February 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In February 2015, the theatre scene in London and across the UK showcased a diverse array of productions, from blockbuster West End musicals to cutting-edge contemporary plays and regional gems. This period highlighted the vibrancy and creativity of British theatre, attracting both local audiences and international visitors.

West End Highlights

  1. Musicals:
    • “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theatre continued to draw large crowds with its prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” featuring memorable music and dazzling special effects.
    • “Matilda the Musical” at the Cambridge Theatre, based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, delighted families with its clever lyrics by Tim Minchin and inventive staging.
    • “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, a long-running classic by Andrew Lloyd Webber, captivated audiences with its romantic and haunting story.
  2. Plays:
    • “The Nether” at the Duke of York’s Theatre presented a thought-provoking narrative exploring the ethical implications of virtual reality, written by Jennifer Haley.
    • “A View from the Bridge” at the Wyndham’s Theatre, Arthur Miller’s powerful drama directed by Ivo van Hove, garnered critical acclaim for its intense and minimalist production.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

  1. National Theatre:
    • The National Theatre offered a diverse program, including “Man and Superman” by George Bernard Shaw, featuring Ralph Fiennes in a leading role, and “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”, which continued to impress with its vivid depiction of life in a Mumbai slum.
  2. Donmar Warehouse:
    • The Donmar Warehouse presented “Closer” by Patrick Marber, a revival of the modern classic that delves into the complexities of relationships and desire.

Regional Theatres

Across the UK, regional theatres continued to play a crucial role in nurturing talent and presenting innovative productions:

  1. Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester:
    • February saw the Royal Exchange Theatre staging “Little Shop of Horrors”, a cult musical known for its quirky humor and catchy songs.
  2. Birmingham Repertory Theatre:
    • The Birmingham Rep featured “Anita and Me”, a stage adaptation of Meera Syal’s semi-autobiographical novel, exploring themes of cultural identity and belonging.

Trends and Developments

  1. Focus on New Writing:
    • There was a continued emphasis on new writing, with theatres like the Royal Court in London dedicating space to contemporary playwrights. February’s lineup included “How to Hold Your Breath” by Zinnie Harris, a play that explores the moral and ethical questions of modern Europe.
  2. Digital and Interactive Theatre:
    • Innovative uses of technology in theatre were increasingly evident, with productions incorporating multimedia elements to enhance storytelling and audience engagement.

Festivals and Special Events

  1. Vault Festival:
    • The Vault Festival in London, running from January to March, showcased a variety of emerging talents in theatre, comedy, and performance art. February’s program included an eclectic mix of shows, providing a platform for experimental and fringe theatre.

In conclusion, February 2015 was a dynamic month for theatre in London and the UK, characterized by a blend of classic revivals, contemporary works, and groundbreaking new productions. The West End remained a hub of commercial success, while regional theatres and festivals contributed to a rich and varied cultural landscape. This period underscored the resilience and creativity of British theatre, continuing to captivate and inspire audiences.

