Casting has been announced for new musical The Stripper which will be presented at the St James Theatre Studio from 7 July to 13 August 2016. Based on the pulp fiction story by Carter Brown, with music and lyrics by The Rocky Horror Show creators Richard Hartley and Richard O’Brien. The year is 1961, the place is Pine City, California, and some broad is threatening to throw herself off the top of the fanciest hotel in town. There’s trouble brewing and Lieutenant Al Wheeler wants answers. First stop, Club Extravaganza where we meet delectable Deadpan Dolores. Her name says it all… she’s not shy, so what’s she hiding? As Wheeler is thrust into a sleazy underworld of strip-joints and lost lonely hearts, the truth isn’t the only thing he uncovers. The cast will include Hannah Grover (Annabelle/ Sherry Mendez/ Sarah Arkwright), Gloria Onitiri (Deadpan Dolores/ Patty Keller), Marc Pickering (Doc … Read more
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
When the climax to Act One involves a slapstick shovel-on-head knockout blow, a suit splitting across the central character’s back, and Steven Berkoff finally making his entrance, heavily made up as Saddam Hussein, you know that there is no point staying for the second Act. Nothing can make up for the time which you have lost while enduring Act One. Death is far too close, whatever your age, to fritter time away on profitless theatrical misjudgment. Fleeing is wise.
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.