LATEST NEWS

PRESS RELEASE
Monday 26 September 2022

Production images here
 

DISNEY’S THE LION KING RETURNS TO BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME NEXT SUMMER
 

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland and Birmingham Hippodrome have announced that Disney’s THE LION KING will return to the Hippodrome next summer. 

 

The internationally acclaimed production will come to Birmingham for 10 weeks from Thursday 6 July to Saturday 16 September 2023. Priority tickets will be available from 11am Tuesday 11 October*. The general sale will begin at 11am on Friday 14 October. 

 

The show returns to Birmingham for the first time since 2013, when it enjoyed a triumphant sell out run.

 

Birmingham Hippodrome Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer, Jon Gilchrist said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome The Lion King to Birmingham Hippodrome for an amazing ten week run next Summer. It’s such an iconic production and we’re really proud that we can bring this internationally renowned show to the West Midlands as part of our stellar season next year.”

 

The story of THE LION KING leaps into life using spectacular masks, puppets and costumes to tell the story of Simba's epic adventures, as he struggles with the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.

 

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of THE LION KING opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions in nine different languages have been created since then (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese). THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. 

 

The previous tour of THE LION KING broke attendance records across the nation. Since the UK premiere in 1999, THE LION KING London has entertained more than 16 million theatregoers and is the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. 

 

The stunning artistry of the production is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated feature films of all time. 

 

Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. The Lion King was the first musical Taymor directed in the commercial theatre and she made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.   

 

The Broadway show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on THE LION KING, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets. 

 

Scenic design is by British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay. 

 

The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers.  As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina. 

 

Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland. 

 

*Priority on sale for Very Me Rewards by Vodafone: Tue 11 October, 11am
Priority on sale for Birmingham Hippodrome Friends – Wed 12 October, 11am
Priority on sale for Birmingham Hippodrome Groups & Disney sign up – Thu 13 October,   11am
General on sale: Friday 14 October, 11am

 

For more information please visit: thelionking.co.uk/tour

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ADRIAN EDMONDSON CAST AS SCROOGE IN RSC’S "A CHRISTMAS CAROL"

 

 

Casting announced for A Christmas Carol, which plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre this winter.

Adrian Edmondson will play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s revival of David Edgar’s adaptation of Dickens’ much-loved classic story A Christmas Carol.  The production, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon between 26 October 2022 – 1 January 2023.

Talking about A Christmas Carol, Adrian Edmondson said: 

“A Christmas Carol in an extraordinary book. It’s been in print continuously since 1843.  So it must be saying something very important that catches our imagination. A lot of people think it’s about Scrooge and ghosts, which of course it is, but at the heart of it, it’s about poverty and our individual reaction to it. So it couldn’t be more relevant today than it has been in the past 30-40 years. Not since rationing really. Actual poverty in our streets. People at food banks. That’s the driving force of it for Dickens.  He’d read a report on poverty and was considering writing this as a dry pamphlet, but wrote it as a story because he thought it would connect more. And, of course, it does. So it’s hard to find a play that’s more relevant, especially one you might enjoy.

“I’m really looking forward to playing Scrooge. Why, you might ask, would you watch a show about a really horrible person? You watch it because you’re cheering him on, urging him to become a better person. You’re on his side, you want him to turn. I think that makes him one of the most fundamentally interesting characters in literature, and a great part to play.”

Adrian returns to the RSC after making his debut as Malvolio in Twelfth Night in 2017.  His other theatre credits include: The Rocky Horror Show (Piccadilly Theatre), Waiting for Godot (Queens Theatre), Bits of Me Are Falling Apart (Soho Theatre), The Boy Friend (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia (Almeida). 

