Friday, 7 July 2023

New Cast Announced for The Phantom of the Opera at His Majesty's Theatre

Cameron Mackintosh is pleased to announce new cast members for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at His Majesty's Theatre from July 31, 2023. The show is currently scheduled until March 2, 2024.

Lily Kerhoas joins as Christine Daaé, Joe Griffiths-Brown as Raoul, David Kristopher-Brown as Ubaldo Piangi, and Maiya Hikasa as Meg Giry. Jon Robyns continues in the role of The Phantom, along with Kelly Glyptis as Carlotta Giudicelli, Adam Linstead as Monsieur AndréMatt Harrop as Monsieur Firmin and Francesca Ellis as Madame Giry.  At certain performances the role of Christine Daaé will be played by Paige Blankson.


The cast is completed by Hollie Aires, Federica Basile, Corina Clark, Michael Colbourne, Leonard Cook, Colleen Rose Curran, Lily De-La-Haye, Hywel Dowsell, Connor Ewing, Serina Faull, Florence Fowler, James Gant, Melanie Gowie, Eilish Harmon-Beglan, Yukina Hasebe, Samuel Haughton, Thomas Holdsworth, Jacob Hughes, Grace Hume, Tim Morgan, Eve Shanu-Wilson, Tim Southgate, Zoë Soleil Vallée, Jasmine Wallis, Victoria Ward, Ralph Watts, Simon Whitaker, and Andrew York.

Lily Kerhoas previously appeared in Les Misérables and trained at the Royal Academy of Music. Joe Griffiths-Brown was part of the West End company of Hamilton, while David Kristopher-Brown has past experience in The Phantom of the Opera and other productions. Maiya Hikasa's credits include Billy Elliot and the international Tour of Cats.

The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Ltd. The music is by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. The production is based on Gaston Leroux's novel 'Le Fantôme de l'Opera'. The show has been a global sensation, playing to millions of people worldwide.

The London production underwent a creative overhaul after the COVID-related shutdown and has received rave reviews. The legendary musical, celebrating its 37th birthday in October 2023, will continue its successful run at His Majesty's Theatre.

Beyond London, The Phantom of the Opera continues to captivate audiences globally, with productions in Japan, Korea, and on a world tour. Cameron Mackintosh's new production recently concluded a record-breaking run in Australia and will open in Vienna in March 2024. Other exciting productions are also underway in Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Matthew Kelly and Denise Welch to star in world premiere of The Gap at Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill Theatre is thrilled to announce the world premiere of a captivating new play, titled The Gap, written by Jim Cartwright and featuring the talented duo of Matthew Kelly and Denise Welch. Directed by Anthony Banks, this highly anticipated production will grace the stage of Hope Mill Theatre from February 9th to March 9th, 2024, for a limited engagement. Mark your calendars as tickets go on sale starting July 8th.

The Gap delves into the audacious adventures of Walter and Corral, two individuals who haven't crossed paths in half a century. Once inseparable during the vibrant '60s in Soho, Walter finds himself up north while Corral remains down south. However, a chance phone call reunites them for one magical night, and before they know it, they're immersed in their old tricks once more.

Matthew Kelly, renowned for his exceptional performances on both stage and screen, graces us with his presence in this production. With an illustrious career that includes memorable roles such as the original Stanley in Funny Peculiar, Waiting For Godot alongside Ian McKellen and Roger Rees, and a captivating portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, for which he earned an Olivier Award for Best Actor, Matthew Kelly's talent shines brightly. His recent theatre credits include Noises Off, The Habit Of Art, and The Dresser, among others, showcasing his remarkable versatility. Not only a master of the stage, Matthew has also made his mark on the screen, with notable appearances in various TV shows and presenting credits on beloved programs such as You Bet! and Stars in their Eyes.

Joining Kelly is the esteemed actress Denise Welch, whose upcoming engagement in Diana: The Musical at The Eventim Apollo has already garnered significant attention. Denise's theatrical repertoire boasts impressive performances in productions like Calendar Girls the Musical, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, and Steel Magnolias, to name a few. Her television career includes series regular roles in shows like Coronation Street, Waterloo Road, and Hollyoaks, solidifying her presence in the industry. As a regular panellist on ITV's Loose Women since 2001, Denise continues to captivate audiences with her engaging presence and insightful commentary.

Playwright Jim Cartwright and director Anthony Banks express their excitement about collaborating once again after their successful ventures with Mobile Phone Show in 2013 and Raz in 2016. They eagerly anticipate witnessing the extraordinary lives of Walter and Corral come to life through the exceptional talents of Denise Welch and Matthew Kelly, spanning five decades of change.

