War Horse, based on a 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo, has won 5 Tony awards in last weeks event.
War Horse, which opened at the National Theatre and then moved to the West End and Broadway, also earned Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott a directing award.
When collecting the award for best play, co-director Morris told the Beacon Theatre audience: "We quite like it when people cry."
The play, which has been made into a film by Steven Spielberg, also won design awards for sound, lighting and scenery.
Actress and global superstar Eva Mendes has sent out a 'Come and get me' plea to West End bosses.
Mendes, who has starred in Hollywood Blockbuster's such as Hitch and The Other Guys, publicly revealed this week how a role on the London stage would be a "dream come true".
She has been quoted as saying "I am actively pursuing a play in London. It has not happened yet but I'm hoping it will. To do something in theatre would be a dream come true." (from the Daily Express)
The arrival of Mendes would bring a lot of hype and would be sure to attract a big audience, especially from fans of her screen roles.
War Horse has picked up 5 nominations in the up and coming Tony Awards.
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris have also been nominated for Best Direction of a Play for the New York transfer, which opened at the Lincoln Center earlier this month.
War Horse is guranteed to pick up one Tony on the night. A Special Tony Award for the work of the Handspring Puppet Company, which created the life-size horse puppets in the World War One tale, will make sure that there is at least one award on the War Horse table!
This week, Mamma Mia reached the grand old age of 12 on the London West End stage, yet it's not even in the top 10 oldest shows. Take a look below at the oldest show currently on offer
1. The Mousetrap – 59th Year
Agatha Cristie’s The Mousetrap has been running for a very long time. we’re pretty sure no one’s ever going to catch up.
2. Les Misérables – 26th Year
When Les Mis first hit the stage 26 years ago, it was highly chastised, yet now it is one of the most popular on the West End stage. Over the many years it has been running, this opera-musical based novel with French tunes and English lyrics continues to wrap us up with its incredible storyline, songs and showmanship every time we see it.
3. The Phantom of the Opera – 25th Year
One of three Andrew Lloyd Webber shows in the top 10, The Phantom of the Opera is one of the stand out showsthat’s still going. It's also one of the longest running musicals ever on Broadway, and, having made more than £3.5 billion worldwide, is arguably the world’s most financially successful single entertainment project ever.
4. Blood Brothers – 22nd Year
Blood Brothers is regarded as one of the greatest British musicals and has been running for over 20 years. Willy Russell’s 1981 nature vs nurture musical was only a modest success before it hit the West End. Once established at the Lyric Theatre in 1983, it won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and another Olivier for Barbara Dickson’s performance as Mrs Johnstone.
5. The Woman in Black – 21st Year
Running for longer than 16 years, the adaptation of Susan Hill's Woman in Black is a gripping thriller that uses the techniques of Film Noir and combines it with the emotive powers of the theatre. A chilling two-hander, featuring a play within a play, The Woman In Black continues to pull in punters who like a shocking, effect-driven Victorian thriller, or are studying the show for GCSE Drama.
6. Cats – Closed on its 21 Anniversary
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 musical Cats was based on a whimsical poetry collection by T S Eliot called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Like Les Mis and Starlight Express, it was initially directed by Trevor Nunn. It won two Olivier Awards the year it opened, one for Best New Musical and another for choreographer Gillian Lynne.
7. Starlight Express – 17 Years
Maybe the greatest West End musical of all time, Starlight Express had it all. It rocked, rolled (literally), rapped, raced; it featured electronica, blues, country and western, pop, disco and gospel; it searched for The Starlight, whatever that was, and made us want to find it too.
8. No Sex Please, We’re British – 16 Years
Ah, farce. Brilliantly, the British comedy caper No Sex Please, We’re British about an assistant bank manager ran for 16 years in the West End, from 3 June 1971 to 16 January 1987. On Broadway, it managed just 16 performances. Perhaps because they weren’t lucky enough to have Michael Crawford taking the lead role.
9. Chicago – 13th Year
For a 70s musical, set in Prohibition-era Chicago, based on real murder cases from 1924, Chicago is a surprisingly timeless show. A steady stream of soap stars and celebs happy to take starring roles, means audiences have been eagerly stepping up to enjoy all that jazz since the London revival opened in 1999.
10. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – 12 Years 7 Months
Buddy Holly opened in 1989 at the Victoria Palace Theatre. It was conceived by Londoner Laurie Mansfield, and supported by none other than Paul McCartney. One of the first “jukebox musicals” in the West End, we’ve got Buddy’s success to thank for shows like Million Dollar Quartet, Jersey Boys and Thriller – Live.
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What has become one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year has announced it's cast this week, and there's some celebrity juice for us to get stuck into!
Taking the lead roles of Shrek will be Nigel Lindsay, whilst Richard Blackwood and Nigel Harman will be playing Donkey and Lord Farquaad respectively. Amanda Holden will play Princess Fiona.
