April 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In April 2015, the theatre scene in London and across the UK showcased a vibrant array of productions, ranging from blockbuster West End shows to cutting-edge new plays and regional gems. This period highlighted the richness and diversity of British theatre, offering something for every taste and preference.

West End Highlights

  1. Musicals:
    • “The Book of Mormon” at the Prince of Wales Theatre continued its successful run, combining sharp satire with catchy tunes, and remained a favorite among audiences and critics alike.
    • “Billy Elliot the Musical” at the Victoria Palace Theatre captivated audiences with its heartwarming story and dynamic choreography, drawing from the popular film.
    • “Sunny Afternoon” at the Harold Pinter Theatre celebrated the music of The Kinks, delighting fans with its nostalgic look at the band’s rise to fame.
  2. Plays:
    • “The Audience” at the Apollo Theatre, starring Kristin Scott Thomas as Queen Elizabeth II, offered a compelling portrayal of the Queen’s private meetings with her Prime Ministers, drawing significant interest.
    • “Death of a Salesman” at the Noël Coward Theatre, with Antony Sher as Willy Loman, delivered a powerful rendition of Arthur Miller’s classic, exploring themes of ambition and failure.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

  1. National Theatre:
    • “Everyman”, directed by Rufus Norris and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, reimagined the medieval morality play for a contemporary audience, garnering critical acclaim for its innovative approach.
    • “The Hard Problem” by Tom Stoppard, continued to engage audiences with its exploration of consciousness and ethics, reflecting Stoppard’s signature intellectual style.
  2. Donmar Warehouse:
    • The Donmar Warehouse presented “Temple” by Steve Waters, a thought-provoking play based on the Occupy London movement, which examined the clash between protestors and the Church.

Regional Theatres

Regional theatres across the UK continued to play a vital role in the cultural landscape, presenting a diverse range of productions and nurturing local talent:

  1. Chichester Festival Theatre:
    • “Mack & Mabel”, a musical about the tumultuous relationship between silent film director Mack Sennett and actress Mabel Normand, starred Michael Ball and received rave reviews for its spirited performances.
  2. Birmingham Repertory Theatre:
    • The Birmingham Rep staged “The King’s Speech”, adapted from the Oscar-winning film, which dramatized King George VI’s efforts to overcome his stammer with the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue.

Trends and Developments

  1. Emphasis on New Writing:
    • The focus on new writing remained strong, with venues like the Royal Court Theatre leading the charge. April featured “Hang” by Debbie Tucker Green, a powerful play exploring themes of justice and retribution.
  2. Innovative and Immersive Experiences:
    • Immersive theatre continued to attract attention, with companies like Punchdrunk creating interactive environments that allowed audiences to become part of the story. Their innovative approach was redefining the boundaries of traditional theatre.

Festivals and Special Events

  1. Shakespeare’s Globe:
    • As part of the Shakespeare’s Globe’s annual season, “The Merchant of Venice” opened in April, featuring Jonathan Pryce as Shylock. The production was noted for its nuanced interpretation of Shakespeare’s complex characters and themes.
  2. Edinburgh International Science Festival:
    • While primarily a science festival, the Edinburgh International Science Festival included theatrical performances that blended science with drama, appealing to a wide range of audiences and highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of modern theatre.

In conclusion, April 2015 was a dynamic and diverse month for theatre in London and the UK, marked by an exciting mix of new productions, classic revivals, and innovative performances. From the commercial success of the West End to the creative ventures in regional theatres, the British theatre scene demonstrated its vitality and ability to engage and inspire audiences.

