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Production news round-up: castings announced for Harry Potter play and English National Ballet reveals new season

This week in production news, new leading cast members have been announced for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Elsewhere, English National Ballet has announced its new season which will include a new production of Cinderella choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.


New lead casting for the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been announced. Jamie Ballard will take over the role of Harry Potter, with Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter and Joe Idris-Roberts as their son Albus Potter. Jonathan Case will join as Scorpius Malfoy. Thomas Aldridge and Rakie Ayola will continue in their roles as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The new cast starts performances on May 23.
Author: Jack Thorne
Director: John Tiffany
Producers: Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions
Read original story here [1]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Cast; Jamie Ballard, Rakie Ayola, Thomas Aldridge, Helen Aluko, Joe Idris-Roberts, Susie Trayling, Jonathan Case, and James Howard. Photo: Craig Sugden PhotographyThe Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Imperium, based on the Cicero trilogy of books by Robert Harris, is to transfer to the West End. The two-part stage adaptation will run at the Gielgud Theatre from June 14 to September 8.
Author: Mike Poulton
Director: Gregory Doran
Producers: RSC and Playful Productions
Read original story here [2]

The National Theatre’s production of Consent will transfer to the West End later this year for a run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. It will return with a revised cast – including Claudie Blakey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Heather Craney and Adam James – from May 18 to August 11. Press night will be on May 29.
Author: Nina Raine
Director: Roger Michell
Design: Hildegard Bechtler (set), Rick Fisher (lighting), John Leonard (sound), Dinah Collin (costumes)
Music: Kate Whitley
Producers: National Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions

National Theatre announces West End transfer for Consent [3]

Director Katie Mitchell is to make her Edinburgh International Festival debut this August as part of a residency by Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord. Mitchell is directing La Maladie de la mort, a new adaptation with Alice Birch of the Marguerite Duras novel. Peter Brook is appearing at the EIF for the first time since the 1950s with a new production with playwright Marie-Helene Estienne, The Prisoner, while Theatre Bouffes du Nord will also present a production of The Beggar’s Opera. The theatre programme also includes Waiting for Godot from Irish company Druid, Notes From the Field by Anna Deavere Smith and Home, a major new international co-commission for Edinburgh fringe regular Geoff Sobelle.
Read original story here [4]

The Bunker Theatre in London has announced its new season, which runs from May to August. The season opens with On The Buttons’ Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka, followed by shows selected as part of Breaking Out, a programme to champion emerging theatre, which include Poke in the Eye’s Libby’s Eyes, Sleepless’ Nine Foot Nine, and This Noise’s No One is Coming to Save You.

Tony and Olivier award-winning actor Shuler Hensley will star in a new production of Samuel D Hunter’s The Whale. It will now make its UK premiere at the Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio, opening on April 26 and running until June 2.
Director: Laurence Boswell
Producers: Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Ben Limberg, Joel Stillerman and Empire Street Productions
Read original story here [5]

A new version of Peter Shaffer’s Equus will run at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February 2019, before touring, as part of English Touring Theatre’s new season. Directed by Ned Bennett it is a co-production with TRSE. ETT’s season also includes a co-production with Tobacco Factory Theatres on Othello, directed by ETT artistic director Richard Twyman and touring from September.

Bryony Kimmings will present her first solo show in nearly a decade at Battersea Arts Centre later this year, called I’m a Phoenix, Bitch. It is part of the first season in BAC’s Grand Hall, which reopens in September after being destroyed by a fire three years ago. The season also includes Gecko’s Missing, a month-long residency by Daniel Kitson and Little Bulb’s Orpheus.

Battersea Arts Centre unveils first season in Grand Hall after fire [6]

Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit, a show about the friendship between a care home resident and a rabbit from space, is to tour the UK. It opens at Derby Theatre and visits Stratford in London, Milton Keynes, Greenwich Theatre in London, Maidenhead, Reading and Oxford, where it runs until June 9.
Devised by: Sabina Netherclift, Osnat Schmool and Filament Theatre Company
Director: Sabina Netherclift
Producers: Filament Theatre and Stratford Circus Arts Centre

Theatr Clwyd has announced Dick Whittington – The Puuurfect Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto to run at the theatre next Christmas, from November 23 to January 19.
Author: Christian Patterson
Director: Zoe Waterman
Cast includes: Phylip Harries
Producer: Theatr Clwyd

Sheffield Theatres’ production of The Full Monty is to embark on a final UK tour in 2018/19, opening at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham on September 3. Further tour dates include Chester, Dublin, Killarney, York, Bromley, Swindon, Birmingham, Darlington, Stoke, Norwich and Sheffield with more dates to be added.
Authors: David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers
Director: Rupert Hill
Producer: Sheffield Theatres

