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Production news round-up: Kimberley Walsh joins cast of Big and Meera Syal to lead Noises Off revival

Jay McGuiness as Josh in Big. Photo: Matt Crockett.
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Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 has extended its run in the West End to 2020. It is now booking at the Savoy Theatre until April 4, 2020. A second production of the musical will tour the UK from September 6, opening at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.
Authors: Patricia Resnick (book), Dolly Parton (music and lyrics)
Director: Jeff Calhoun
Producers: Ambassador Theatre Group, Selladoor Worldwide and Gavin Kalin Productions with Benjamin Lowy Productions, Glass Half Full Productions, Showtime Theatre Productions, Hartshorn – Hook Productions, Harmonia Holdings and Kilimanjaro Live

Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 extends West End run to 2020

Trevor Nunn is to direct the UK premiere of musical The Bridges of Madison County at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. Based on Robert James Waller’s novel of the same name, the musical will run from July 12 to September 14, with press night on July 23.
Authors: Marsha Norman (book), Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics)
Design: Jon Bausor (set and costume), Tim Lutkin (lighting) and Gregory Clarke (sound)
Producers: Menier Chocolate Factory in association with Michael Harrison and David Ian

Wendi Peters, Matthew Kelly and Kimberley Walsh have joined the cast of Big the Musical, which opens at the Dominion Theatre later this year. They join the previously announced Jay McGuiness in the show, which opens on September 6. It runs until November 2, with a gala performance on September 17.
Authors: John Weidman (book), David Shire and Richard Maltby (music and lyrics)
Director: Morgan Young
Producers: Michael Rose, Damien Sanders and Paul Gregg for Encore Theatre Productions Limited

Wendi Peters, Kimberley Walsh and Matthew Kelly join cast of Big the Musical


Meera Syal is to star in Noises Off at the Lyric Hammersmith. Syal will play Dotty Otley, and will be joined by Lloyd Owen and Daniel Rigby. The cast also includes Lois Chimimba, Jonathan Cullen, Debra Gillett, Amy Morgan, Enyi Okoronkwo and Simon Rouse.
Author: Michael Frayn
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Producer: Lyric Hammersmith

Florian Zeller’s The Son has announced a West End transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre from the Kiln Theatre. It will run from August 24 to November 2, with press night on September 2.
Director: Michael Longhurst
Cast includes: Amanda Abbington, Laurie Kynaston, John Light and Amaka Okafor
Producers: Fiery Angel and Gavin Kalin Productions

Scottish crime writer Denise Mina is to create a gender-swapped version of Bertolt Brecht’s Mr Puntila and His Man Matti for Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre company. Elaine C Smith will play the title role in the show, marking her return to the Lyceum stage for the first time in 20 years. It forms part of a season that has a 50/50 gender split of both writers and directors across its 10 productions and includes three world premieres. It also includes the theatre’s first co-production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti will run from February 28 to March 21, 2020, as part of the theatre’s 2019/20 season. The co-production with the Glasgow Citizens will be directed by Murat Daltaban of DOT Theatre Istanbul.

Diana Vickers and Sara Crowe have been announced to join the UK tour of The Entertainer alongside the previously announced Shane Richie. The production will open at Leicester’s Curve on August 27 and will tour the UK until November 23, visiting Milton Keynes, Malvern, Plymouth, Woking, Eastbourne, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Brighton, Manchester, Bromley, Cheltenham and Shrewsbury.
Author: John Osborne
Director: Sean O’Connor
Producers: Curve, Anthology Theatre and Simon Friend Entertainment

An immersive production based on The Wolf of Wall Street will open in London later this year. The production will open in a central London location on September 5, with press night on October 4.
Author and director: Alexander Wright
Producers: Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook for Stratton Oakmont Productions

Immersive adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street to open in London

The Royal Shakespeare Company is to return to the Barbican in London with three productions transferred from its summer season. As You Like It, directed by Kimberley Sykes, will run from October 26 to January 18. The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Justin Audibert, runs from November 5 to January 18, 2020, while Gregory Doran’s production of Measure for Measure runs from November 12 to January 16.

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester is to stage The Exonerated, which will run from June 6 to 16 and be the theatre’s second in-house play production.
Authors: Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
Director: Joseph Houston
Producer: William Whelton for Hope Mill Theatre

London’s Almeida Theatre has announced its latest Almeida For Free festival on May 30, which will feature Rebecca Frecknall’s production of Three Sisters performed free to people aged 25 and under. The day will also feature other events, curated by Almeida Young producers, including live music, spoken-word and poetry in the foyer as well as different workshops.

The Yard Theatre in London has announced the cast of Armadillo, which runs from May 30 to June 22.
Author: Sarah Kosar
Director: Sara Joyce
Cast includes: Michelle Fox, Mark Quartley and Nima Taleghani

Theatr Clwyd in Mold, Wales has announced its autumn season, which includes artistic director Tamara Harvey directing Emily White’s dark comedy Pavilion. Other highlights include Under Milk Wood, which will transfer to the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport. Three Christmas productions have been announced, which are an immersive production of A Christmas Carol by Alan Harris, Emyr John’s Y Trol Wnaeth Ddwyn y ‘Dolig and rock’n’roll panto Jack and the Beanstalk.

Outdoor touring company Without Walls has announced its largest ever touring programme across festivals in England, with 40 shows spanning dance, theatre, circus and family performances touring to over 27 festivals and outdoor events. Companies that feature in the programme include Apocalyptic Circus, Kapow Dance Theatre Company, Mimbre, Stopgap Dance Company, Talawa Theatre Company and Thingumajig Theatre. Additionally, 18 members of the company’s outdoor touring network will present outdoor performances across the year, including Luke Jerram, Mind the Gap and Highly Sprung.

A free season of open-air theatre at the Scoop on the bank of the Thames in London has been announced. The season runs from August 7 to September 1, and includes the world premiere of family production The Sea Queen, about the Irish pirate Grainne O’Malley, and a 90-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Working in partnership with Bath Festival, Bath Spa University is to host SparkFest, a five-week programme of performances across eight venues. Running from May 10 to June 15, programme highlights include Charlie Henderson-Howat’s The Forgotten Blitz, Alice Birch’s Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. and Volpone by Ben Jonson.


Dance Umbrella has announced further details of the line-up for its 2019 festival, which takes place across London from October 8 to 27. Oona Doherty has been announced as the festival’s featured artist, which will see her present the London premieres of two works and curate an afternoon of short dance films. Other highlights include the UK premiere of Gregory Maqoma’s Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero and Mythili Prakash’s Here and Now.

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