Looking back at theatre in November

Well, with this roundup for November, there’s no denying that the holidays are just around the corner. And in theatre, that can only mean one thing. It’s panto season!!!!

Looking back at theatre in November

Try and deny it if you must (trust me, I’ve tried), but everyone loves a panto. Whether it’s watching them as a young kid, watching them as an adult, performing in them or working backstage on them, there’s a whole lot of panto love going round in December. I mean, what’s not to like about your favourite fairytale being adapted with pop songs, other musicals and more innuendos than you can shake a stick at.

Personally, this holiday season is a big one for me. I’m working on my first pantomime, having watched them with my Nana and sister yearly as a child, and I’m loving every minute. The whole company is lovely and the vibe is just wonderful, and we all know that even though it’s going to be mental and we will be exhausted, we are going to have a great month working together.

For those who don’t wish to see a pantomime this December, check out WhatsonStage’s guide to the top shows to see this Christmas season across the UK.

So remember, the holiday season is about spending time with family and having fun, so go and support your local panto, wherever that may be. Regardless of whether it’s a small regional production, or a massive one like the London Palladium, there’s nothing like a pantomime to get you into the holiday spirit.

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okenodo win top prizes at Evening Standard Theatre Awards


The pair received Best Actor and Actress awards for their roles in Anthony and Cleopatra at the National. Hamilton won Best Musical and it’s lead, Jamal Westman took home the award for Emerging Talent.

Other winners include Best Play for the Young Vic’s The Inheritance and Best Director for Marianne Elliot for Company.

Source: The StandardPhoto: Jonah Persson

Katharine McPhee to lead UK production of Waitress


Katharine McPhee will make her West End debut as Jenna, having played the role on Broadway earlier this year, where the show is in its third year. When the show opens in the UK, it will be the first West End Musical to have an all-female creative team. Previews will begin on February 8th and opening night will be on March 7th.

Source: The Stage

Regents Park Open Air Theatre announce 2019 Season

ec8649fc7ca0deeca10d6edab1cbcb38ce6490fa.jpgThe new season will feature Our Town, directed by Ellen McDougall, running from May 16th to June 8th; a collaboration with the English National Opera on Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel, sung in English and conducted by Ben Glassberg from 14th to 22nd June; A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns to the venue for the first time in seven years, directed by Dominic Hill, and will run from 28th June to 27th July. The season will finish with a run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, directed by Jamie Lloyd, which will run from August 2nd to September 21st.

Source: LondonTheatre.co.uk

Tom Hiddleston to star in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal 

0699d58f38f232b2c46a8983438ab855763a4a28.jpgAs part of the Pinter season, celebrating the playwright in the West End, Tom Hiddleston has been announced to play the lead in a production of Betrayal at the Howard Pinter Theatre. It will run from March 5th to June 1st 2019 and will be the final production in the Pinter at the Pinter season.

The production will be directed by Jamie Lloyd and will be the only full length play in the season, the rest being only one act plays.

Source: The Stage

2019 UK tour of Ghost the Musical announced

0185d350cac07605f154fa52321193a746d2bb4c.jpgGhost the Musical will return to the UK next year for a four-month tour. The tour will start at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, and will tour to Sheffield, Leicester, Glasgow and Brighton, among many others.

The tour runs from January 8th to May 4th and will star Rebekah Lowings as Molly and Niall Sheehy as Sam. Jacqui Dubois returns to the role of Oda Mae Brown, having played the role in the 2016 tour of the show.

Source: Whatsonstage

Drama schools form alliance to raise profile of musical theatre


Leading drama schools including Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Arts Educational Schools London and Guildford School of Acting have joined the Alliance of Musical Theatre Conservatoires. This alliance will see the schools share best training practice, work to increase diversity and participation in musical theatre, and campaign for funding. The alliance is planning networking events, masterclasses and workshops for students and staff alike.

Source: The Stage

Home, I’m Darling transfer

0d0c23f0d71347eda993b741df9bdea88bc058ac.jpgIt has been announced that Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling will transfer to the West End next year, following its premiere at Theatre Clwyd and a run at the National Theatre.

It will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from January 26th until April 13th, and will then tour to the Theatre Royal Bath and the Lowry in Salford.

Source: The Stage

Bush Theatre Appoints Lynette Linton as new Artistic Director

f20bd66a5adf6fdb72691f356ccca382f4aa6218.jpgLynette Linton will replace Madani Younis as the new Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre.

Linton is a former resident associate director at the Donmar Warehouse and associate director at The Gate, and she will take over the role at the Bush Theatre in January. She is currently directing Sweat for the Donmar and will co-direct Richard II at the Globe next year, as well as curating a film project at the Royal Court which is co-produced by the company she founded.

Source: The Guardian

UK Premiere of Avatar prequel announced by Cirque du Soleil


Director James Cameron has helped Cirque du Soleil to develop a new show inspired by Avatar. The show, named Toruk - the First Flight is written and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, and will run at Manchester Arena from June 20th - 23rd and at London’s O2 Arena from June 26th - 30th.

The show uses multimedia and puppetry to portray the prequel story to the 2009 Avatar movie. It will be choreographed by Tuan Le and Tan Loc, with set and prop design by Carl Fillion, costumes by Kym Barrett, sound by Jacques Boucher and lighting by Alain Lortie.

Source: The Stage

We Will Rock You UK and Ireland tour

37b82523a9c2f29dd3b85a1f13e236b70913c830.jpgThe Queen musical will be reimagined for a new UK and Ireland Tour next year. This will be the fourth time the show has toured the UK, and it will open at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley in September 2019, and will run in venues across the UK and Ireland until May 2020.

The show previously toured the UK in 2010 and 2011, and as part of a world tour in 2013. This followed a 12 year run in the West End.

Source: WhatsOnStage

Ian McKellen to Tour the UK in new one man show


Ian McKellen announced plans to raise money for 80 theatres across the UK as part of a nine-month tour to celebrate his 80th birthday. The show will be called Tolkein, Shakespeare, others...and you!, and will play in theatres all over the UK.

The tour will run from January to September next year, visiting both high profile venues and small theatres alike. All profits from the show will benefit specific causes at each venue. 

Source: BBC


Jo Nead

Jo Nead Contributor

I am a Hertfordshire based RADA graduate working in Stage Management. I like to knit, cook and travel and I can always be found in or talking about a theatre!

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