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Production news round-up: Casting announced for Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! and Michael Longhurst announces first Donmar Warehouse season

This week’s production news round-up includes casting for Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! and news that Katharine McPhee is to leave the musical Waitress on June 15. Other news includes Michael Longhurst’s first season as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in London and English National Opera’s new season.


Katharine McPhee is to leave the musical Waitress, with her final performance on June 15. The musical is booking at the Adelphi Theatre until October 19.
Authors: Sara Bareilles (music and lyrics) and Jessie Nelson (book)
Director: Diane Paulus
Producers include: American Repertory Theatre, Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick

Smash star Katharine McPhee to lead UK cast of Waitress [1]

Janie Dee, Joanna Riding and Hadley Fraser will star in a concert performance of Carousel at London’s Cadogan Hall in London on May 19. Riding and Dee, who are both currently appearing in Follies at the National Theatre, will reprise the roles of Julie Jordan and Carrie Pipperidge respectively, having last played the parts 27 years ago in the NT’s production of the musical, and Fraser will play Billy Bigelow.
Authors: Rodgers and Hammerstein
Conductor: Alex Parker
Producers: Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger for Take Two Theatricals and Quick Fantastic
Read original story here [2]

Beverley Knight, Clive Rowe and Adrian Lester are among the multiple guest actors announced to play the role of Daddy Brubeck in Sweet Charity at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The production will run from April 6 to June 8, with Shaq Taylor playing Daddy Brubeck from April 6 to 13, followed by Lester from April 15 to 27 then Le Gateau Chocolat during the week beginning April 29. Knight will play the role during the week beginning May 6, followed by Rowe for the week beginning May 13.
Authors: Neil Simon (book), Cy Coleman (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics)
Director: Josie Rourke
Producer: Donmar Warehouse

Beverley Knight, Clive Rowe and Adrian Lester to guest star in Sweet Charity at the Donmar [3]

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical will return to the stage for a two-year run in the West End, following its premiere at Leicester’s Curve in 2015 and run at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2017. It will return for a run at the Ambassadors Theatre from June 15 to October 12.
Authors: Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary
Director: Luke Sheppard
Choreographer: Rebecca Howell
Producers: Anthony Clare, Ramin Sabi, Knickerbockerglory, Mark Puddle, and Curve
Read original story here [4]

Casting has been announced for On Your Feet!, a musical based on the life of singer Gloria Estefan. Broadway star Christie Prades will play Estefan in the musical, which premieres at Curve in Leicester from June 3 to June 8, before transferring to the London Coliseum, where it run from June 14 to August 31.
Author: Alexander Dinelaris (book)
Director: Jerry Mitchell
Choreographer: Sergio Trujillo
Cast also includes: George Ioannides, Madalena Alberto, Karen Mann, Philippa Stefani, Hollie Cassar, Francisco Del Solar, Katie Dunsden, Eduardo Enrikez, Laura Friedrich Tejero, Denzel Giskus, Francesca Lara Gordon, Yonly Leyva Desdunes, Elia Lo Tauro, Martin McCarthy, Alicia Mencía, Ciro Lourencio Meulens and Carl Patrick
Producers: Jamie Wilson, with Colin Ingram and Peter Kane for InTheatre, Curve and Marc David Levine

Broadway star to lead UK cast of Gloria Estefan’s On Your Feet! [5]

Olivier award-winning performer Alex Jennings has been announced to join the cast of Tony-winning musical The Light in the Piazza, which runs at the Royal Festival Hall in London from June 14 to July 5.
Authors: Adam Guettel (music and lyrics) and Craig Lucas (book)
Director: Daniel Evans
Cast includes: Simbi Akande, Danny Becker, Jordan Castle, Nicholas Duncan, Chlöe Hart, Molly Lynch, Rhona McGregor, Tom Partridge, Monica Swayne and Matthew Woodyatt
Producers: John Berry and Anthony Lilley for Scenario Two Ltd

Michael Jackson tribute show Thriller Live has extended its run in the West End until April 2020. The show features music by Jackson and the Jackson Five, and runs at the Lyric Theatre.
Director and choreographer: Gary Lloyd
Producers: Derek Nicol and Paul Walden for Flying Music

Thriller Live extends West End run until 2020 [6]


Michael Longhurst has announced his first season as artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, which includes plays by Alice Birch, Caryl Churchill, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and David Greig. The first production in the season will be a revival of Greig’s Europe, directed by Longhurst, followed by the UK premiere of Appropriate by Jacobs-Jenkins, which will be directed by Ola Ince and will star Monica Dolan. Other highlights in the season includes the full-length premiere of new play [Blank] by Birch, directed by Maria Aberg, and a revival of Churchill’s Far Away.