TV credits include: The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents…, Bottom, Blackadder, War & Peace, Bancroft, Save Me, Cheat, Out of Her Mind, Back To Life, Summer of Rockets, One of Us, Upstart Crow and A Spy Among Friends.  Film credits include: Supergrass, The Pope Must Die, Guesthouse Paradiso and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Joining Adrian is Sunetra Sarker who makes her RSC debut as The Ghost of Christmas Present.  Sunetra is a stalwart of British TV and is best known for a nearly ten year stint as Dr Zoe Hanna on BBC’s Casualty, three series of Channel Four’s No Angels, and currently as Kaneez Parach in Ackley Bridge, also for Channel Four. She reached the latter stages of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, was the subject of Who Do You Think You Are? in 2017, and is currently a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.

Sunetra’s other TV credits include: Desperate Measures, Sherwood, The Bay, Cold Feet, Informer, Hang Ups, Broadchurch, Safe House, Death in Paradise, Puppy Love, Doctor Who, Mobile, New Street Law, The Chase, Ideal, The Smoking Room, Eyes Down, City Life: Bloody Foreigners, Emmerdale, Streetlife, Playing The Field, Miller Shorts, Starting Out, London Bridge, Wing and A Prayer, Flight, Cracker, Bhangra Girls, Bread and Brookside.  Her stage credits include: House of the Sun, One Night (Stratford East), Tale of Two Cities (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The God Botherers (Bush Theatre) 

David Edgar’s socially-conscious adaptation of Dickens’ classic fable opened in 2017 to critical acclaim in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where it played to sell-out audiences. The production was revived the following year due to audience demand.

This festive tale of redemption and compassion follows cold-hearted businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, who – over the course of one ghostly Christmas night – learns to pity himself and to love his neighbour – but is that enough? 

The full cast is: Beth Alsbury (Hinge), Lauren Arney (Belinda), Sally Cheng (Isabel), Eamonn Cox (Swing), Rachel Denning (Mrs Baldock), Adrian Edmondson (Ebenezer Scrooge), Gavin Fowler(Charles Dickens), Clive Hayward (Fezziwig), Jack Humphrey (Tim), Beruce Khan (John Forster), Rebecca Lacey (The Ghost of Christmas Past), Bethany Linsdell (Caroline), Michael Lyle (Father), Alexander Moneypenny (Swing), Conor O’Hara (Swing), Emma Pallant (Mrs Cratchit), Joseph Prowen (Fred), Sunetra Sarker (The Ghost of Christmas Present), Rachel Seirian (Swing), Oliver Senton (Uber), Mitesh Soni (Bob Cratchit), Liyah Summers (Fanny), Giles Taylor (Marley) and Georgie Westall (Swing).

David Edgar has been writing plays professionally since 1971. As one of the UK’s greatest living playwrights, David’s rich history with the RSC spans over four decades making him the company’s most produced living writer to date.  

His original plays for the RSC include: Destiny (1976); Maydays (1983, revived in a new version in 2018 directed by Owen Horsley); Pentecost (1994, transferring to the Young Vic, London, 1995); The Prisoner’s Dilemma (2001); Written on the Heart (2011, transferring to the Duchess Theatre, London, 2012); and A Christmas Carol, his first Dickens adaptation since the multi-award winning production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby in 1980, which premiered at the Aldwych Theatre before transferring to Broadway in 1981 where it went on to win The Society of West End Theatre and Tony award for ‘Best Play’. In 2019, David wrote and performed his one-man solo show Trying It On, which toured to the Birmingham Rep, the RSC’s The Other Place, the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs and the Traverse Theatre during the 2019 Edinburgh Festival, and on tour.

Talking about A Christmas Carol, David Edgar said: 

“In 1843, Dickens read a parliamentary report on the conditions of children in the mines and factories of what was aptly called the Hungry Forties, and resolved to write an angry political pamphlet, to be published that Christmas, calling for reform. By the end of the year he’d produced not a tract but a universal story of how benevolence is stronger than greed. I wanted to put Dickens and his ambitions in the foreground of the adaptation. In Rachel Kavanaugh’s wonderful production – combining a glorious set with dazzling choreography and musical score - we see Dickens construct his story before our very eyes.  

