February 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

Theatre in London: West End and Off-West End in February 2014

February 2014 was a vibrant month for theatre in London, offering a rich variety of productions across both the West End and Off-West End stages. This period highlighted London’s commitment to both traditional grandeur and innovative storytelling, drawing audiences from near and far.

West End Highlights

The West End continued to shine with a mix of enduring classics and fresh, exciting productions, solidifying its reputation as a leading global theatre destination.

Musical Spectacles

  1. “The Book of Mormon”:
    • This irreverent and hilarious musical at the Prince of Wales Theatre remained a major draw, celebrated for its witty lyrics and engaging performances. Its satirical take on religious missionaries continued to attract packed houses.
  2. “Les Misérables”:
    • The long-running favorite at the Queen’s Theatre continued to captivate audiences with its epic tale of revolution and redemption. The powerful performances and iconic score made it a must-see for both tourists and locals alike.
  3. “The Commitments”:
    • At the Palace Theatre, this high-energy musical adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel brought the soul music of Dublin to life. Its lively renditions of classic songs and compelling storyline kept audiences thoroughly entertained.

Acclaimed Plays

  1. “Mojo”:
    • Jez Butterworth’s play at the Harold Pinter Theatre, featuring a cast led by Rupert Grint and Ben Whishaw, was a darkly comic exploration of 1950s gangland London. Its sharp dialogue and intense atmosphere garnered critical acclaim.
  2. “War Horse”:
    • Continuing its successful run at the New London Theatre, this moving tale set during World War I featured life-size puppets that brought the horses to life in a truly remarkable way, earning praise for its innovative staging and emotional depth.
  3. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”:
    • At the Apollo Theatre, this adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel stood out for its unique storytelling and visually stunning production. The play’s exploration of a young boy’s perspective on the world was both heartwarming and thought-provoking.

Off-West End Highlights

Off-West End theatres showcased a diverse range of productions that pushed boundaries and explored new narratives, cementing their role as incubators for innovative theatre.

Experimental and New Works

  1. “The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable”:
    • Punchdrunk’s immersive theatre production at Temple Studios continued to captivate audiences with its interactive and atmospheric storytelling. The show took participants on a unique journey through a dark and enigmatic Hollywood setting.
  2. “Ghosts”:
    • At the Almeida Theatre, Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play received critical acclaim for its intense performances and modern relevance. The production’s exploration of familial secrets and societal norms resonated deeply with audiences.
  3. “The Light Princess”:
    • This musical fairy tale by Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre was noted for its enchanting music and whimsical storytelling, offering a fresh take on a classic narrative.

Supporting Emerging Voices

  1. The Royal Court Theatre:
    • The Royal Court continued to champion new writing with productions like “The Wolf from the Door” by Rory Mullarkey, which combined dark humor with a politically charged narrative, showcasing the theatre’s commitment to contemporary issues.
  2. The Bush Theatre:
    • The Bush Theatre highlighted emerging talent with plays such as “Jumpers for Goalposts” by Tom Wells, a heartfelt and humorous exploration of love and community in a small-town football league.
  3. The Donmar Warehouse:
    • The Donmar’s production of “Coriolanus” featured Tom Hiddleston in the title role and was praised for its intense and gripping portrayal of Shakespeare’s political tragedy, demonstrating the venue’s dedication to high-quality, innovative theatre.

Conclusion

February 2014 was a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of London’s theatre scene. The West End dazzled with its mix of beloved musicals and gripping dramas, while Off-West End venues continued to push the envelope with innovative and thought-provoking productions. This dynamic array of performances underscored London’s role as a preeminent centre for theatrical excellence, appealing to a broad spectrum of theatre-goers.

February 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

Busting To Sing concert in aid of charity CoppaFeel!
Casting Announced for Shrek The Musical UK and Ireland Tour
New video trailer for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Stephen Ward
The Patriarch at Moors Theatre from 24th February 2014
Gok Wan To Host Charity Concert YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE
The return of Molly Wobbly The Comedy Musical
White Bear Theatre and Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
Full Casting Announced for UK Premiere of Other Desert Cities
Eve Best to star as Cleopatra at Shakespeare’s Globe
Rocket Pictures to produce Animated Film of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Betty Blue Eyes Touring Cast Announced
Review of A World Elsewhere at Theatre 503
The Olivier Awards BBC Radio 2 Audience Award Nominations
The Monotonous Drum at The Etectera Theatre
Big Society The Musical exclusive screening at From Page To Stage
Alex Jennings the new Willy Wonka in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Aleksandr Domogarov and Julia Vysotskaya to star in Uncle Vanya
Review of Richard III – Upstairs at the Gatehouse
The Elaine Paige Show on Sky Arts featuring West End Stars
Bel-Ami musical premieres at Charing Cross Theatre
Premiere of British musical The Man Inside starring Dave Willetts
Théâtre Libre presents HERO at Leicester Square theatre
Cool Rider The Cult Musical returns to West End for one week
Avenue Q returns to London at Greenwich Theatre before tour
Rupert Goold with two new plays at the Almeida Theatre
My First Ballet Series for Children aged 3 and over
Drew Gasparini Live in London Mon 17th February 2014
West End stars unpaid after producer hits financial problems
Review of Donkey’s Years at Rose Theatre Kingston
The Merely Players perform different Shakespeare play monthly
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy to Star in Skylight West End Revival
Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen to Star in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Skylight starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan
Julie Andrews UK Tour hosted by Aled Jones
Review of IGNIS at The Print Room Notting Hill
Sheridan Smith to play Cilla Black in new ITV drama
Louise Dearman with Songs In The Key of Streisand
Review of Ibsen’s classic Hedda Gabler at Etcetera Theatre
Let The Right One In Apollo Theatre
The London Theatre listings from March to June 2014
HeadSpaceDance: If Play is Play… at Linbury Studio Theatre
Casting Announced For USHERS: THE FRONT OF HOUSE MUSICAL
Pushing Daisies Musical starring Kristin Chenoweth
Jersey Boys a hot ticket with 2500th West End performances
Godspell returns to the West End for one night only
Havana Rakatan returns to the West End’s Peacock Theatre
UK Tour of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
UK Tour Of 20th Century Boy starring Sollars and Jenkins
Review of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter at Matthews Yard
Beverley Knight to Star in West End 2014 premiere of Memphis
Broadway Musical IN THE HEIGHTS to receive London Premiere
Rock of Ages UK Tour Cast Announcement
Arthur Darvill to join the cast of Once in West End
Review of Frankenstein at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre
Macbeth in All-Night Immersive Production in East London Tower Block
The Boss Of It in London Transfer to Soho Theatre
Leigh Zimmerman to join cast of Relative Values in West End
Review of Bel Ami The Musical at Charing Cross Theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game at Union Theatre
Ryan Molloy & Stefan Booth – Fings Ain’t What They Used T’Be
The Elephantom transfers to West End’s New London Theatre
Rubberbandits: Ruder Than Shakespeare! at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Stephen Ward musical to close on 29th March 2014
Review of Poilu and Tommy at The Courtyard
ANDY CAPP 1982 London cast recording to be released on cd
Full casting announced for Dirty Dancing UK and Ireland Tour
OLIVER REED: WILD THING at The Ambassadors Theatre
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Nadine’s Window
UK Tour Dates announced for Barnum as Linzi Hateley joins cast
RAGS THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT at Lyric Theatre
Ruthie Henshall joins cast of Billy Elliot The Musical
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Q&A with Lizzie Hiscott
The War of the Worlds with Shayne Ward, Jason Donovan, Brian McFadden

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