News, Reviews & Interviews 2011

2011 was a remarkable year for theatre in the UK, showcasing a diverse range of productions that captivated audiences across the nation. From the grand stages of London’s West End to the innovative performances Off West End and the eclectic mix at the Edinburgh Fringe, the year was filled with theatrical brilliance.

West End Highlights

1. “Matilda The Musical” at Cambridge Theatre One of the standout hits of the year was “Matilda The Musical,” which opened at the Cambridge Theatre in October. Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved novel and featuring music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, the production was lauded for its witty, darkly humorous script and stellar performances, particularly from the young cast. It quickly became a favourite among critics and audiences alike, winning multiple awards and setting the stage for its enduring success.

2. “The Wizard of Oz” at London Palladium Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of “The Wizard of Oz” brought the magical world of Dorothy and her friends to the West End. Opening in March, the production featured new songs by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, alongside the classic numbers. The visually stunning show, complete with spectacular special effects, was a hit with family audiences and fans of the original story.

3. “Shrek The Musical” at Theatre Royal Drury Lane Another family favourite, “Shrek The Musical,” made its West End debut in June. Based on the popular DreamWorks animated film, the musical was praised for its vibrant set design, catchy songs, and the charming performances of its cast, including Nigel Lindsay as Shrek and Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona.

Off West End Highlights

1. “Jerusalem” at the Apollo Theatre After a successful run at the Royal Court Theatre, Jez Butterworth’s critically acclaimed play “Jerusalem” transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End. Mark Rylance’s portrayal of Johnny “Rooster” Byron was widely celebrated, and the play’s exploration of English identity and rural life struck a chord with audiences, making it one of the year’s most talked-about productions.

2. “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” at Gielgud Theatre This adaptation of Jacques Demy’s 1964 French film musical, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” opened in March at the Gielgud Theatre. With a unique style that included all dialogue being sung, the production stood out for its innovative approach and visually striking set design, although it had a relatively short run.

Edinburgh Fringe Highlights

1. “Fleabag” by Phoebe Waller-Bridge One of the most significant debuts at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 was Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag.” This one-woman show, performed by Waller-Bridge herself, was a raw and darkly comic exploration of a young woman’s life in London. It received rave reviews and later became a critically acclaimed television series.

2. “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” by National Theatre of Scotland This site-specific piece, performed in pubs and other non-traditional venues, was a standout at the Fringe. Blending traditional Scottish music, folklore, and contemporary theatre, “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” captivated audiences with its imaginative storytelling and interactive elements.

3. “Beats” by Kieran Hurley Kieran Hurley’s solo performance, “Beats,” was another highlight of the Fringe. The play, set against the backdrop of the 1994 Criminal Justice Act and the rave culture it sought to suppress, combined storytelling with a live DJ set to create a powerful and immersive experience.


2011 was a year of theatrical innovation and unforgettable performances across the UK. The West End dazzled with spectacular musicals and gripping dramas, Off West End offered bold and unique productions, and the Edinburgh Fringe continued to be a hotbed of creative talent and experimental theatre. These highlights reflect the vibrant and diverse nature of UK theatre, ensuring a rich and varied experience for audiences everywhere.

