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SUPER-BITCH? …PULL THE OTHER ONE!

SUPER-BITCH? …PULL THE OTHER ONE!

The first thing that you notice about Jodie Steele – when you meet her – is that she is absolutely nothing like her onstage persona, Heather Chandler.
In fact it took me a while to adjust to the laughing, happy-go-lucky actor’s real personality, such is the sullen image she oozes in the cult show currently at the Theatre Royal Haymerket.
It was completely coincidental that Sardines was able to speak with the triple threat just one day after 100% capacity audiences returned to theatres in England. This arguably meant that the thirty-year-old was even bubblier and bouncing off the wall more than usual.
With one half of her producing team also featured in this issue [Paul Taylor-Mills], this edition is fast-becoming a Heathers Special… which is probably just how a cult hit should be treated!


 

How has your return to THIS HUGELY POPULAR SHOW been going?
“Oh wow! It’s been amazing! Last night [Monday, 19 July] we had our first full capacity audience who were amazing.
“I thought I was done with the show too, so when Paul [Taylor-Mills] called me up I thought do I really want to do it – when I felt I should stay at home really. But then I saw it was just a twelve-week run I also thought, ‘Why not. Let’s just do it!’ And it’s at the Haymarket again so it does feel like going back in time a little bit!”
“The only thing that’s taken a bit of the shine off it is that I have dear friends who are also performing in shows that have had to close for a few days while people self-isolate. But as soon as 16 August comes, and we can rely on not having to close a show if someone tests positive, then I really think that theatre will be back properly.
“I also find the football thing really strange. I mean I love it but it just doesn’t make any sense in my head how that can happen. I saw the video of Andrew Lloyd Webber who’s pulling his hair out and is fighting for the entire industry.”

Do you all have to test every single day?
“Yes we do; lateral flow. It’s just part of the way it is now. I just wake up, do my lateral flow and send it to my company manager. It’s just got to be done. It should be part of life for the next few months and I am an advocate now that Covid has become part of our normality, like the flu. As long as the death-rate doesn’t rise then I’m really in the camp of ‘let’s continue with life.’”

You mentioned 16 August. Why does there always seem to be a 4-week extension?
“It does feel like that doesn’t it. But the main point is that theatre is ready right now.”

We also saw you in War of the Worlds (5 years ago), although I had no idea you were in it UNTIL I turned up at the Dominion.
“Ha, ha! I know. I was in the ensemble. I think that was one of the most challeng-ing things I’ve done in my whole life… and the Dominion’s a big theatre, huge.”
I hope you didn’t need to audition AGAIN?
“No, no. The producers and the creative team asked me to come back. Mind you, considering the role they asked me to bring back, I should really take that into account. Ha, ha. What are they trying to say! Ha, ha!”

Does a different cast provide a different vibe?
“Yeah! It’s an entirely different experience to when I did it before. It feels like a different show but obviously that’s not the case. I have an entirely different journey every night and I have a completely different Veronica – Chandler relationship than I did with Carrie [Hope Fletcher]. Carrie had to be in with the dark side of Chandler even though she didn’t really want to, while Christina is completely in awe of the Heathers and looks at my character through rose-tinted glasses. She completely adores and is even a little bit obsessed with her and, the way Christina does it, is made very obvious. She’s fascinated with Chandler when she’s alive but, when Chandler’s dead, it’s like a magnet for her. So, yes. It’s an entirely different playing field for me.”

It looks like the new cast have some impressive credentials too?
“Yes, Christina was in Bat Out of Hell with Jordan (Luke Cage] – who’s now also in our show…. also my other half, Liam Doyle, will be touring as Kurt. We’ve been together for five and a half years now; we met when I was doing War of the Worlds! Ha, ha.”

You have to die in Heathers – just like in SIX – although poison might be considered a better end than getting your head chopped off!?
“Erm… yes, I think ‘head chopped off’ is probably a little bit more painful. Ha, ha, ha! But it is quicker, that’s for sure.”

Did you have any idea of the show’s cult following when you first signed on the line?
“If I’m entirely honest, I didn’t really know the show. So no! It’s weird, it was such of a flop of a film [starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater] that became really popular about twenty years after it came out… which is such a cult thing. I was off in Asia doing Elphaba in Wicked, and Liam actually did the first ever workshop at The Other Palace – which ignited the fire of the whole Heathers journey over here. We were about twelve hours apart and he’d be face-timing me saying, ‘Babes, you don’t understand, the atmosphere,’ and I was thinking, ‘Sure, sure, I am in Wicked so I do get it!’ But I didn’t and I wasn’t prepared. I’ll never forget the day that we opened at The Other Palace and hearing the roar of the audience – which is only three hundred people – when the Heathers doors opened and we were revealed. Me and the girls just couldn’t hear our music; we were saying ‘When do we turn? Ha, ha.’ Then to open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket twelve weeks later with a bigger audience was just mad! To get to live that again last night was very emotional. I knew what was coming and I was so pleased for my cast. Don’t get me wrong, the audiences of three hundred were incredible, but it was probably another step up.”

Have you received any weird posts around playing Heather Chandler?
“Most of the time it’s very positive; I think I get to redeem myself as Chandler when she’s dead. She’s kind of on Veronica’s side… ish, and at other times she’s not. But she’s kind of in Veronica’s subconscious mind to steer her essentially in the right direction to go against JD in the end.”
“Having said that, I have had a couple of posts sent to me which asked: ‘Did Jodie choose to play that part so meanly?’ I thought, ‘Surely you could see that the script is the way it is?’ It’s written like that! Blame Kevin [Murphy] and Larry [Laurence O’Keefe] who wrote it! I have a love-hate relationship with social media, like Paul [Taylor-Mills]. On the previous Heathers contract I was really into the social media. This time, I don’t have a Tik Tok account and only use Facebook to check whose birthday it is. I do like to post some things on Instagram but I don’t really look at it or scroll through stuff… unless I have a rare ten minutes which doesn’t often happen. On Twitter I sometimes tweet about my dog and the weather sometimes. I do have a lot of thoughts and opinions on things, but choose not to share them because 50% of people will agree with you and 50% will want to troll you on the Internet. I know some people revel in starting a debate but, for me, I like to have a conversation with someone rather than putting it out there in a public forum. I’m definitely less of a social media fan than I was in 2018.”

Is it worrying that you play a bitch so well? – You’re very good at scowling!
“Hang on, let me do the face for you now… [does the face!] My passion in life is performing and acting. Yes, I love to sing and dance. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at either but acting, for me; telling stories and creating characters is absolutely my passion. I think that through my little career it’s always been the characters the most removed from one’s self that are the easiest to portray. I know it’s not like that for everybody, but it is for me.
“I remember in SIX they wanted a Katherine Howard who was an extended version of Jodie and I really struggled to find that. ‘How do I do an extended version of myself onstage?’ I’m ok in one-to-ones or small groups, but big groups like press nights are a nightmare, I completely cower in the corner. So for me to play that character I just have to completely get rid of Jodie and go on as Chandler.”

Paul Taylor-Mills told of his am-dram days with great fondness before turning pro. do you have any similar stories?
“Actually, I was really late into theatre. I never knew if I would ever get a shot at acting and didn’t really know what to do. I grew up in Basingstoke on a council estate, went to quite a rough school – which I didn’t particularly enjoy – so singing was a great way of releasing that and was also probably my saviour. So I kind of started out as a singer-songwriter. I went to the Academy of Contemporary Music in London for a year, before deciding to take my place at GSA [Guildford School of Acting] that they’d already offered me.
“I was the underdog of the century and felt like the odd-pod in my year. So, I had to work so hard and have continued to take that mindset with me. I’ll never be the most talented person in the room but I’m probably the most hard-working grafter.”

STRIKE UP THE BAND!

STRIKE UP THE BAND!

Heathers The Musical
Open now until 11 Sep 2021
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
and touring from 5 Aug – 11 Dec 2021
www.heathersthemusical.com
F: heathersthemusical / T & I: @HeathersMusical
Our latest coverstar, Jodie Steele, steals the show, deserving of its 5-star review (we attended on the third time of asking due to restrictions). The tour is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills (also in this issue) and will be running while the West End production is still playing. The show is a cult hit and, true to form, has fans dressing up as the dastardly Heathers at each performance.

Jersey Boys
Open now until 2 Jan 2022
Trafalgar Theatre, London SW1A 2DY
www.jerseyboyslondon.com
F: JerseyBoysLondon / T & I: @JerseyBoysUK
The famous Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning smash hit musical is led by Ben Joyce as Frankie Valli, Adam Bailey as Bob Gaudio, Benjamin Yates as Tommy De Vito and Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi, at the new multi-million pound reinstated Trafalgar Theatre. There are way too many hit numbers to list here!

