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Production news round-up: Kwame Kwei-Armah reveals his first Young Vic season and Disney announces immersive Fantasia experience

Artwork from Walt Disney’s Fantasia
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This week’s production news includes Kwame Kwei-Armah’s first season as artistic director of the Young Vic in London, a new immersive experience from Disney at London’s Vaults and a return date for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre.


Kwame Kwei-Armah‘s first season as artistic director of the Young Vic will open with a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night. Shaina Taub has written the music and lyrics for the show, which was originally performed at the Public Theater in New York in 2016, and Kwei-Armah will co-direct with Oskar Eustis. The season also includes Danai Gurira’s The Convert, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and Things of Dry Hours, by Naomi Wallace.

Kwame Kwei-Armah reveals first season as Young Vic artistic director

Final casting has been announced for the West End transfer of the National Theatre’s Consent, which runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre from May 18 to August 11.
Author: Nina Raine
Director: Roger Michell
Cast includes: Clare Foster, Lee Ingleby and Thusitha Jayasundera
Producer: National Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions
Read original story here

Olivier award-winning Kinky Boots actor Matt Henry has been cast in The Two Noble Kinsmen at Shakespeare’s Globe. The play will run at the London venue from May 25 to June 30.
Authors: William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
Director: Barrie Rutter
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Killian Donnelly, Matt Henry and Amy Lennox, who will star in Kinky Boots. Photo: Matt Crockett
Matt Henry (centre) with Killian Donnelly and Amy Lennox. Photo: Matt Crockett

The Ovalhouse in London has announced its summer 2018 season, which includes Hidden Track Theatre’s Standard:Elite – an interactive theatre experience about class, privilege and social mobility. The season also includes Frozen Light’s The Isle of Brimsker, and Austerity and Me, which explores the struggle for survival against the violence of austerity. ThisEgg’s Me and My Bee and surround-sound experience Undersong also feature in the programme.

Sophie Cookson and Adam Gillen will join the previously announced Orlando Bloom in Killer Joe at Trafalgar Studios. It runs from May 18 to August 18.
Author: Tracy Letts
Director: Simon Evans
Cast also includes: Neve McIntosh, Steffan Rhodri
Producer: Emily Dobbs Productions and Empire Street Productions
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(l-r) Steffan Rhodri, Sophie Cookson, Adam Gillen and Neve McIntosh will join Orlando Bloom in Killer Joe

Curve is to stage the world premiere of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual, based on the book by Riaz Khan. The Leicester-based venue is staging the play from September 26 to October 6, with press night on October 3.
Author: Dougal Irvine
Director: Nikolai Foster
Design: Grace Smart (set and costumes) Tasha Taylor Johnson (sound design)

Misty at the Bush Theatre in London has extended its run from March 15 to April 27.
Author: Arinze Kene
Director: Omar Elerian
Producer: Bush Theatre

Misty review at the Bush Theatre, London – ‘intelligent and interrogative’


The National Theatre‘s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies is to return to the Olivier Theatre from February 14, 2019, and is currently booking until March 26. Janie Dee and Peter Forbes are to reprise their roles, with casting to be confirmed. The National has also announced a production of musical Hadestown, which features music, lyrics and a book by Anais Mitchell, and runs from November 2 to January 26. Further casting has also been announced for Exit the King, a new version by Patrick Marber, which will see Amy Morgan and Adrian Scarborough join the previously announced Indira Varma and Rhys Ifans.

Dates for return of National Theatre’s Follies confirmed

Six, a new pop musical about the wives of King Henry VII, has announced runs at the Norwich Playhouse and Cambridge Arts Theatre in July. Six will also run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from August 1 to 27, before running at the Arts Theatre in London from August 30 to September 23.
Directors: Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage
Producers: Kenny Wax and Global Musicals

Heathers – The Musical, based on the 1988 film which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, is to premiere at the Other Palace at London. It stars Carrie Hope Fletcher and runs from June 9 to August 4.
Authors: Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Director: Andy Fickman
Choreographer: Gary Lloyd
Producer: The Other Palace

The Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester has announced two musicals for 2018 including the UK premiere of Pasek and Paul’s A Christmas Story. A Christmas Story has a book by Joseph Robinette, and will be directed by Bronagh Lagan and choreographed by William Whelton. The Return of the Soldier, by Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, ran at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in 2014. It will be revived by the Hope Mill for a production later this year, running from September 6 to 29.