Other names that you may recognise from the West End circuit include Delroy Atkinson and Jacqui Sanchez who are former Avenue Q stars.
Shrek The Musical is based on the hit animated film featuring a grouchy, swamp-dwelling ogre whose life is changed when he embarks on an adventure to reclaim the deed to his land.
Dirty Dancing, one of the West Ends most popular shows, has brought its closing date forward and will now finish on 9th July.
After four very successful years at the Aldwych theatre, the musical adaptation of the iconic 1980s film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey will have the last dance in the summer of 2011.
Over two million fans of the film and stage show have flocked to the Aldwych theatre to have the time of their lives since the show opened on 24 October 2006.
One of the most anticipated shows of the year starts next month and stars the winner of the BBC talent show 'Over The Rainbow'.
The Wizard of Oz will feature Danielle Hope will play Dorothy and Michael Crawford, the original Phantom, will take on the role of the Wizard at The London Palladium, the capital's home of the family musical.
Produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright, The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all time classic, totally reconceived for the stage by the award-winning creative team that delighted audiences of all ages with their recent London Palladium revival of The Sound of Music.
It has been announced this week that Onassis will be closing it's doors a month earlier scheduled at the Novello Theatre, whilst Billy Elliot the musical has extended it's dates another year to the end of 2011.
Onassis had been scheduled to to run until 5th February, but it has now been decided that the last show has been brought forward a month and will be on 8th January.
Whilst one show closes early, we gain another popular show for an extrended period of time. Billy Elliot had been scheduled to close in April 2011 but due to continuous popularity, the shows organisers have extended it's date until 17th December 2011.
Former popstar and 'chart topper' Jon Lee is to take up a role in Jersey Boys from the 15th March.
Lee, most recognisible from his teenage years when part of the pop sensation S Club 7, will alternate with Ryan Molloy playing the part of Frankie Valli.
It won't be Lee's debut on the Westend Stage however, having already appeared in West End productions of Les Misérables and Fame.
This week we have had the great news that An Ideal Husband has extended its showtime another week to it's original end, meaning that the show will now cease on Saturday 26th February.
Written by Oscar Wilde in 1895, the comedicproduction opened on 10 November and has earnt rave reviews, being described by Charles Spencer at the Daily Telegraph as “hugely entertaining”.
Former Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton is to make her West End stage debut in Blood Brothers in 2011, when she joins the cast to play the leading role of Mrs Johnstone.
The Scouse 'lass' will be performing at the Phoenix theatre from 24th January, starring in Willy Russell's tale of separated Liverpudlian twins living separate but linked lives until 30 July.
Hamilton joins a long list of actresses and singers who have played the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone, including Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee, Lyn Paul, Siobhan McCarthy, Mel C and Linda, Bernie, Denise and Maureen Nolan.
A whole host of BBC stars will be presenting Jersey Boys before the show gets under way in aid of Children in Need on 17th November.
BBC London presenters Gaby Roslin, Paul Ross, Vanessa Feltz and Danny Baker will all intrdoduce the show before the performance unravels at the Prince Edward Theatre. All money raised will go towards helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK, and the event will be a special gala performance.
Almost 6 years after making his last appearance on the West End stage, Michael Crawford will be making a return to one of the stages biggest productions. In the last few weeks we have had many famous personlities returning and now Crawford will be joining that list..
Crawford was last seen on stage in the West End in another Lloyd Webber musical, The Woman In White, and now returns to take the role of The Wizard.
A two-times Laurence Olivier Award-winner, Crawfords London stage career began almost 50 years ago in 1962 when he made his West End debut in Come Blow Your Horn.
A week after we released that Denise Van Outen would be making a return to the West End stage, we can reveal that Whoopi Goldberg will be returning to London Palladium with Sister Act.
Goldberg had signed up to perform from 10 to 31 August but unfortunately had to leave on the 27th August and fly back to America due to her mother suffering a stroke. Goldberg will rejoin the show from 22 to 25 October. Those who missed out seeing her for the last 4 shows are eligible for priority booking for the new dates.
Popular TV star Denise Van Outen is to return to the West End when she joins Sheridan Smith in the cast for Legally Blonde The Musical.
TV presenter, new mum, and West End actress Van Outen will replaces Jill Halfpenny in the role of Paulette from the 25th October. Van Outen has previously starred in other West End productions such as Tell Me On A Sunday, Chicago and Rent.
The former Hollyoaks and Dancing On Ice favourite Chris Fountain is to appear in Douglas Irvine's teenage comedy that follows a group of 18 year olds.
Having just finished the holiday and waiting for their flight home from Malaga airport, the group begin to reminisce over memories they have of the trip. Chris is best known for playing Justin in the teen soap Hollyoaks, following that up by displaying his ice-skating skills on ITV programme Dancing On Ice.
