News, Reviews & Interviews in February 2016

Theatre in the UK: February 2016

February 2016 was a vibrant and dynamic month for theatre in the UK, with a diverse array of productions captivating audiences across the London West End, Off West End, and on tour. This period highlighted the rich creativity and breadth of talent that characterizes the UK’s theatre scene.

London West End

The London West End continued to be a hub of theatrical excellence in February 2016. Among the standout productions was “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which had recently begun previews and quickly became one of the most sought-after tickets in town. The play, split into two parts and based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, enchanted audiences with its magical storytelling and groundbreaking stagecraft.

Musical theatre remained a cornerstone of the West End. “The Book of Mormon,” known for its sharp wit and catchy numbers, continued to draw crowds at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Meanwhile, “Wicked,” with its enchanting tale of the witches of Oz, celebrated over a decade of success, maintaining its status as a must-see show for both tourists and locals.

Off West End

Off West End theatres, known for their innovation and risk-taking, offered a rich variety of productions in February 2016. The Almeida Theatre’s “Uncle Vanya,” directed by Robert Icke and starring Paul Rhys, was a standout. This contemporary adaptation of Chekhov’s classic was praised for its emotional depth and modern relevance, drawing critical acclaim.

The Menier Chocolate Factory presented “Funny Girl,” starring Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice. This revival of the classic musical, which had transferred from a successful run at the venue, continued to impress with its stellar performances and vibrant production, leading to a sold-out run and a transfer to the West End later in the year.

Touring Productions

Touring productions played a crucial role in bringing high-quality theatre to audiences across the UK in February 2016. The National Theatre’s production of “War Horse,” renowned for its stunning life-size puppetry and emotional storytelling, continued its successful tour, touching audiences in various regional theatres.

Another notable touring production was “The Rocky Horror Show,” which celebrated its 40th anniversary with a nationwide tour. This cult classic, known for its interactive audience participation and infectious energy, delighted fans old and new with its iconic songs and outrageous characters.

Conclusion

February 2016 was a testament to the richness and diversity of theatre in the UK. The London West End dazzled with its mix of long-running hits and exciting new productions, while Off West End venues pushed the boundaries with innovative and thought-provoking shows. Touring productions ensured that exceptional theatre reached audiences across the country, further enriching the UK’s cultural landscape. This month underscored the vibrancy and resilience of the UK theatre scene, setting a high standard for the year ahead.