Hope Mill Theatre announces final shows for 2018 including UK premiere of Pasek and Paul musical

Rufus Hound and Roberta Taylor are to join the cast of a new musical charting the life of Dusty Springfield. Dusty premieres at the Theatre Royal Bath on June 23 before touring to Sheffield Lyceum, Newcastle Theatre Royal, and the Lowry in Salford, where it runs until July 28.
Author: Jonathan Harvey (book)
Director: Maria Friedman
Cast includes: Ishmail Aaron, Jenny Bolt, Alex Bowen, Esther Coles, Joelle Dyson, Joanna Francis, Paul Grunert, Ella Kenion, Adam Lyons, Lisa Mathieson, and Katharine Pearson
Producer: Eleanor Lloyd Productions in association with Tris Penna and Vicki Wickham


Broken Wings, a new musical based on the writings of Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran, is to premiere as a semi-staged production at the Haymarket Theatre in London from August 1 to 4.
Authors: Nadim Naaman (book, music and lyrics), Dana al Fardan (music and lyrics)
Director: Bronagh Lagan
Producer: Ali Matar

A new production of Into the Woods is to run at the Cockpit in London from May 23 to June 24, with press night on May 25.
Authors: James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim
Director: Tim McArthur
Producers: All Star Productions and Trilby Productions

John Wilson will conduct a concert version of West Side Story, starring Sierra Boggess as Maria, at this year’s BBC Proms, which will have two performances on August 11 at the Royal Albert Hall. The line-up also includes a performance of Bernstein’s On the Town, which Wilson will again conduct, on August 25. Elsewhere, the Proms programme will also include a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury in Alexandra Palace‘s restored Victorian Theatre.


An immersive production based on Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia is to run at the Vaults in London from July 3 to September 30. Sounds and Sorcery will feature a new recording from a 96-piece orchestra, under the musical direction of Stephen Higgins, as well as 3D projections to create a “multi-sensory experience”.
Director: Daisy Evans
Producer: Kieron Vanstone
Design: Kitty Callister, David Gregory (sound), Doug Foster (video), Jake Wiltshire (lighting)

Immersive show based on Disney’s Fantasia to run at London’s Vaults

Milton Keynes International Festival, which runs from July 20 to 29, has announced UK premieres from Morocco’s Groupe Acrobatique De Tanger, Holland’s Schweigman&, Chile’s Teatro Container, Australia’s Back to Back Theatre, and Belgium’s Theater Tol. Other highlights include the only UK performances of Dutch theatremaker and visual artist Dries Verhoeven’s Phobiarama following its London premiere at LIFT and the first English performances of Wind Resistance, a solo show created and performed by singer-songwriter Karine Polwart.
Producer: The Stables

Stroke survivors will take to the stage in a new dance theatre piece called Stroke Odysseys, which opens at the Place in London on May 18 and 19. It will then tour the UK until November 16, visiting locations including Eastleigh, Keswick, Oxford, Nottingham and Bristol.
Choreographer: Ben Duke
Music: Orlando Gough

Nottingham Playhouse has announced it is partnering with National Theatre Live for the first time to broadcast its forthcoming production of The Madness of King George III on November 20. The Alan Bennett play, starring Mark Gatiss, runs at the Nottingham theatre from November 2 to 24.

NT Live to broadcast Nottingham Playhouse’s The Madness of King George III

Nightclubbing, a music and live art performance piece inspired by an incident in 2015 when a group of young black women were refused entry to a London nightclub, is to run at the Camden People’s Theatre in London from May 8 to 12 before touring. It will also visit the Brighton Dome on May 25, Cambridge Junction on May 26, and Latitude Festival on July 13.
Author: Rachael Young
Design: Naomi Kuyck Cohen (set and costume), Nao Nagai (lighting), Mwen Rukandema and Leisha Thomas (sound)
Producer: Anna Smith

Scottish Opera in Glasgow has announced its 2018/19 season, which includes the world premiere of Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh’s Anthropocene, to be performed in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. Other highlights include Janacek’s Katya Kabanova directed by Stephen Lawless, a revival of Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Thomas Allen‘s staging of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The season also includes a promenade production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Paisley Opera House as well as performances at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Lammermuir Festival in East Lothian.