The Phantom of the Opera
Open now, booking until 13 February 2022
Her Majesty’s Theatre, London SW1Y 4QL
uk.thephantomoftheopera.com
F: ThePhantomOfTheOpera / T & I: @PhantomOpera
If the rumours are to be believed, the Phantom orchestra size has been cut in half during its mysterious closure. During the pandemic, Cameron Mackintosh appeared to announce the show was definitely closing permanently. Then, after a huge public backlash Andrew Lloyd Webber seemed to backtrack saying it would be back.
The new Christine, Lucy St Louis, is the first black woman to play the phantom’s love interest. Killian Donelly returns as the phantom himself while Rhys Whitfield takes on Raoul.

 

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL
Open now, booking until 12 Dec 2021
Savoy Theatre, London WC2R 0ET
london.prettywomanthemusical.com
F & T: @PrettyWomanUK / I: prettywomanmusicaluk
Aimie Atkinson plays ‘Vivian Ward’ and Danny Mac as ‘Edward Lewis’ – two roles that Julia Roberts and Richard Gere made famous.
The songs famously come from Grammy winners Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance while choreography comes from the egendary Jerry Mitchell.

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL
Open now, booking until 26 June 2022
Aldwych Theatre, London WC2B 4DF
www.tinathemusical.com
F, T & I: @TinaTheMusical
Another show that is back to 100% capacity and the stars are loving it just much as the audiences.
Aisha Jawando and Jammy Kasongo play Tina and Ike Turner respectively – the couple destined to part company. / This year the real Tina Turner was inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Previously in 1991 she was only inducted as part of a duo alongside Ike Turner. All the hits are in the show and it’s one you really don’t want to miss.

 

PIPPIN
Open now until 5 Sep 2021
Charing Cross Theatre WC2N 6NL
www.pippinonstage.com
F: Pippin-On-Stage / T: @OnPippin / I: pippinonstage
Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant, Stephen Schwartz’s smash-hit musical has extended its ‘immersive’ stay at the Charing Cross Theatre until 5 September.
Set in the ‘Summer of Love’ of 1967, we follow Pippin, a young prince with extraordinary dreams and aspirations on his quest to find passion, fulfilment and meaning.

‘John & Jen’
Open now until 21 August 2022
Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/john-jen
F: SouthwarkPlayhouse / T: @swkplay / I: @swkplayawood
This production is the world premiere of a brand-new, updated version of the show by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a musical that explores the dynamics of family relationships. 1985. John & Jen, brother and sister, born seven years apart, grow up together, totally inseparable. 2005. Jen, alone in Canada with her baby boy whom she has named John, a living memorial to the brother she failed to protect.

JUST SO – A CONCERT VERSION OF THE STILES & DREWE MUSICAL
Open now until 4 September 2021
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury RG20 8AE
www.watermill.org.uk/just_so_the_musical
F: thewatermilltheatre / T: @WatermillTh / I: thewatermilltheatre

Garden Theatre Summer Festival
1 – 14 Aug 2021
St Gabriel’s Halls, London SW1V 3AA
www.gardentheatre. co.uk
A festival of exciting and eclectic work in a new pop-up theatre at St. Gabriel’s Halls in Pimlico. Headlining the season is a sexy all-male modern ballet based on Delibes’ classic Coppelia

 

& Juliet
Reopening on 24 Sep 2021 – Booking until 12 February 2022
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP
www.andjulietthemusical.co.uk
F, T & I: @JulietMusical
Miriam-Teak Lee – who was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2020 for her performance as Juliet – leads a cast including Cassidy Janson, who also won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anne Hathaway, Oliver Tompsett as William Shakespeare, David Bedella, who also won an Olivier Award for his performance in the show as Lance, Jordan Luke Gage as Romeo, Melanie La Barrie as Nurse, and Tim Mahendran as Francois. Alex Thomas-Smith will be joining the principal cast in the role of May.
The show is packed with pop anthems including: …Baby One More Time, Since U Been Gone, Roar, It’s My Life, I Want It That Way, and Can’t Stop the Feeling!

 

GREASE
Touring now until 27 November 2021
greasethemusicalontour.com
F, T & I: @greaseuktour
Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips the world’s best-known (and arguably best-loved if you’re of a certain age) musical is back. Starring Peter Andre at certain venues as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine, the show that is a lot more ‘adult’ than you think promises to rock your socks off. Featuring a whole host of hits including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Sandy, Hopelessly Devoted to You , You’re The One That I Want and, of course, the title number, you’d be hard-pressed not to come out humming something from the show.

 

CABARET
Opening on 15 November 2021 –
booking until 5 March 2022
Kit Kat Club, Playhouse Theatre, London WC2N 5DE
kitkat.club
F, T & I: @kitkatclubLDN
Shrouded in mystery upon its launch, Cabaret, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, is going to be playing at a transformed Playhouse Theatre. The blurb says “In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… welcome to the Kit Kat Club. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself.” Interesting…

 

CINDERELLA
Opening on 25 August 2021 –
booking until 13 February 2022
Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW
andrewlloydwebberscinderella.com
F, T & I: @alwcinderella
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s infamous rant was probably justified when, only days from its opening night, the entire cast and crew had to self-isolate because of a single postive Covid test result.
Anyway, it’s not easy to fight the government and the show has a new opening date – slbeit over four weeks later than planned. But they do say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and this show has had a lot of publicity… not to mention some lovely photos, such as this one of Carrie Hope Fletcher.

 

MAMMA MIA!
Opening on 25 August 2021 –
booking until 2 April 2022
Novello Theatre, London WC2B 4LD
www.mamma-mia.com
F, T & I: @mammamiamusical
Now in its 23rd year in London, producer Judy Craymer is “delighted to be welcoming people back to once again dance, jive and have the time of their lives!” Returning to the cast will be Mazz Murray as Donna, Richard Trinder as Sam, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill and Sophie Matthew as Lisa. Since premiering in London in 1999, the show has now been seen live on stage by 65 million people across the world and been turned into two record-breaking movies.

 

HAMILTON
Opening on 19 August 2021 –
booking until 2 April 2022
Victoria Palace Theatre, London SW1E 5EA
hamiltonmusical.com/london/home / F, T & I: @HamiltonWestEnd
Arguably still the hottest ticket in town, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and featuring a brand-new cast – although Karl Queensborough is returning to play the title role of Alexander Hamilton.

THE DRIFTERS GIRL
9 – 23 October 2021
Newcastle Theatre Royal then… opening 4 Nov 2021 (Booking until 26 March 2022)
Garrick Theatre, London WC2H 0HH
www.thedriftersgirl.com
F & T: @thedriftersgirl / I: @thedriftersgirlmusical
Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud will play The Drifters in a brand new musical also starring Beverley Knight, which tells the remarkable story of one of the world’s greatest vocal groups and the woman who made them.

 

MARY POPPINS
Opening 7 Aug 2021
Booking until 13 Feb 2022
Prince Edward Theatre, London W1D 4HS
www.marypoppinsonstage.co.uk
F & T: @marypoppins / I: marypoppinsmusical
Cameron Mackintosh and Disney are relaunching their Olivier award-winning production. Zizi Strallen remains as Mary Poppins and Charlie Stemp as Bert. Petula The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been brought alive with “dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs.” The stage version, adapted from the stories by PL Travers and the Disney film, continues to be a hit since its opening 17 years ago.

GET UP, STAND UP! THE BOB MARLEY MUSICAL
Opening 1 Oct 2021 / Booking until 3 Apr 2022
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES
getupstandupthemusical.com / F, T & I: @GetUpStandUpLDN
Arinzé Kene will play Bob Marley with a book by award-winning Lee Hall. All of the back catalogue is there to take you to a reggae paradise.

THE LAST FIVE YEARS
17 Sep – 17 Oct 2021
Garrick Theatre, London WC2H 0HH
www.last5yearsuk.com
F, T & I: @L5YearsUK
Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award-winning musical is directed by Jonathan O’Boyle. Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson will reprise their roles as Cathy and Jamie, following a critically acclaimed run at Southwark Playhouse last year.

INDECENT PROPOSAL
22 Oct – 27 Nov 2021 / Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/indecent-proposal
F & I: indecentproposalmusical / T: @indecentmusical
After two postponements, the company will be thrilled to get back to creating this ambitious and modern musical inspired by the Jack Engelhard novel (on which the iconic 1993 film was also based).

