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Production news round-up: New cast announced for Tina Turner musical and Maggie Smith to return to the stage in one-woman play

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe has been cast in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
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This week’s production news includes a new cast for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical and a show at London’s Bridge Theatre featuring Maggie Smith in her first theatre role in 12 years. Other news includes a new children’s musical based on Dr Seuss story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Chichester Festival Theatre’s latest season.


Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Ashley Zhangazha have been announced to join the cast of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical from April 15. The production is currently booking at the Aldwych Theatre until December 21.
Authors: Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast also includes: Irene-Myrtle Forrester, Howard Gossington, Oscar Batterham and Maria Omakinwa
Producers: Stage Entertainment, Joop van den Ende and Tali Pelman, in association with Tina Turner

New cast announced for Tina Turner musical

Jason Manford is to star in a new production of the Kander and Ebb musical Curtains, which will tour the UK later this year. It opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on October 4, before touring the UK until April 2020, running at 14 other locations including Manchester, Cardiff, Sunderland, Glasgow and Leicester.
Authors: John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics) and Rupert Holmes (book)
Director: Paul Foster
Choreographer: Alistair David
Design: David Woodhead (set), Gabriella Slade (costume), Tim Mitchell (lighting) and Tom Marshall (sound)
Producers: Dan Looney, Adam Paulden and Jason Haigh-Ellery for DLAP entertainment
Read original story here

A stage musical based on the Dr Seuss story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! will tour the UK for the first time later this year. It opens at the New Wimbledon Theatre on November 1, and will then visit Glasgow, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham before ending in Salford, where it runs from December 10 to January 5.
Authors: Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason
Producers: Simon Friend, Running Subway Productions, Gavin Kalin and Phil McIntyre Entertainments

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical to tour UK in 2019

French-Canadian stage and screen star Audrey Brisson is confirmed to play altruist Amelie Poulain in the UK’s first musical adaptation of the film Amelie, which will run at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury from April 11 to May 18 ahead of a UK tour from May 22 to September 21.
Authors: Hem’s Daniel Messé (music), Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé (lyrics) and Craig Lucas (book)
Director: Michael Fentiman
Producers: Hartshorn – Hook Productions, Selladoor Productions, Watermill Theatre and Broadway Asia

Union J’s Jaymi Hensley is to star in a tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It opens in Windsor on February 20 and tours until July 20, visiting locations including Crawley, Edinburgh, Chester and Darlington.
Authors: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics)
Director/producer: Bill Kenwright

Jaymi Hensley will star in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!


Maggie Smith will return to the stage for the first time in 12 years to perform in a new one-woman play called A German Life, based on the life of Brunhilde Pomsel, personal secretary to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. A German Life will premiere at the Bridge Theatre in London, running from April 6 to May 11. Press night will be on April 12.
Author: Christopher Hampton
Director: Jonathan Kent
Producer: The Bridge Theatre

Maggie Smith to return to stage after 12 years for London play

Noises Off, a comedy about a company of actors, is to return to the Lyric Hammersmith in London after nearly 40 years. It will run from June 27 to July 27.
Author: Michael Frayn
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Design: Max Jones
Producer: Lyric Hammersmith
Read original story here

Sophie Melville and Erin Doherty have been cast in Wolfie at Theatre503 in London. The play, which follows the story of twins separated at birth, runs from March 20 to April 13, with press night on March 25.
Author: Ross Willis
Director: Lisa Spirling
Producer: Theatre503

Nottingham Playhouse‘s production of Tony’s Last Tape, a production based on the diaries of the former parliamentarian Tony Benn, is to premiere in London at the Omnibus Theatre. It will run from April 2 to 20.
Author: Andy Barrett
Director: Giles Croft
Producer: Excavate

Chichester Festival Theatre is introducing a new spiegeltent venue next to its festival theatre for its 2019 season, where an immersive production of Roy Williams’ Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, which is set in a pub, will be staged as well as cabaret and music events. Other highlights in the theatre’s season include Tim Firth’s musical This Is My Family, the cast of which includes James Nesbitt, Sheila Hancock and Clare Burt. Plays include William Nicholson’s Shadowlands, starring Hugh Bonneville and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and a production of Macbeth starring John Simm and Dervla Kirwan.

Chichester Festival Theatre to build spiegeltent for season featuring Hugh Bonneville, Sheila Hancock and John Simm

Wilton’s Music Hall in London has announced its 2019 summer season, which includes a restaging of Kenneth MacMillan’s version of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Other highlights include Joy Wilkinson’s play The Sweet Science of Bruising and Patricia Highsmith‘s The Talented Mr Ripley.

The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton has announced a season of work about self-care called Radical Softness, which runs from March 2 to 7. Highlights include FK Alexander‘s Violence, which takes place at the Attenborough Centre for The Creative Arts,  Willy Hudson‘s debut solo show Bottom and To Care by Louisa Robbin.


Biennial festival Transform 19, which takes place in Leeds and runs from April 24 to May 4 and is run in partnership with Leeds 2023 and Leeds Playhouse, has announced its programme. Highlights include a performance charting the stories of student protests in Brazil called Where It Breaks It Burns and a pop-opera hosted in a warehouse called in An Atypical Brain Damage.

A queer festival of theatre, cabaret, drag, burlesque and comedy called 96 Festival is to run at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham from February 20 to March 31. The festival is headlined by Sarah Chew, who performs Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran, with other highlights including productions Republica and The Morning After the Life Before.

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