Everything you need to know about 'Newsies' in London

Learn more about this headline-making musical and get tickets to the European premiere of Newsies, currently playing at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Have we got news for you! Newsies is about to make headlines in London, as the award-winning musical makes its U.K. debut in November. In 2011, the real-life story of a newsboys' strike in New York became a beloved stage show, and the catchy tunes and invigorating choreography have earned Newsies countless "fansies" all over the world.

London audiences can now watch what happens for themselves when a scrappy group of teenage newsboys goes on strike against the powerful publisher Joseph Pulitzer. First, read all about the plot, cast, music, and performance information of Newsies in London, which immerses audiences in the world of 19th-century New York. How newsworthy!

Book Newsies tickets on London Theatre.

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What is Newsies about?

Newsies is the story of how a group of young newspaper sellers went head-to-head with one of the most powerful news magnates in the world and changed the future of workers' rights. Based on the real New York City newsboys' strike of 1899, the show follows how teenager Jack Kelly and his fellow newsboys go on strike against Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher of the New York World newspaper, after he suddenly charges them more money just to work. The newsies go on strike, and their small, unofficial union soon becomes the leaders of a citywide movement.

Where is Newsies playing?

Newsies is at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, located at 3 Fulton Road in London, HA9 0SP. The venue has a 2,000-seat capacity. For Newsies, seating is in the round, with the audience surrounding the stage on multiple sides.

How long is Newsies?

Newsies is 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval. This is an average length for a musical.

What days is Newsies playing?

Newsies runs from 29 November to 19 February. Through 1 January, Newsies runs Tuesday through Sunday, with no performances on Mondays as well as Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Beginning 2 January, Newsies will perform Wednesday through Sunday, with no performances on Mondays or Tuesdays.

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When did Newsies premiere?

Newsies debuted as a movie in 1992 before getting the stage musical treatment nearly 20 years later. Learn more about how Newsies went from screen to stage and went on to make headlines worldwide.

  • 1992: The Disney movie musical Newsies premiered in theatres. Christian Bale starred as Jack Kelly, and Kenny Ortega made his debut as a film director while also choreographing. The movie flopped initially but later gained a cult following.
  • 2010: The first workshop of the Newsies musical took place. One cast member from that workshop, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, would continue with the production.
  • 2011: Newsies had its world-premiere production at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse. That pre-Broadway production only ran for three weeks, but it received widespread acclaim.
  • 2012: Newsies opened on Broadway. Much of the Paper Mill cast, led by Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, transferred with the production. The show ran at the Nederlander Theatre for two years — much longer than the originally planned three-month run — and won two Tony Awards.
  • 2014: After closing on Broadway, Newsies launches a tour throughout the U.S. and Canada. The tour ran until 2017, playing 784 total performances in 65 North American cities.
  • 2017: The tour ends with a special performance at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. That show featured multiple lead actors from the original Broadway cast, alongside multiple touring company members. The performance was filmed and played in movie theatres for three days in 2017. It was then released on Netflix and has moved to Disney+.
  • March 2022: Newsies celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Broadway premiere. Multiple members of its Broadway and touring productions performed a special New York concert in honor of the milestone.
  • November 2022: Newsies makes its U.K. debut at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. This new production is in the round, with audience members surrounding the stage, and the action of the show takes place all throughout the theatre.

Who wrote Newsies?

The book (or script) for the Newsies musical is by Harvey Fierstein. Fierstein is a multi-award-winning writer and actor who also wrote the musicals Kinky Boots and La Cage aux Folles, and wrote a new script for the classic musical Funny Girl. He adapted the Newsies book from the 1992 film's screenplay, by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White.

Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman wrote the songs for the Newsies movie and musical. They edited multiple of the movie's songs and put them in the musical, like "Seize the Day" and "King of New York."

Menken is famous for composing multiple other Disney musicals on screen and stage, like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. Newsies is Feldman's only stage credit, but he's also written songs for Disney movies like Oliver & Company and A Goofy Movie.

Who is in Newsies?

The Newsies cast is led by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as Jack Kelly, Bronté Barbé as Katherine Plumber, Matthew Duckett as Crutchie, Ryan Kopel as Davey, Cameron Blakely as Joseph Pulitzer, and Moya Angela as Medda Larkin.

Newsies characters

The main Newsies characters are not just the newsies themselves, but also multiple figures from the high ranks of the newspaper world and more. Some are even based on real people from history. Learn more about the main characters in Newsies.

  • Jack Kelly: A newsboy who leads his fellow newsies in the strike. He longs to escape New York and find a better life in Santa Fe, New Mexico once the strike is over, but hesitates after falling for Katherine. Jeremy Jordan and Christian Bale have played the character, and Jack is loosely based on real-life newsboy strike leader Kid Blink.
  • Joseph Pulitzer: The publisher of the New York World. In real life and the musical, the newsies strike against him for raising the prices of the papers they must buy in order to resell them.
  • Katherine Plumber: A reporter for the New York Sun, a paper uninvolved in the strike. She wants to be taken seriously as a female reporter, and she covers the newsies' strike as her first major story. Along the way, she falls for Jack.
  • Davey Jacobs: A fellow newsie who works alongside his little brother, Les. Davey becomes Jack's right-hand man and the brains behind the strike, though he's reluctant at first.
  • Crutchie: A newsboy who uses a crutch; he is a close friend of Jack.
  • Medda Larkin: A vaudeville singer in New York and Jack's friend. He paints backdrops for her shows, and in return, she offers him refuge at the theatre she owns and performs at when he needs it.