February 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

Looking at theatre away from the West End – Viva Youth Theatre
Review of Macbeth in the Judi Dench Playhouse
The Follow Spot presents Anna-Jane Casey at Proud Cabaret
War Horse new cast and extends booking to 2016
Loserville at Union Theatre with Michael Burgen’s debut as director
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time extends to 24th October 2015
Review of Paul L Martin’s West End Wendies
John Owen-Jones as Pirelli in English National Opera production of Sweeney Todd
Chris Simmons and Tanya Franks cast in UK Premiere of TELESCOPE
MADAM BUTTERFLY Behind-the-scenes rehearsal video released today
Review of The Lives and Loves of a Nobody at The Albany
Tara Finney Productions and Theatre503 presents WINK
5 Star review of Elephant Man at Jack Studio Theatre
Molly Wobbly 5 star show with a 6 star cast at Leicester Square Theatre
World premiere of new Norman Wisdom play WISDOM OF A FOOL
VAULT FESTIVAL announces arts debate with Harriet Harman and Ed Vaizey
Casting announced for CHARLIE’S DARK ANGEL
Laurene Hope stars in Piaf: Love Conquers All
Review of Marching On Together at The Old Red Lion Theatre
Review of Joan of Arc at the New Diorama Theatre London
World Premiere of THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD
5 Star OTHELLO at The Rose Playhouse Bankside
5 stars for Tom Stoppard’s Touring Revival of Arcadia
Review of INIGO at the White Bear Theatre
Review of Shakespeare In Love Noel Coward Theatre 2015
Review of Big Sean, Mikey and Me at the VAULT FESTIVAL
Review of Factor 2025 at Leicester Square Theatre
Review of The Goodbye Girl Upstairs At The Gatehouse
Cast announced for HAY FEVER London West End
ELF musical tickets on sale for London Dominion Theatre
5 star review of SHE LOVES ME at the Landor Theatre
The first Follow Spot of the season with Anna-Jane Casey
MRS ROOSEVELT FLIES TO LONDON
Review of Where Do Little Birds Go? at the Vault Festival
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Tooting Arts Club presents SWEENEY TODD in Shaftesbury Avenue
Wonderful Gods and Monsters at Southwark Playhouse
Review of Di and Viv and Rose at the Vaudeville Theatre
Review of Lunchtime Fourplay 3 at St James Studio
Review of Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone
Kerry Ellis as Grizabella in Cats at the London Palladium
Review of Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre
Ablutions? More like a deep cleanse at Soho Theatre
JACK THE RIPPER Original London Cast Album To Debut On CD!
Review of Dracula at Lion and Unicorn Theatre
Review of Macbeth at Lost Theatre
Review of Jekyll and Hyde at Greenwich Theatre
City Stories review by Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Tom Cruise visits West End cast of Beautiful The Carole King Musical
Review of IDIOTS by Caligula’s Alibi at VAULT Festival
Superman lands on his feet at Leicester Square Theatre
Wonderful STAND AND DELIVER at the King’s Head Theatre
Cheyenne Jackson’s charity single by composers Daniel and Laura Curtis
Interview with Damian Lewis starring in American Buffalo
Review of The Bad, The Sad and The Broken-Hearted
5 star Arcadia by Tom Stoppard at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Thriller Live West End cast fundraise for Red Nose Day
Danielle Hope stars in The Sound of Music at New Wimbledon Theatre
Review of PLAYLAND at Mumford Theatre Cambridge
Review of The Man Who at Bussey Building CLF Art Cafe
Interview with Gregory Cox from the cast of Muswell Hill
Claire Richards, Chesney Hawkes and Mark Read in Seasons of Love
A Joy for the audience, not for the Characters
Full casting announced for touring production of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
This production of Hamlet is absorbing and surprisingly good
CATS will never die but will go on forever…
Theatre Alibi tours adaptation of I Believe in Unicorns
How To hold Your Breath: a play M. Night Shyamalan didn’t write
Miss Saigon extends bookings to 19 December 2015
The Generation of Z: Apocalypse in East London April 2015
Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Flash Sale
Hamlet to be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide 15th October 2015
New cast for The Mousetrap February 2015
Entertaining and thought-provoking Megalopolitan at Vault Festival
Muswell Hill is a cleverly written and well-acted production
The Malachites’ production of King Lear is brilliant
Ordinary Days full of warmth and wit at Rosemary Branch
The Commitments: a smile on your face from a fiery night of soul
Ken Rea’s The Outstanding Actor, Seven Keys To Success published 12th March 2015
Q&A with Paul Harnett and Nikki Davis-Jones Alice a New Musical
Review of Odyssey at the Vault Festival Waterloo
Where to buy London Theatre Tickets for West End Theatres
BattleActs! Improvised Comedy exposed and entertaining
BAD JEWS heads into the West End at The Arts Theatre
Moral dilemmas in 5-star The Nether at Duke of York’s Theatre
Brilliant Anything Goes at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Othello Transfers to Waterloo East Theatre
Corinthia Hotel announce Opera as new theme for Artist in Residence Programme 2015
5-star Emily Davis at The Pheasantry King’s Road
£580,000 project to improve Mercury Theatre facilities gets go-ahead
The Tabard Theatre presents Playmakers Festival 2015
A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD at Jermyn Street Theatre
Underbelly announce 2015 Circus Season
Bugsy Malone Lyric Hammersmith London
Review of Antigone at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Amazing and Fantastic Miss Saigon at Prince Edward Theatre
The Mentalists at Wyndham’s Theatre London from 3rd July 2015
Awesome 5-star Beautiful The Carole King Musical Review
Muscovado at Theatre503 Review
Yamato Drummers of Japan in UK Tour 2015
Extraordinary War Horse at New London Theatre
Review of Yarico at London Theatre Workshop
Golem transfers to Trafalgar Studios from 14th April to 22nd May 2015
Review of Lovesong of the Electric Bear at The Hope Theatre
Review of Swansea City Opera’s Faust
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK at Hackney Empire 2015
Review of Without Reluctance and Without Relief
Review of Educating Rita at Mercury Theatre Colchester

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