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Production news round-up: Sister Act to return for UK tour and Amelie announces Other Palace transfer

Audrey Brisson in Amelie at Watermill Theatre, Newbury. Photo: Pamela Raith
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This week, Amelie announced a Christmas transfer to the Other Palace in London, a reworked version of Sister Act was confirmed – with The X Factor’s Brenda Edwards in the leading role – Pet Shop Boys were announced as the composers of new music for the stage version of My Beautiful Laundrette, and the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse season was unveiled, featuring work by Ella Hickson and Sandi Toksvig.


Brenda Edwards is to star in a reworked version of the musical Sister Act, which sees the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier rewritten for an older actor. The musical will open at Curve in Leicester on April 21, 2020, and will play there until May 2, ahead of a tour and a planned London run.
Authors: Bill and Cheri Steinkellner (book), Alan Menken (music), Glenn Slater (lyrics), with additional material by Douglas Carter Beane
Producers: Jamie Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg

Sister Act musical reworked for older actor as new tour announced

Amelie the Musical is to transfer to London following its UK tour. Having premiered at Newbury’s Watermill Theatre in April, the production is touring the UK until October 19. It will now play a season at the Other Palace in London from November 29 to February 1, 2020. Press night is on December 3.
Authors: Craig Lucas (book), Daniel Messé (music and lyrics) Nathan Tysen (lyrics)
Director: Michael Fentiman
Producers: Hartshorn-Hook Productions, Selladoor Productions, the Watermill Theatre and Broadway Asia

Amelie the Musical announces London transfer

New musical Stardust, which features pop songs and Bollywood style music, will open the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry’s autumn season on September 14. Other highlights include the return of Rona Munro’s adaptation of Frankenstein and Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette. The theatre will also partner with Strictly Arts to produce new immersive experience Club 2B.


Mischief Theatre has announced the full cast for its new comedy Groan Ups, which is running at the Vaudeville Theatre from September 20 to December 1.
Authors: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields
Director: Kirsty Patrick Ward
Cast includes: Bryony Corrigan, Dave Hearn, Henry Lewis, Charlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, Nancy Zamit, George Haynes, Krystal Dockery and Holly Sumpton
Producer: Mischief Theatre

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys are to compose original music for the stage adaptation of My Beautiful Laundrette. The duo have joined the creative team for the production, which is being staged for the first time in September at Leicester Curve, before touring to Cheltenham, Leeds, Coventry and Birmingham.
Author: Hanif Kureishi
Director: Nikolai Foster
Design: Grace Smart (set), Ben Cracknell (lighting), Tom Marshall (sound)
Fight director: Kevin McCurdy
Casting: Kay Magson
Producers: Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse

Pet Shop Boys to compose music for stage adaptation of My Beautiful Laundrette

Ella Hickson will premiere a new play at Shakespeare’s Globe later this year, directed by Natalie Abrahami. Swive [Elizabeth] will form part of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse’s 2019/20 season, which will also include family show, Christmas at the (Snow) Globe by Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig, and productions of Henry VI, Richard III and Measure for Measure.

Ella Hickson to premiere play at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Casting has been announced for A Doll’s House at the Lyric Hammersmith, which is the first production to be directed by Rachel O’Riordan in her inaugural season as artistic director.
Author: Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Tanika Gupta
Cast includes: Anjana Vasan, Elliot Cowan, Arinder Sadhra, Colin Tierney, Tripti Tripuraneni and Assad Zaman

Zawe Ashton’s For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad will premiere at a pop-up venue in Stoke Newington Town Hall, which is partnering with Hackney Showroom to stage the play. It is the first major production by Hackney Showroom since it left its former premises earlier this year and said it would expand its producing output. It runs from October 14 to November 9, with press night on October 17.
Director: Jo McInnes
Design: Natalie Pryce, Ultz (set), Lee Curran (lighting)

A new stage adaptation of Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’ children’s picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance has been announced. It will run in Leicester Curve’s studio space from December 9 to 31 and at the Rose Theatre Kingston from April 8 to 19, 2020.
Producers: Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston and Simon Friend in association with Hachette Children’s Group and Coolabi Group

Casting has been announced for new thriller Skin in the Game, which previews at Greenwich Theatre in London on July 23 before visiting Stantonbury and Birmingham. The production then returns to London to play community venues before running at the Old Red Lion from August 20 to September 15, with press night on August 22.
Author: Paul Westwood
Director: Clemmie Reynolds
Cast includes: Charlie Allen, Kathryn O’Reilly, Paul Westwood and David Whitworth
Producer: JIH production in association with Greenwich Theatre

Casting has been announced for the UK tour of An Inspector Calls, which opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on September 6. Liam Brennan will play Inspector Goole, and the cast also includes Christine Kavanaugh, Jeff Harmer, Alistair Buchan, Chloe Orrock, Ryan Saunders and Diana Payne-Myers.
Author: JB Priestley
Director: Stephen Daldry
Design: Ian MacNeil (set), Rick Fisher (lighting)
Music: Stephen Warbeck
Producers: PW Productions

The duo behind Eurohouse and Palmyra will debut the final show in the trilogy, One, at he Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to Battersea Arts Centre in London. They will also perform their new show The End in Edinburgh. Both run at Summerhall.
Authors: Bertrand Lesca, Nasi Voutsas
Design: Jessica Hung Han Yun (lighting)
Producers: Edward Fortes and Hannah Slimmon for Farnham Maltings


A new four-month festival billed as the biggest celebration of French contemporary dance in the UK has been launched. FranceDance UK, presented by the Institut Français in London, will feature 50 performances and take place at 16 festivals and theatres across nine UK cities. It runs from August 8 to November 12. Highlights include the first UK performance of dance collective (La) Horde, best known for their collaboration with pop artist Chris, formerly known as Christine and the Queens, who will bring their production To Da Bone to Sadler’s Wells and the Belfast International Arts Festival.

UK festival celebrating French contemporary dance launches

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