News, Reviews & Interviews in December 2016

December 2016 was a festive and exciting month for theatre in the UK, offering a rich array of productions across the London West End, Off West End, and various regional venues through touring shows. The holiday season brought a mix of classic favorites, new productions, and innovative performances, making it a memorable month for theatre-goers.

London West End

The London West End sparkled in December 2016 with a mix of holiday-themed shows and long-running hits. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at the Palace Theatre continued to be a major draw, enchanting audiences with its magical narrative and spectacular stagecraft. This two-part play, based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, remained one of the most sought-after tickets in London.

“Dreamgirls” at the Savoy Theatre officially opened in November and quickly became a sensation. Starring Amber Riley as Effie White, the musical dazzled audiences with its powerful performances and stunning choreography, making it a must-see show during the holiday season.

Classic musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre and “Les Misérables” at the Queen’s Theatre continued to draw large crowds, providing timeless entertainment for both locals and tourists. Additionally, festive productions like “The Nutcracker” at the Royal Opera House added to the seasonal cheer, enchanting audiences with its beautiful ballet performances.

Off West End

Off West End theatres, known for their innovative and intimate productions, offered a diverse range of shows in December 2016. The Almeida Theatre’s production of “Mary Stuart,” directed by Robert Icke, continued to impress. This modern adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s play, starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams, was praised for its intense performances and inventive direction.

The Donmar Warehouse presented “Saint Joan,” featuring Gemma Arterton. Directed by Josie Rourke, this contemporary retelling of George Bernard Shaw’s play was noted for its relevance and powerful acting, making it a highlight of the Off West End scene.

At the Young Vic, “The Nest” by Franz Xaver Kroetz, adapted by Conor McPherson, continued to draw audiences. Starring Caoilfhionn Dunne and Laurence Kinlan, this intense drama about the impact of industrialization on a young family resonated deeply with audiences, highlighting the theatre’s commitment to thought-provoking productions.

Touring Productions

Touring productions brought high-quality theatre to audiences across the UK in December 2016, ensuring that exceptional performances reached beyond London. The National Theatre’s touring production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s novel, continued to captivate regional audiences with its innovative staging and compelling narrative.

“Billy Elliot the Musical” also continued its successful tour, delighting audiences with its inspiring story and dynamic choreography. The musical’s powerful message and exhilarating dance sequences made it a hit in theatres nationwide.

Another notable touring production was “The Lion King,” which brought its spectacular staging and beloved songs to regional audiences. The visually stunning production, featuring intricate puppetry and vibrant costumes, enchanted audiences of all ages, spreading holiday cheer across the country.


December 2016 was a festive and dynamic month for theatre in the UK, showcasing a rich variety of performances across the country. The London West End dazzled with blockbuster hits and holiday-themed shows, Off West End theatres offered innovative and intimate productions, and touring productions brought exceptional theatre to regional audiences. This vibrant period underscored the vitality and creativity of the UK theatre scene, promising a memorable and joyous holiday season for theatre-goers.

