London Theatre Gossip & Rumours

Contains news that has not been officially confirmed (such as date of opening etc.) or has been reported as a possibility! If a rumour materialises then it will be removed from this page and put on the main listings.

If after a long period nothing more is reported concerning a particular rumour then it will be deleted from this page.

Kristin Chenoweth to star in Soapdish Musical in London
Kristin Chenoweth to star in Soapdish Musical in London

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has announced via Watch What Happens Live that she is set to star in the new Stiles and Drewe musical adaptation of Soapdish in London.

Soapdish is based on the 1991 film directed by Michael Hoffman and written by Robert Harling and Andrew Bergman that tells the backstage story of a cast and crew working on a popular fictional television soap opera. The film starred Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey, Jr, Whoopi Goldberg and Teri Hatcher.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have together written the musicals Just So!, Honk!, Soho Cinders as well as providing new material for Mary Poppins and the current London production of Half a Sixpence.

Soapdish the musical first had a reading in New York back in 2010 with Gavin Creel and Sally Ann Triplett and was last workshopped in 2012 with Kristin Chenoweth starring alongside Jane Krakowski. It is thought that the musical might have its London premiere at The Other Palace Theatre in Victoria which has recently opened as a home for new musical theatre.

Kristin Chenoweth shot to fame after creating the role of Glinda in the original Broadway production of Wicked. Her recent Broadway credits include a revival of On the Twentieth Century and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown for which she won a Tony Award.

Further information about Soapdish the Musical are yet to be announced. Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date!

Mary Stuart starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams in West End bound.
Mary Stuart starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams is West End bound?

Following the news that the Almeida Theatre are transferring their current production of Hamlet starring Andrew Scott to the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre, actress Juliet Stevenson has said on Twitter that the venue's previous production of Mary Stuart is heading to the West End in 2018 from January to March. 

Mary Stuart was a new production of Schiller's political tragedy adapted by Robert Icke, starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams who both played the leading roles, deciding before the performance with a coin toss who would play Mary and who would play Elizabeth. The production ran at the Almeida Theatre in north London from 2 December 2016 to 21 January 2017.

"Two queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution. Schiller’s political tragedy takes us behind the scenes of some of British history's most crucial days..."

The production was greeted with five star reviews, including an Editor's Pick from London Theatre:  "They're each thrilling in both roles: Stevenson the more inscrutably regal, Williams the more conflicted and quixotic. The production offers complexity and detail throughout, with some stunning supporting performances from a brilliant ensemble cast." 

Further casting and information about the West End transfer of Mary Stuart is to be announced.

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Could Andrew Scott's Hamlet find a West End home?
Could Andrew Scott's Hamlet find a West End home?

In an interview with The Sunday Times this weekend it was rumoured that the Almeida Theatre's current production of Hamlet starring Andrew Scott could find a new home in London's West End. The production, which is directed by Robert Icke, sold out performances at the north-London venue almost immediately, and continues to attract attention due to the presence of the Sherlock star in the title role.

Reviews for the production have generally been mixed, with London Theatre commenting that Scott "rises to the challenge succeeding primarily at the intellectual and haunted side of the Danish Prince" but "rarely feels spontaneous or off the cuff".  The Guardian commented that the production was "cool, clever, chic and has some good ideas, but also some that strike me as eccentrically wrong-headed" which The Telegraph called it  "more Elsi-snore than Elsinore". 

The production, which currently runs over four hours, could follow in the footsteps of the Almeida's West End transfers of Ghosts and Oresteia at Trafalgar Studios and American Psycho the Musical which went on to transfer to Broadway.

No West End venue for this new production of Hamlet has been suggested, but keep your eyes peeled for further news...

UPDATE 28/03/17: Confirmed! Read the full story

Cilla the Musical
Could Cilla the Musical head to London's West End?

It has been announced that Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield will present a new musical about the life and legend of Cilla Black, based on the critically acclaimed ITV mini-series that followed the early life of Cilla Black and starred Sheridan Smith. The musical will open in Cilla's hometown at the Liverpool Empire in September 2017 ahead of a UK tour, but could the West End soon be on the cards?

Cilla - The Musical is described as "a spectacular and heart-warming musical" that follows the extraordinary life of the ordinary teenage girl from Liverpool, Priscilla White, and her rocky, yet incredible, rise to fame. By the age of just 25 she was recognized as international singing star Cilla Black. By the age of 30 she had become Britain’s favorite television entertainer headlining series’ of Blind Date, Surprise Surprise and many more. It will feature a string of Cilla's greatest hits including "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Alfie" and "Something Tells Me" as well as contemporary sounds of Liverpool including The Beatles and The Mama and The Papas.

It was also announced that producers would be holding open auditions to find the role of Cilla, mirroring the way she was "plucked from obscurity before becoming the iconic Liverpudlian songbird."

Written by Jeff Pope and directed by Bill Kenwright and Bob Tomson, Cilla the Musical will tour to Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Birmingham, Blackpool, Stoke and Manchester. It will have a London run at the New Wimbledon Theatre, but hopes are a West End production could be in the pipeline.

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Rumoured West End 2017 Round-Up
Rumoured West End 2017 Round-Up

From Fun Home to Waitress, from Next to Normal to Finding Neverland - it's always fun collating the various rumours flying around theatreland. After a very busy 2016 where many of our predictions from this time last year to fruition, we decided to take a look at which shows London's West End could be welcoming over the next 12 months.