News, Reviews & Interviews in February 2016

Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench on theatre, jokes, critics…
Boris and Ingrid at The Pleasance Theatre – Review
The Broadway Theatre – 400 seater venue built in 2016
Review of Avenue Q at The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
Review of Scenes From The End at The Tristan Bates Theatre
Richard Cordery in Waiting for Godot – Sheffield Theatres
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Red Velvet – Review
‘ARTIFICIAL HIP-HOP’ at Wilton’s Music Hall
Review of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at The Lyttelton Theatre
Review of Goodnight Polly Jones at Theatre N16
Review of Theatre Ad Infinitum’s LIGHT at Battersea Arts Centre
Review of FEAST at Battersea Arts Centre
Ghost Light Theatre Group’s Swing By Around 8 – Review
Review of The World Goes Round – The Songs of Kander and Ebb
The Railway Children Live on Stage extends to October 2016
Interview with Andrew Langtree – Gooper in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
What I Learned from Johnny Bevan by Luke Wright
Review of Muted at The Actors Church London
Macbeth: A Tale of Sound and Fury at The Hope Theatre – Review
Amber Riley stars as Effie White in Dreamgirls at The Savoy Theatre
A Poster of The Cosmos/The Great Nebula In Orion Above the Arts
World premiere of Immortal Tango at The Peacock Theatre
Review of WEALD at Finborough Theatre London
Review of Hysterical at The Vaults Waterloo
IN THE HEIGHTS extends run at King’s Cross Theatre
Hamlet at The Rose Playhouse Bankside – Review
This was the World and I was King at The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre – Review
Carnival Dreams: The Musical at The Ashcroft Theatre Croydon – Review
‘Fantastic’ I Loved Lucy at Jermyn Street Theatre – Review
‘Impassioned performances’ in Trainspotting…
Revolution, Murder and Traffic Wardens…
Denis Lill to Replace Tony Slattery in the National Tour of SHADOWLANDS
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl set in the heart of Hounslow…
Official launch of the Factor 2025 novel – review
5-star The Master Builder at the Old Vic – Review
An Evening With Bonnie Langford at The Hippodrome
BU21 by Stuart Slade at Theatre503
5-Star Review of Andy Capp The Musical at The Finborough Theatre
Jackie The Musical full cast announced as rehearsals begin…
Review of I.S.I.S. at The Etcetera Theatre London
Review of 5 Guys Chillin’ at The King’s Head Theatre
In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises) at The Gate Theatre – Review
How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
Cast Announced for First UK and Ireland Tour of Billy Elliot The Musical
Review of Rabbit Hole at Hampstead Theatre
Hamlet Peckham at the Bussey Building – Review
Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow – Review
Autistic actors take up lead roles on stage and screen
New Diorama Theatre announces artist development scheme
The Winter’s Tale at Holy Trinity Church Guildford – Review
Motown The Musical tickets now booking to 18th February 2017
Review of The End of Longing at the Playhouse Theatre
5-star The Perfect Murder at The Churchill Theatre Bromley – Review
Janis Joplin: Full Tilt – a tour de force with equal intensity and warmth
Review of Ideomotor at the Vault Festival London
Matthew Rixon joins the cast of UK Tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad
Lee Brennan joins the cast of FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL
5-star Dress Rehearsal at The Old Sorting Office Art Centre – Review
A week of new plays by East Asian writers 2nd-6th March
Review of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch at Sadler’s Wells
Review of Toast at The Rose Theatre Kingston
Nell Gwynn is a brilliant romp at The Apollo Theatre – Review
Re:Home It’s a voice that deserves to be heard – Review
Round the Horne by Apollo Theatre Company at The Museum of Comedy – Review
Whistleblower, The Edward Snowden Story at Waterloo East Theatre – Review
New theatre discussion forum launched by fans
The Memory Show: Gripping and compulsive viewing – Review
Noel Coward’s Private Lives at Richmond Theatre
Hidden Vice part of The Pit a new writing event at TheatreN16 – Review
BRENDAN COLE A NIGHT TO REMEMBER at New Wimbledon Theatre – Review
Disney’s Aladdin: a magical extravaganza about to hit the West End
Private Lives at Richmond Theatre – Review
The Pianist of Willesden Lane – extra performance added
Review of Mrs Henderson Presents at The Noel Coward Theatre
Three Generations of Women by Anna Jefferson and Alice Trueman
Review of Nell Gwynn at The Apollo Theatre
The Old Vic presents the second of its VARIETY NIGHTS
You couldn’t make it up… Hand To God at Vaudeville Theatre – Review
Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery at The Barbican – Review
The War of the Worlds as you’ve never seen it before… Review
Mrs Henderson Presents is witty, intense, energetic and sublimely superb – Review
Guys and Dolls Tickets London and UK Tour
Full casting announced for ONLY THE BRAVE at Wales Millennium Centre
Powerful version of Hamlet at The Rose Playhouse – Review
Hilarious Bad Jews at Theatre Royal Haymarket – Review
RADIANT VERMIN returns in 2016 playing UK – Bristol and London
A Steady Rain: A really great piece of theatre – Review
Theatr Clwyd announce full casting for JUMPY
Review of The Great Jewish American Songbook
Interview with Jonathan Guy Lewis from the cast of The Herbal Bed
Masters of Show Choir at Arts Theatre
The Miserables at the Etcetera Theatre – Review
Four Play by Jake Brunger at Theatre503 – Review
The Rinse Cycle at Charing Cross Theatre – Review
Two Tickets for The Front Row…
Winners Announced for the 16th Annual Whatsonstage Awards
Sell-out IMMORTAL returns: a play about a World War II bomber crew
Actress Sam Womack Launches Exciting New Arts Theatre
Firebird at Trafalgar Studios – Review
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory heading for New York and UK Tour
Full casting announced for Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet
Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers at the Churchill Theatre – Review
Uzo Aduba stars in The Jamie Lloyd Company’s production of The Maids
Review of Chicago The Musical at New Wimbledon Theatre
Cyrano de Bergerac at the Southwark Playhouse – Review
Beautiful The Carole King Musical celebrates First Birthday in West End
The 39 Steps on tour at Richmond Theatre – Review
The Project Theatre Company’s Poll Function – Review
Review of Cooking with Elvis at Theatro Technis
Norfolk and Norwich Festival announces 2016 PROGRAMME
Review of Happiness is a Cup of Tea at VAULT Festival
What I learned from Johnny Bevan at Soho Upstairs – Review
Annie McKenzie in Happiness is a Cup of Tea at VAULT Festival – Review
See Bob Run at The Bread and Roses Theatre – Review
World Premiere of Zero Central’s The Raunch at London Wonderground
Smasher by Helen Duff at The Vault Festival – Review
Review of Antigone at The Hope Theatre
Doctor Faustus announces three-week extension and full casting
The Lyric and Filter’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Review
Hello Norma Jeane at Park Theatre – Review
Vault Festival: After The Heat, We Battle for The Heart – Review
Full casting announced for world première of Flowers for Mrs Harris
The Patriotic Traitor at Park Theatre – Review
The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Brockley Jack – Review
Real Women at the Playhouse Theatre London Sunday 8th May 2016
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts I and II rehearsals begin and full casting…
Review of Miss Julie at the Etcetera Theatre London
The Odyssey at Wilton’s Music Hall – Review
Eggs at the Vault Festival – Review
Crossed Wires at The Rag Factory – Review
World premiere of Ladies In Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII
John Hurt and Kenneth Branagh The Entertainer
Final cast announced for 20th anniversary production of Tracy Letts’ Bug
New drama about “cure for homosexuality” at the Arts Theatre
Paul Robinson is to leave Theatre503 after ten years at the helm
The Passion of Lady Vendredi at Soho Theatre April 2016
Sonia Friedman Productions celebrates with 20 Olivier Award Nominations
Casting announced for How The Other Half Loves

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