Yes, there is a lot of great theatre happening in Edinburgh this month, as always, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any great shows running in London this August. We’ve picked a few openings we’re excited about, a couple of revivals we’re excited to see, and a hit musical we’ll be sad to see leave the West End.
Rizzo hits London. Grease actress Stockard Channing makes her London stage debut in Apologiaat Trafalgar Studios. Channing has been nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning once in 1985 for her role in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. She plays Kristin Miller in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play. Miller is an art historian whose memoir causes a stir with her sons, both of whom aren’t mentioned in the book. The production has a stellar cast including Doctor Who actress Freema Agyeman, Desmond Barrit and Joseph Millson (who will play both of Kristin's sons) and Laura Carmichael.
Following an extensive UK tour, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita takes up a six-week residency in London over the summer. The musical follows the life of Eva Peron, the second wife of Argentine political leaver Juan Peron. Emma Hatton, best known for her roles in Wickedand We Will Rock You, takes on the role of Eva, who will perform classic songs such as “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “The Actress Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear)”. This is the perfect opportunity for fans of the 1996 film, which starred Madonna, to see the musical live.
Comedian and actor David Walliams has certainly proved himself to be a dab hand as a writer. He’s penned a number of children’s books, his stories have appeared on BBC television, and Gangsta Granny will be his latest story to hit the stage. Adapted for teh stage by Neal Foster, Walliams’ story is about young Ben and his Granny who embark on a rare but exciting night-time adventure. If you remember the TV film from a few years ago, you’ll know this will be a great laugh for the kids this summer.
Another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical returns this summer. (That makes four West End productions running concurrently with The Phantom of the Operaand School of Rock.) Timothy Sheader’s production, which earned plaudits for maintaining the show’s original rock vibe, returns at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – surely the best summer theatre venue. Declan Bennett and Tyrone Huntley (who won the Evening Standard Award for his performance) both reprise their roles as Jesus and Judas, and make this a show not to be missed.
Last chance alert! If you haven’t seen this rip-roaring musical, there’s not much time left – Half a Sixpence bows out with a “Flash, Bang, Wallop” on 2nd September. Charlie Stemp stars as the banjo-playing, draper's assistant Arthur Kipps as he is forced to decide between his childhood companion Ann Pornick (Devon-Elise Johnson) and the beautiful newcomer Helen Walsingham (Emma Williams). With songs by Stiles and Drewe, and David Heneker, you’ll really regret not seeing this joyous production.