April 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

Casting announced for Peter Pan, The Seagull and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Dogs of War at Old Red Lion Theatre
MAMMA MIA! celebrates 16th Anniversary in London West End
Cast announced for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Tour
New video trailer released for Beautiful Thing ahead of London return
Time Lapse video of The Sound of Music – New Wimbledon Theatre
SUNNY AFTERNOON announces new cast members
THE GLASS PROTÉGÉ makes its debut at Park Theatre
Review of Oppenheimer at the Vaudeville Theatre
Kerry Ellis and Louise Dearman Live In Concert…Together
Further casting announced for Lyndsey Turner’s production of Hamlet
Review of TOMORROW at the White Bear Theatre
Linder Productions celebrate Judy Garland and Edith Piaf
Review of Abyss at the Arcola Theatre
Review of A Night in With TiTs and Bosh and Babbs
Review of Lord of The Dance Dangerous Games
Review of Love in the Past Participle at the Tabard Theatre
Review of Godspell in Concert at the Hackney Empire
Review of Godspell In Concert The UK Tour 2015
Review of Beans on Toast at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
Review of Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre London
Review of Songs from the Playground at the Landor Theatre
The Mousetrap celebrated 26000 performances on 6th April 2015
Review of Death of a Salesman at RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre
#Festival45 a new theatre festival at the King’s Head Theatre
Casting announced for London premiere of CARRIE at Southwark Playhouse
Full Cast announced for Closer to Heaven
Review of Apartment 40C at St James Studio
Hello Kitty Live Fashion and Friends UK Tour
The People vs Democracy at The Free Word Centre
Review of Blush of Dogs at the Tabard Theatre
Review of The Feast at Solhaug at Barons Court Theatre
Review of Hard Graft at Ovalhouse
Review of So It Goes at Shoreditch Town Hall
Casting Announced for 2015 UK Tour of The Mousetrap
Review of Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story Greenwich Theatre
Review of Three Short Plays by Samuel Beckett
Cast announced for Oresteia at the Almeida Theatre
The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year
The State We’re In: No Milk for the Foxes
Review of Lampedusa at Soho Theatre
Review of EQUUS in the Judi Dench Playhouse
The Olivier Awards should be screened live
Thriller Live is 18th Longest Running West End Musical
Review of In Bad Taste at Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch
Review of Animals at Theatre503
Review of Man of Steal at Menier Chocolate Factory
A Midsummer Night’s Dream An Immersive Theatre Experience
Review of BIG SMOTHER NEEDS YOU!
Review of Rumpy Pumpy at the Landor Theatre
Review of DNA by the Broken Hearted Youth Company
Review of Ladies Go Diva at The Crazy Coqs Brasserie Zedel
Review of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre London
Review of The Glass Protégé at Park Theatre
PLASTIC FIGURINES a new play by Ella Carmen Greenhill
Review of Stasis at The White Bear Theatre
Arrows and Traps and The Taming of the Shrew New Wimbledon Studio
Review of Bridlington at Rosemary Branch Theatre
Review of The Bombing of The Grand Hotel at the Cockpit Theatre
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company
New cast announced for Miss Saigon from 11th May 2015
Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre is an amazing theatrical experience
Joan of Arc musical JEANNE to debut on cd
Richard Southgate stars as Johnny in The Dogs of War
Morgan and West return to London at Udderbelly
World premiere of A New Play For The General Election
Les Miserables Limited Edition Postcards to celebrate 30th anniversary
Review of Baby at the Hope Theatre
Review of A Level Playing Field at Jermyn Street Theatre
Review of The Pirates of Penzance at Richmond Theatre
Review of Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London at King’s Head Theatre
Review of The Shadow of Doctor Syn with Q2 Players
Casting announced for THE MOTHER by Florian Zeller
Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre booking to 28th November 2015
Side by Side by Sondheim Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Review of Spamalot at Churchill Theatre Bromley
Rachel Tucker: Back From Broadway at St James Theatre
UK Premiere of Guillem Clua’s Skin in Flames at Park Theatre
Review of The Generation of Z Apocalypse
Review of No Milk For The Foxes at Camden People’s Theatre
Review of Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man at New Wimbledon Theatre
Review of Two To Tune and Ten Tracks For The End Of The World
Review of STAND at Battersea Arts Centre
Review of A Simple Space at The Udderbelly Festival
The cast of Carrie are an endearing bunch of vocal powerhouses
Cast announced for Kinky Boots The Musical London
THE WHO’S TOMMY returns to London at Greenwich Theatre
Review of BalletBoyz theTALENT Spring Tour 2015
Review of RESULT at The Pleasance Islington
Review of ABSENT at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
MADAME MANET by Gareth Cadwallader at Tabard Theatre
The Man Who Had All the Luck at the King’s Head Theatre
Review of In the Dead of Night at the Landor Theatre
Theatre503 presents EleXion
Review of Wild Card KATYE COE: PREPARATION at the Lilian Baylis Studio
Review of Rise Like a Phoenix at Above The Stag Theatre
Winners announced for the Also Recognised Awards 2015
Review of Get Happy The Judy Garland Story at Jermyn Street Theatre
Review of A New Play About The General Election
Review of The History Boys at Churchill Theatre Bromley
Review of Eve Ferret – Madame Bouffant
The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time Nominated for 20 Awards on Broadway
Review of OUTGROWN at Etcetera Theatre
Billy Elliot The Musical is captivating and electrifying
The Theory of Relativity to open at Drayton Arms Theatre
Casting update for UK and Ireland Tour of Shrek The Musical
Briefs at Waterloo East Theatre
Godspell in Concert UK tour to close early
Review of Clarion at Arcola Theatre
IMMIGRANT DIARIES 2015 Purcell Room Southbank Centre London
Landor Theatre and The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Emily Hall is winner of Artist In Residence Competition
Review of The Point of No Return at New Diorama Theatre

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