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Production news round-up: Aisha Jawando to take over title role in Tina Turner musical and Roxana Silbert unveils first Hampstead Theatre season

Aisha Jawando as Tina Turner in Tina – The Tina Turner musical. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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Aisha Jawando will take over the title role in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical from October 8, as current star Nkeki Obi-Melekwe moves to the Broadway production. Jawando has performed in the musical since its premiere in London in April 2018, originally playing Alline Bullock – Turner’s sister – in the show.
Authors: Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Producers: Stage Entertainment, Joop van den Ende and Tali Pelman, in association with Tina Turner

Aisha Jawando to take over lead role in Tina Turner musical

Full casting has been announced for the West End production of Mary Poppins, which runs at the Prince Edward Theatre from October 23 to March 29. The new cast join the previously announced Zizi Strallen in the title role, Charlie Stemp as Bert, Joseph Millson as George Banks and Petula Clark.
Authors: Richard M Sherman, Robert B Sherman, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (music and lyrics) and Julian Fellowes
Directors: Matthew Bourne and Richard Eyre
Choreography: Matthew Bourne
Cast includes: Amy Griffiths, Claire Moore, Claire Machin, Jack North, Barry James, Yves Adang, Lydia Bannister, Angeline Bell, Lydia Boulton, Matt Cox, Adam Davidson and Katie Deacon
Producers: Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions

Musik by Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe is to transfer to London following its run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It will run at Leicester Square Theatre from September 3 to 7.
Cast: Frances Barber
Producer: Cahoots Theatre Company

New casting has been announced for The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End from September 9.
Authors: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh
Director: Hal Prince
Cast includes: Josh Piterman, Britt Lenting, Richard Woodford, Kelly Mathieson, Ross Dawes, Jacinta Mulcahy, Paul Ettore Tabone, Georgia Ware, Scott Davies, Danny Whitehead and Bridget Costello
Producers: Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Ltd

Waitress has announced an extension of its run at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End. The production is now booking to January 4, 2020.
Author: 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

A musical adaptation of Noel Coward’s Me and the Girls is to run at Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds from September 10 to 14, before transferring to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre from September 17 to 21.
Author: Richard Stirling
Director and choreographer: Stewart Nicholls
Cast includes: James Gaddas, Nicola Bryan, Jessica Brydges, Stephanie Cremona, Lara Lewis, Natalie Quarry, Lydia Shaw, Tom Self and Tom Vercnocke
Producer: Evergreen


Hampstead Theatre‘s new artistic director Roxana Silbert has unveiled six premieres as part of her inaugural season. The season features writers who have never written for Hampstead before, and opens with The King of Hell’s Palace, by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and directed by Michael Boyd, running from September 5 to October 12. Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire follows, which receives its European premiere at the theatre. Blanche McIntyre directs.

Roxana Silbert unveils inaugural Hampstead Theatre season

London’s New Diorama Theatre is to curate New York theatre 59E59’s Brits Off Broadway season in 2020, which aims to showcase innovative work from the UK. The announcement forms part of the New Diorama’s latest season, which also includes the world premiere of The Stage Edinburgh Award-winning company Breach Theatre’s alternative Christmas show Joan of Leeds, which runs from December 3 to 21. The season also includes the world premieres of Lulu Raczka’s Antigone by new company Holy What, and the PappyShow’s Wait Til the End.

London’s New Diorama to curate Off-Broadway programme as part of latest season

The Woman in Black is to tour the UK, opening at Blackpool Grand Theatre on September 11. The tour visits locations including Southampton, York, Southend, Oxford, Bromley, Nottingham and Malvern, where the tour is booking until May 16, 2020.
Author: Susan Hill
Director: Robin Herford
Producer: Peter Wilson

Clive Rowe, Kat B and Tony Whittle are to star in the Hackney Empire in London’s Christmas pantomime, Dick Whittington. It runs from November 23 to January 5.
Author and director: Susie McKenna

A Haunted Existence, based on the true story of a West Country town rocked by homophobia in the 1950s, is to tour the UK, running from August 9 to November 30. Press night is on October 2 at Camden’s People’s Theatre in London. The tour visits locations including Margate, Brighton, Colchester, Exeter and Newcastle.
Author and cast: Tom Marshman

Jeremy Herrin’s production of Noises Off, currently running at the Lyric Hammersmith, is to transfer to the West End. The play will open at the Garrick Theatre on September 27, with Meera Syal reprising her role of Dotty Otley in the production. Lloyd Owen, Daniel Rigby and Simon Rouse will also continue with the production when it opens in the West End.
Author: Michael Frayn
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Producers: The show is designed by Max Jones and produced by Playful Productions, Kilimanjaro Theatricals, Karl Sydow, Tulchin/Bartner and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Lyric Hammersmith’s Noises Off to transfer to the West End

Michelle Collins will star as Marion in the first major revival of How Love Is Spelt, which runs at Southwark Playhouse in London from September 4 to 24.
Author: Chloe Moss
Director: Charlotte Peters
Cast also includes: Nigel Boyle, Benjamin O’Mahony, Yana Penrose, Larner Wallace-Taylor and Duncan Moore

Actor Robert Rhodes is to star in a promenade production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, London, from August 1 to September 1.
Author: Benjamin Polya
Director: Bertie Watkins
Cast includes: Max Alexander-Taylor, Ed Bruggemeyer, Darrie Gardner, Izzy Jones, Robert Rhodes, Katie Tranter
Producer: Iris Theatre

A stage adaptation of Kay Mellor’s crime drama series Band of Gold will tour the UK in 2020, it has been announced. The production, based on Mellor’s 1995 ITV series, will premiere at Leeds Grand Theatre in November, and will begin touring from January 2020.
Director: Kay Mellor
Cast includes: Gaynor Faye, Laurie Brett, Kieron Richardson, Shayne Ward and Sacha Parkinson
Producer: Josh Andrews

The Inbetweeners’ Joe Thomas will star in a UK tour of What’s in a Name?, an adaptation of the French comedy Le Prènom. The touring production opens at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, where it runs from September 5 to 14, before touring to Glasgow, York, Aylesbury, Cambridge, Windsor, Richmond and Southampton.
Author and director: Jeremy Sams
Cast includes: Summer Strallen, James Lance and Alex Gaumond
Producers: Adam Blanshay Productions

EastEnders actress Lin Blakley is to star in the upcoming UK tour of Murder, Margaret and Me this autumn. The tour opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on September 26 and tours to locations including Windsor, Ipswich, Portsmouth and Bury St Edmunds, where the tour runs until November 13.
Author: Philip Meeks
Director: Damian Cruden
Cast also includes: Sarah Parks and Gilly Tompkins
Producers: Tilted Wig, Malvern Theatres and Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Eilidh Loan is to star in a new stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The production opens at Perth Theatre on September 5 and tours until March 7, 2020, with a national press night at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry on October 3 and a Scottish press night on September 7 at Perth Theatre.
Author: Rona Munro
Director: Patricia Benecke
Cast also includes: Ben Castle-Gibb, Thierry Mabonga, Sarah MacGillivray, Natali McCleary, Michael Moreland and Greg Powrie
Producers: Selladoor Productions, Matthew Townshend Productions, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts

Casting has been announced for the premiere of Daniel Kanaber‘s new play Under Three Moons. It opens at the Lowry in Salford on September 24 and tours until November 2, visiting Huddersfield, Liverpool, Crewe, Hull, Leeds, Ormskirk, York, Newcastle, Mold and Whitehaven.
Director: Adam Quayle
Producer: Box of Tricks

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