News, Reviews & Interviews in December 2016

Review of Bianco at the NoFit State’s Big Top
Salmon and Wales at The Etcetera Theatre – Review
Gemma Arterton and cast in rehearsals for Saint Joan
Soho Theatre and Drywrite announce Touch in 2017
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to open on Broadway Spring 2018…
Jest End is ‘an absolute triumph’ at Waterloo East Theatre
Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal to star in UK Tour of LOVE LETTERS
Review of BURIED CHILD at Trafalgar Studio One
Review of HER ACHING HEART at the Hope Theatre
Review of LICENSED TO ILL at Southwark Playhouse
Review of Peter Pan at the National Theatre
Matthew Bourne and New Adventures to Commemorate 30 Years
Hamish Clark, Charlie Allen and Andrew St Clair-James in The Albatross 3rd & Main
Liz Carr’s Assisted Suicide – the Musical back at Royal Festival Hall
Review of BUMBLESCRATCH London Concert Cast Recording
Review of CINDERELLA at The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
At Last: The Etta James Story to Tour Spring 2017
Review of PINOCCHIO at The King’s Head Theatre
New Video Trailer for the 20th Anniversary Production of RENT
Anton Cross is cast in Arinzé Kene’s good dog
Review of THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CHINA – Sadler’s Wells
CINDERELLA London Palladium Casting 2016
Review of Day Job by Fanny Pack Theatre at Bread and Roses Theatre
CHAMPIONS OF MAGIC take to the road for 4th year
No Man’s Land broadcast in cinemas internationally on 15th December 2016
Anthony Rapp Live in Concert at St James’s Studio
‘If We Only Have Love’ to raise money for Childline
Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe on stage at the London Coliseum
New glam rock science fiction musical about space travel at the VAULT Festival
Tower Theatre Company: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
Full Cast Announced for The Addams Family – UK & Ireland Tour
Interview with Julian Capolei from Sinbad the Sailor
Review of BENIGHTED at the Old Red Lion Theatre
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to close in the West End
Full casting announced for Michael John LaChiusa’s THE WILD PARTY
Casting announced for The Tempest for younger audiences
Alice’s Adventures Underground and Adventures in Wonderland return to The Vaults
Review of Hamlet Part 2 | Hen and Chickens Theatre
Review of The Screwtape Letters at Park Theatre
Review of Sinbad The Sailor at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Who Said Theatre’s Cymbeline at The Space Theatre
Review of My Gay Best Friend at The Space
CHARMING DICK ‘is not to be missed’ at the Cockpit Theatre
Review of Muted: A New British Musical
CINDERELLA London Palladium Production Images
Potted Panto opens its fourth West End Season
Cast announced for Dirty Great Love Story at the Arts Theatre
Flux Theatre: EMERGE A Night of New Writing
Review of Thebes Land at the Arcola Theatre
Ruth Wilson stars in Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre
Gatsby: presented by Ruby in the Dust
Review of The Snow Queen at Theatre N16
National Youth Theatre searches for new talent across the country
Review of Christmas by Simon Stephens at Theatre N16
Review of 2 Become 1 at the King’s Head Theatre
M R James: Ghost Stories for Christmas – Review
Theo James will join Emilia Fox in Sex with Strangers
SCENES FROM THE END: a production of rewarding complexity and beauty
5-star RENT is a ‘compelling and enthusiastic production’
Review of Dick Whittington at the New Wimbledon Theatre
Review of LUV at Park Theatre
Homecomings: A Festival of New Plays by Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners
Love ‘is a show that needs to be seen’ | The National Theatre
First look at Grease 2017 UK tour cast
Review of The Winter’s Tale at the Cockpit Theatre
THE BOX: Uncompromising play comes to Elephant and Castle
West End Reviews: Dreamgirls – Savoy Theatre
Review of Ferris and Milnes – Christmas Cracker at the Ambassadors Theatre
Review of The Adventures of Dick! at Leicester Square Theatre
Review of Matthew Bourne’s THE RED SHOES – Sadler’s Wells
Cinderella is ‘a gloriously lavish, delightful and spectacular show’
DRAKE’S DREAM original London cast Album to be released
Ricky Whittington and his Cat at the New Diorama Theatre
New Musical about TINA TURNER in development
5-star RSC’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at Theatre Royal Haymarket
The Hound of the Baskervilles at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
Review of Much Ado About Nothing – Theatre Royal Haymarket
A Night in Soho with Vanity von Glow – The Phoenix Artist Club
Puss in Boots at the Drayton Arms Theatre
Top London Shows 2016 from LondonTheatre1 Reviewers
Danny Mac and Carley Stenson to star in Sleepless The Musical
Full casting announced for first UK Tour of La Cage Aux Folles
Review of Mr Popper’s Penguins at the Criterion Theatre
A Christmas Carol with The London Musical Theatre Orchestra
Highlights: A Drift Christmas Review at the White Bear Theatre
The Crumple Zone: ‘a charming and compelling piece of theatre’
THRILLER LIVE becomes West End’s 16th longest-running musical
Richmond Theatre 2017 Season Announcement
The Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s A Christmas Carol – The Vaults Theatre
Kiki’s Delivery Service at Southwark Playhouse – Review
Christina Bianco: O COME, ALL YE DIVAS at Charing Cross Theatre
A Christmas Carol The Musical at The Lost Theatre
Cast announced for International Tour of Mary Poppins 2017 performances
Art at The Old Vic is ‘A fascinating and lively production’
Review of The Gruffalo at the Lyric Theatre
The Collective Project 2016 at Tristan Bates Theatre


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