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Opening 16 Sep 2021
Booking until 13 Feb 2022
Cambridge Theatre, London WC2H 9HU
uk.matildathemusical.com
T: @matildamusical / F & I: matildathemusical
Celebrating ten years since the multi award-winning show opened in London, this iconic British musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide.
The RSC show is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus. Roald Dahl’s story is about an extraordinary little girl with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind.

SIX
Until 29 Aug 2021
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES then…opening 29 Sep ’21
Booking until 1 May 2022
Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2R 0NH
www.sixthemusical.com
F, T & I: @sixthemusical
The electrifying musical phenomenon by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss will move to it’s ‘forever home’ in the West End when it transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand

THE RHYTHMICS
10 Dec 2021 – 8 Jan 2022
Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 6BD
www.mettatheatre.co.uk/therhythmics
T: @TheRhythmics_
This new show explores the crisis of masculinity via a collection of oddballs belting their way through a thrillingly catchy guitar-led score.
Hapless single-dad Grey is in a rut. Teenage daughter Silva packs him off to revive his rockstar dreams, successfully auditioning for ‘Nick & the Rhythmics’ only to realise… he’s actually signed up for an All-male Rhythmic Gymnastics troupe. Against the odds these burly blokes make it as far as the World Championships.

9 to 5 THE MUSICAL
Touring from 24 August 2021
9to5themusical.co.uk
T: @9to5musicaluk / F & I: 9to5themusicaluk
Louise Redknapp will reprise her role as ‘Violet Newstead’ in the forthcoming UK tour of Dolly Parton’s musical hit.
The show tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the girls manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? Inspired by the cult film this hilarious new West End production is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!

 

BAT OUT OF HELL – THE MUSICAL
Touring 11 Sep 2021 – 5 Nov 2022
www.BatOutOfHellMusical.com / F, T & I: @BatTheMusical
Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits (and the highest selling album of all time in Australia!). Songs include: ‘You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth’, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ and ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’.

CHICAGO
Touring 11 Sep 2021 – 30 Jul 2022
www.chicagothemusical.com
F: chicagothemusical / T & I: @ChicigoMusical
Darren Day will play ‘Billy Flynn’ in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of the international musical sensation. He joins the previously announced Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’, Sinitta as ‘Mama Morton’, Divina De Campo as ‘Mary Sunshine’, Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’ and Joel Montague as ‘Amos Hart’.
Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”. Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, it is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

 

ROCK OF AGES
Touring 19 Aug 2021 – 18 Jun 2022
www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk
F: rockofagesthemusical
T: @rockofagesuk / I: rockofsgesmusicaluk
Kevin Clifton is best known known for being a professional dancer on BBC1’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. In seven years on the show he has reached the final a record five times, winning four glitter balls including the main Glitterball trophy in 2018 with Stacey Dooley before leaving in 2019. Since then, Kevin has gone on to appear in many other theatre productions including, ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.
He returns to the role of Stacee Jaxx at selected performances of this new tour. Luke Walsh, Rhiannon Chesterman, Joe Gash, Ross Dawes, Gabriella Williams and Jenny Fitzpatrick also star.

 

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL
Touring from 26 Nov 2021 – 30 Jul 2022
including Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX
from 8 Dec 2021 – 22 Jan 2022
www.bringitonthemusicaluk.com
F, T & I: @bringitonuktour
Producers Selladoor Worldwide is delighted to cheer on Amber Davies as ‘Campbell’ and four-time Olympic medallist Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’.
Inspired by the 2000 film of the same name, the show features an original score by the multi-award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pulitzer Prize winning Tom Kitt. The book is written by the Tony Award winning writer of ‘Avenue Q’, Jeff Whitty, and the lyrics are by both Lin-Manuel Miranda and writer of the stage adaptation of ‘High Fidelity’, Amanda Green.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Touring 19 Aug 2021 – 19 Mar 2022
www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk
F & I: TheAddamsFamilyUK / T: @AddamsFamilyUK

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Touring 14 Aug 2021 – 1 May 2022
www.bedknobsonstage.com / F, T & I: @bedknobsonstage
Dianne Pilkington will star as Miss Eglantine Price, the mysterious lady that the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with. A Disney classic

RENT
6 Aug – 19 Sep 2021
Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester M4 7JA
hopemilltheatre.co.uk
F & I: HopeMillTheatre / T: @hopemilltheatr1
Hope Mill Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of the classic rock musical RENT is to return with live performances at the Manchester venue.
Jonathan Larson’s book, written in 1996, is loosely based on Puccini’s opera ‘La Bohème’.

 

Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Filmed in June for streaming later in the year
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP
www.shaftesburytheatre.com/shows/lady-chatterleys-lover
Composer: John Robinson, book: Phil Willmott, direction: Sasha Regan, production design: Andrew Exeter, costume design: Jasmine Swan.

tick, tick…BOOM!
Globally launches on Netflix and in select cinemas this Autumn
www.netflix.com/gb
Lin-Manuel Miranda directs and Andrew Garfield stars in TICK, TICK… BOOM!, a new film based on RENT creator Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical about one man’s race against time to create something extraordinary.

INCIDENTAL: Music For The Stage
www.incidentalmusicforthestage.com
Royal & Derngate Theatres and Atlantic Screen Music have announced the release of a contemporary classical and electronic music album INCIDENTAL: Music For The Stage featuring original compositions for theatre inspired by some of the most famous plays and novels in the English Language. The charity compilation album will contain original music from stage productions by composers such as White Lies, Anne Dudley, These New Puritans, Rachel Portman, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Renell Shaw alongside spoken performances from actors including Judi Dench, Amanda Seyfried, David Harewood, Felicity Jones, Giles Terera, Patricia Routledge, James Norton, Sharon D Clarke, Iain Glen, Lesley Sharp, Stephen Fry, Indira Varma, Maxine Peake, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser and Simon Russell Beale.

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S SYMPHONIC SUITES
www.andrewlloydwebber.com

Andrew Lloyd Webber has brought
together an 81-piece orchestra to record
new symphonic suites from three of his
best-loved musicals.

 

The Theatre Channel
Episode 7: Rodgers & Hammerstein
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London NW1 4NU
www.thetheatrechannel.stream
The Theatre Channel collaborates with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for Episode 7. The episode is brought to life by two-time Olivier Award-nominee Michael Xavier, Josefina Gabrielle and Caroline Sheen. Further casting includes Daniel Koek, Amara Okereke, Ethlinn Rose and Tavio Wright as well as The New Café Five.

 

 

 

NEWS, GOSSIP and STILL TO COME…

Kay Mellor’s smash hit FAT FRIENDS THE MUSICAL will return to tour the UK and Ireland opening at Dartford Orchard Theatre on 14 January 2022. With original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, the show will star Lee Mead as ‘Paul’ with further casting to be announced soon. The tour will visit venues including Cardiff New, Leeds Grand, Edinburgh Festival, Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre, The Lowry, Salford, Southampton Mayflower, Wolverhampton Grand, Canterbury Marlowe and Newcastle, Norwich and Plymouth Theatre Royals.

 

Selladoor Productions confirm that the previously announced Darren Day will remain in the role of Reverend Moore in Footloose The Musical and will be joined on stage by newly cast Dancing on Ice Winner and Theatre star Jake Quickenden. Having been previously cast in the 2020 tour which was postponed due to Covid 19 Darren tells us: “I am so delighted to be able to stay with the tour of Footloose for the 2022 tour. I was a teenager in the 80s, which is such an impressionable age for movies and music. This is one of the most iconic films and soundtracks from my teenage years. I can remember hearing Footloose on the radio for the first time and thinking… what a tune! I’m really looking forward to seeing you there”

 

 

THE OSMONDS: A New Musical will receive its world premiere at Leicester’s Curve on 3 February 2022, as part of a UK & Ireland Tour, which will run through to 3 December 2022. The with story is by Jay Osmond who tells the true story of the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits, decade after decade.

 

There is going to be a brand-new UK tour of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise And Fall of Little Voice directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise, West End). Two-time Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco, whose extraordinary diva videos have been viewed over 25million times on YouTube to great international acclaim, will play LV.
Shobna Gulati, whose work includes Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End/film), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies will play Mari Hoff.
While Ian Kelsey, much loved for his many leading roles in the West End and on TV including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors and Casualty will play Ray Say.

YOUR NEWS – Potter’s Palace

YOUR NEWS – Potter’s Palace

Two-part multi award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ready to reopen in Oct


By Paul Johnson

The original two-part multi-award-winning production will resume performances at the Palace Theatre in London on 14 October 2021.

After over a year and a half of shutdown due to the pandemic, rehearsals for the West End production will begin this August.

Tickets for the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are currently available for performances at the Palace Theatre until 27 March 2022 and remain priced from £15 per part, and for every performance there are over 300 tickets at £20 or less per part.

