Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Cory English to Play 'Doctor Emmett Brown' in Back To The Future the Musical for 6 Weeks Only

Lead producer Colin Ingram, together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that celebrated theatre actor, Cory English, will join the cast of Back To The Future The Musical at the Adelphi Theatre, playing the role of ‘Doctor Emmett Brown’ from 23 November 2022 until 3 January 2023. Tony Award winner, Roger Bart, who is currently playing the role, will return to the show on 5 January 2023. His final performance in London will be 20 March 2023 after which he will lead the cast of the Broadway production, which begins performances at Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on 30 June 2023 with an official opening on 3 August 2023.

The critically acclaimed Olivier, WhatsOnStage and Broadway World Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021. Last week the musical broke box office records at the Adelphi Theatre for the highest gross sales in one week.

Cory English played Max Bialystock in the West End and UK Touring productions of The Producers, directed by Susan Stroman. His other credits include Sleepless at Troubadour Theatre Wembley Park, She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Igor in Young Frankenstein on Broadway and in the West End and Benny Southstreet in Michael Grandage’s West End production of Guys & Dolls.

Back To The Future The Musical currently stars Tony Award-winning Roger Bart and Ben Joyce as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Amber Davies as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Oliver Nicholas as ‘George McFly’, Jordan Benjamin as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Harry Jobson as ‘Biff Tannen’, Sophie Naglik as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Gary Trainor as ‘Strickland’, Will Haswell as alternate ‘Marty McFly’ and ‘Dave McFly’ and Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’. Also in the cast are Amy Barker, Simeon Beckett, Sia Dauda, Tyler Davis, Glen Facey, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Adam Margilewski, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Bryan Mottram, Laura Mullowney, Anna Murray, Jon Reynolds, Melissa Rose, Georgia Tapp, Justin Thomas, Charley Warburton and Tavio Wright.

The Original Cast Recording, released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label, is now available on all formats, including vinyl, and has had over 3 million streams. It features the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Back To The Future The Musical won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, four WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical, and the Broadway World Award for Best New Musical. The productions in London and Manchester have so far been seen by half a million people and the musical has broken box office records at the Adelphi Theatre.

Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, Back To The Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown. But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.

Back To The Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, On The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).

Back To The Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.

The ENO presents the UK premiere & operatic adaptation of the festive favourite film, It’s a Wonderful Life

This November, opening the festive season at the London Coliseum, the English National Opera (ENO) presents the highly anticipated UK premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life. Composed by Jake Heggie in 2016 with the libretto by Gene Scheer, this is an operatic adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra Christmas classic film, sung in English.

A blended tale of fantasy and drama loosely based on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a humble man of humble origins in a humble small town. Having sacrificed many of his own dreams to help others around him, George is driven to breakdown, only to be shown by his guardian angel how his life enriches his community in ways he could never imagine.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a family friendly opera, perfect for first-time opera goers of all ages. It is an all-singing, all-dancing tale of hope and redemption sprinkled with a smattering of festive magic. Tickets start from £10 for everyone, under 21s can access free tickets to all performances, and under 35s can sign up for huge discounts.

Jake Heggie is an American composer influenced by multiple styles; he often infuses gospel, jazz, and pop elements into his work making his operas accessible to audiences while challenging their understanding of what a traditional opera can be. Heggie is known as one of modern operas most exciting contemporary composers, describing himself as primarily concerned with exploring character. With George Bailey at the centre of It’s a Wonderful Life, it’s clear to see why this nuanced story appealed to Heggie where the banker’s emotional turmoil is at the heart of the story and key to the music.

Jake Heggie says:
‘I am over the moon that the ENO has assembled such an extraordinary cast and creative team for this fabulous new production at the London Coliseum. When creating It’s a Wonderful Life, Gene Scheer and I wanted to give audiences a memorable holiday experience, packed with lyrical singing, big ensembles, and the powerful emotions that opera can explore like no other art form. This show brings people together - especially during this festive season - and London audiences of all ages are in for a magical, moving, and astonishing evening of music and dance.’

Directing and Choreographing It’s a Wonderful Life is Aletta Collins, making her ENO directorial debut. A former Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House, Collin’s has directed and choreographed for opera houses across the UK and internationally, as well as theatres in the West End and Off-West End. Collins recently choreographed the BAFTA Award-winning British coming-of-age drama film, Belfast (2021), written and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Conducting the award-winning ENO Orchestra and making her ENO debut in the pit is regular collaborator Nicole Paiement. Paiement has gained an international reputation for conducting contemporary works. She has served as the Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she has commissioned, premiered, and recorded works for many living American composers; and she is the founder and Artistic Director of San Francisco's Opera Parallèle where she has conducted many new productions.