Michael Longhurst’s first season at the Donmar to feature plays by Alice Birch and Caryl Churchill [7]

Emma Rice’s Wise Children has announced it will adapt the Enid Blyton book Malory Towers for its second production. It will run from July 18 to October 5, premiering in Bristol before touring to Cambridge, York, Exeter, Manchester and Oxford.
Author and director: Emma Rice
Producers: Wise Children and York Theatre Royal and in association with Bristol Old Vic
Read original story here [8]

Following a run at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate Theatre, a stage adaptation of Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch is to transfer to London’s West End, running at the Vaudeville Theatre from July 24 to September 8.
Author: Emma Reeves
Director: Theresa Heskins
Producer: Royal and Derngate

East Anglia’s Ink Festival has announced an event in London called Feast from the East, which will include a selection of short plays. Running at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London from May 7 to 18, highlights include Richard Curtis‘ play Another Suitcase in Another Hall and Curtis’ daughter Scarlett’s play Wellingtons. The line-up also includes That’s Great! by Shaun Kitchener, Mixed Up by James McDermott and Dan Allum’s Bus Stop.

The Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, London, has announced its May to August 2019 season, which includes a revival of Simon StephensCountry Music directed by Scott Le Crass. Other highlights include a a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s classic in Othello: Remixed by Intermission Theatre Company’s writer and director Darren Raymond and Sexy Lamp by Katie Arnstein.

Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley and Damian Lewis are among the performers lined up to appear, unrehearsed, in a murder-mystery production at London’s Park Theatre. Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] will feature a different guest performer each night, who will join a rehearsed ensemble of a scripted murder mystery play, having not rehearsed, received any direction or seen the script prior to performance. The production is being presented in association with comedy producers Avalon to raise money for Park and runs from July 15 to 27 before transferring to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from July 31 to August 26.
Cast also includes: John Bishop, Catherine Tate, Tim Vine and Ruby Wax, as well as Clive Anderson, Gyles Brandreth, Marcus Brigstocke, Simon Callow, Ronan Keating, Maureen Lipman, Juliet Stevenson and Meera Syal

Gillian Anderson and Damian Lewis among stars appearing in Park Theatre murder mystery show [9]

Venue details and the director have been announced for Does My Bomb Look Big in This? The play will open at Tara Arts in London, where it runs from April 30 to May 4, before visiting South Street Arts Centre in Reading, Soho Theatre in London and Luton Libraries, where it runs until June 11.
Author: Nyla Levy
Director: Mingyu Lin
Cast includes: Nyla Levy
Producers: Tamasha and Nyla Levy

New Perspectives’ adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is to receive a West End transfer to Trafalgar Studios from September 3 to October 12.
Author: Gbolahan Obisesan
Director: Jack McNamara
Design: Amelia Jane Hankin
Producer: New Perspectives

Casting has been announced for a revival of British musical The Hired Man. The production will open at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, where it runs from April 27 to May 18, before transferring to Hull Truck Theatre, where it runs from May 23 to June 15, and Oldham Coliseum, where it runs from June 20 to July 6.
Author: Howard Goodall
Director: Douglas Rintoul
Cast includes: Jon Bonner, Lloyd Gorman, TJ Holmes, Lucy Keirl, Lara Lewis, Sufia Manya, Samuel Martin, Lauryn Redding, Tom Self and James William-Pattison
Producers: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Hull Truck Theatre in association with Oldham Coliseum Theatre


Wayne McGregor and Emma Rice will make their English National Opera directing debuts as part of the company’s new season, in which women will make up the majority of directors for the first time. As part of a series of four different operas based on the Orpheus myth, McGregor will direct a production of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, featuring Sarah Connolly and Sarah Tynan, and Rice will direct Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, starring Willard White and Lucia Lucas. Completing the series, Daniel Kramer will direct The Mask of Orpheus and Netia Jones will direct a mixed-media production of Philip Glass’ Orphée.

English National Opera announces programme of new work dominated by female directors [10]