Matthew Kelly, filled with anticipation and enthusiasm, exclaims, "Dear Manchester, I'm coming home, and what better reason to return than with actress Denise Welch and playwright Jim Cartwright. We will star in the world premiere of Jim's remarkable new play, THE GAP, at Manchester's prestigious venue, Hope Mill Theatre. This funny, moving, and exquisitely crafted play will showcase the superb talents of Denise Welch, and I will be right by her side, shining throughout. Directed by Anthony Banks, this top-tier team embarks on an exceptional project at an extraordinary venue. I couldn't be more thrilled and excited. I invite you all to join us and be a part of this unforgettable experience. Sincerely, Matthew Kelly off the Telly."

Denise Welch expresses her elation, stating, "I am incredibly excited to return to my first love, theatre, and collaborate with the fantastic team at Hope Mill Theatre next year. Working opposite Matthew Kelly in a new play by Jim Cartwright is truly a dream come true. I hope each and every one of you will come and witness what promises to be an outstanding production."

The Gap is produced by Hope Mill Theatre

photo credit:

Police Cops: The Musical to transfer to The Large at Southwark Playhouse Borough

After their successful performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, Police Cops: The Musical, will be moving to The Large theatre at Southwark Playhouse Borough for a limited run. The show will be running from September 8, 2023, to October 14, 2023.

After achieving five years of sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, the internationally acclaimed comedy troupe Police Cops returns with an updated version of their very first musical. With an exciting new score composed by the Brit Award-winning Ben Adams (known for his work on "Eugenius! The Musical"), the Police Cops are bringing their high-energy, action-packed physical comedy to the stage in their most ambitious production yet.

The creators of the show, Zachary Hunt, Nathan Parkinson, and Tom Roe, are joined by Melinda Orengo and Natassia Bustamante. The cast is completed by Mychele Lebrun and Ben Lancaster.

Follow rookie Police Cop Jimmy Johnson as he enters the force with the intention to protect and serve. However, Jimmy finds himself in deep trouble, paired up with a rebellious Police Cop and under the pressure of a racist Chief. With guns at the ready and safety catches off, Jimmy embarks on a thrilling adventure from the tough streets of America to Mexico, where his destiny awaits in the form of the seasoned ex-Police Cop, Juanita Gonzalez.

The creative team behind the production includes Rich Morris (Musical Supervision, Arrangements, and Orchestrations), Andrew Exeter (Set & Lighting), Charlie Smith (Sound), and Pearson Casting (Casting Director).

Welcome to the U.S.Eighties.

Thursday, 6 July 2023

Jersey Boys the Musical Extends Season at the Trafalgar Theatre

The Grammy, Tony, and Olivier award-winning musical Jersey Boys celebrates its 18th birthday after its Broadway debut in 2005. This captivating show takes you behind the music and delves into the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The production is currently booking until January 28, 2024, with Christmas performances now available.

To mark the birthday celebrations, the London production is thrilled to announce its new cast starting from July 26 at the Trafalgar Theatre. Luke Suri continues as Frankie Valli, joined by Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi. Peter Nash takes on the role of Tommy De Vito, and Declan Egan plays Bob Gaudio, having previously portrayed the character at the Piccadilly Theatre and on the UK tour. Together, they complete the Four Seasons.

Additionally, a talented ensemble joins the cast, including Joey Cornish as Joe Pesci, Joseph Peters as Bob Crewe, Andy Barke as Gyp De Carlo, Kirsty Whelan as Mary Delgado, Oliver Tester as Norm Waxman/Hank Majewski, Jacob McIntosh as Barry Belson, Gracie Lai as Lorraine, Rosie Needham as Francine, and others.

This musical has received praise for its combination of tough guys, tender harmonies, a captivating story, and an endless repertoire of hit songs, as noted by The Guardian. The journey follows four guys from New Jersey who captivated audiences with their unique sound. From their humble beginnings to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this musical is a captivating tale. The show features the beloved songs of The Four Seasons, including "Beggin'," "Sherry," "Walk Like A Man," "December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)," and many more.

Howard Panter, producer for Trafalgar Entertainment Productions, expresses excitement about reaching the milestone of 18 years for Jersey Boys. He looks forward to witnessing the incredible new cast deliver the legendary hits that have made the musical a smash hit.

Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, Jersey Boys has garnered numerous prestigious awards and has been seen by millions of people worldwide. The show opened to rave reviews at the newly refurbished Trafalgar Theatre in July 2021.

Originally opening on Broadway in November 2005 and running for over 11 years, Jersey Boys became the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history. In London's West End, it ran for nine amazing years from 2008 to 2017, ranking as the sixth longest-running musical at the time. The musical has also completed three record-breaking tours in the UK and Ireland.

As a special offer in July, patrons can use the promo code 4JULY for any performance and enjoy a complimentary drink, such as a Frankie cocktail or Brooklyn Lager, with their Band A seat.

photo credit: Matt Crockett