“When we premiered the show in 2017, millions were already relying on food banks and beggars haunted city streets. Covid and the cost of living crisis have made economic inequality – and raw poverty – an even more pressing reality. And yet – in the way the nation came together around the NHS to combat the pandemic – we have been reminded of the selflessness and generosity of spirit which lies at the heart of Dickens’ enduringly optimistic story.”

A Christmas Carol is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and designed by Stephen Brimson Lewiswith lighting by Tim Mitchell. Music is by Catherine Jayes, Sound Design by Fergus O’Hare with Movement by Georgina Lamb.

 

For further press information please contact:
Dean Asker, Senior Media Relations Officer, Royal Shakespeare Company
dean.asker@rsc.org.uk, 0778 9937759

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BMOS PRESENT THEIR SUMMER 2022 PRODUCTION OF

GUYS & DOLLS

AT THE ALEXANDRA BIRMINGHAM

FROM 28 JUNE TO 2 JULY

 

Birmingham’s award-winning musical theatre company, BMOS, are excited to announce their forthcoming production of Guys & Dolls! A fantastic and funny musical story of gambling, luck and love under the bright lights of Broadway. Considered by many as the perfect musical comedy, Guys and Dolls has been delighting audiences since the 1950s, first as a musical, then a musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. BMOS are looking forward to bringing it back to the stage this summer at The Alexandra Birmingham, from 28 June to 2 July, tickets are available now at atg.com/Birmingham

 

BMOS Musical Theatre Company returns to The Alexandra stage later this month with a spectacular performance of the popular Broadway classic musical, Guys and Dolls. For one cast member in particular, the show is particularly poignant. Chris Loughran, who is better known as the former Senior Partner at Deloitte in Birmingham and for his various presidencies and trusteeships in the city, including Honorary President of BMOS, will reprise the role of Arvide, 38 years after first playing the part. Previously Chris portrayed the role of the New York missionary and doting grandfather of the principal character Sarah Brown back in 1984 at Birmingham’s Old Repertory Theatre with Belmont Choral Society.  

 

BMOS Musical Theatre company will be bringing Guys and Dolls to life once more at The Alexandra Birmingham between Tuesday 28 June and Saturday 2 July, including a Saturday matinee and a fully signed performance on Wednesday 29 June. Featuring hit songs such as ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat,’ ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Adelaide’s Lament’

 

Chris Loughran commented: “I’m excited to be taking up the role of Arvide for a second time, with BMOS Musical Theatre Company. I joined the company as Honorary President in 2018 and quickly regained the performing bug from all those years ago, so now being able to join the incredibly talented cast members on stage in their first performance since the pandemic is fantastic.  I won’t need as much makeup this time either!”

BMOS PRESENT THEIR SUMMER 2022 PRODUCTION OF

GUYS & DOLLS

AT THE ALEXANDRA BIRMINGHAM

FROM 28 JUNE TO 2 JULY

 

Birmingham’s award-winning musical theatre company, BMOS, are excited to announce their forthcoming production of Guys & Dolls! A fantastic and funny musical story of gambling, luck and love under the bright lights of Broadway. Considered by many as the perfect musical comedy, Guys and Dolls has been delighting audiences since the 1950s, first as a musical, then a musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. BMOS are looking forward to bringing it back to the stage this summer at The Alexandra Birmingham, from 28 June to 2 July, tickets are available now at atg.com/Birmingham

 

BMOS Musical Theatre Company returns to The Alexandra stage later this month with a spectacular performance of the popular Broadway classic musical, Guys and Dolls. For one cast member in particular, the show is particularly poignant. Chris Loughran, who is better known as the former Senior Partner at Deloitte in Birmingham and for his various presidencies and trusteeships in the city, including Honorary President of BMOS, will reprise the role of Arvide, 38 years after first playing the part. Previously Chris portrayed the role of the New York missionary and doting grandfather of the principal character Sarah Brown back in 1984 at Birmingham’s Old Repertory Theatre with Belmont Choral Society.  