Departure Lounge, which plays to 31 October, is the first musical outing of Waterloo East theatre, a new venue which opens its doors on 2 September.
The Apollo Victoria theatre will celebrate its 80th birthday later on in the year with a performance featuring West End stars from both past and present.
All profits from the evening are being donated to Cancer Research UK, and the special anniversary event will take place on 10 October, with
The Apollo Victorias gala performance will feature stars from its current show, the hit musical Wicked, alongside cast members from previous shows staged at the venue including Saturday Night Fever, Bombay Dreams and Billy Joel danc-ical Movin Out. The Apollo Victoria theatre was originally used as both a theatre and cinema. It opened in 1930, when it was known as the New Victoria theatre.
Published in 1993, Birdsong has sold more than two million copies in the UK alone and three million worldwide. From September, the stage adaptation hits the West End at the Comedy Theatre with Nicholas Farrell, Iain Mitchell, Genevieve OReilly and Lee Ross having joined the previously announced Ben Barnes.
It tells the story of Stephen Wraysford (Barnes) who, while staying as a guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, embarks on a passionate affair with his wife, Isabelle (OReilly). Years later, Stephen returns to the same part of France under very different circumstances, as a soldier during the Battle Of The Somme. As his men die around him, he turns to his enduring love for Isabelle for the strength to continue.
Fans of the popular show Legally Blonde The Musical will be pleased to know that the production will be releasing a cast production this summer.
After a live recording at the Savoy Theatre, the albumfeatures the shows original cast, including Sheridan Smith, Duncan James, Jill Halfpenny, Peter Davison and Alex Gaumond. It will be available to followers from 16 August.
West End regular Melanie La Barrie has joined the cast of Smokey Joes Café, which has recently extended its run at the Landor theatre to 12 September, with it previously being due to finish on 12 August.
La Barrie has lots of experience on the London stage having played Pearl in Daddy Cool, Mrs Corry in Mary Poppins, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables, and other roles as Rue Magique at the Kings Head and Once On This Island at the Hackney Empire.
After 4 years on the West End stage, Avenue Q will be closing it's doors in October performing for the last time at the Wyndhams theatre.
Avenue Q is a somewhat crude show featuring a cast of puppets and humans who are all struggling their way in life. When college graduate Princeton arrives on Avenue Q after struggling to find the money for a nice appartment, he struggles to know what to do with his BA in English. But his unlikely neighbours including porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster, former child star Gary Coleman, sexually confused Rod and cute teacher Kate Monster- attempt to help him out.
Geoffrey Hutchings, whose acting career spanned on both stage and screen, has died at the age of 71 from a suspected viral infection.
The Dorset-born performer was last seen in the West End playing Brooksie in the stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption in 2009.
His professional career started in 1964 and spanned over four decades, covering theatre, film and television starring in popular broadcasts such as Eastenders and Benidorm.
Lauren Samuels, who came third in BBC casting competition Over The Rainbow, is heading to the West End when she joins the cast of Grease at the Piccadilly theatre from 26 July.
Samuels takes over from another former talent show contestant, Siobhan
Dillon, to play the lead role of Sandy in the romantic musical. It tells
the iconic love story of Sandy and Danny, two final year students at Rydell
The show premiered on Broadway in 1972 and went on to be made into a hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as the love-struck teens. Packed with sing-along tunes, the score features the famous numbers Youre The One That I Want, Greased Lightnin and Summer Nights so a enjoyable show is guranteed.
Check the availability of Grease and our other shows usng the easy to use booking form on our homepage.
Over The Rainbow semi-finalist Steph Fearon has bounced back from defeat in the BBC talent search by claiming a role in the Landor theatre’s summer revival of Smokey Joe’s Café.
Fearon is joined in the cast of the jukebox musical, which runs at the Clapham venue from 13 July to 22 August, by Marc Akinfolarin, Miguel Angel, Edward Baruwa, Simon Hardwick, Ngo Ngofa and Philippa Stefani. Fearon, the 21-year-old daughter of 1990s dance music act Baby D, has previously appeared on the London stage in productions of Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych theatre) and The Wind In The Willows (Open Air theatre).
The best-selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Room on The Broom, is to hit the stage for a short five-week season.
The creators of the stage show The Gruffalo are bringing this treat for children to the West End this summer.
Room On The Broom is a story where a witch and her cat are flying happily along on their broomstick until a mighty wind blasts the witchs hat, bow and wand away into the night.With the help of a daft dog, a beautiful bird and a friendly frog, her belongings are retrieved. But this broomsticks not meant for five and soon it snaps, and a small tale entails.
The show runs from 28th July to 29th August.
