love, called Phaedra(s).
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The Tricycle Theatre in north London is to stage a new play devised by young people as part of the 2016 Tricycle Takeover. The event, which takes place between March 13 and 23, will include more than 50 events, screenings, performances and masterclasses. Bred, which has been devised by the Tricycle’s young company, will run from March 17 to 19. The festival will also host National Theatre Connections and promenade show Switch.

Casting has been announced for Correspondence at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London. Ali Ariaie, Joe Attewell, Joanna Croll, Mark Extance and Jill McAusland will feature in the play, which will run from March 8 to April 2, with press night on March 10.
Author: Lucinda Burnett
Director: Blythe Stewart
Design: Bethany Wells (set and costume), Christopher Nairne (lighting), Giles Thomas (sound)
Producers: Emma O’Mara and Robyn Keynes

The New Diorama Theatre is to stage the first full-length run of a drama about the banking industry. Run, devised by Engineer Theatre Collective, will run at the north London theatre form March 15 to April 9, with press night on March 16.
Producer: Engineer Theatre Collective

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