 

BMOS Musical Theatre company will be bringing Guys and Dolls to life once more at The Alexandra Birmingham between Tuesday 28 June and Saturday 2 July, including a Saturday matinee and a fully signed performance on Wednesday 29 June. Featuring hit songs such as ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat,’ ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Adelaide’s Lament’

 

Chris Loughran commented: “I’m excited to be taking up the role of Arvide for a second time, with BMOS Musical Theatre Company. I joined the company as Honorary President in 2018 and quickly regained the performing bug from all those years ago, so now being able to join the incredibly talented cast members on stage in their first performance since the pandemic is fantastic.  I won’t need as much makeup this time either!”

  

James L. Nederlander, Jamie Wilson, Hunter Arnold, Playful Productions and the English National Opera present the Lincoln Center Theater production of

 

LERNER & LOEWE’S

 

MY FAIR LADY 

 

UK and Ireland tour comes to Birmingham Hippodrome from 8 March 2023

The company of the Lincoln Center Production of My Fair Lady, credit Joan Marcus.jpg

 

Book and Lyrics by ALAN JAY LERNER

Music by FREDERICK LOEWE Directed by BARTLETT SHER

www.myfairladymusical.co.uk

@MyFairLadyUK

 

Birmingham Hippodrome have today announced that New York’s Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed and multi award-winning production of Lerner & Loewe’s much loved MY FAIR LADY will play at the theatre from Wednesday 8 March – Sunday 26 March 2023 as part of a UK and Ireland tour which begins in September 2022 following a limited engagement at the London Coliseum this summer. 

 

Directed by Bartlett Sher, this sublime production, which premiered in the spring of 2018 at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater, was the winner of the Tony Award for Best Costume Design, 5 Outer Critics’ Circle Awards including Best Musical Revival, the Drama League Award for Outstanding Musical Revival, and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical Revival and Costume Design.

 

Bartlett Sher said: “Getting a chance to revisit Shaw's extraordinary story of class and privilege in a new age is a rare and special event and I am thrilled to be able to take this epic musical on tour for audiences up and down the country to enjoy.”

 

“Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady has returned to Broadway in a smashing new production from Bartlett Sher (The Sound of Music, The King and I).” The Guardian

 

“Lavish revival of Lerner and Loewe’s 1956 masterwork…” The Washington Post

 

My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”. But who is really being transformed?

 

With a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, MY FAIR LADY boasts a score including the classic songs “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

 

“Thrilling! Glorious and better than it ever was! A marvellous and transformative revival.” New York Times

 

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion, Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY premiered on Broadway in March 1956, winning 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and becoming the longest-running musical in Broadway history at the time. Following this success, the production transferred to London in 1958, where it played in the West End for five and a half years.

 

MY FAIR LADY has seen many notable revivals and adaptations, including the acclaimed 1964 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, which won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Most recently on the London stage, Cameron Mackintosh’s 2001 revival at Theatre Royal Drury Lane won three Olivier Awards, and later toured across the UK and Ireland in 2005.

 

James L. Nederlander, Jamie Wilson, Hunter Arnold, Playful Productions and the English National Opera present the Lincoln Center Theater production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY. Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Marc Salzberg, hair & wigs by Tom Watson, UK music supervision by Gareth Valentine, UK musical direction by Alex Parker, musical supervision by Ted Sperling, choreography by Christopher Gattelli, directed by Bartlett Sher.

 

Casting will be announced in due course.

 

Tickets will go on sale to Birmingham Hippodrome Friends on Tuesday 7 June at 11am and to groups on Wednesday 8 June at 11am. Tickets will go on general sale from 11am on Thursday 9 June at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling 0844 338 5000*

*0844 calls to us will cost you 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.