The original production, one play presented in two parts, is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in July 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London. The most awarded new play in theatre history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won twenty-four major theatre awards in the UK and is the most awarded play in the history of the Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play. The production has also won twenty-five major US awards with six Tony Awards including Best Play.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music and arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions and magic by Jamie Harrison, music supervision and arrangements by Martin Lowe, and casting by Julia Horan CDG.

In addition to the return of the original London production, the play is currently at the Princess Theatre Melbourne. Performances plan to resume in November 2021 at the Lyric Theater, New York followed by productions at the Curran Theater, San Francisco in January 2022, the Mehr! Theatre, Hamburg in December 2021, the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto in the summer of 2022 and the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo in the summer of 2022. The New York, San Francisco and Toronto productions will be returning in a newly staged, one show experience.

Details of all productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be found at HarryPotteronstage.com
@CursedChildLDN
Facebook.com/CursedChildLDN
instagram.com/CursedChildLDN
WizardingWorld.com

l-r Michelle Gayle (Hermione Granger), Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley) and Jamie Ballard (Harry Potter). Photo: Manuel Harlan.

YOUR NEWS – Groundlings Are Back!

YOUR NEWS – Groundlings Are Back!

Main photo: John Wildgoose


By Paul Johnson

The much-loved £5 ‘Groundling’ standing tickets are back at Shakespeare’s Globe coinciding with the current production of Twelfth Night which is now running until 30 October 2021.

As a result of the easing of restrictions not permitting standing theatre tickets, the open-air Globe theatre has announced that 200 standing tickets are available for each performance. This number will allow for those who choose to socially distance in the Yard. The number of standing tickets available will incrementally increase throughout the summer until the end of August when 400 Groundling tickets will be available for each performance.

Seating capacity will also increase throughout the summer with spaces between groups sat on the same row remaining until mid-August. The open-air theatre has laid out plans to be back to full seated capacity by 23 August. The maximum capacity of the Globe is normally 1,600 and the theatre will return to full Groundling capacity (circa 600-700) at a future date. Since May 2021, The Globe has welcomed over 32,000 audience members into 79 performances in the open-air theatre.

Despite restrictions being lifted, safety remains of key importance to the Globe. As such, social distancing onstage, no intervals and reduced audience capacity will continue to remain in place for the time being. Globe staff will continue to wear a face covering and audiences are encouraged to do the same. Enhanced cleaning, hand-sanitiser stations, contactless ticketing, modified routes and arrival points to avoid overcrowding will also remain.

The piazza and onsite facilities (including the Globe shop) have also reopened before performances. Restrictions on booking party sizes have been lifted and temperature checks and check-in via the NHS app will no longer be mandatory. The Globe will also maintain its ‘Book with Confidence and Exchange with Ease’ pledge, allowing exchanges up to 24 hours ahead of a performance if a ticket holder cannot attend due to Covid-19 related issues.

The Swan at the Globe restaurant now boasts full-seating capacity. Welcoming guests for the bar, dining and events in a socially responsible manner.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, told Sardines: “The very thing that theatre thrives on is the one thing that Covid denied us: the live, alchemical relationship between play, actor, audience, space and time. It has been beyond incredible to have opened our doors to live theatre again. The beating heart of that space is the unique and ultra-live relationship between actor and groundling, standing together and ready for action. Well, we’re all ready. And we can’t wait!”

 

Photo: Clive Sherlock

 


Summer Holidays

Shakespeare’s Globe is offering a host of exciting courses and events throughout the summer holidays:

Summer Schools (8-19 years)
Perfect for aspiring actors and academics, Summer Schools in 2021 offer young people an unparalleled opportunity to develop their skills with Globe professionals.
Courses taking place online and onsite in August 2021.
For more information please visit: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/learn/ courses/summer-schools-2021/

Telling Tales (Family Festival)
Telling Tales is back on stage live with a festival of storytelling for the summer holidays. Until 22 August these storytelling performances will take you on a sensory, interactive adventure giving younger audiences the chance to get into Shakespeare’s stories in the splendid surroundings of the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
For more information please visit: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/ seasons/telling-tales-2021/

Family Guided Tours of the Globe Theatre
Ideal for those with children aged 7-11 years old. The Globe Theatre Guided Tour introduces younger visitors to Shakespeare’s London and to the theatrical world he created.
For more information please visit: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/family-globe-theatre-guided-tour/#photos

 

YOUR NEWS – Jessie & Josh’s Cinema Date

YOUR NEWS – Jessie & Josh’s Cinema Date

Jessie Buckley (Juliet) and Josh O’Connor (Romeo) in Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre. Photo: Rob Youngson

The NT’s film Romeo & Juliet, with Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, to be screened in cinemas for one night only on 28 September


By Louisa Terry

The film stars Josh O’Connor as Romeo and Jessie Buckley as Juliet, and will be available to screen across the UK and Ireland.
Directed by Simon Godwin, this new 90-minute version was filmed in 17 days in the NT’s Lyttelton theatre in December while it was closed due the pandemic. It was adapted for screen by Emily Burns. The film premiered on television earlier this year on Sky Arts in the UK on 4 April and PBS in the US on 23 April. But this is the first time the film will be available on the big screen.
Simon Godwin said: “When we came to make Romeo & Juliet as a film, we had always wanted it to succeed as well on screen as it ever would on stage. So it is the ultimate thrill for all the creatives involved that it is now having its chance to be seen on the big screen. Shakespeare, as Derek Jarman once said, would’ve loved cinema. I’m excited to imagine Shakespeare eating his popcorn watching his wonderful play lit up and brought to life on the big screen in such a dazzling way.”
Romeo and Juliet risk everything to be together. In defiance of their feuding families, they chase a future of joy and passion as violence erupts around them.
This bold new film brings to life the remarkable backstage spaces of the National Theatre in which desire, dreams and destiny collide to make Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy sing in an entirely new way.
The cast also includes Ella Dacres as Peta, Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio, Deborah Findlay as the Nurse, Tamsin Greig as Lady Capulet, Ellis Howard as Sampson, Lloyd Hutchinson as Lord Capulet, David Judge as Tybalt, Adrian Lester as the Prince, Alex Mugnaioni as Paris, Lucian Msamati as the Friar, Shubham Saraf as Benvolio and Colin Tierney as Lord Montague.
The Romeo & Juliet soundtrack will also be released digitally worldwide on Friday, 6 August.
For more information and to find your nearest venue, please visit www.ntlive.com.


The NT adds five new productions to streaming platform: National Theatre at Home

By Katie Marsh

Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum Dreams, the Young Vic’s A View from the Bridge directed by Ivo van Hove with Mark Strong and Nicola Walker, and Rufus Norris’ production of Everyman with Chiwetel Ejiofor will be available for all audiences worldwide to stream.
Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein and Sonia Friedman Productions’ Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch will also be available for audiences outside the UK & Eire.
New productions are added each month and National Theatre at Home now has twenty-six productions to stream on the platform available at anytime, including Angels in America Parts One and Two with Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane and Russell Tovey, Medea with Helen McCrory and Michaela Coel, Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper and Othello with Adrian Lester.
All productions on National Theatre at Home are available with captions. Medea and A Comedy of Errors will now also be available with audio-description to support blind and partially sighted audiences worldwide. There are fifteen National Theatre at Home titles available with audio-description.
National Theatre at Home is available at www.ntathome.com with single titles available from £5.99 – £8.99, a monthly subscription for £9.99 or an annual subscription for £99.99.
Emma Keith, Director of Digital Media at the NT, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to make more of these impactful and enchanting productions available for audiences around the world to enjoy. I’m delighted to be able to showcase some important productions in our recent theatre history, such as Chewing Gum Dreams which went onto become the BAFTA-winning television series, Hamlet which was the fastest-selling ticket in history, Rufus Norris’ first production as National Theatre Director in Everyman and A View from the Bridge at The Old Vic.”

Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, performed at the Barbican Theatre.  Photo: Johan Persson

Hamilton and Me – Giles Terera

Hamilton and Me – Giles Terera

Giles Terera and company as Alexander Hamilton’s nemesis and killer, Aaron Burr.

Photo: Matthew Murphy


Giles Terera is one of those actors who landed not only the role of a lifetime in what has become the hottest multi-award-winning show in the world right now, written by the hottest and most celebrated musical theatre writer of his generation. But to top it all, he was then duly recognised for his performance by winning the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
The first super exciting piece of news is that Giles kept a journal throughout his entire Hamilton journey. That journal is soon to be published, in hardback, on 1 July – and it’s brilliant. I’ve read it. I know. Sardines readers are able to pre-order Hamilton and Me at a specially heavily discounted rate of just £10.99. All the details are at the end of this article so make sure you order yourself a copy. And if you need another reason?

