News, Reviews & Interviews May 2020

Here are the highlights in theatre across London’s West End, Off-West End, and regional venues in the UK for May 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, narrates the compelling story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Praised for its innovative storytelling and energetic performances, “Hamilton” remained a must-see.
  2. “Les Misérables” at Sondheim Theatre:
    • The timeless classic “Les Misérables” continued its run at the Sondheim Theatre. This epic saga of love, sacrifice, and redemption set against the backdrop of revolutionary France consistently captivated 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” delighted 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 touch 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.

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 May 2020 demonstrate the rich variety and vibrancy of theatre across the UK, from the grandeur of West End productions to the innovative offerings in Off-West End venues and the dynamic regional tours. Whether in London or beyond, theatre enthusiasts were treated to an array of compelling and memorable performances.

News, Reviews & Interviews May 2020

Watch Theatre Online or at Home – Musicals, Plays, Drama, Opera, Ballet
Coronavirus: 20+ things to do at home during lockdown
Samantha Barks at the Adelphi with a Solo Concert
The Mono Box launches The Monologue Library
Here/Not Here Deaf hip hop drama to premiere on 11 May
Tom Stoppard’s A Separate Peace Live-Streamed Play Reading
Big Telly Theatre presents Operation Elsewhere
Theatre Support Fund + The Show Must Go On
West End Stars Announced for Daniel and Laura Curtis Virtual Concert
Scala Radio to Launch 4-part Series The Story of Musicals
Sunday In The Park With George Postponed Until 2021
Martin Milnes records a lockdown morale-boosting memoir from Audible
The National Theatre Announces Further Productions for National Theatre At Home
Bring to life a new musical and stage it in your own home!
Uninvited Guests and Fuel present Love Letters at Home
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child / Harry Potter at Home Readings
The Showstoppers’ Alternative Eurovision Song Contest
The Shows Must Go On – Cats 1999 production
The Barn Theatre Announces An Evening With Michael Morpurgo
The Old Vic announces a programme of creative, fun and inspiring events…
Rush, a new queer comedy play reading with Rupert Everett
Metta Theatre have been granted emergency funds by Arts Council England
Strictly Ballroom The Musical UK Tour – Rescheduled Dates for 2021/2022
Robert Icke’s The Doctor will now be postponed until 2021
h Club London announce a new virtual musical theatre hour
Unicorn Theatre Announces Anansi The Spider Re-Spun
The Wind in the Willows: Re-Imagined 4-7 June, Live online
WAF In Your Living Room: Online arts festival doubles in size in first 5 days
The Showstoppers’ Alternative Eurovision Song Contest Live!
West End Stars Announced for Finn Anderson Virtual Concert
Brad Shaw launches the Wonderland Challenge – 165 Actors & Voice Artists
BalletBoyz’ 20th anniversary show Deluxe 27th May to 24 June 2020
Jermyn Street Theatre Zooms Into Online Work…
Alternative Eurovision Song Contest raises £7,400 for The Care Workers’ Charity
Derren Brown’s SHOWMAN to premiere from February 2021
The Showstoppers compose a musical theatre song – ‘Hello Sorry!’
Wise Children announce The School for Wise Children’s Summer Spread
British Sign Language versions of Tweedy’s Lost & Found To Be Released
‘Theatre stands on the brink of ruin’ writes Sonia Friedman
An open letter to theatre and performance makers…
West End stars perform Newfound Hope Songs
The Show Must Go Online Reaches 100,000 Views in First Two Months
The Drive In Will Open at Troubadour Meridian Water
Neil Morrissey, Denise Welch & Stars Lead Cast in Evening Of Online Theatre…
Hope Theatre given Support by Art Council Emergency Response Fund
Kiln Theatre: Creative Engagement programme for Summer 2020
The Show Must Go Online announce the cast for Romeo and Juliet
Teatro Vivo’s immersive street show has been turned into an on-line film
Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain will tour car parks across the UK
The Shows Must Go On – HAIRSPRAY (Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson)
Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Concert Series to Debut as Weekly Virtual Event
Selladoor Worldwide to suspend its 2020 touring productions
The Old Vic announces a new artistic initiative OLD VIC: IN CAMERA
The Phantom of the Opera UK & Ireland Tour Will Not Re-Open
Arts Council England launches art packs for children during lockdown
Launch of Scenesaver: a one-stop site for all types of performances
Arts packs to be distributed to children via network of food banks
Postponement of The Seagull and A Doll’s House Announced
Coriolanus Streamed on YouTube as Part of NT At Home on 4th June 2020
Russell Howard Announces Rescheduled UK Dates
Poet Simon Mole and Musician Gecko – Free online workshops for children
HighTide’s Playwright Crisis Support Programme cohort announced
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat announces rescheduled dates for Summer 2021
The Show Must Go Online will present an event for Mental Wellbeing
New production of Hello, Dolly! is postponed
The Other Songs host online Festival for The BRIT School
Amélie (Original London Cast Recording)
Marisha Wallace releases gospel rendition of ‘Tomorrow’…



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