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Production news round-up: T’Shan Williams to replace Seyi Omooba in The Color Purple and Tyrone Huntley to lead new LGBTQ+ musical

T'Shan Williams. Photo: Pamela Raith
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T’Shan Williams has been announced as the replacement for Seyi Omooba in the forthcoming production of The Color Purple. Williams will now play the role of Celie in the show, which runs at Curve in Leicester from June 28 to July 13, followed by a run at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Authors: Marsha Norman (book), Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray (music and lyrics)
Director: Tinuke Craig
Producers: Leicester’s Curve and the Birmingham Hippodrome

Back to the Future the Musical is to open at Manchester Opera House on February 20, 2020, for a 12-week season ahead of a West End transfer.
Authors: Bob Gale (book), Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard (music and lyrics)
Director: John Rando
Producers include: Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group and Gavin Kalin Productions

Back to the Future musical confirms 2020 premiere with planned Manchester and West End runs

Tyrone Huntley is to star in the world premiere of new LGBT+ musical The View UpStairs at Soho Theatre in London. The musical, about a young fashion designer who unknowingly purchases the former site of the 1970s gay bar UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, runs from July 18 to August 24.
Author: Max Vernon
Director: Jonathan O’Boyle
Choreographer: Fabian Aloise
Cast also includes: Andy Mientus, Declan Bennett, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Cedric Neal, John Partridge, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gary Lee, Joseph Prouse and Derek Hagen
Producers: Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger for Take Two Theatricals and Ken Fakler, with Creative House Productions and associate producers Ben Lockwood and Sue Marks

Tyrone Huntley to star in new LGBTQ+ musical The View Upstairs at Soho Theatre

Michael Howe is to play the lead role in Jerry Springer – the Opera. The musical runs at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester from August 8 to August 31.
Authors: Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas
Director: James Baker
Producer: Northern Ricochet

Come From Away has extended its run in the West End until 2020. The musical had previously been running at the Phoenix Theatre until September 14, but it is now booking until February 15, 2020.
Author: Irene Sankoff
Director: Christopher Ashley
Producers: Junkyard Dog Productions and Smith and Brant Theatricals

Musical Six is to embark on a UK tour, opening at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford this October. The production is currently running at the Arts Theatre in London, where it will continue alongside the tour.
Authors: Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
Directors: Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage
Producers: Kenny Wax, Global Musicals and George Stiles

Musical Six announces UK tour

Jenna Russell is to lead the company of The Bridges of Madison County at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. The UK premiere of the musical, adapted from Robert James Waller’s book, runs from July 13 to September 14, with press night on July 23.
Authors: Marsha Norman (book), Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics)
Director: Trevor Nunn


Tom Lister and Daniel Casey have been cast in a new tour of the comedy play Boeing Boeing. They will both appear in the touring production of the play, which last ran in the West End in 2007. The tour opens at Brighton Theatre Royal on September 4, and will visit locations across the UK until May 2, 2020.
Authors: Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans
Directors: Guy Unsworth
Producers: Dan Looney, Adam Paulden and Jason Haigh-Ellery for DLAP Entertainment

Tom Lister and Daniel Casey to star in Boeing-Boeing tour

Children’s show Oi Frog and Friends! will run at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End from November 29 to January 5, 2020. Prior to its West End premiere, Oi Frog and Friends! previews in Farnham and visits Norwich Playhouse before heading to Ipswich, New Wolsey Theatre, Hertford Theatre and the Rose Theatre, Kingston.
Authors: Kes Gray and Jim Field
Created for stage by: Emma Earle, Zoe Squire, Luke Bateman and Richy Hughes
Producer: Kenny Wax Family Entertainment

Environmental campaign Extinction Rebellion is to take up residency at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The movement will take over two spaces in the basement of the venue, curating a month of performance, visual art, films and documentaries themed around climate change. Other highlights in the Summerhall performance programme for 2019 include Cardboard CitizensBystanders, which will tell stories of the lives and deaths of homeless people.

Extinction Rebellion to take up residency at Summerhall during Fringe

Leeds Playhouse has announced its first season for when the venue reopens following a £16 million refurbishment. Charley MilesThere are No Beginnings will run in the theatre’s new studio space, the Bramall Rock Void, from October 11 to November 2. Other highlights include the return of Leeds Playhouse’s Furnace Festival in November, offering a first look at two projects in development; Jim Cartwright’s new play Northern Soul and Tess Seddon’s Amateur Politician.

Jermyn Street Theatre in London has announced its new season, which includes a revival of Somerset Maugham’s For Services Rendered, the world premiere of The Ice Cream Boys by Gail Louw, and artistic director Tom Littler’s production of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Other highlights include the London premiere of the acclaimed Watermill Theatre production of One Million Tiny Plays About Britain by Craig Taylor.

Susan Wokoma has been announced to play Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The production runs from June 28 to July 27. Press night is on July 5.
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Dominic Hill
Cast also includes: Amber James, Kieran Hill, Myra McFadyen, Remy Beasley, Gabrielle Brooks, Michael Elcock, Pierro Niel-Mee, Liz Crowther and Joshua Miles

Susan Wokoma to star in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Open Air Theatre


Emma Rice’s production of Wise Children is to be broadcast to cinemas around the UK. The play was filmed at the York Theatre Royal in March, and will be screened in more than 250 cinemas across the UK and Ireland from October 3.

The Shaw Theatre in London has announced a series of events celebrating pride this year, which include Blacktress UK presenting Take Up Space on July 2, which is an open-mic night showcasing LGBTQ+ poetry and performance. Other highlights include the London Gay Men’s Chorus Ensemble presenting Glad To Be Gay, as well as a performance of Rent from Last Minute Musicals.

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