The second piece if news – that should REALLY get you excited – is that Giles Terera used to be like you and I, performing with his local amateur dramatics group in Stevenage. In Giles’ case it was the Lytton Players… a time which brings back some fond memories for the man who went on to play Aaron Burr, the historical figure who killed Alexander Hamilton.

“The camaraderie of being in an amateur company and going on that journey when you put a show on together is not that dissimilar to the journey I went on when I wrote my journal for Hamilton,” Giles told me over the phone, mid-lockdown.

After reading the book in a single weekend and realising this guy is the real deal, I mentioned to Giles that as an amateur performer, and representing the entire ‘amateur’ sector for a moment, it would be very difficult to apply that much scrutiny to an amateur performance… such as auditioning and finding out you’ve got the part a whole year prior to opening night. We simply don’t have enough hours in the day.

“Yes, but speaking about ‘amateur’ most of the people who I know and have worked with started off in their local amateur dramatics company,” the West End performer-come-author tells me. “That’s the natural way to start. We like it at school and then find the local amateur dramatics society. That’s certainly what I did. I went with my friend to the one group that was in town, and that’s where we did it, where we started.”

“The amount of dedication you see us applying is really just down to curiosity about a particular character who should really interest you,” continues Giles before reminiscing. “It takes me back; I remember starting out with my amateur dramatics company, we weren’t getting paid anything. So in order to get up there and do it you must really, really want to do it. You’ve got to love what you’re doing. ‘Amateur’. You have to be a lover of what you’re doing; you have to get up there and do it every week, make the costumes sometimes, build the set sometimes. It’s the whole thing. It’s that level of commitment that we strive for in the professional theatre. That’s why I’ve never understood the negative connotation in calling someone an ‘amateur’. You simply have to have the passion for what you’re doing. Otherwise, why else are you there?”

I really like this guy. He’s genuinely genuine. I’ll let him continue: “For me, it was just an extension of that; getting the same feeling as when I was 10 or 12 years old. I was with the Lytton Players Amateur Dramatic Society in Stevenage, and I loved it. We’d get there early and stay behind afterwards. We would even go round to people’s houses for some extra practice if we felt we needed it. Obviously now we are contractually employed by someone to do it but the reason why you do it – at the very core – it’s because I really like doing it. I love it. And to be honest I don’t think that’s very different, whether you are a professional or an amateur.”

Back to that contractual employment then and that little show called Hamilton. I bet he’s pleased he kept a journal? “The journal helps me in rehearsals and with my work process anyway,” discloses Giles. “I came back to it last summer and, when I read it through, I thought that it was something I would have liked to have had to read when I was training. It would have been really useful. Hopefully, people will be able to get a lot of things from it.”

The Victoria Palace Theatre.

Actually, the words “contractual employment” don’t get used once in the book. It’s as if Giles is still an amateur – something Ian McKellen always used to refer to himself as – I mean just because you’re getting paid it doesn’t mean you can’t still ‘love’ what you do. Speaking with Giles I got the feeling that – despite a strong body of professional work in the biog bank – being cast in Hamilton must have felt like achieving the role-of-a-lifetime.

“It doesn’t always happen like that,” is the response I was half expecting. “With Hamilton I think, like the show itself, my journey to it was a ‘coming together’ of lots of different things. I know that we are all passionate about our work and different jobs mean different things at different times in our lives, but for some reason at that point in my life, and taking into account the career I’d had up until then, as well as things in my personal life – everything came together in that one role. I had to draw on all those different things to perform that role and tell that story.”

“It’s like the book,” explains Giles further. “When I was doing the show I noticed a lot of Shakespeare comparisons in there, in terms of storytelling, the depth of the characters, and even their flaws. I’ve done quite a lot of Shakespeare and so I was able to draw on a lot of that experience as well as music performing. But yes, everything kind of came together for that one role.”

“Sometimes you become part of a play and you’ll know what you’re doing straightaway,” Giles told me to clarify his previous point. “‘I know why I have been cast as that person.’ And you just sort of do it. But with this I soon realised it was going to take everything that I’d got. It was very much an all-consuming thing. But I quite liked that about it.”

The genius behind Hamilton almost needs no introduction. Lin Manuel Miranda has also written the foreword to Giles Terera’s Hamilton and Me. Such a move is testament to giving the upcoming publication your final blessing. Giles was and still is in awe of the show’s creator, and even hails him as a modern-day bard: “Ha ha! You know what? When I was looking through the journal I noticed a lot of similarities,” laughs Giles before getting serious. “Lin Manuel is an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary storyteller… and so was Shakespeare. With Shakespeare, whether he’s writing about Hamlet, who’s younger, Lear, who’s older or Othello, who’s black, what we’re basically saying is ‘What do we deal with, as human beings?’ And really, that’s all Shakespeare is interested in. And I think Lin Manuel is exactly the same. Yes, he’s talking about history and yes, he’s talking about politics… but he’s also talking about brothers and fathers, sons, children. I think that’s why Shakespeare comes up a lot. Like any brilliant storyteller, they’re all going for the same thing.”

You might as well just say it, Giles… “I think Lin Manuel definitely compares to the Bard; I think he’s our Shakespeare.” Ok you said it, and time will tell I guess. “Shakespeare wrote about stories that existed,” enthuses the actor. “He hardly made anything up himself. Lin does the same thing. ‘I’ve got this story that exists. How can I connect it to an audience now?’ That’s one of the big things I loved about doing the show.”

Giles Terera accepting the 2018 Olivier Award for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ as Alexander Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr. Photo: Televised screenshot

“Also, Lin says – as Shakespeare did – ‘I’m going to use whatever is available and make it connect to an audience now. Today,” continues Giles. “Shakespeare used a lot of jokes and songs of the time that he knew the audience would know. And Lin does the same thing, which is why we get a lot of hip-hop. You use whatever you can to get your story across to today’s audience.”

Speaking of music, Hamilton does appear to have Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical stamp all over it. But the score isn’t entirely rap and hip-hop. My personal favourite is called The Room Where It Happens which has more of a Blues and Boogie feel. And if you were to ask Mini Sardines he’d happily quote you some of Lin Manuel’s non-rap musical numbers from the animated film, Moana.
“When I first heard anything about the show I thought what everyone thinks, that it was all rap and hip-hop. But then when I listen to it… Wow!” adds Giles. “Lin Manuel knows as much about the classics of musical theatre as he does about rap and hip-hop. It’s all in there; Gershwin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Frank Loesser – Guys and Dolls. All of that stuff is in there as well, in addition to Lin’s Latin American roots. So it’s not just one thing at all. And he’s able to craft how a song works rather than just giving it a catchy melody; how the song builds and whether the character who is singing it changes or not. Technically, how to build a song is one of the great skills.”

Our last mention of Mr Miranda comes from a moment Giles experienced during his pre-audition visit to see the show on Broadway. “Funnily enough when I went to see the show in New York – that’s where I auditioned for it – I was really moved by the fact that the theatre next door is where Les Misérables is playing. There is no Hamilton without Les Mis, and it goes way beyond the subject matter; French or American Revolution. Just in terms of, historically, what a musical theatre production can do really moved me. Lin Manuel is absolutely an incredible scholar of musical theatre, as he is with rap and hip-hop. You wouldn’t necessarily think of the American Revolution coupled with, rap and hip-hop; how do you go about putting the two together? But he’s managed to do it.”

Prince Harry and Meghan went to see one of the performances of Hamilton, accompanied by Lin Manuel Miranda. Giles Terera (left) and the cast look on after the show as Prince Harry gives his thank-you speech.

As you can guess generous Giles likes to talk about other people before himself. Luckily there’s no shortage of talent or surreal experiences to mention, such as the incredible bond formed within the entire company, something that doesn’t always occur: “Those special moments do not happen every time,” confides Giles. “You do some things that really have a magic about them and they just come together and are very special. It’s probably like anything, any endeavour you undertake. For some reason, at that moment, with that group of people, coming together has a certain thing. No, it’s not always like that. I think it depends on the quality of the work; sometimes it can involve a different factor. But with Hamilton, the work is so rich and there’s so much to do such as the journeys of the characters, let alone the execution of it – the singing, the dancing. It takes so much that we all knew what each other was also going through… and that’s when those special moments can happen. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, Hamilton. But knowing that there were other people who understood that meant there was a really strong bond as well.”