From the 9th to the 26th of June, in conjunction with the World Cup, the Tristan Bates theatre is to stage a football based show Who Ate All The Pies?.
The show focuses about the dying wish of Sharons father for her to inherit his season ticket. She honours his wish, but will she understand why her father spent so much if his time on the terraces? Get to grips with the passion behind the fans?All will be told in this fascinating stage show, which includes all of the sterotypes including an £18 million player, a rich club owner and a crude WAG.
Shows will be staged at 13:30, 15:45, 19:30 and 21:15 meaning sports fanatics should be able to spare a couple of hours before or between mathces whilst the World Cup runs.
Fans of The Wizard of Oz will now be able to watch Dorothy skip up the Yellow Brick Road in theatres as of early next year. From the 29th March 2011, enthusiasts will be able to watch the film become reality as the London Palladium hosts what promises to be one of the most popular new shows in 2011.
Andrew Lloyd Webbers forthcoming production is now available for
booking, a full 10 months in advance of it's first showing. Lloyd Webbers
The Wizard Of Oz will include all the original songs made famous by the
gingham clad Judy Garland in the original 1939 film, including Somewhere
Over The Rainbow, Follow The Yellow Brick Road, If I Only Had A Heart and
Were Off To See The Wizard, as well as a selection of new songs by
the theatre impresario.
Actress Lynn Redgrave died on 2 May at the age of 67, with her family around her. Her death follows a seven year battle with breast cancer.
The younger sister of Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, who died just a month ago, Lynn, like her siblings, followed her parents, Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, into the acting profession
Though she may be best known for her award-winning roles in films Georgy Girl and Gods And Monsters, Redgraves career began on the London stage.
A graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama, she joined the Royal Court at the age of 18 and made her professional stage debut playing Helena in the 1962 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Popular West End actress Harriet Thorpe is joining the Abba musical Mamma Mia! taking up the role of 'Tanya'
Thorpe played a two year role as Madame Horrible in Wicked and her other
previous shows include Cabaret and Les Misérables, whilst also involved
in screen work in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. Thorpe joins a cast that
also includes Linzi Hateley as Donna and Jessie May as Sophie, as well as
Catherine Russell, Norman Bowman, Paul Ryan and Christopher Hollis.
Fans of the soap'Eastenders' will now be able to see Emma Barton AKA Honey Mitchell on the West End stage, because as of 26th April 2010 she will be starring in Chicago. She will be playing Roxie in the long running show at the Cambridge Theatre. Those thinking that she may struggle to cope with the change in 'environment' are quickly pointed to look at the shows Barton has already performed in, including Grease, Love Shack and the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roxie?
Currently playing at the Cambridge Theatre, the spectacular West End musical Chicago has announced a casting change for the role of Roxie Hart.
From December 18th the part of Roxie Hart will be played by Aoife Mulholland. Aoife will already be known to theatre fans as one of the finalists in the BBC's talent show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Whilst Aoife didn't win the part of Maria in The Sound of Music, currently being played by Connie Fisher, she made a strong impression on the viewers and was soon signed by theatrical agents.
Aofie will join another familiar face of reality television, X-Factor's Brenda Edwards, who is currently playing Mama Morton along with the other Chicago cast members Annette McLaughlin as Velma Kelly, Ian Kelsey as slick lawyer Billy Flynn and Julian Simms who plays Roxie's husband Amos.
Chicago opened in London's West End in 1997 and follows chorus girl Roxie who kills a nightclub regular and is sent to prison, finding herself alongside her icon and rival Velma Kelly. Both girls have hired slick lawyer Billy Flynn to get them acquitted as they battle for supremacy of Mama Morton's prison and the public eye via the front pages of the press. Having recently announced an extension until October of 2007, Chicago is a glittering, sensational musical that's been winning awards and audiences since it opened over 9 years ago.
Though it only opened at the Palladium Theatre two weeks ago, after a troubled build up, The Sound of Music has already been hugely successful and has extended its run until 13th October 2007. The Andrew Lloyd Webber production stars Connie Fisher as friendly nun Maria who is sent to look after the troublesome offspring of Captain Von Trapp only to fall in love with the Captain after teaching the family the joy of music and singing. However, with the Nazi's taking command of Austria the Captain is called back into service and the family must flee to Switzerland. This 2006 revival of The Sound of Music is a wonderfully uplifting musical that provides entertainment for all the family.
Also set against the turbulent back drop of the Second World War, though less family friendly, Cabaret has extended it's run at Lyric Shaftesbury Theatre until the 29th of September 2007. Set in 1930's Berlin, Cabaret follows nightclub singer Sally Bowles and the patrons of the decadent, debauchery fueled Kit Kat Klub as the they attempt to detach themselves from the reality of the Nazi's rise to power and continue their hedonistic lifestyle.