Production news round-up: Almeida reveals new season and Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc to star in Company

Mel Giedroyc will appear in Company in the West End. Photo: Marco Vittur
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This week the Almeida Theatre in London announces its new season and The Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc has been cast in Sondheim’s Company. Other news includes the casting of performer Tracie Bennett and Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner in a London musical and a major new production of Manuel Puig’s novel Kiss of the Spider Woman.


A new play by Ella Hickson and a revival of Sophie Treadwell‘s Machinal feature in the new Almeida Theatre season. The season also includes the UK premiere of Clare Barron‘s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning play Dance Nation. It will run from August and be directed by Bijan Sheibani. Belgian company Ontroerend Goed’s co-production of £¥€$ (Lies), which ran at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, will transfer to the Almeida in July.

New Ella Hickson play and Sophie Treadwell revival lead Almeida Theatre 2018 season

The Menier Chocolate Factory in London has announced a major new production of Manuel Puig’s novel Kiss of the Spider Woman. It will run from March 8 to May 5, with press night on March 21.
Authors: Jose Rivera and Allan Baker
Director: Laurie Sansom
Cast includes: Samuel Barnett and Declan Bennett
Design: Paul Anderson (lighting), Philip Pinsky (sound)
Producers: Menier Chocolate Factory in association with Darren Bagert
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Full casting has been announced for the UK tour of James Graham’s This House. The political drama opens at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on February 23, before visiting locations including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Salford and Sheffield, where it runs until June 2.
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Cast includes: Ian Barritt, William Chubb, Giles Cooper, Stephen Critchlow, James Gaddas, Natalie Grady, Ian Houghton, David Hounslow, Marcus Hutton, Harry Kershaw, and Louise Ludgate
Producers: Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong

Casting has been announced for the world premiere of Barney Norris’ Nightfall, which runs at the Bridge Theatre in London from April 28 to June 3.
Director: Laurie Sansom
Cast: Ophelia Lovibond, Ukweli Roach and Sion Daniel Young
Producer: Bridge Theatre

Ophelia Lovibond has been cast in Barney Norris’ Nightfall at the Bridge Theatre in London

Martin Shaw and Maureen Lipman are to star in the West End premiere of The Best Man. It runs at the Playhouse Theatre from February 24 to May 12.
Author: Gore Vidal
Director: Simon Evans
Cast includes: Jack Shepherd, Jeff Fahey, Honeysuckle Weeks and Glynis Barber
Producer: Bill Kenwright
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The Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch has announced that its 2018 pantomime will be Jack and the Beanstalk. It will run from November 28 to January 6, 2019.
Producer: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

An adaptation of The Game of Love and Chai is to run at Tara Theatre in London before touring to the Lowry in Salford, the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse until May 5.
Author: Nigel Planer
Director: Jatinder Verma
Producer: Tara Arts

West Yorkshire Playhouse has announced Every Third Minute; a festival of “theatre, dementia and hope” curated by people living with dementia, opening with new stage adaptation of Still Alice. Other highlights include The Purple List, which explores the lives of two gay men, This Is Us, which presents new work from people with dementia, and The Nature of Forgetting by Theatre Re.

Sharon Small will star in Still Alice at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

Finding Nana, an autobiographical show about loss, is to tour the UK from February 7 to March 24. It will open at the Nottingham Playhouse and visit venues in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Northamptonshire.
Author: Jane Upton
Director: Katie Posner
Cast: Stacey Evans
Producer: New Perspectives in association with Lincolnshire One Venues

James Boal and Hollyoaks actor Andrew Still are to join the cast of Trainspotting Live for its UK tour and eight-week London season. The show visits locations including Belfast, Southampton, Cardiff and Leicester until March 17 before it runs at the Vaults in London from March 27 to May 20.
Author: Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson
Director: Adam Spreadbury-Maher in collaboration with Greg Esplin
Producers: The King’s Head Theatre and In Your Face Theatre

One-woman show How To Survive a Post Truth Apocalypse has announced a UK tour, opening at NST City on February 19. It will visit venues in London, Birmingham, Canterbury, Poole, Norwich and Stockton-on-Tees.
Author and performer: Francesca Beard
Director: Rob Watt
Producer: Tom MacAndrew