“Plus, it was a really funny group of people. Brilliantly skilled and, at the same time, really nice people,”Giles remembers warmly. “Also it’s testament to the creatives of the show and especially Tommy Kail who directed it. He was very specific about the kind of person he wanted to keep in the company. During the auditions I remember he asked about who you are as a person, what’s your background, where you come from and what you care about. So it’s actually more than just singing and dancing well in the show; it’s about who you are as a person. That’s very important to all of them. And the more we did the show, as the year went on, the more I appreciated the really amazing people in the company. And we all still talk. There are only a few people in the original West End company who are still in the show but, two years later, we’ve still got our WhatsApp group and we still meet up. As I’ve said, it’s not always like that but with Hamilton everything was very, very special.”

No wonder it’s the most in-demand show of the moment. It makes you want to put it on doesn’t it? Although Cameron Mackintosh doesn’t give out his performing rights very often – maybe to schools though? “I would hope so,” agrees Giles Terera. “I know that in America certainly they have a whole education program linked to the production called ‘EduHam’ which is available to schools. I would imagine the natural progression of all of that would be to release some sort of performing rights.”

“One of the things I never got over in Hamilton was how much young people connected to it. There were videos being uploaded all over the place with young people doing bits from the show, so I hope it does happen. As I say, it certainly would feel like the natural progression for it to be released at some point in the future.”

Like all theatres the newly renovated Victoria Palace Theatre (Hamilton) has been closed for over a year. Giles spent a year in the show and was away with twelve months to spare: “I left Hamilton at the end of 2018 so I was out for a whole year before the pandemic hit everything,” he says in a sombre mood which lightens as he remembers his award. “I left in December and was lucky enough, in April 2019, to win the Olivier award. We were also asked to perform at the Olivier’s and we had to rehearse an adapted version of the opening in March. It all happened fairly quickly. There was quite a few of us who’d finished after the year was up, with some staying on for a second year. Then, they finished too just before lockdown happened… and then of course all the shows closed. But it’s starting up again soon. August I think.”

How one follows up a show like Hamilton is not a question I was expecting a happy answer to… although: “Erm… [long pause] I’ve written a play which I’ve been writing and developing over the last few years with Bristol Old Vic,” I’m a little surprised, but I don’t know why. “In fact the reason I was slightly late for our interview was because of a production meeting about it. We’re trying to do something in the autumn this year. They haven’t actually announced anything yet so I don’t know if I should say any more at the moment, but it’s almost official so hopefully it’ll be announced very soon and we can talk about it properly.”


SPECIAL OFFER FOR SARDINES READERS – Save £6.00 off the book price*

Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal
by Giles Terera

…is published on 1 July.

Pre-order your copy for just £10.99 plus delivery (RRP £16.99) when you order direct from publishers Nick Hern BooksJust head to www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/hamilton-and-me and enter discount code SARDINESHAMILTON * at checkout for the extra £1 pre-order discount.

This discount also applies to copies signed by Giles Terera, which are exclusively available to pre-order via the Nick Hern Books website.

*This code is valid until Thursday 1 July.


 

STRIKE UP THE BAND!

STRIKE UP THE BAND!

Strike Up the Band! is our regular delve into selected productions from the professional musical theatre industry.
With all restrictions still on target for being eradicated from 21 June it would seem that the entire West End has announced its intention to reopen. So let’s hope nothing changes that!
This is a good thing for the amateur sector because wherever the pros tread, we amateurs are sure to follow.
We can’t physically fit the entire UK show-list into these pages so, instead, here are some highlights for you. But with the industry still in a delicate state of flux we urge you to check any relevant websites before purchasing tickets.


HAMILTON
Reopening 19 August 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Victoria Palace Theatre, London SW1E 5EA
hamiltonmusical.com / F, T & I: @HamiltonWestEnd
Arguably the biggest show in town, produced in the West End by Jeffrey Seller and Cameron Mackintosh, Lin Manuel Miranda has written everything; book, music and lyrics. It just makes our latest cover star, Giles Terera and his new book, ‘Hamilton and Me’ even more relevant.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Reopening 27 July 2021 booking to 13 Feb 2022
Her Majesty’s Theatre, London SW1Y 4QL
thephantomoftheopera.com
/ F, T & I
Andrew Lloyd Webber has bowed to public pressure and reversed Cameron Mackintosh’s decision to close the iconic, long-running show, thank goodness.

WICKED
Reopening 15 September 2021
and booking until 22 November 2022
Apollo Victoria Theatre, London SW1V 1LG
www.wickedthemusical.co.uk / F, T & I: @WickedUK
The show marks its 15th anniversary later in the year and will host a celebratory performance on 28 September 2021.
Music and lyrics are by legendary composer Stephen Schwartz with a book by Winnie Holzman, based on the novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, by Gregory Maguire. The show has played to over 10 million people in London alone and is the winner of over 100 major international awards.

Les Misérables – The Staged Concert
Reopened 20 May 2021, limited season until 5 September 2022
Sondheim Theatre, London W1D 6BA
www.lesmis.com / F, T: @lesmisofficial & I: @lesmizofficial
The pre-curser to the opening of the new production includes Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Lucie Jones as Fantine, Gerard Carey as Thénardier, Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Shan Ako as Éponine, Harry Apps as Marius, Jamie Muscato as Enjolras, Charlie Burn as Cosette and, on certain dates, Dean Chisnall will play the role of Jean Valjean.

Disney’s THE LION KING
Reopening 29 July 2021, booking until 3 Apr (individuals) / 22 October 2022 (groups)
Lyceum Theatre, London WC2E 7RQ
www.thelionking.co.uk / F: TheLionKingUK / T: @thelionking  / I: thelionkinguk
14 new members will be included in the cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers when it reopens its doors at the end of July.
Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation first opened on Broadway in 1997 and has entertained more than 100 million theatregoers in 25 productions worldwide. The London production has played to over 16 million people alone over the last two decades.
When the pandemic hit it was the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Mary Poppins
Reopening 7 August 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Prince Edward Theatre, London W1D 4HS
www.marypoppinsonstage.co.uk / F, T: marypoppins & I: marypoppinsmusical
Cameron Mackintosh and Disney’s Olivier Award-winning production will see Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp reprise their roles as as ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Bert’ respectively. Timeless music and lyrics come from the Sherman brothers, with additional songs from Stiles and Drewe, and a Book by Julian
Fellowes.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Reopening 16 September 2021
and booking until 13 February 2022
Cambridge Theatre, London WC2H 9HU
www.matildathemusical.com / F, I: MatildaTheMusical & T: @MatildaMusical
Adapted from Roald Dahl’s much loved 1988 book, the RSC’s production premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in 2010, before transferring to the West End in October 2011.
The story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a super-sharp mind, who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, has been written for the stage by Dennis Kelly, boasts music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and has been directed by the Old Vic’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus.

Only Fools and Horses The Musical
Reopening 1 October 2021 and booking until 26 February 2022
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
onlyfoolsmusical.com / F: OFAHMUSICAL, T: @OFAHMusical & I: ofahmusical
Paul Whitehouse will return to star as Grandad, alongside Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney in this 5-star musical extravaganza. The re-opening of the show will form part of this year’s 40th anniversary celebrations of the legendary BBC sitcom – which first aired in 1981.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CINDERELLA
Previews 25 June 2021, Opens 14 July 2021
Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW
www.andrewlloydwebberscinderella.com / F, T & I: @alwcinderella
Apart from music by Lloyd Webber, the show has a book by ‘Killing Eve’ co-writer and Academy Award winning Emerald Fennell (Best Original Screenplay Oscar) and lyrics from David Zippel.

Come From Away
Reopening 22 July 2021 and booking until February 2022
Phoenix Theatre, London WC2H 0JP
comefromawaylondon.co.uk / F, T & I: @ComeFromAwayUK
Winner of every major Best Musical award when it opened in the West End in March 2019, ‘Come From Away’ tells the remarkable and inspiring true story of 7,000 stranded air passengers during the wake of 9/11, and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but as uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Previews 1 July 2021. Opens 15 July 2021
The London Palladium, London W1F 7TF
www.josephthemusical.com / F: JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat / T & I: @josephmusical
Alexandra Burke will play The Narrator in the celebrated musical, while Linzi Hateley – who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the Narrator, starring alongside Jason Donovon in the original London Palladium production – will perform again in the role on special dates. Jason Donovan returns to the role of Pharaoh while Jac Yarrow returns to the title role which earned unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination.

