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Production news round-up: Casting announced for A Spoonful of Sherman tour and The Grinning Man extends run

Louis Maskell in The Grinning Man. Photo: Seamus Ryan
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This week, casting is announced for the UK tour of A Spoonful of Sherman – a musical celebrating the composers of Mary Poppins. In plays, full casting has been announced for Summer and Smoke at the Almeida Theatre in London and for Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.


Sophie-Louise Dann is to lead the cast of a new tour celebrating the career of the Sherman brothers, who wrote the music for Mary Poppins. A Spoonful of Sherman will also star Jenna Innes, Glen Facey, Mark Read and Ben Stock. It is due to open at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge on February 14, before touring to venues including Darlington Hippodrome and Windsor Theatre Royal.
Author: Robert J Sherman
Director: Stewart Nicholls
Producers: United Theatrical and Musicworld (UK)
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Musical The Grinning Man has extended its London run by two months. The show, playing at the Trafalgar Studios, had initially been booking to February 17, but will now run until April 14. The musical stars Louis Maskell.
Authors: Carl Grose, Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler
Director: Tom Morris
Producers: Bristol Old Vic, Trafalgar Entertainment Group, Eilene Davidson, Richard O’Brien, David Adkin and Neil Laidlaw
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Full casting has been announced for Summer in Smoke at the Almeida Theatre in north London. Joining the previously announced Patsy Ferran will be Seb Carrington, Nancy Crane, Eric MacLennan, Forbes Masson, Matthew Needham, Tok Stephen and Anjana Vasan. It runs from February 24 to April 7, with press night on March 7.
Author: Tennessee Williams
Director: Rebecca Frecknall
Design: Tom Scutt (set), Lee Curran (lighting), Carolyn Downing (sound)
Music: Angus McRae
Casting: Julia Horan
Producer: Almeida Theatre
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Anita Dobson and Shala Nyx are to join the cast of The Shadow Factory at Nuffield Southampton Theatres. It runs from February 7 to March 3, with press night on February 15.
Author: Howard Brenton
Director: Samuel Hodges
Cast includes: David Birrell, Catherine Cusack, Lorna Fitzgerald, Hilton McRae and Daniel York
Producer: Nuffield Southampton Theatre

Full casting has been announced for Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. Previews begin on April 21 and the show runs until September 21 with press night on May 1. Raphael Sowole and Charlotte Josephine join the previously announced Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick.
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Erica Whyman
Full cast: Charlotte Josephine, Raphael Sowole, Afolabi Alli, Donna Banya, Stevie Basaula, Ishia Bennison, Katy Brittain, Raif Clarke, Beth Cordingly, Paul Dodds, Josh Finan, Andrew French, Mariam Haque, Michael Hodgson, John Macaulay, Tom Padley, Sakuntala Ramanee, and Nima Taleghani
Producer: RSC

Crimes Under the Sun by theatre company New Old Friends will embark on a UK tour, opening at Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov studio on February 13. It will then tour to locations including Middlesborough, Swansea, Durham, Leeds and Lancaster, before finishing at Fife on May 27.
Author: New Old Friends
Director: James Farrell
Cast: Heather Westwell, Jonny McClean, Feargus Woods Dunlop, Jill Myers
Producer: New Old Friends

A new stage adaptation of ghost story Turn of the Screw is to embark on a UK tour, beginning at the Mercury Theatre Colchester on February 23. It will visit locations including Leeds, Portsmouth, Worthing, Eastbourne, and Cardiff, where it will run until May 26.
Author: Tim Luscombe
Director: Daniel Buckroyd
Producer: Dermot McLaughlin

Hollyoaks actor James Sutton is to star in Rope at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Sutton, best known for playing John Paul McQueen in the soap, will star in thriller Rope alongside Janet Amsden, Cara Chase, Sam Jenkins-Shaw, George Kemp, Fred Lancaster, Nico Pampare and Phoebe Sparrow. It runs from February 15 to March 3, before transferring to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich from March 7 to 17.
Author: Patrick Hamilton
Director: Douglas Rintoul
Producer: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich

Supported by Complicite, theatre company Kandinsky will bring its production of Still Ill back to the New Diorama Theatre in London. The show, which tackles psychosomatic illness and Functional Neurological Disorder will run from January 16 to 27.
Author: Devised from material by Lauren Mooney, Al Smith and James Yeatman
Director: James Yeatman
Producer: Lauren Mooney

Full casting has been announced for the world premiere of Again at Trafalgar Studios in London. It runs from February 6 to March 3, with press night on February 9.
Author: Stephanie Jacob
Director: Hannah Price
Cast: Rosie Day, Chris Larkin, Natasha Little and Charles Reston
Producer: Mongrel Thumb

Dylan Allcock, Ged Forrest, Rachel Harper and Laura Kirman have been cast in The Grift, an immersive experience taking place in Bethnal Green Town Hall in east London. Described as part theatre part game, the production also features Alastair Kirton, Daniel Millar, Kevin Moore and Mark Oosterveen. It runs from January 23 to March 25.
Author/director: Tom Salamon
Producer: Danielle Tarento


Gershwin musical An American in Paris is to be broadcast in cinemas worldwide later this year, following its closure in the West End. The show played its last performance at the Dominion Theatre on January 6, and will now be shown in cinemas on May 16. It will be distributed by Trafalgar Releasing.
Authors: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin (music and lyrics), Craig Lucas (book)
Director/choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon
Cast includes: Leanne Cope, Robert Fairchild

A one-woman show performed by Australian singer and actor Bernadette Robinson is to visit Wilton’s Music Hall in London. Songs For Nobodies will run from March 21 to April 7.
Author: Joanna Murray-Smith
Director: Simon Phillips
Producer: Wilton’s Music Hall

[Foreign Affairs] theatre company will be presenting an evening of translated work from Mandarin, Japanese, and Finish writers. The extracts will be performed at the Rose Lipman Building in London on January 19 and 20.
Authors include: Gu Lei, Izumi Kyoka and Marie Kajava
Producer: [Foreign Affairs]

Giffords Circus is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus with a UK premiere tour of its new show My Beautiful Circus. The show will open on May 4 at Fennels Farm, Stroud, with press night on June 28 at Chiswick House and Gardens, London. It will also visit locations including Oxford, Burford and Wiltshire before finishing in Stroud on September 30.

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