‘Opera’s coolest soprano’ (The New York Times Magazine) and Australian-American actress Danielle de Niese makes her ENO operatic debut performing the role of Clara, George’s guardian angel. De Niese regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages, and is a prolific recording artist and TV personality. She recently starred in the feature film of Poulenc’s one-women opera, La Voix Humaine, alongside Sir Antonio Pappano which premiered in Spring 2022 on BBC Two along with international cinematic release.

American tenor Frederick Ballentine will be making his role debut as George Bailey. He made his ENO debut as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess and is returning to the ENO after performing as a soloist in the concert staging of Seven Last Words where he was ‘strong-voiced and ardent’ (Seen and Heard International), and performing the role of Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale during the 2021/22 Season. He will be making his second role debut this 2022/23 Season performing the role of Loge in Wagner’s The Rhinegold, for Richard Jones’ Ring Cycle.

British soprano Jennifer France returns to the ENO for her role debut as Mary Hatch Bailey. France made her ENO debut in Orphée during the 2019/20 Season. She recently performed as a soloist in concert for In This Brief Moment at Symphony Hall, Birmingham with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where she ‘stole the show’ with ‘her impeccable diction and laser precision’ (The Guardian). France has performed at many of the leading opera houses both in the UK and internationally, including Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Royal Opera House.

American bass baritone Donovan Singletary will be performing the role of Harry Bailey. Singletary is a recent graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Programme and he has been praised by Opera News for his ‘bright baritone’. He is returning to the ENO following performance singing Jake in the 2018 staging of Porgy and Bess. Joining him on stage is South African soprano Segomotso Shupinyaneng who is making her ENO debut performing the role of Harry’s wife, Helen Bailey.

Tenor Roland Samm, born in Trinidad and Tobago, is performing the role of Uncle Billy Bailey. Returning to the London Coliseum, he previously made his ENO debut in the 2018 production of Porgy and Bess in the role of Peter.

Bringing her ‘expressive’ and ‘sumptuous voice’ (The Guardian) to the role of Mother Bailey is British soprano Gweneth Ann Rand. Rand is currently an Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall and she was previously a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House. She is returning to the ENO following her performance as Serena in the ENO’s 2018 staging of Porgy and Bess, the title role in Aida, the Mother in Hansel & Gretel at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and the Hen/Innkeeper’s Wife in 2022 production of The Cunning Little Vixen.

Making his ENO debut is American baritone Michael Mayes as Mr Potter. Mayes made an explosive international debut singing the role of Joseph de Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking to international acclaim in 2018 for Teatro Real and at The Barbican in London. He has performed for many of the leading opera houses both in the UK and internationally, including Houston Grand Opera House, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Seattle Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

As the Angel Quartet, British soprano Keri Fuge, who is making her ENO debut, will be joined on stage by current ENO Harewood Artists; German mezzo-soprano Idunnu Münch, South African tenor Zwakele Tshabalala, and British bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson. British baritone and former ENO Harewood Artist Alex Otterburn will be returning to the London Coliseum in the role of Ernie. The stellar cast will be joined on stage by the ENO Chorus.

Giles Cadle is the Set Designer, Gabrielle Dalton is the Costume Designer, Andreas Fuchs is the Lighting Designer, and Nick Lidster is the Sound Designer.

It’s a Wonderful Life opens on Friday 25 November for 10 performances: Nov 25, 29, 30 and Dec 3, 7, 9 at 19.30. Nov 27 and Dec 3, 10 at 15.00.

A fully staged Relaxed Performance will be on Wednesday 7 December at 11.00.

British Sign Language performance: Wednesday 7 December, 19.30.

Monday, 31 October 2022

New dates added to Carrie Hope Fletcher's debut tour

More dates have been added to award-winning stage sensation Carrie Hope Fletcher’s debut solo tour due to phenomenal demand.


Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book will see the musical theatre star, author and vlogger play a series of unmissable theatre shows in May and June 2023, with new shows added in Oxford, Liverpool, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Southend, Bath and Glasgow.


Performing songs from her incredible West End and touring career, fans can look forward to hits from HeathersLes MisérablesThe Addams Family and many more, interspersed with chat about Carrie’s fascinating life and career.


Tickets for the new dates are on general sale from 10am, on Friday, November 4 from www.cuffeandtaylor.com


Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book 2023

18-May Bradford, St George’s Hall

19-May Oxford, New Theatre

21-May Southampton, Mayflower Theatre

22-May Norwich, Theatre Royal

25-May London, The London Palladium

27-May Llandudno, Venue Cymru

28-May Salford, The Lowry

29-May Birmingham, Symphony Hall

21-May Sheffield, City Hall

01-June  Liverpool, Empire Theatre

02-June Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

03-June Newcastle, O2 City Hall

04-June Edinburgh, Festival Theatre

06-June  Leicester, De Montfort Hall

07-June  Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre

09-June  Southend, Cliffs Pavilion

10-June  Bath, The Forum

11-June  Glasgow, Theatre Royal


Speaking about Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book, Carrie said

“I am so excited to be preparing for my first ever solo tour – and to be adding new dates is absolutely fantastic.

