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.
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.
CLICK FOR OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR TOUR DATES BELOW Following a sold-out run in spring 2014, Terry Johnson’s hit revival of Oh What A Lovely War will return to its spiritual home – Theatre Royal Stratford East – in January 2015, before embarking on a national tour. It will be produced by Christopher Malcolm Productions Ltd and Matthew Mitchell. Oh What A Lovely War, a satirical musical about World War I, originally premiered at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963. Joan Littlewood adapted the play from Charles Chilton’s work for radio through her company Theatre Workshop. It was an immediate hit, transferring to the West End in June 1963, opening on Broadway in 1964 and receiving four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. The musical is packed with familiar songs from the World War I era including ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ and ‘Keep … Read more
Mrs Henderson Presents – The Musical will open at the Theatre Royal in Bath in 2015. Directed by Terry Johnson, the show is based on the 2005 film of the same name, with lyrics by Don Black and music by George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain who also composed the music for the film. Mrs Henderson is the true story of a widow (Mrs Henderson) who buys the Windmill Theatre in London to help fill her time, appointing Mr Vivan Van Damm as her manager. As war looms the pair search for ways of lifting morale with the help of beautiful girls, who pose in naked tableau on the Windmill Stage. The original movie starred Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and marked the film debut of Will Young. Rumour has it that Lesley Manville is looking at involvement with the show, which it is hoped will head to the West End after … Read more