Production news: Ian McKellen will feature in The Exorcist and musical adaptation of Madagascar announced

Madagascar - A Musical Adventure
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This week’s production news includes a UK tour of Madagascar the musical and the casting of Ian McKellen as the voice of the demon in The Exorcist.


Ian McKellen has been cast as the voice of the demon in the West End production of The Exorcist. It will open on October 20 at the Phoenix Theatre, with booking available until March 10, 2018.
Author: John Pielmeier
Director: Sean Mathias
Design: Anna Fleischle (set), Philip Gladwell (lighting), Adam Cork (sound)
Cast includes: Jenny Seagrove, Peter Bowles, Adam Garcia, Todd Boyce and Elliot Harper.
Producers: Bill Kenwright in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
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The Royal Court Theatre has announced the cast for Bad Roads, which includes Ronke Adekoluejo, Kate Dickie, Vincent Ebrahim, Anne Lacey and Tadhg Murphy. The production will run from November 15 to December 23 with press nights on November 21 and 22.
Author: Natal’ya Vorozhbit, Sasha Dugdale (translation)
Director: Vicky Featherstone
Design: Camilla Clarke (set), Natasha Chivers (lighting), Nick Powell (sound)
Producer: Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rome season of four Shakespeare plays is to transfer to the Barbican from November 6 to January 19.
Directors: Angus Jackson, Iqbal Khan and Blanche McIntyre
Producer: RSC

Love from a Stranger will tour the UK from February, it has been announced. It will open at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton on February 23, before touring locations including Guildford, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle and Norwich, where the tour ends on July 21.
Author: Agatha Christie
Director: Lucy Bailey
Design: Mike Britton (set and costume), Oliver Fenwick (lighting), Richard Hammarton (sound and music)
Producers: Fiery Angel in association with Royal and Derngate

Casting has been announced for Anne Washburn’s The Twilight Zone at the Almeida Theatre in London. Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Franc Ashman, Adrianna Bertola, Lizzy Connolly and Amy Griffiths feature in the play, with Neil Haigh, Cosmo Jarvis, John Marquez, Matthew Needham and Sam Sainsbury. It runs from December 5 to January 27, with press night on December 12.
Director: Richard Jones
Design: Paul Steinberg (set), Mimi Jordan Sherin (lighting), Christopher Shutt (sound), Sarah Angliss (sound and music), Nicky Gillibrand (costumes), Richard Wiseman (illusions)
Movement: Aletta Collins
Producer: Almeida Theatre
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Casting has been announced for a revival of Misalliance at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. Pip Donaghy, Tom Hanson, Rhys Isaac-Jones, Jordan Misfud and Gabrielle Lloyd feature, alongside Lara Rossi, Simon Shepherd, Marli Siu and Luke Thallon. It runs from December 7 to January 20, with press night on December 11.
Author: George Bernard Shaw
Director: Paul Miller
Design: Laura Hopkins (set), David Plater (lighting), Isobel Waller-Bridge (sound and music)
Casting: Vicky Richardson
Producer: Orange Tree Theatre

Miss Julie will premiere in London on the November 14, running at the Jermyn Street Theatre until December 2. It features Downton actor Charlotte Hamblin, James Sheldon and Isabella Urbanowicz.
Author: Howard Brenton
Director: Tom Littler
Design: Max Pappenheim
Producers: Jermyn Street Theatre and Theatre by the Lake
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This Beautiful Future will return to the Yard Theatre in London from November 2 to 25. The production, which follows one night between two teenagers, caught on opposite sides of a war, will feature Tom Morley and Abigail Lawrie.
Author: Rita Kalnejais
Director: Jay Miller
Producer: The Yard Theatre

Collective Rage will have its UK premiere at the Southwark Playhouse in London. The comedy will run next year from January 24 to February 17, with press night on January 29.
Author: Jen Silverman
Director: Charlie Parham
Producers: Antic Face and Nik Holtum Productions

Sinners Club, which is inspired by the story of the last woman to be hanged in Britain, will transfer to the Soho Theatre in London following runs in Wales. It runs from December 5 to 30, with press night on December 7.
Author: Lucy Rivers
Director: Titas Halder
Producers: The Other Room, Theatr Clwyd and Gagglebabble

Full casting has been announced for The Secret Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. Aidan McArdle and Tara Fitzgerald star in the production, which is about Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. The show runs in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from November 16 to December 16, with press night on November 22.
Author: Anders Lustgarten
Director: Matthew Dunster
Design: Jon Bausor
Cast also includes: Cassie Layton, Abraham Popoola, Edmund Kinglsey, Sam Marks, David Partridge, Ian Redford and Colin Ryan.
Producer: Shakespeare’s Globe

Wilton’s Music Hall in London has announced a 2018 spring season of theatre productions and dance adaptations. The season will feature Kneehigh’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk directed by Emma Rice, and Mark Bruce Company’s reimagining of Macbeth.

