News, Reviews & Interviews August 2020

Here are the highlights in theatre across London’s West End, Off-West End, the Edinburgh Fringe, and regional venues in the UK for August 2020:

West End Highlights:

  1. “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre:
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary musical “Hamilton” continued to be a standout in the West End. This dynamic production, blending hip-hop, jazz, blues, and R&B, tells the compelling story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Celebrated for its innovative storytelling and energetic performances, “Hamilton” remained a must-see.
  2. “Les Misérables” at Sondheim Theatre:
    • The timeless classic “Les Misérables” maintained its powerful presence at the Sondheim Theatre. This epic saga of love, sacrifice, and redemption set against the backdrop of revolutionary France consistently mesmerised audiences with its stirring melodies and powerful performances, reaffirming its status as a West End favourite.
  3. “Mary Poppins” at Prince Edward Theatre:
    • The enchanting musical “Mary Poppins” continued to delight audiences with its magical story and spectacular production. Starring Zizi Strallen as Mary and Charlie Stemp as Bert, this show, with its dazzling choreography and stunning special effects, remained a firm family favourite in the West End.
  4. “Dear Evan Hansen” at Noël Coward Theatre:
    • The critically acclaimed “Dear Evan Hansen” continued to move hearts with its poignant exploration of social anxiety and the quest for belonging. Featuring a heartfelt score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, this moving musical was celebrated for its emotional depth and outstanding performances.
  5. “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre:
    • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic masterpiece “The Phantom of the Opera” continued to mesmerise audiences with its hauntingly beautiful score and opulent production. This enduring musical, set in the atmospheric Paris Opera House, remained a cornerstone of West End theatre.

Off-West End Highlights:

  1. “The Watsons” at Menier Chocolate Factory:
    • Laura Wade’s clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel “The Watsons” offered a delightful blend of wit and charm. Directed by Samuel West, this imaginative production explored themes of authorship and agency, captivating audiences with its inventive storytelling and engaging performances.
  2. “Endgame” at The Old Vic:
    • Samuel Beckett’s classic play “Endgame,” starring Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe, continued to impress Off-West End audiences. This darkly comic production, directed by Richard Jones, brought Beckett’s absurdist vision to life with powerful performances and striking staging.
  3. “Cyrano de Bergerac” at Playhouse Theatre:
    • James McAvoy starred in Jamie Lloyd’s contemporary adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.” This bold and innovative production received widespread acclaim for its fresh take on the classic tale of unrequited love and poetic brilliance, making it a standout in the Off-West End scene.

Edinburgh Fringe Highlights:

  1. “Fleabag” by Phoebe Waller-Bridge:
    • The original one-woman show that inspired the acclaimed television series returned to the Fringe, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge delivering a blisteringly funny and poignant performance. Her candid and unapologetic portrayal of the titular character captivated audiences, making it one of the festival’s standout events.
  2. “Myra Dubois: Dead Funny” at Underbelly:
    • This sharp and satirical cabaret show featured the acid-tongued Myra Dubois in a hilariously dark exploration of mortality. With biting wit and flamboyant flair, Dubois delivered a performance that was as thought-provoking as it was entertaining.
  3. “Baby Reindeer” by Richard Gadd at Summerhall:
    • Richard Gadd’s gripping and deeply personal monologue recounted his harrowing experience with a stalker. The raw and unflinching storytelling, combined with Gadd’s compelling delivery, created a profoundly impactful theatre experience.

Regional Theatre Highlights:

  1. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” at Curve Theatre, Leicester:
    • This enchanting stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s beloved novel continued to captivate regional audiences. With its imaginative set design, magical effects, and compelling performances, this production brought the fantastical world of Narnia to life, delighting audiences of all ages.
  2. “The Book of Mormon” at Liverpool Empire:
    • The hilarious and irreverent musical “The Book of Mormon,” by the creators of “South Park,” continued its successful UK tour. With its sharp satire and catchy songs, this show provided a night of laughter and entertainment for audiences across the country.
  3. “Dial M for Murder” at Theatre Royal, Brighton:
    • This thrilling production of Frederick Knott’s classic murder mystery, starring Tom Chambers and Sally Bretton, continued its UK tour. Directed by Anthony Banks, this gripping play kept audiences on the edge of their seats with its twists and suspenseful plot.
  4. “Once” at Theatre Royal, Glasgow:
    • The heartwarming musical “Once,” based on the Oscar-winning film, continued its UK tour, enchanting audiences with its beautiful music and touching story. This intimate production, featuring actor-musicians playing their instruments on stage, offered a unique and memorable theatre experience.