Dear Evan Hansen
Reopening 26 October 2021 and booking until 13 February 2022
Noël Coward Theatre, London WC2N 4AP
dearevanhansen.com / F, T: @DEHWestEnd & I: dehwestend
The 2020 Olivier Award-winning show for Best Musical will hold a special night in its first weeks of performances to honour mental health care workers and volunteers, who will be invited to attend as guests.
The show opened at the Noël Coward Theatre in November 2019 and, apart from winning the Best New Musical gong, it also picked up two other Olivier Awards. The show’s now-iconic blue polo and arm cast are part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Hairspray the Musical
Previews 21 June 2021, Opens 29 June 2021
London Coliseum, London WC2N 4ES
www.hairspraythemusical.co.uk / F, T: @hairspraylondon / I: @HairsprayLondon
Les Dennis will now play the role of Wilbur Turnblad after Paul Merton was forced to withdraw from the pandemic-hit production due to other pre-agreed, long-term work commitments.
Still in the show, Michael Ball, returns to his Olivier Award-winning role of Edna Turnblad while Lizzie Bea stars as Tracy Turnblad, Marisha Wallace takes on Motormouth, ex-EastEnder, Rita Simons is Velma Von Tussle and Jonny Amies plays Link Larkin.

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL
Reopening 28 July 2021 and booking until 26 June 2022
Aldwych Theatre, London WC2B 4DF
tinathemusical.com/uk / F, T: TinaTheMusical & I: @tinathemusical
The musical based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner and produced in association with Tina herself. When the critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in April 2018 in London it subsequently broke all Box Office records at the Aldwych Theatre.
Aisha Jawando and Jammy Kasongo are set to return to their pre-Covid roles as Tina and Ike Turner respectively.

AMÉLIE THE MUSICAL
Reopened 20 May 2021, limited season until 25 September 2021
The Criterion Theatre, London W1V 9LB
ameliethemusical.com
F, T & I: @ameliethemusicaluk

 

ABBA MANIA
The Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP until 6 June 2021… and then touring until 30 October 2021
www.abbamania.com
F: AbbaMania T: @realABBAMANIA I: abbamaniaofficial
Read our 5-star review from our visit to the Shaftesbury Theatre

 

Heathers the Musical
Opens 21 June 2021 for 12 weeks (Theatre Royal Haymarket SW1Y 4HT)
…then touring from 28 July 2021
www.heathersthemusical.com
F: heathersthemusical T: @HeathersMusical I: heathersmusical

 

Forever Plaid
1 – 27 June 2021
Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London N6 4BD
www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com
F: UpstairsAtTheGatehouse / T: @GatehouseLondon
The socially distanced production comes back once more to The Gatehouse. The blurb says: “This ‘Heavenly Musical’ is one of our favourites with its ‘square’ songs from the Fifties.”

THE LAST FIVE YEARS
17 September – 13 October 2021
Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2R 0NH
www.last5yearsuk.com
F: L5YearsUK / T & I: @l5yearsuk
Following last year’s run at Southwark Playhouse and a successful stream with stream.theatre the award-winning musical will play a limited season in the West End.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
30 July – 5 September 2021
Sadler’s Wells EC1R 4TN
www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2021/singin-in-the-rain
F: SadlersWells T: @sadlers_wells

 

Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Previews 12 November Opens 8 December 2021
Piccadilly Theatre, London W1D 7DY
moulinrougemusical.co.uk
F & I: moulinmusicalUK / T: @moulinmusicaluk
The cast has yet to be announced and tickets are on sale (auditions on left). The show features a lavish, immersive set and follows aspiring writer Christian and dancer Satine as they fall in love.

Hot Gossip!
1 performance only on Monday, 7 June
Duchess Theatre, London WC2B 5LA
www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/an-evening-with-arlene-phillips
F: NimaxTheatresLondon / T: @NimaxTheatres

 

CABARET
Opens in November 2021
The Kit Cat Club, London’s West End
Sign up for emails at kitkat.club
F: @kitkatclubLDN T: @kitkatclubLDN
Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Tony and Olivier winner Eddie Redmayne as ‘Emcee’ and Bafta Nominee & British Independent Film winner Jessie Buckley as ‘Sally Bowles’.

Beauty and the Beast
Touring from 25 August 2021
www.beautyandthebeastmusical.co.uk
F: beautyandthebeastmusical / T: @BeautyMusical / I: beautymusical
A re-imagined and re-designed new production of the Disney show sees Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo preparing to play the iconic lead roles (see right); spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story.

Express G&S
23 June – 2 July 2021 (Pleasance Theatre, London N7 9EF)
…and touring until 15 September 2021
IOLANTHE
Touring now until 30 August 2021
www.charlescourtopera.com / F & I: charlescourtopera / T: charlescourt

THE LITTLE PRINCE
6-track EP and film now on YouTube – Online and from Little Angel Theatre N1 2DN
www.mettatheatre.co.uk/little-prince819
F, T & I: @mettatheatre
Written and recorded in lockdown, an album has spun into a short film retelling Antoine De Saint Exupery’s much-loved story using shadow puppetry.

 

MONDAY NIGHT AT THE APOLLO
14 June & 5 July 2021
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EZ
thespie.com / F: thespie, T: @Thespie & I: thespie_
The June concert of the series will be performed in front of a socially distanced audience and simultaneously livestreamed to viewers at home via Thespie. Shan Ako, Arthur Darvill, Sophie Evans, Sandra Marvin and Oliver Tompsett. The July line up is still to be confirmed.

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
Reopens on 1 July 2021, booking until 8 January 2022
Dominion Theatre, London W1T 7AQ
www.theprinceofegyptmusical.com / F & I: PrinceOfEgyptUK / T: @princeofegyptuk
Based on the classic DreamWorks Animation film, ‘Tracy Beaker’ star Clive Rowe will join the company as ‘Jethro’ for a limited engagement until 16 October 2021. The musical tells the story of how Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery.

MTFESTUK 2021
THE NEW MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
Digital UK tour until 4 July 2021
The Turbine Theatre, London SW11 8AB
www.theturbinetheatre.com/whats-on/mtfestuk-2021 / F: TurbineTheatre, T & I: @turbinetheatre
We had intended on running an interview we have done with Turbine Theatre’s Paul Taylor Mills but we’ve had to move it into the following issue due to lack of space.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON LIVE!
2 – 6 June 2021
Palace Theatre, London W1D 5AY
www.theshowmustgoonlive.com
F & I: thetheatresupportfund / T: @theatre_support
18 West End shows and an all-star musical cast come together, hosted by Bonnie Langford & Trevor Dion Nicholas.

THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
7 – 19 June 2021
Curve Theatre, Leicester LE1 1SB
www.curveonline.co.uk
F: CURVEtheatreLeicester T: @CurveLeicester

 

 

The Addams Family A MUSICAL COMEDY
Touring 17 August 2021 – 5 March 2022
www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk
F: TheAddamsFamilyUK / T: @AddamsFamilyUK / I: theaddamfamilyuk
Samantha Womack and Cameron Blakely will revive their roles as Morticia and Gomez Addams, based on the characters originally created by Charles Addams.
Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love.

ANYTHING GOES
23 July 2021 – 17 October 2021
Barbican Theatre, London EC2Y 8DS
anythinggoesmusical.co.uk
F & I: anythinggoesuk T: @AnythingGUK
Sutton Foster replaces Megan Mullally (injury) and reprises her Tony Award-winning role as she joins Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot.

GREASE
Touring from 30 July – 27 November 2021
greasethemusicalontour.com
F: greaseUKTour / T & I: @greaseuktour
With Nikolai Foster directing & Arlene Phillips choreographing, Peter Andre stars as ‘Teen Angel’ and Vince Fontaine at certain venues. Both Patrick Swayze & John Travolta appeared in the stage show, with Richard Gere understudying before starring as Danny Zuko in London.

HAIRSPRAY
Touring from 24 June 2021 – 2 April 2022
www.hairsprayuktour.com
F & T: @HairsprayUKTour / I: hairsprayuktour
Brenda Edwards will star as Motormouth Maybelle while Norman Pace takes on Wilbur Turnblad and Alex Bourne will pop a frock to play Edna Turnblad. Paul Kerryson directs with choreography from the multi-talented Drew McOnie.

LES MISÉRABLES
Touring from 24 November 2021 –
14 January 2023
www.lesmis.com/uk-ireland-tour
F & T: @lesmisofficial / I: lesmizofficial
Dean Chisnall plays ‘Jean Valjean’, Nic Greenshields, ‘Javert’ and Katie Hall takes on ‘Fantine’. If this giant of a show is coming to a town near you, make sure you see it.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL
Touring from 26 January – 30 July 2022
www.bringitonthemusicaluk.com
F: BringItOnUKTour / I & T: @bringitonuktour
The tour follows a Christmas season at London’s Southbank Centre. The cast is led by ‘Amber Davies as ‘Campbell’ and Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’. Lin-Manuel Miranda co-writes music & lyrics.