A new production of Tartuff has been announced for the West End. It will run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from May 25 to July 28.
Author: Moliere, adapted by Christopher Hampton
Director: Gerald Garutti
Producers: Oliver King for Wild Yak and Lee Menzies

Camden People’s Theatre in London has announced a new festival focusing on social class. Common People, created in response to a Labour Party report criticising a “class-shaped hole in the arts”, will run from April 17 to 28. Jackie Hagan‘s This Is Not A Safe Space will headline the festival, with other highlight to include The Class Project by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord, Chav by Kelly Green, Opal Fruits by Holly Beasley-Garrigan and Temporary by Libby Liburd.
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Jackie Hagan will feature in the Common People festival at the Camden People’s Theatre


The Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc will join Patti LuPone and Rosalie Craig in the forthcoming West End production of Company. The musical runs at the Gielgud Theatre from September 26 to December 22.
Director: Marianne Elliott
Author: Stephen Sondheim
Producers: Elliott and Harper, Catherine Schreiber, Grove Entertainment, Jujamcyn Theaters, LD Entertainment, David Mirvish, Aged in Wood Productions/Ricardo Hornos, Bob Boyett/Tom Miller, Bruno Wang Productions/Salman Al-Rashid, Across the Pond Theatricals/ Trio Theatricals and Ramin Sabi/Christopher Ketner
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Follies star Tracie Bennett and Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner will star in Ruthless! The Musical at London’s Arts Theatre. The musical runs from March 16 to June 23.
Authors: Marvin Laird (music), Joel Paley (book and lyrics)
Director: Richard Fitch
Cast includes: Harriet Thorpe, Lara Denning, and Kim Maresca
Producer: Evan Sacks, Darren Bagert, Adam Mackie, Kenneth Schur and Maxine Paul
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Caroline O’Connor is to star in Kander and Ebb’s The Rink at Southwark Playhouse. Currently starring on Broadway in Anastasia, O’Connor has appeared in productions such as Mack and Mabel, and Chicago.
Authors: John Kander and Fred Ebb (music and lyrics), terence McNally (book).
Director: Adam Lenson
Choreographer: Fabian Aloise
Producers: Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger
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20th Century Boy, a musical inspired by the life of glam rock artist Marc Bolan, will return to the stage to mark the 40th anniversary of the star’s death. The production will open in Guildford on March 8, before visiting locations including Blackpool, Bromley, Yeovil, Malvern, Kingston, Preston, High Wycombe and Chelmsford, where it runs until June 30.
Authors: Nicky Graham and Colin Giffin (book)
Director: John Maher
Cast includes: George Maguire
Producer: Great Brit Productions

George McGuire is to lead the cast of 20th Century Boy

The West End premiere of new British musical Miss Nightingale is to run at the Hippodrome Casino from March 21 to May 6.
Author and director: Matthew Bugg
Cast: Lauren Chinery, Oliver Mawdsley, Matthew Floyd Jones, Adam Langstaff, Tobias Oliver and Matthew Bugg
Producer: Mr Bugg Presents and The Hippodrome Casino

Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus, a new rock musical directed by Arlene Phillips, will run at the Other Palace in London from March 10 to 17.
Author: Sam Cassidy
Producer: The Other Palace

Anna Francolini and Gerard Horan will join previously announced Jonny Labey, Zizi Strallen and Will Young in the company for Strictly Ballroom The Musical.
Author: Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Craig Pearce
Director and choreographer: Drew McOnie
Producer: Global Creatures


Hyena, a show by all-female circus company Alula Cyr, is to tour the UK from March 1, opening in Bristol, to April 24. It will visit locations including Derby, Brighton, Folkestone, Newbury and Malvern.
Devised and performed by: Jessica Ladley, Lil Rice, and Fiona Thornhill
Director: Rosamond Martin
Composer: Ollie Clark
Design: Storm Athill (costume), Sarah Readman (lighting)
Producers: Lil Rice and Fiona Thornhill

Alula Cyr will be touring Hyena around the UK

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative has announced ten dance works which will tour to village halls around the UK. These include May Contain Food, May Contain You from Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, which runs from Feb 23 to March 28, Splitmilk’s The Little Love Cabaret and Joan Cleville’s Plan B For Utopia.