This summer has seen a raft of new names announced for a host of West End big-hitters and some of the best regional theatre productions. Here’s our round-up of who to look out for.
London - who will tread the boards in the West End?
1. Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (The Aldwych Theatre, London): Aisha Jawando will step up and play the title role from 8th October, having originally played Tina’s sister, Alline Bullock. Based on the life of the artist, Jawando takes over the role from Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, who will join the Broadway company later this year to play Tina at select performances.
Aisha, said: “I have loved being part of this show from the very beginning, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play this exceptional role. Tina Turner is such an inspirational woman and I hope that I continue to make her proud.”
Tickets are currently available until January 2020.
2. The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre): As The Phantom of the Opera heads into its 34th year in the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh have revealed that Australian singer and performer, Josh Piterman, will play The Phantom from 9th September.
Also joing the cast will by Britt Lenting as Carlotta Giudicelli and Richard Woodford as Monsieur André. Josh Piterman was part of the pop-opera group, The Ten Tenors, and also released a solo album in 2018. Britt Lenting will make her West End debut and Richard Woodford previously starred in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre. The show, which opens on 30th July, is currently running until April next year.
3. Les Misérables: The Staged Concert (Gielgud Theatre): Staged next door to the home of the actual musical, Shan Ako and Lily Kerhoas complete the principal casting for the concert, as Éponine and Cosette respectively.
They join the previously announced, star-studded cast, featuring Alfie Boe, Michael Ball and Carrie Hope Fletcher. The concert will run from 10th August until 30th November, giving groups the chance of an intimate experience with some of the musical’s much-loved songs.
4. Magic Goes Wrong (The Vaudeville Theatre): The show created by Penn & Teller, along with Michief Theatre, will follow the story of a gang of magicians who present at a charity event - with all the usual antics of things going wrong.
Bryony Corrigan will play Spitzmaus, Roxy Faridany will star as Eugenia, Dave Hearn as The Blade and Henry Lewis as Mind Mangler. The rest of the cast is completed by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer, Nancy Zamit, Natasha Culley, Laurence Pears, Sydney K Smith and Liv Spencer. The production opens in December and is running until March 2020.
Regional - some of the most recent casting announcements for the latest UK tours
5. We Will Rock You (opening at Bromley Churchill Theatre on 19th September): Described as “an evening of sheer entertainment and enjoyment” by the Daily Mirror, the production will run until July 2020, starring Ian McIntosh (Beautiful - The Carole King Musical) as Galileo and Elena Skye (Les Misérables) as Scaramouche.
Playing Killer Queen is Jennifer O’Leary (Heathers The Musical) and Michael McKell (Blood Brothers) will play Buddy. Adam Strong (Jesus Christ Superstar) will take on the role of Khashoggi, David-Michael Johnson will reprise the role of Brit and Amy Di Bartolomeo (Bat Out of Hell) will star as Oz.
6. What’s In A Name? (opening at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, on 5th September): The show, described as ‘a particularly awkward family dinner party’, will star Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners) James Lance (Jeeves and Wooster), Summer Strallen (Top Hat) and Alex Gaumond (Matilda). The witty show is to embark on its first UK tour, following a successful run at the Birmingham REP in 2017, until this November.
7. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (opening at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, on 8th February 2020 and touring until August 2020): Both Layton Williams (Bad Education, Billy Elliot the Musical) and Shane Richie (EastEnders) will be reprising their roles as Jamie New and Hugo / Loco Chanelle respectively, taking the hit West End show on the road.
Shane Richie, said: “I had such a fantastic time playing Hugo/Loco Chanelle in the West End, so when I was offered the chance to be involved in the touring production I jumped at the opportunity to get back into those heels.”
You can read GLT’s interview with Layton Williams, who speaks about playing the iconic Jamie in the West End here.
8. Back to the Future the Musical (Manchester Opera House): Producer Colin Ingram (Ghost The Musical) and the creators of the original Back to the Future films, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have announced that Hugh Coles will play George McFly, Rosanna Hyland as Lorraine Baines and Cedric Neal as Goldie Wilson, alongside the previously announced Olly Dobson as Marty McFly.
Hugh Coles graduated from LAMDA in 2017 and starred in last year’s British summer film, The Festival. Rosanna Hyland recently played Rosalie Mullins in School of Rock The Musical and Cedric Neal appeared as a semi-finalist on ITV’s The Voice UK 2019 series. The show runs for 12 weeks, opening on 20th February, 2020.