JERSEY BOYS
Touring 25 November 2021 – 12 November 2022
www.jerseyboyslondon.com
F: JerseyBoysLondon / T & I: @JerseyBoysUK
Famously remembering the music & inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

 

Matthew Bourne’s THE MIDNIGHT BELL
Touring 9 September 2021 – 27 November 2021
new-adventures.net
F: MBNewAdventures / T: @new_adventures / I: mbnewadventures

 

 

PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL
Touring 23 June – 30 October 2021
priscillauktour.com
F: PriscillaTourUK / T & I: @priscillatouruk
Mark Goucher and Jason Donovan produce the glittering hit musical full of fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor disco classics.

 

ROCK OF AGES
Touring 19 August 2021 – 18 June 2022
www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk
F: rockofagesthemusical / T: @rockofagesuk
The musical comedy lavished with over twenty-five classic rock anthems, including ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, ‘We Built This City’, ‘The Final Countdown’, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Can’t Fight this Feeling’.

WAITRESS
Touring 4 Sep 2021 – 20 Aug 2022
www.waitressthemusical.co.uk
F, T & I: @waitressuk
Lucie Jones reprises her role as ‘Jenna’, Sandra Marvin plays ‘Becky’ and Evelyn Hoskins takes on ‘Dawn’ (right) while Matt Willis plays ‘Dr Pomatter’. Jones was previously in the West End production at the Adelphi Theatre.

SCHOOL OF ROCK The Musical
Touring 7 September 2021 – 13 August 2022
uktour.schoolofrockthemusical.com
F: schoolofrockmusical / T: @schoolofrockuk / I: Schoolofrockuk
Based on the movie starring Jack Black, children are currently being auditioned for the onstage band. While 14 new songs have been written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, original favourites such as ‘Stick It to the Man’ have stayed. Julian Fellowes has written the book.

SOMETHING ABOUT SIMON
Touring 7 June – 11 July 2021
www.somethingaboutsimon.com
F: somethingaboutsimonconcerts
T: @SimonAbout / I: SomethingAboutSimon
The life and music of legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon returns to the British stage this summer.

Dorian A Rock Musical
Streaming 4 – 26 June 2021
www.stream.theatre/season/127
F: RubyInTheDustTheatre / T: @_RUBYINTHEDUST_ / I: ruby_in_the_dust_theatre
Following the success of Gatsby A Musical, filmed and streamed at Cadogan Hall, Ruby in the Dust now presents a rock adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic for you to stream at home.

 

TELL ME ON A SUNDAY
Touring from 15 June – 16 November 2021
tellmeontour.co.uk / F & I: tellmeontour / T: @Tellmeontour
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s classic musical will get the Jodie Prenger treatment this year.
It charts the romantic misadventures of a young English girl in New York in the heady days of the 1980s.

 

THE CHER SHOW
Touring 15 April 2022 – 18 March 2023
cheronstage.com
F & T: @TheCherShowUK / I: thechershowuk
A trio of female power sees Arlene Phillips direct the show due to open next year while choreography comes from Strictly chamion Oti Mabuse and the all-important costume design is by Gabriella Slade (see right).

THE DANISH GIRL
New Theatre Peterborough has been working with writers Katie Lam and Alex Parker and director Tinuke Craig to host a workshop of a new musical adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel. There was of course also an Academy Award-winning 2015 film starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander – a fictionalised account based on the real life of Lili Elbe.

 

 

FOR TONIGHT
Concept Album – Summer 2021
www.fortonightmusical.com
F & I: fortonightmusical / T: @For_Tonight_
Music book and lyrics are by Shenelle Salcido & Spencer Williams, with additional book by Whitney Rhodes. The show is inspired by writer Spencer Williams’ three times great grandfather’s handwritten journal and blends traditional Welsh choral, indie-pop, folk and Romani-inspired melodies.

New musical production company Perfect Pitch and worldwide theatrical licensing house Broadway Licensing have announced a new partnership that will see the commission, development, production and licensing of four new British musicals. Perfect Pitch founders, Wendy & Andy Barnes are producers of ‘SIX’, Seven existing Perfect Pitch titles have joined the Broadway Licensing catalogue.

 

 

IN THE HEIGHTS
Released in cinemas 18 Jun 21
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g6c6dCuTW8
F: InTheHeightsMovieTH / T: @intheheights
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music and lyrics capture a world very much of its place but universal in its experience.

 

GET UP, STAND UP! THE BOB MARLEY MUSICAL
Previews 1 Oct, Opens 20 Oct 21
Lyric Theatre, London W1D 7ES
getupstandupthemusical.com
F & T: @GetUpStandUpLDN / I: getupstandupldn

 

 

Lady Chatterley’s Lover
18 – 19 June 2021
Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2H 8DP
www.shaftesburytheatre.com/shows/lady-chatterleys-lover / T: @LadyCMusical
The new musical adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s infamous literary classic.

 

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY
Reopens 1 Oct 2021 …and currently booking until 3 Apr 2022
The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX
mammamiatheparty.co.uk
F, T & I: @mammamiapartyuk

 

YOUR NEWS – NYT Rep Tour

YOUR NEWS – NYT Rep Tour

The National Youth Theatre REP Company’s first national tour, which has already started, will feature two new productions of classic plays: Orwell’s Animal Farm and Shakespeare’s Othello.
The productions are co-produced with Royal & Derngate as part of its Made in Northampton season.

While both productions are highly recommended, May’s initial dates in Northampton have passed and the NYT’s London dates are sold out.

This now leaves only one remaining venue for each play… Othello can be seen at Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire from 23-26 June while Animal Farm is still to play at Soulton Hall, Shropshire from 16-19 June.

The REP Season concludes with Ordinary Miracle, a new play by the Bryan Forbes. It play in London from 2-4 July at the NYT Workshop Theatre.

More: www.nyt.org.uk

YOUR NEWS – Mute MusicScope?

YOUR NEWS – Mute MusicScope?

Above: Lionel Bart’s Oliver! is one of the UK’s all-time favourite musicals… licensed, historically, by MusicScope.

Bromley Little Theatre’s 2011 December production.
Photo: Tim Hinchliffe


By PAUL JOHNSON

At Sardines we like to think of ourselves as consistently having one ear to the ground.
However, we were recently contacted by a society that was looking to push its confirmed dates back for Oliver! (it’s been happening a lot). And so the mystery began. MusicScope hadn’t responded to any emails and its phone line was dead. Hence the plea to Sardines.
We hadn’t been made aware of any official changes in the licensing world but, after looking into the situation, we discovered that Music Theatre International (MTI) – which used to be Josef Weinbergers to the like of you and I – is now handling licenses for Oliver! (www.mtishows.co.uk/oliver-0) – although if you want to perform it after 1 January 2022 you’ll have another, seperate non-MusicScope-related problem.
Cameron Mackintosh is rumoured to be reviving his own professional production which could be opening at the Prince Edward Theatre after Mary Poppins closes.
Oliver! appears to be the only title that MTI is handling licenses for. Ryan Macaulay, Director of Operations, Education and Development at MTI told us:
“I’m not too sure what’s happened with MusicScope – our taking control of the Oliver! rights was separate to the Concord/Tams/MusicScope changes (it just so happened, as coincidence would have it, they happened around the same time). Have you reached out to someone at Concord? Perhaps Bob Hamilton?”

Bob Hamilton is in fact the ‘Robert’ Hamilton mentioned on the home page of MusicScope’s website, where it says:
“For new license requests please contact:
Robert Hamilton.
Concord Theatricals,
71-91 Aldwych,
London WC2B 4HN.

Tel: 020 7054 7200
Email: theatricals.london@concord.com

(Visit: www.musicscopeuk.com)

Catherine Thomas, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications (Europe) at Concord Theatricals responded with:
“Concord Theatricals took over the licensing of the Tams-Witmark catalogue on 1st April 2019, with the understanding that moving forward we would administer all new licences from that catalogue. Licences already made by MusicScope will continue to be handled by MusicScope, and licence-holders should address their enquiries regarding their productions to Sally at MusicScope (info@music scopeuk.com), which we understand continues to operate as its own company independently of Concord. In the event MusicScope does not respond in a timely manner to enquiries regarding existing licences for Tams-Witmark titles, they should contact licensing@concordtheatricals.co.uk.”

Whatever was said to us, it would appear that all communication to and from MusicScope’s office in the UK (75 Furnival Street, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 7LH) does seem to have come to a sudden halt. It’s very telling that all of MusicScope’s other titles are now handled by Concord Theatricals

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