“A solo concert tour is something I have wanted to do for some time, and it’s great to be able to visit even more places and meet even more fans.


“I adore being on stage and am fortunate to have performed in so many theatres, but there’s something very special about being able to get out on the road and visit some beautiful theatres around the UK.”


Earlier this year, Carrie was named best performer in a female identifying role in a musical as the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella. Most recently, she has wowed critics in a new revival of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and is now preparing for her pantomime debut as the villain Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.


Carrie, who has an impressive three WhatsOnStage Awards to her name, has enjoyed a breath-taking career since her West End debut at the age of nine playing Young Éponine in Les Misérables.


Since then, Carrie’s theatre credits include Fantine in Les Misérables: The Concert, Veronica in Heathers, Wednesday in The Addams FamilyÉponine in Les Misérables, both Truly Scrumptious and Jemima in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Beth in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and Jane Banks in Mary Poppins.


When she’s not treading the boards of the West End’s biggest stages, Carrie is also a best-selling novelist, Top 20 recording artist and respected vlogger with her popular self-titled music and vlog channel attracting more than a million views a month.


Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book is presented by Lambert Jackson, Live Nation and Cuffe and Taylor.


Jamie Lambert, of Lambert Jackson, said: 

Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book presents an opportunity to take one of the West End’s most celebrated and successful leading stars to theatres across the UK.


“There has been a phenomenal demand for the tour so we are delighted to be adding extra dates so even more people will be wowed by the stunning voice of Carrie, while also getting an insight into her incredible career.”


Cuffe and Taylor Director of Theatre Touring Ben Hatton added: 

“We are very excited to be presenting Carrie’s debut UK tour, and it is testament to her great popularity that we’re adding these dates. Carrie is the most wonderful musical theatre talent and audiences will absolutely love this show.”


For more information about Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book and to secure tickets head to www.cuffeandtaylor.com


Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Five Reasons to see Bat Out of Hell on Tour

On its last tour stop with its current cast, Bat Out of Hell remains a fiery, energy-packed explosion of a show which is drawing audiences in and providing a rocking night out. For a full review of the touring production, click here, but for today I'm sharing with you my top five reasons to take a trip to see the show at its current venue, the New Victoria Theatre, Woking.

It's a Complete Escape From Reality: I don't think I've seen a show which is as larger than life as Bat Out of Hell. Not only is the story completely futuristic and flamboyant, but the staging, special effects and performances are like nothing else. From fire, to confetti this show has it all and is a spectacle to behold.

It Has Comedy in All the Right Places: The show is set in an apocalyptic world where groups of people are stuck at 18 years old so spend their days hiding out in an underground world and riding around on Harley Davidson's, so needless to say, you need to suspend your belief while watching. Thankfully, the show helps you do so by providing humour in moments which could be otherwise phoney. This is mostly done through the outstanding performances by Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton as Falco and Sloane who continually poke fun at one another. Through a series of one-liners and silly interactions the humour runs throughout and also adds to their character depth. Plus their vocals are stellar.

There Are Backstories Woven In: A personal favourite aspect in a show is when there's a story beyond the main story. This is extremely prevalent in Bat and adds a whole level of interest that just expands each time you see the show. All of the ensemble not only have names, but have their own stories figured out. Depending on who you watch you can see romances blossom and fall apart, jokes carry on and so much more. 

The Performances Take the Roof Off: A show like this couldn't be performed with lacklustre vocals, thankfully it's the complete opposite. The entire cast are face-meltingly good and are the definition of energy throughout. Written by the late Jim Steinman this show was always written to be performed as a jukebox musical so the songs just work in this setting when performed by such a unanimously strong cast.

It's Fun For All Ages: While it may not seem it on the tin, this really is a show which caters for everyone. Of course there are a few risqué moments which parents might not want their kids to see but overall it's just a whole lotta fun and they'd probably go over their heads anyway. For those who grew up with the music of Jim and Meatloaf, the show is a fantastic way to reminisce and hear the songs in a new light and for those new to it, it's a perfect introduction. The audiences are made up of a whole variety of people who are all brought together by this wacky and wonderful show.

After the deaths of both Jim Steinman and Meatloaf, the musical is even more poignant and provides even more of a reason for you to visit and share in the legacy of the musical icons. If the joyous audiences are anything to go by, you'll thoroughly enjoy this show!

Bat Out Of Hell runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 5th November

photo credit: Chris Davis