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Production news round-up: Elf musical to show live on TV and Chicago announces West End return

Chicago will return to London for a run at the Phoenix Theatre in 2018
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The final production news round-up of the year includes the return of Chicago to the West End and a live Christmas broadcast of Elf – The Musical. Other news includes a 2018 UK tour for Nativity! The Musical and the West End transfer of David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano.

Plays

Rhys Ifans is to return to London’s Old Vic Theatre to star in the world premiere of Mood Music. It runs from April 21 to June 16, with press night on May 2.
Author: Joe Penhall
Director: Roger Michell
Producer: The Old Vic
Read original story here

A play about the founding of Glyndebourne opera is to transfer to the West End. The Moderate Soprano will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from April 5 to June 30.
Author: David Hare
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Cast: Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll
Design: Bob Crowley (set and costume)
Producers: Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis and Nick Salmon for Playful Productions, Caro Newling for Neal Street Productions, Karl Sydow and Greg Ripley-Duggan for Hampstead Theatre
Read original story here

Jonathan Hyde and Daniel Rigby will lead the cast of Frost/Nixon at Sheffield Theatres. The play will run from February 21 to March 17, with press night on February 26.
Author: Peter Morgan
Director: Kate Hewitt
Producer: Sheffield Theatre
Read original story here

Following a run at Edinburgh’s Fringe, This Egg will return with a UK tour of family comedy show Me and My Bee, which tackles climate change and the disappearance of bees. Opening at the Southbank Centre on February 10, the production will then visit locations including Sheffield, Guildford, Doncaster, Great Yarmouth, Brighton, Gravesend, and Peterborough, before finishing at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff where it runs until June 30.
Devised by: Joe Boylan, Josie Dale-Jones and Greta Mitchell
Producer: This Egg

National Youth Theatre has announced its spring season, which includes Nessah Muthy’s The Host at St James Church Piccadilly from February 1 to 3. The season also includes The Fall by James Fritz at London’s Southwark Playhouse alongside Dennis Kelly’s DNA.

Casting has been announced for The Shadow Factory at Southampton Nuffield Theatres. It runs from February 7 to March 3, with press night on February 15.
Author: Howard Brenton
Director: Samuel Hodges
Cast: David Birrell, Catherine Cusack, Lorna Fitzgerald, Hilton McRae and Daniel York
Producer: Southampton Nuffield Theatres

A national tour of Great Expectations has been announced, opening at Malvern Theatres, Worcestershire, on February 8. It will visit locations including Guildford, Southend, Coventry, Bromley, and Exeter, where it closes on June 23.
Author: Ken Bentley, adapted from Charles Dickens
Director: Sophie Boyce Couzens
Cast: Nichola McAuliffe, Sean Aydon, Isla Carter, Edward Ferrow and Richard Earl
Producers: Tilted Wig Productions and Malvern Theatres

The Ovalhouse in London has announced its spring season, which includes the world premiere of Random Selfies by Mike Kenny. The season opens with Medea Electronica – a retelling of the myth of Medea which has been reimagined as a 1980s Prog Rock gig. The season also includes This Restless State, which is set in 2052 where Europe is ravaged by a continental war with a new referendum looming, and Coconut, a new comedy challenging the assumptions about Islam as which follows modern Muslim women looking for love.

 

Musicals

Nativity! The Musical has announced a Christmas run at London’s Eventim Apollo and a UK tour in 2018. After opening at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry on October 23 next year, Nativity! will then visit Liverpool, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Edinburgh, and Oxford, before finishing in London.
Author: Debbie Isitt (book, music, lyrics), Nicky Ager (music and lyrics)
Director: Debbie Isitt
Producers: Jamie Wilson, Entertainment One, Ramin Sabi and Belgrade Theatre Coventry.
Read original story here

