Eastenders actor Jamie Foreman will play Arthur in the West End transfer of Mrs Henderson Presents opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 9 February for a strictly limited season. Foreman joins the previously announced Tracie Bennett as Laura Henderson, Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams as Maureen. Foreman is best known for playing Derek Branning in EastEnders, but his other credits include Lenny in Birds of a Feather, Bill Sikes in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, Duke in Layer Cake, Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth, Elizabeth and Sleepy Hollow. Tracie Bennett is a double Olivier Award-winner for her performances in the musicals She Loves Me and Hairspray. She received huge acclaim all over the world for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End Of The Rainbow, and was Tony Award nominated for her lead role in the production, also directed by Terry Johnson. The cast also includes … Read more
BOOKING IS NOW OPEN FOR MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS Following a sell-out season at the Theatre Royal Bath, new musical Mrs Henderson Presents will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 9 February 2016. Mrs Henderson Presents will star Tracie Bennett and Ian Bartholemew playing Mrs Henderson and Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams playing Maureen. We believe that both Bennett and Williams will reprise their roles in the West End. Other casting will be announced shortly. It’s London, 1937, and recently-widowed eccentric, Laura Henderson, is looking for a way of spending her time and money when her attention falls on a run-down former cinema in Great Windmill Street. Hiring feisty impresario Vivian Van Damm to look after the newly renovated Windmill Theatre, the improbable duo present a bill of non-stop variety acts. But as war looms something more is required to boost morale and box office… When Mrs Henderson … Read more
There is no doubt that Mrs Henderson Presents should transfer to the West End. The material is first-rate and superior to many new musicals that have played there in recent years. It will need a bigger orchestra (and, accordingly, bigger orchestrations) and it could do with some casting fine-tuning and a larger ensemble (another dozen dancers at least) so that a grander sense of scale was permitted. In Bath, it comes across as a superb chamber piece, perfectly suited to the gorgeous Theatre Royal. In the West End, its aim can be higher.
On the strength of this first, tentative outing, concerts like this could come to rival those staged in the Encores! series in New York or by the Production Company in Australia. Jonathan Groff was truly terrific – and one was left wanting to see him headline a full scale production of this show, with Cynthia Erivo and Hannah Waddingham (and Amy Ellen Richardson) by his side.
Oh What A Lovely War still has great relevance and, in at least one respect, has more power now than it ever has. It is a combination of sketches, jokes, music hall songs, dramatic scenes and wartime songs which results in a conflagration of poignant truths and misty nostalgia. There are a lot of laughs along the way and some genuinely delightful renditions of songs and dances.
Three of the UK ’s most popular and internationally successful musical theatre stars have joined forces to record a critically acclaimed new British musical. Kerry Ellis, Ben Forster and Louise Dearman appear on the new recording of Alexander S. Bermange’s three-person musical The Route To Happiness, which was embraced by critics and audiences alike during its run at London ’s Landor Theatre last year. This album of the complete show includes new and reconceived material that BBC comic songwriter Bermange has created for the musical since its premiere production, and is produced by Mike Dixon, one of the UK ’s foremost Musical Supervisors. The Route To Happiness charts the individual and interweaving experiences of three present-day Londoners in pursuit of their respective dreams: finding love, making money, and becoming famous. A musical with humour and heart, listeners will be amused, moved, and possibly even made to question their own desires … Read more