From long awaited London runs of The Addams Family, Young Frankenstein and Big, to new productions such as The Ferryman, Waitress and Sleepless the Musical - there is certainly plenty of excitement to be had in looking forward to 2017.

Read our Rumoured West End shows we want to see in 2017 feature to see which shows may be heading to London this next year.

Glenda Jackson King Lear
Could Glenda Jackson's King Lear be West End and Broadway Bound?

Following the official opening of The Old Vic's new production of King Lear starring double Academy Award-winner Glenda Jackson, The Daily Mail have reported that the production is looking for a West End and Broadway home. Glenda Jackson returns to the stage in Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy to play King Lear alongside a cast that also includes Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans, Simon Manyonda and Harry Melling in a production directed by Deborah Warner.

King Lear opened at the Old Vic on 4 November following previews from 25 October 2016 and is currently booking to 3 December 2016. The West End and Broadway transfer is reportedly scheduled to take place in 2017 - stay tuned for further details as they're announced.

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The Exorcist on Stage
Could stage production of The Exorcist land in London's West End?

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Bill Kenwright are presenting a new stage production of The Exorcist, adapted by John Pielmeier from the novel by William Peter Blatty. The production runs in Birmingham over Halloween from 21 October to 5 November 2016, and could potentially land in London's West End in the near future.

Adam Garcia will play Father Damien Karras opposite Jenny Seagrove and Peter Bowles. The new production is directed by Sean Mathias, who has recently opened No Man’s Land in the West End at the Wyndham's Theatre. It features designs by Anna Fleischsle, lightning by Tim Mitchell and illusions by Ben Hart.

"When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young Regan’s strange symptoms her desperate mother Chris turns to a local priest for help. But before Father Damian can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul…" The story is inspired by true events and was turned into an Oscar-winning film in 1973. The Birmingham Repertory Theatre have stated that the show is not suitable for those under the age of 18.

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Bridget Jones' Diary
Bridget Jones the Musical is "still happening" according to Helen Fielding

The long talked about and eagerly anticipated musical adaptation of Bridget Jones' Diary is apparently "still happening" according to the original writer Helen Fielding. In an interview on This Morning to promote the third Bridget Jones Film 'Bridget Jones's Baby', Fielding said "I'm really excited about a musical. It depends on whether the theatre is available. It's very spontaneous"...confirming that we can expect it "in the next few years."

A musical version of the popular novel has been on the cards for a number of years, and was originally set to star Sheridan Smith and have a score by Lily Allen. Following numerous workshops the project has been put on hold many times, but Fielding told This Morning that "I've written it – well I haven't finished...but yes, I hope it's happening!" She confirmed that show had had a lot of work put into it in workshops, commenting that "with musicals, everyone comes together, and then they flutter off again!".

News of the musical adaptation was first released back in 2009, and in 2010 it was confirmed that Stephen Daldry, and Peter Darling would serve as director and choreographer. Pop star Lily Allen confirmed in 2014 that her score for the show had been completed, but it was later revealed that Fielding had completed a new treatment of the show and Allen's music was being replaced.

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The Addams Family Musical
Could The Addams Family Musical land in the West End?

A new UK touring production of The Addams Family the Musical is beginning in 2017, and could have its eyes on a West End home within the next year. The tour launches in Edinburgh at the Festival Theatre on 20 April 2017, with further dates to be announced.

"Wednesday Addams is all grown up and has a shocking secret: she’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. When the two families meet for dinner, will Gomez keep his daughter’s secret from his cherished Morticia, or will there be hilarious consequences? Join them, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more for a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship…with a twist!"

The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2010 in a production that starred Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, has music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show has been revised for the US touring market, and features an updated book and score. The Addams Family the Musical ran at the Lunt Fontanne theatre on Broadway for over 700 performances and was directed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch with choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

No further details about the tour or future West End production have been announced. Watch this space!

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Sleepless in Seattle
Sleepless in Seattle the Musical heading to London's West End?

Producers of Sleepless in Seattle the New Musical have announced via the show's official website that the UK premiere of the musical, which takes place in March 2017 at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, will find its way into the West End following a try-out in both Plymouth and Dublin. Audiences are invited to see the show 'prior to the West End', with an 'all star cast to be announced'.

Strictly Come Dancing's Danny Mac recently spoke to BBC Breakfast about starring in Sleepless in Seattle the Musical, now under the name Sleepless.

The musical is based on the popular 1993 comedy film of the same name which starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. According to the show's official synopsis: "Sparkling with all of the charm, romance and wit of the much loved movie, Sleepless is the heart-warming tale of Sam who moves to Seattle with his eight–year–old son Jonah, following the tragic death of his wife. But when Jonah phones a radio show and gets Sam to talk about his broken heart and sleepless nights live on air, he suddenly finds himself one of the most sought after single men in America and a great news story for feisty journalist Annie on the opposite side of the country. It looks like love is in the airwaves, but how do you know if someone is the one for you when you’ve never even met..."

The UK production is being produced by Michael Rose and David Shor in association with Marc Toberoff, The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin and the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Sleepless in Seattle — The Musical had its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in spring 2013 and an industry reading in London earlier this year. The book is based upon the original story and screenplay with music & lyrics by Robert Scott and Brendan Cull. Casting and creative team for the UK production are yet to be announced.

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