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Production news round-up: Beginning gets a West End transfer and Kinky Boots will tour the UK

Sam Troughton and Justine Mitchell in Beginning, photo: Johan Persson
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This week in production news, David Eldridge's Beginning is to transfer to the West End's Ambassadors Theatre and Kinky Boots musical will tour the UK while it continues to run at the Adelphi Theatre.

Plays

The National Theatre’s Beginning will transfer to the West End as the first production to run at Ambassadors Theatre following the closure of Stomp. Beginning will run for 10 weeks form January 15 to March 24 with press night on January 23.
Author: David Eldridge
Director: Polly Findlay
Design: Fly Davis (set), Jack Knowles (lighting), Paul Arditti (sound)
Producer: National Theatre

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An all-female cast has been announced for Les Enfants Terribles’ new immersive theatre show, Inside Pussy Riot, which tells the story of Pussy Riot co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova. The 18-strong cast includes Alex Gilbert, Alice Ivor, Asha Reid and Beatrice Scirocci, and the production will run from November 14 to December 24 at Saatchi Gallery in London.
Authors: Nadya Tolokonnikova and Oliver Lansley
Director: Christa Harris
Producer: Les Enfants Terribles, Alexandrina Markvo and Nadya Tolokonnikova

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Lindsay Posner and Damian Cruden are to direct four Shakespeare plays – Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Richard III – at York’s new pop-up Shakespearean theatre, the Rose. The season will run next summer from June 25 to September 2.

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The Watermill Theatre is to stage the first major revival of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem as part of its 2018 season. It will be directed by Lisa Blair. The season also includes musical Teddy, directed by Eleanor Rhode, a new black comedy about Victorian murderers Burke and Hare, a revival of the Rivals and a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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The Comedy About a Bank Robbery will extend its West End run until November 2018 with new cast members including Samuel Fogell, Holly Sumpton and Laurence Pears. Showing at the Criterion Theatre, the production was previously booking until April 2018.
Authors: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields
Directors: Mark Bell and Nancy Zamit
Producers: Kenny Wax and Stage Presence

Performance artist Taylor Mac and a new opera by playwright Enda Walsh feature as part of the Barbican’s 2018 theatre and dance programme. Mac will bring Pulitzer-Prize nominated show A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act to the London venue in June, while the season also includes Walsh’s opera The Second Violinist, which has Donnacha Dennehy. It also features the world premiere of an opera version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, an adaptation of the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock and the return of Complicite’s The Encounter.

Full casting has been announced for the premiere of Night at the Bombay Roxy, an immersive jazz production taking place in Indian restaurant Dishoom in Kensington. The cast will include Raj Aich, Vikash Bhai, Seema Bowri, Manish Gandhi and Sophie Khan Levy.
Director: Eduard Lewis
Producer: Swamp Studios

Bethnal Green Town Hall in London is to host an immersive theatre experience, described as “part theatre and part game.” The Grift is a site-specific experience that gives its audience the chance to meet characters and solve clues. It will take place from January 23 to March 25.
Author/director: Tom Salamon
Producer: Danielle Tarento

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Children’s theatre company Oily Cart has created three versions of its new Christmas show, Hush-a-Bye. The production, which runs at ArtsDepot in Deptford in December prior to a UK tour, includes a version for babies and toddlers, one for children aged three to five and a relaxed version for children aged three to eighth who have special educational needs.
Author: Tim Webb
Director: Anna Newell
Design: Jens Cole and Deborah Williams
Music: Max Reinhardt and Kadialy Kouyate
Producer: Tim Webb for Oily Cart

The Open House, at Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio, will star Teresa Banham, Greg Hicks, Lindsay Campbell, Crispin Letts and Ralph Davis. The production runs from November 23 to December 23, with press night on Wednesday 29.
Author: Will Eno
Director: Michael Boyd
Producers: Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio and Print Room at the Coronet

Til We Meet in England is to run at Safehouse in Peckham, London, from November 6 to December 2. The production brings together Elizabeth Inchbald’s The Massacre with live music and audience engagement.
Author: Elizabeth Inchbald
Director: Rebecca McCutcheon
Producer: Emily Briselden-Waters and Rebecca McCutcheon

Shadows, a play exploring the experiences of black inmates in a Birmingham prison, is to show at Theatre Technis in London from December 5 to 7. The production delves into the problematic interplay of race, crime, family and culture.
Author: Carguil Lloyd George Webley
Director: Kevin Michael Reed
Producer: Squire Lane Theatrical

The world premiere of Robin Hooper’s new play, Foul Pages, will take place at the Hope Theatre in London as part of its spring season. It will be directed by artistic director Matthew Parker and will run from February 20 to March 17. The season also includes Louise Jameson and Nigel Fairs’ My Gay Best Friend, a double bill from Pennyworth Productions and Tim Luscombe’s Pig.

The cast has been announced for Great Expectations at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Joshua Asare and Maryam Grace star in the production, alongside Sarah Thom, Christopher God, Peter Wicks and Liam Bewley. It runs from December 12 to January 6.
Author: Tom Crowley (adaptation)
Producers: Crowley and Co and the Heritage Arts Company

Musicals

Kinky Boots is to tour the UK next year while it continues to run at the West End at the Adelphi Theatre. The tour will open in Northampton, where the story is set, on September 19 and will tour until March 2019. It will show at locations including Wolverhampton, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Author: Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics), Harvey Fierstein (book)
Director: Jerry Mitchell
Producers include: Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer and Playful Productions

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David Thaxton will return to Les Miserables to play Javert, a role he last played in 2014. He joins the West End cast from January 22. The current company also includes Killian Donnelly and Carley Stenson.
Authors: Claude-Michel Schoenberg (music), Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel (book), Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics)
Directors: Trevor Nunn, John Caird
Producer: Cameron Mackintosh

Amelia Lily is to join the cast of Shrek the Musical, sharing the role of Fiona with the previously announced Laura Main. The production is touring from December 12 to December 18 2018, with Lily joining the cast from April.
Author: Jeanine Tesori (music), David Lindsay-Abaire (book and lyrics)
Director: Nigel Harman
Producers: Neal Street Productions and Playful Productions with Ron Kastner, Saracen Films, Tulchin/Bartner Productions, Gavin Kalin, Glass Half Full Productions/Just For Laughs Theatricals, Lee Menzies and Mark Cartwright

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Lucie Jones, Hugh Maynard, Gemma Sutton and Michael Xavier are to join Robert Lindsay in the cast for the concert performance of A Christmas Carol. It will show at Lyceum Theatre in London on December 11 and 18.
Authors: Alan Menken (music), Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics), Mike Ockrent (book)
Director: Shaun Kerrison
Conductor: Freddie Tapner
Producer: London Musical Theatre Orchestra

Other

Simon Callow is to release a debut Christmas album, combining his adaptation of A Christmas Carol with traditional carols performed by brass group The Brighouse and Rastrick band. It will be released on December 1 to mark 175 years since the novel was self-published by Charles Dickens.
Producer: Island Records

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Adult pantomime Snow White and the Seven Poofs is to run at the Leicester Square Theatre from December 15 to January 7, excluding December 24, 25 and 26.
Producer: SG Productions

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