Chicago is to return to the West End next year following a five-year absence. The Kander and Ebb musical will run at the Phoenix Theatre from March 26, and is booking until June 30.
Authors: John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (book and lyrics), Bob Fosse (book)
Director: Walter Bobbie
Choreographer: Ann Reinking
Producers: Barry and Fran Weissler
Read original story here

Dirty Dancing has announced a new tour for 2018, opening in Brighton. The musical opens at the Brighton Theatre Royal in September, before visiting Dartford, York, Stoke, Hastings, Southend, Birmingham, Preston, Wimbledon, Plymouth and Oxford. The creative team is yet to be announced.
Author: Eleanor Bergstein
Producers: Karl Sydow and Joye Entertainment in association with Lionsgate, Magic Hour Productions and Triple A Entertainment

Casting has been announced for new musical The Toyboy Diaries at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester. It runs January 18 to February 10.
Author: Simon Warne (book), Andy Collyer (music and lyrics), adapted from Wendy Salisbury
Director: Tania Azevedo
Cast: Johanne Murdock, Nicola Blackman, Matt Beveridge, Sharif Afifi, and Alistair Higgins
Producers: Hope Mill Theatre and Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment.

The full cast has been announced for new musical Eugenius at the Other Palace in London. Eugenius will run from January 22 until March 3.
Cast includes: Liam Forde, Laura Baldwin, Daniel Buckley, Ian Hughes, Scott Paige, Cameron Blakely, Shaun Dalton, Melissa James, Alexander Evans, and Alison Arnopp
Authors: Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins
Director: Ian Talbot
Producers: Warwick Davis and Kevin Wood

 

Other

Elf – The Musical starring Ben Forster is to be shown live on Channel 5 this Christmas. The production, currently running at the Lowry in Salford, will be broadcast on December 23, and repeated on Christmas Day.
Cast includes: Liz McClarnon, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin
Producer: Nine Lives Media
Read original story here

Bruce Forsyth’s life and career is to be celebrated with a special event at the London Palladium that will be broadcast on the BBC. Bruce: A Celebration will take place on February 21 next year, the day before what would have been his 90th birthday.
Read original story here

Casting has been announced for The Turn of the Screw by Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and English National Opera. Elgan Llyr Thomas and William Morgan will lead the cast, alongside Nadine Livingston, Rachael Lloyd, Janis Kelly and Sarah Pring. The opera runs from June 22 to 30 at Regent’s Park.
Authors: Benjamin Britten
Director: Timothy Sheader
Design: Soutra Gilmour (set), Jon Clark (lighting) Nick Lidster (sound)
Conductor: Toby Purser

Live at Zedel in Soho has announced its 2018 season, which will include Joanna Lumley, Sally Morgan and Dawn French. The Parkinson Show will return with Mike Parkinson, with Barrie Rutter as his first guest, while song writer Scott Alan begins a week-long residency with special guests including Alice Fearn, Sophie Evans, Matt Henry, Natasha Barnes, Amy Lennox and Marisha Wallace.

The programme has been announced for Beam 2018, a biennial showcase of new British musical theatre, at Theatre Royal Stratford East on March 1 and 2. The showcase will see 58 new musicals in development sampled, and 50 ideas for new musicals pitched by their writers. Musicals in development will include Bollywood Rose by Sumerah Srivastav and Ajay Srivastav, Christmas Already by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, The Wind Singer by Teresa Howard and Sarah Llewellyn, and Lucky Petra by Christopher Ash and Carl Miller.
Producers: Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments

Point of Echoes, a dance work about lighthouse keepers by choreographer Ben Wright and musician Stuart Warwick, will tour to village halls around the UK. It will open on February 9 at Leamington Spa, before visiting locations including Warwick, Falmouth, and Oxford. It will close on March 17 at Cardigan in Wales.
Producers: Bgroup and China Plate present

Spring, a piece which combines juggling and dance, will have its UK premiere at Cambridge Junction on February 7 and 8. It will then visit London, Bangor, and Oxford, where it runs on May 25.
Creators: Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley
Composer: Gabriel Prokofiev

 

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