The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in London has announced the world premiere of The Invisible Man, which will run from October 27 to November 18. The production is based on H.G. Wells’ novel and explores themes of science and power.
Author: Clem Garritty
Director: Ryan McBryde
Producer: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch


The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the casting for the UK tour of Matilda the Musical. It will feature two previous West End cast members, Craige Els and Rebecca Thornhill. It will open at Curve in Leicester on March 5 and will tour to locations including Sunderland, Milton Keynes and Birmingham.
Author: Tim Minchin (music and lyrics), Dennis Kelly (book)
Director: Matthew Warchus
Producer: Royal Shakespeare Company
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A stage adaptation of Dreamworks film Madagascar will tour the UK in 2018. It opens at Wimbledon New Theatre on July 16 and tours to locations including Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol.
Authors: George Noriega, Joe Someillan (music and lyrics), Kevin Del Aguila (book)
Director: Kirk Jameson
Producers: Selladoor Worldwide and Hartshorn-Hook
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X Factor judge Louis Walsh is to make his stage debut in Nativity! The Musical during its run at the Eventim Apollo in London. It will run from December 13 to 17.
Authors: Nicky Ager (music ad lyrics), Debbie Isitt (book, music and lyrics)
Director: Debbie Isitt
Producer: Jamie Wilson, Entertainment One, Ramin Sabi and Belgrae Theatre Coventry
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A new musical called The Assassination of Katie Hopkins has been announced as part of Theatr Clwyd’s new season. It will run from April 20 to May 12, with press night in April 26, and will be directed by James Grieve. The season also includes a new production of The Great Gatsby.
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Hayley Tamaddon is to star in a forthcoming tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which returns in 2018. She will play the lead role in a new tour of the musical, which goes on the road again in 2018 following a tour in spring of this year. It opens at the Richmond Theatre on March 27, before touring locations across the UK and Ireland until August 5.
Authors: Jeanine Tesori (music), Dick Scanlan (lyrics and book), Richard Morris (book)
Director/choreographer: Racky Plews
Music director: Rob Wicks
Producer: David King for Modern Millie Ltd
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The Park Theatre in London is to stage a musical about the Rothschild banking dynasty as part of its 2018 season. Featuring songs by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, Rothschild and Sons charts the rise of the Rothschild family as it becomes one of the world’s most famous banking dynasties. The season also includes the European premiere of Robert Schenkken’s Building the Wall, David Haig’s self-penned Pressure and a new adaptation of EM Forster’s A Passage to India.
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Complicite will revive Bryony Kimmings’ musical A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer in its programme next year. The musical previously ran at the National Theatre and Home in Manchester.
Authors: Tom Parkinson (music) Bryony Kimmings, Brian Lobel, with Kirsty Housley (book and lyrics)
Director: Kirsty Housley
Producers: Complicite Theatre Company and Bryony Kimmings

Hot Gay Time Machine will show at the Other Palace’s studio in its upcoming season, following a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The musical will show from November 6 to 8. Other shows to feature in the season include The Barricade Boys – Christmas Cabaret and Come Join the Dots.
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Mod musical All Or Nothing, based on the story of the rock band Small Faces will play a West End season at the Arts Theatre in London. The production will run from February 6 to March 11.
Author and director: Carol Harrison
Producer: Rock ’n’ Roll Productions


Boy Blue Entertainment is to create an immersive production of dance, music and digital animation called Blood Rite. It will take place at Guildhall Yard in London on October 20 and 21. Blood Rite will feature as part of Londinium festival.
Producers: Boy Blue Entertainment and City of London Corporation

Underbelly has announced the line-up for a two-strand festival to take place in Leicester Square in London. The festival will feature Fascinating Aida, the Showstoppers and Al Murray, and will take from November 10 to January 6.
Producers: Underbelly and Westminster City Council

Trump the Panto, which was due to show at London’s Leicester Square Theatre from December 12 to 30 has been cancelled.
Author: Stuart Saint
Producer: Martin Witts

Slava’s Snowshow is to return to the UK, opening at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on October 17 before embarking on tour. Locations it will show at include Salford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and London.
Producers: Matthew Gales and Mark Goucher

Fire in the North Sky, a performance of poems, songs and stories, will show at the Southbank Centre in London on October21 and 22. The production will consist of four specially-adapted, one hour versions if stories from Finland.
Producer: Adverse Camber