News, Reviews & Interviews 2011

Romeo and Juliet Review English National Ballet
Interview with Fay Downie: Rises from Decline and Fall
Legally Blonde Savoy Theatre London
The Hurly Burly Show Review Garrick Theatre
Caissie Levy in Ghost The Musical
Interview with Carley Stenson Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
Interview with Amy Edwards
Interview with Debbie Kurup
Interview with Chris Clarkson
Interview with Frances Mayli McCann
Interview with Kieran Brown: Love Never Dies
Interview with Tom Lorcan: Tony in Billy Elliot The Musical
Interview with Emily Tierney: Glinda in The Wizard of Oz
Interview with Andrew Corcoran: Assistant Musical Director with Chicago
Interview with Lucy Morris: Phoebe Aldridge in The Archers
Interview with Daniel Gourlay: Love Never Dies
Interview with James Doherty
Interview with Kate Golledge
Interview with Kevin Kennedy: We Will Rock You
Interview with Joanna Forest
Interview with Scott McKenzie: Billy Elliot the Musical
Interview with John Owen-Jones The Phantom of The Opera
Interview with Alice Fearn starring in Shrek The Musical
Interview with Damien Poole: Starring in Shrek The Musical
Interview with Amy Beadel: Teen Fiona and Tweedle Dum in Shrek
Interview with Waylon Jacobs – Starring in The Lion King
Interview with Rachel Muldoon from the cast of Chicago The Musical
Shrek The Musical Review Update
Interview with Alex Gaumond – Legally Blonde star to return to We Will Rock You
Interview with Rachel Tucker – Elphaba in Wicked
Interview with Carley Stenson: Elle Woods in Legally Blonde The Musical
Interview with Amra-Faye Wright: Velma Kelly in Chicago The Musical
Interview with Paul Keating: Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz
Interview with Harry Polden: Gustave in Love Never Dies
Interview with David Page
Interview with Reece McConnell – Thriller Live
Interview with Zoe Rainey: Nessarose in Wicked The Musical
Interview with Rufus Wright: Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps
Ghost The Musical Piccadilly Theatre
Interview with Kara Lane: Lend me a Tenor the Musical
Stomp Celebrates 20th Birthday and enters 10th year in London West End
Interview with Lauren Varnham: We Will Rock You
Interview with Tracey Penn: Fleck in Love Never Dies Adelphi Theatre
Dave Stewart: Ghost The Musical
Interview with Tee Jaye: West End, Broadway, Film/TV performer and writer
Interview with Mark Evans: Fiyero in Wicked The Musical
Interview with Dani deWaal: Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia!
Interview with Jasna Ivir: Mama Morton in Chicago the Musical
Interview with Katherine Heath: Miss Casewell in The Mousetrap
Interview with Tabitha Webb: Christine in The Phantom of The Opera
Interview with Jonathan Wilkes
Interview with Benedict Salter: Bailey Howard in Betwixt!
Interview with Ashleigh Gray: Miranda in Betwixt!
Interview with Sabrina Aloueche – Scaramouche in We Will Rock You
Who Is Theatre For?
Stunt Casting in the West End: Good or Bad for Business?
Review of Broken Glass: Vaudeville Theatre
Interview with Adam Linstead: The Bishop of Digne and Grantaire in Les Miserables
The Tempest at the Theatre Royal Haymarket Review
Interview with Siobhan Dillon: Vivienne Kensington in Legally Blonde
Interview with Richard Grieve: Starring as Tick/Mitzi in Priscilla Queen of The Desert
Why we should encourage children to go the theatre
Interview with Adebayo Bolaji: Subway Ghost in Ghost the Musical
Interview with Sofia Escobar: Christine Daae in The Phantom of The Opera
Crazy For You Review Novello Theatre
Interview with Chloe Hart
Interview with Hayley Tamaddon
Interview with Gina Beck
Interview with Caroline Loncq
Matilda previews and Ramin Karimloo heads to Les Miserables
Interview with Tom Bateman: The Lion In Winter
Interview with Charlotte Mills: Tanya in Jerusalem Apollo Theatre
Interview with Daniella Bowen – Million Dollar Quartet
Cast announcements for Oliver! UK Tour
Interview with Kim Ismay – Tanya in Mamma Mia!
Interview with Oliver Chris: Stanley Stubbers in One Man, Two Guvnors
Matilda The Musical Review November 2011
Understudy triumph in 2012 cast change announcement for Shrek The Musical
Interview with Andrew Langtree – Carl Bruner in Ghost the Musical
Interview with Tricia Adele-Turner: Vivienne Kensington in Legally Blonde
Interview with Nick Blood – Stuart Sutcliffe in Backbeat
Interview with Andrew Alexander: Richard Hannay The 39 Steps
Interview with Shayne Ward: Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages
Interview with Simon Shorten: The Phantom of The Opera
Where to buy London theatre tickets?
Interview with Stephen Ashfield – Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde
Interview with Killian Donnelly: Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera
Centre Stage: Dean Chisnall
Interview with Jefferson Turner: Potted Panto – Potted Pirates – Potted Potter
Interview with Daniel Clarkson: Potted Panto – Potted Pirates – Potted Potter
Interview with Pippa Bennett-Warner
Interview with Ruta Gedmintas
Interview with Catherine Bailey
Interview with Natalie Andreou
Ivan Putrov Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells

Theatre in London: West End and Off-West End in 2011

In 2011, London’s theatre scene was a vibrant tapestry of diverse performances, both in the iconic West End and the more experimental Off-West End spaces. The West End, often regarded as the pinnacle of commercial theatre, saw a dynamic array of productions, from classic revivals to innovative new works, while the Off-West End offered a stage for cutting-edge and avant-garde performances, showcasing the city’s rich theatrical tradition.

The West End Highlights

The West End, known for its grand theatres and blockbuster shows, continued to attract both locals and tourists with its dazzling array of productions in 2011. Key highlights included:

  1. “The Phantom of the Opera”: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless musical continued its reign at Her Majesty’s Theatre, captivating audiences with its haunting score and spectacular sets.
  2. “War Horse”: The National Theatre’s production at the New London Theatre gained acclaim for its innovative use of puppetry to tell the poignant story of a boy and his horse during World War I.
  3. “Matilda the Musical”: Debuting at the Cambridge Theatre, this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved book, with music by Tim Minchin, received rave reviews and quickly became a family favorite.
  4. “Jerusalem”: Jez Butterworth’s play, starring Mark Rylance, enjoyed a successful run at the Apollo Theatre, offering a compelling and critically acclaimed portrayal of English rural life.
  5. “Les Misérables”: This classic musical continued its long-standing run at the Queen’s Theatre, mesmerizing audiences with its powerful story and unforgettable music.

Off-West End Innovations

Off-West End theatres, often seen as the breeding ground for new and experimental work, played a crucial role in fostering creativity and diversity in London’s theatre scene. Notable Off-West End venues and productions in 2011 included:

  1. The Donmar Warehouse: This intimate theatre in Covent Garden presented a stellar season, including a standout production of “King Lear” with Derek Jacobi in the title role.
  2. The Almeida Theatre: Known for its bold and innovative programming, the Almeida staged a critically acclaimed production of “The Knot of the Heart” by David Eldridge, exploring themes of addiction and recovery.
  3. The Young Vic: This theatre in Southwark continued to push boundaries with productions like “The Glass Menagerie,” directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, which received praise for its fresh and inventive approach.
  4. The Royal Court Theatre: Always at the forefront of new writing, the Royal Court showcased works like “The Heretic” by Richard Bean, sparking conversations around climate change and scientific skepticism.
  5. The Bush Theatre: Located in Shepherd’s Bush, this venue was a hotbed for emerging talent, with standout productions like “Where’s My Seat?” a clever, site-specific piece exploring the intricacies of theatre itself.


The year 2011 was a testament to London’s status as a global theatre capital. The West End dazzled with its high-profile, polished productions, while the Off-West End nurtured innovation and risk-taking. Together, they offered a rich and diverse theatrical landscape that catered to a wide range of tastes and preferences, continuing London’s legacy of theatrical excellence.


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