Newsies songs

Newsies features 17 songs, which include all the major songs from the film plus multiple tracks written specifically for the stage show. Here are all the songs in the Newsies musical.

Act I

  • Santa Fe (Prologue) – Jack and Crutchie
  • Carrying the Banner – Jack, Newsies, Nuns
  • The Bottom Line – Pulitzer, Seitz, Bunsen, Hannah
  • That's Rich – Medda
  • Never Planned on You/Don't Come A-Knocking / I Never Planned on You – Jack, Katherine, Bowery Beauties
  • The World Will Know – Jack, Davey, Les, Newsies
  • Watch What Happens – Katherine
  • Seize the Day – Davey, Jack, Les, Newsies
  • Santa Fe – Jack

Act Two

  • King of New York – Davey, Les, Katherine, Newsies
  • Watch What Happens (Reprise) – Jack, Davey, Katherine, Les
  • The Bottom Line (Reprise) – Pulitzer, Seitz, Mayor
  • Brooklyn's Here – Spot Conlon and Newsies
  • Something to Believe In – Jack and Katherine
  • Seize the Day (Reprise) – Newsies
  • Once and for All – Jack, Davey, Les, Katherine, Darcy, Bill, Newsies
  • Finale – Company

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What awards has Newsies won?

The Broadway production of the Newsies musical has won multiple awards in the States. Here are the major awards Newsies has won and been nominated for.

  • Tony Awards: Newsies on Broadway won the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Original Score (for composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman) and Best Choreography (for Christopher Gattelli). The show got an additional six nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (for Harvey Fierstein), and Best Direction (for Jeff Calhoun).
  • Drama Desk Awards: Newsies replicated its Tonys success at the Drama Desk Awards in New York, winning Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Music. The show received four other nominations, including Outstanding Musical.
  • Grammy Awards: The Newsies score was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.

Major productions of Newsies

Newsies has only had a handful of major productions, but every one has been a smash hit. Learn more about all the major productions of Newsies leading up to the U.K. premiere.

  • 2011 world premiere: Newsies's first production was at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. Many of that production's leading actors — including Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Pulitzer, Kara Lindsay as Katherine, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie — transferred with the production to Broadway.
  • 2012 Broadway premiere: Newsies opened on Broadway in March 2012 to positive reviews, earning eight Tony nominations (and two wins) three months later. The show was initially supposed to play a limited, 100-performance run, but due to fan demand, that changed to an open-ended run that ended after over 1,000 performances.
  • 2014 North American tour: A Newsies national tour traveled to 65 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Between 2014 and 2017, the show played nearly 800 tour performances, culminating in a filmed performance at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre that featured multiple original Broadway cast members alongside the touring ensemble.
  • 2022 U.K. premiere: Newsies makes its London debut in 2022 at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. This is a new production (as opposed to a replica of the U.S. production), with a new director/choreographer, Matt Cole.

Onscreen adaptations of Newsies

Newsies was a movie musical before it became a stage musical. The Newsies movie premiered in 1992 and featured songs like "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," "Santa Fe," and "King of New York," which were later reworked and became some of the stage show's most iconic numbers. Christian Bale starred in that movie as Jack Kelly.

After the musical achieved success on Broadway and toured across the country, cast members from the Broadway and touring productions came together for a special Newsies performance at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. That show was filmed and released in movie theatres for three days in 2017, and it's now available to stream on Disney+.

Fun facts about Newsies

Extra! Extra! Read more about it! Learn additional fun facts about the Newsies musical, film, and more below.

  • Fans of the Newsies musical are called "fansies."
  • After Newsies closed on Broadway, one new song was written for the touring production: "Letter From the Refuge," sung by Crutchie. That song is now included in all productions of Newsies.
  • The Newsies movie and musical are based on the real New York newsboys' strike of 1899. Led by young newsboys Kid Blink (the inspiration for Jack Kelly) and David Simmons, newspaper sellers across the city went on strike to protest unfair pay from Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The strike lasted for two weeks, and the deal the newsboys strike with their employers in Newsies is nearly the same as what happened in real life.
  • Some other fictional characters also have real-life inspirations: Davey, Jack's right-hand man and the brains behind the strike, has a similar name to real-life union president David Simmons, and Katherine is named for Pulitzer's real-life daughter. Plus, multiple characters in Newsies are named for real-life newsboys from the 1899 strike, including Racetrack Higgins, Mush Meyers, and Spot Conlon.

How to get Newsies tickets

Now is the time to seize the day and book Newsies tickets on London Theatre. The world will know soon that Newsies is the must-see show of the winter, so book seats now before you miss this beloved, high-energy musical once and for all.

Newsies tickets are available now. Book tickets to Newsies on London Theatre.

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