These highlights from August 2020 showcase the rich variety and vibrancy of theatre across the UK, from the grandeur of West End productions and innovative Off-West End shows to the dynamic offerings at the Edinburgh Fringe and regional tours. Whether in London or beyond, theatre enthusiasts were treated to an array of compelling and memorable performances.

News, Reviews & Interviews August 2020

Moment of Grace written by Bren Gosling | Review
Shebaa’s Adventure to Jopplety How by Elle Douglas | Review
ArtsEd welcomes staff to Schools of Acting & Musical Theatre
The winning song from the search for ‘A Song For Our Time’ is announced
Spun Glass Theatre releases Theatre Search early in response to Covid-19
Richard Shelton will perform as Frank Sinatra for a special concert
Phantoms lift the roof off and bring back live theatre
Golden Age Theatre Company’s The New Normal | Review
Cheyenne Jackson LIVE In Concert with Seth Rudetsky | Review
London’s oldest fringe theatre Pentameters fundraising for first time
Golden Age Theatre Company’s Trivial Dispute | Review
Theatre Producer Portal launches to connect an industry of creatives
The House That Slipped- An online immersive show | Show
David Hunter and Caroline Kay release The Space Between cast recording
UK premiere of C-o-n-t-a-c-t a socially distanced outdoor experience
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story Rescheduled to 2021
New Musical Premiere Live Streaming Free This Weekend
A series of six short plays make up Scene To Seen | Review
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Embark on 2020/2021 Season
An Original Musical Devised In Just One Week | Review
Theatre Support Fund & Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Special Edition…
Studio Album of New British Musical The Rhythmics Now Available
Top stars support the 2020 Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize
Four pantomimes in London announce their postponement to 2021
Liz Callaway LIVE In Concert with Seth Rudetsky | Review
ImagiNation Festival launches online – uniting the nation’s storytellers
Fanny and Stella at The Garden Theatre | Review
Live Screen of Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert
New fundraising rewards to support Underbelly’s Crowdfunder Campaign
Diana The Musical to be screened on Netflix
The spirit of the Fringe lives on as the Popcorn Award…
Capital Theatres Reveal Impact of Dementia Friendly Work
The Last Five Years returns to The Large at Southwark Playhouse
Showstopper! The (Socially Distanced!) Improvised Musical
Matthew Bourne’s NUTCRACKER! Postponed to 2021/2022
Godspell Online In Concert Tickets – Hope Mill Streaming Events, London
Godspell’s 50th Anniversary concert release ‘Beautiful City’ recording
The Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival – Henry V | Review
The Maltings Theatre’s The Merry Wives of Windsor | Review
New Musical St. Anne Comes Home announces its cast and creative team
Golden Age Theatre Company’s Production of Marlowe’s Ghost | Review
Casting announced for the UK premiere of C-o-n-t-a-c-t
The Seth Concert Series – Stephanie J Block | Review
New commissions and cast announced for Burn Bright’s Better In Person
Doctor Who: Time Fracture – a new immersive theatrical event
The Drifters Girl – rescheduled dates for 2021 for new musical
Free pop-up arts and culture festival celebrates grassroots artists
Romantics Anonymous at Bristol Old Vic and broadcast live
Doctor Who: Time Fracture – Doctor Who: Immersive London
New creative partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre
New Adventures Announce ADVENTURES IN FILM
PIPPIN at an exciting new outdoor London theatre venue
Squad Goals premieres at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Ground
Blue Peter legend Peter Duncan launches Panto Online
Darlington Hippodrome will be re-opening its doors to visitors
The Seth Concert Series – Rachel Bay Jones | Review
Chronic Insanity’s 52 Souls | Review
East of West Theatre Company presents As You Like It | Review
The Ockendon Witch – Hoar Frost productions | Review
Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser to star in new musical Before After…
Jennifer Lunn wins The Popcorn Writing Award 2020
Powerhouse Theatre’s White Noise | Review
Showstopper! The (Socially Distanced!) Improvised Musical | Review
Tales From The Golden Age – A Strange Romance | Review
The Seth Concert Series – Sierra Boggess | Review


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