Casting has been announced for Love Me Now at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London. The play, which explores casual relationships and “hook-up culture”, begins previews on March 27 and runs until April 14, with press night on March 29.
Author: Michelle Barnette
Director: Jamie Armitage
Cast includes: Alistair Toovey, Helena Wilson, and Gianbruno Spena
Producer: Actors Touring Company and Tristan Bates Theatre

Helen Wilson, Gianbruno Spena, and Alistair Toovey in Love Me Now rehearsals. Photo: Helen Murray

Austentatious, an improvised comedy inspired by Jane Austen, has announced a new UK tour for Autumn 2018. It will open at the Brighton Dome on September 23 and visit locations including Winchester, Portsmouth, Ludlow, Hertford, Maidstone and Birmingham, where it runs until November 2.
Cast includes: Cariad Lloyd, Rachel Parris, Joseph Morpurgo, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Andrew Hunter Murray, Graham Dickson, Charlotte Gittins and Daniel Nils Roberts
Producer: Mick Perrin Worldwide

CentrE17 in Waltham Forest, London, has announced a season of political theatre which runs from March 15 to April 27. Highlights include new play How to Be a Londoner by comedian Steve Hili, a verbatim piece about the UK’s food banks, and The Fems, an exploration of gender culture.

The Tricycle Theatre in London has announced the return of its Mapping Brent festival for young people, following its inaugural year in 2017. Joining force with four community venues, the festival will deliver six new plays across a two-week period from April 6 to 21. These will include an immersive work around segregation by Natasha Nixon, Storylab by Olivier winning actor Jonathan Glew and Blanket by Chris Finnegan.

Children’s book Lotte’s War, by 82-year-old Lotte Moore, has been adapted for the stage. It will run at the Tabard Theatre in London from March 20 to 24.
Author and director: Nick Bromley
Producer: Tabard Theatre

Birmingham Hippodrome and learning disabled arts company Open Theatre Company have announced a production of The Twisted Tale of Hansel and Gretel. Premiering at the Hippodrome’s Patrick Centre from April 4 to 8, the show will then tour to the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, the Forest Arts Centre in Walsall and Malvern Theatres from April 11 to 18.
Director: Esther Simpson
Producer: Birmingham Hippodrome and Open Theatre Company


Dean John-Wilson is to star in the Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The King and I in the West End. Previews begin at the London Palladium on June 21, with press night on July 3. It is currently running until September 29.
Authors: Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics)
Director: Bartlett Sher
Cast also includes: Na-Young Jeon, Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles
Producers: Howard Panter for Trafalgar Entertainment Group, GWB Entertainment, BookMyShow, Tokyu Theatre Orb, Tulchin/Bartner and David Lazar in association with KHAM Inc.

Dean John-Wilson to star in West End The King and I [7]

Diana Vickers has taken over the lead role of rock musical Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus from Jessamy Stoddart, who has left to take on a TV role. The production runs from March 10 to 17 at the Other Palace in London.
Author: Sam Cassidy
Director: Arlene Phillips
Producer: The Other Palace


Christopher Wheeldon will choreograph a new production of Cinderella that will feature more than 90 dancers and is being billed as “the ballet spectacular of 2019”. The production is co-produced by English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall, where it will run in-the-round from June 6 to 16 next year. ENB’s season also includes a second showcase of all-female choreography following on from the She Said programme in 2016. She Persisted will be staged at Sadler’s Wells, running from April 2 to 13, 2019.
Read original story here [8]

The creators of La Soiree have announced they will bring a new comedy, circus and cabaret show that will run at the Roundhouse later this year. Club Swizzle features a line-up of acrobats, troubadours and cabaret queens led by host Reuben Kaye and backed by a live band. It runs from July 31 to August 26, with press night on August 3.
Producer: Brett Haylock

La Soiree creators announce London premiere of new circus and cabaret show [9]

A 60 minute film of British Asian dance company Akademi’s The Troth, described as a gripping wartime story of love and loss”, is to be streamed on the company’s Facebook page and YouTube channels from March 20 until May 31. The film was made by digital commissioning body The Space and recorded in front of a live audience at Leicester’s Curve in February.

Composer, performer and writer Dom Coyote has announced his first solo work, We Can Time Travel, which combines storytelling and gig theatre. The science-fiction piece will open at South Street Art in Reading on April 18 before running in Folkstone on April 20 and then transferring to Shoreditch Town Hall in London from April 24 to May 5.
Authors: Dom Coyote and Rich Rusk
Director: Rich Rusk

Border Tales, a dance-based exploration of multi-cultural life in the UK, is to tour the UK and internationally. The tour opens at the Albany in London and visits locations including Coventry, Leicester and Norwich throughout April and May.
Choreographer and director: Luca Silvestrini
Producer: Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance