News round up

There has been a lot of exciting news this week, here’s a round up.  Funny Girl (Savoy Theatre), Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre), The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre) and In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre) have all extended their booking periods.
Casting for The Bodyguard’s run at the Dominion Theatre has been announced. The cast includes Beverly Knight as Rachel Marron (Knight recently starred as Felicia Farrell in Memphis and Grizabella in Cats), Rachel John as Nicki Marron, Carole Stennett as alternate Rachel Marron, Mark Holden as Bill Devaney, Dominic Taylor as Sy Spector, Matthew Stathers as Stalker and Glen Fox as Ray Court. The Bodyguard will open on 15th July 2016.

It has been announced the Matt Curry will take over the role of The Wizard in Wicked from 25th March 2016. Tom McGowen, currently The Wizard, will end his limited run on 12th March. Between 14th and 24th March, Sean Kearns, currently playing Doctor Dillamond, will be The Wizard. Wicked recently extended its booking period into April 2017.

Michael Crawford is making his return to the West End in the upcoming production of The Go-Between at the Apollo Theatre as Leo Colston. The Go-Between opens at the Apollo on 27th May with press night on 7th June.

Dreamgirls is confirmed to open at the Savoy Theatre in December 2016 (with previews in November). Glee star Amber Patrice Riley will make her West End debut in the production as Effie White.

Casting news

It’s been an eventful beginning to the New Year with major cast changes in Les Miserables and Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera soon to be having a new Phantom, and with Cats and Elf closing in the West End.

Carrie Hope Fletcher and Rob Houchen who play Eponine and Marius in Les Miserables have announced their departure from the show on the 13th February after two and a half years there. Houchen will be replaced by Craig Mather and Fletcher by Danielle Hope (from 15th February to 2nd April) and Eva Noblezada (from 4th April). As previously announced, Rachelle Ann Go will leave on 30th January also and the role of Fantine will be taken over by Patrice Dipoki.

We’ll be getting a completely new line up of the Four Seasons. Michael Watson, Jon Boydon, Gary Watson and Edd Post have announced they will be leaving their roles as Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys on 13th March. Also leaving the cast is Sandy Moffat who plays Frankie at certain performances.

John Owen-Jones is currently playing the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. The role is very soon to be taken over by Ben Forster who had recently appeared in Elf the Musical at the Dominion Theatre and The Rocky Horror Show at the Playhouse Theatre. Owen-Jones’ last performance will be on 30th January.

Casting has also been announced for The End of Longing which will be showing at the Playhouse Theatre from 2nd February to 14th May. Matthew Perry will star in his own creation, alongside him will be Christina Cole, Jennifer Mudge and Lloyd Owen.

News of the week

Miss Saigon to hit Broadway in 2017
The show is set to close in the West End early next year. It has been announced it will transfer to Broadway in spring of 2017 for a limited season and then embark on a North American tour in 2018. Eva Noblezada and Jon Jon Briones (which will be his Broadway debut) will continue their current roles in the West End production in NY.

Leading cast for the 2016 UK tour of Chicago announced

John Partridge will star as Billy Flynn, Hayley Tamaddon as Roxie Hart and Sam Bailey as Mama Morton. The tour will begin at New Theatre Oxford from 12th February until 9th July.

Maureen Nolen joins the cast of Footloose on its UK tour

The Buddy Holly musical is set to embark on a UK tour in 2016. It will begin in Harlow on 31st August.