Everything Changes is back! This is the weekly feature that keeps you informed on shows that are opening and closing in the West End and Off-West End theatre scene. Here are the shows that are ‘opening up’ and some that we have to wish ‘happy trails’ to.
Top Girls – Lyttelton (National Theatre) (from 26th March)
- Location: Lyttelton (National Theatre)
- Dates: 26th Mar to 22nd Jun 2019
- Cast: Liv Hill (Angie), Katherine Kingsley (Mariene), Wendy Kweh (Lady Nijo), Amanda Lawrence (Pope Joan), Ashley McGuire (Dull Gret), Ashna Rabbheru (Kit), Siobhan Redmond (Isabella Bird), Lucy Black, Jessica Brindle, Lucy Ellinson, Amanda Hadingue, Ebony Jonelle, Charlotte Lucas, Roisin Rae, Nadia Williams & Naomi Yang.
- Caryl Churchill (Author), National Theatre (Producer), Lyndsey Turner (Director), Ian MacNeil (Design), Merle Hensel (Costume), Jack Knowles (Lighting), Christopher Shutt (Sound)
Now hiring: top girls wanted for prestige positions. Must be self-motivated go-getters with an appetite for success. No timewasters.
Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her.
For the first time, the National Theatre stages Caryl Churchill’s wildly innovative play about a country divided by its own ambitions.
Churchill’s work includes Far Away, A Number and Escaped Alone.
Lyndsey Turner (Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Chimerica) directs.
Maggie May – Finborough (from 27th March)
- Location: Finborough
- Dates: 27 Mar to 20th Apr 2019
- Cast: Kara Lily Hayworth (Maggie May), James Darch (Patrick Casey), Natalie Williams (Maureen O’Neill), Mark Pearce, Leon Kay, Michael Nelson, Barnaby Taylor, Aaron Kavanagh, Chloe Carrington, Euan Bennet, Cathy McManamon, Joshua Barton & David Keller.
- Lionel Bart (Music), Lionel Bart (Lyrics), Alun Owen (Book). Finborough Theatre (Producer), Matthew Iliffe (Director), Verity Johnson (Design), Verity Johnson (Costume), Sam Spencer-Lane (Choreographer), Henry Brenna (Musical Director), Jonathan Simpson (Lighting), Philip Matejtschuk (Sound), Sophie Drake (AssistantDirector) & Debbie O’Brien (Casting Director).
The first professional London production since its 1964 premiere of the hit British musical Maggie May.
A hard-hitting celebration of working-class life in Liverpool’s docks in the 1960s, Maggie May is the story of the doomed love affair between ‘street walker’ Maggie May Duffy and sailor Patrick Casey, the son of a union-martyr, initially reluctant but finally proud to assume his father’s mantle. Around them is a gallery of strongly-drawn characters: Willie Morgan, the corrupt demagogic union leader, Juddah, the ‘fixer’ and traitor, and Old Dooley, obsessed with past union struggles, all caught up in an allegoric musical drama with a devastating tragic climax.
Winner of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Score of the Year, the show includes one the most musically diverse scores of the 1960s, ranging from bittersweet ballads, Mersey Beat rock’n’roll, and classic chorus numbers from Lionel Bart, the man that Andrew Lloyd Webber described as “the father of the modern British musical”.
Revived by the National Youth Theatre in an acclaimed West End production in 1992, this is the first professional London production since its premiere 55 years ago at the Adelphi Theatre, London, starring Rachel Roberts, Kenneth Haigh and Barry Humphries. This production also commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the death of Lionel Bart.
Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel – London Coliseum (from 30th March)
- Location: London Coliseum
- Dates: 30th Mar to 12th Apr 2019
- Cast: Claudia Boyle (Mary Kelly), Josephine Barstow (Maud), Janis Kelly (Polly Nichols), Marie McLaughlin (Annie Chapman), Susan Bullock (Liz Stride), Lesley Garrett (Catherine Eddowes), William Morgan (Writer), Alex Otterburn (Squibby), Alan Opie (The Pathologist), Robert Hayward (Commissioner of Police), Nicky Spence (Sergeant Johnny Strong) & James Cleverton (The Photographer).
- Iain Bell (Music),, English National Opera (Producer), Opera North (Producer), Martyn Brabbins (Conductor), Daniel Kramer (Director), Soutra Gilmour (Design) & Paul AndersonLighting
A disadvantaged group of working-class women are drawn together in their determination to survive the murderous terror that stalks London’s Whitechapel in 1888. Iain Bell’s new opera explores powerful themes of community and women struggling against the odds, posing questions about the hypocritical attitudes of ‘respectable’ society. The mythic status of the unidentified serial killer is addressed through a refreshingly modern lens, which speaks to us over a century later. With vocal and orchestral writing that always packs an emotional punch, Bell’s score features music that is mercurial and explosive one moment and heart-wrenchingly beautiful the next.
World Premiere. Sung in English, with subtitles projected above the stage.
Another Opening Of Another Show
- Sunday Encounters – An Evening with Jason Robert Brown & Special Guests (Theatre Royal Haymarket, 31 Mar)
- Ali and Dahlia (Pleasance, 26 Mar to 14 Apr)
- Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho (Wilton’s Music Hall, 26 Mar to 30 Mar)
- Half Me, Half You (Tristan Bates Theatre, 26 Mar to 6 Apr)
- London Contemporary Dance School (The Place Theatre, 26 Mar to 27 Mar)
- Shit-Faced Showtime – Oliver with a Twist (Leicester Square Theatre, 27 Mar to 12 Apr)
- A Family Outing – 20 Years On (The Pit – Barbican Centre, 27 Mar to 30 Mar)
- Cry Havoc (Park Theatre, 27 Mar to 20 Apr)
- Oranges & Ink (Tristan Bates Theatre, 27 Mar to 6 Apr)
- Going Through (Bush Theatre, 28 Mar to 27 Apr)
- The Mission: Occupy Mars (BAC – Battersea Arts Centre, 28 Mar to 6 Apr)
- Amazonian Sweat Lodge (Ovalhouse, 28 Mar to 30 Mar)
- Bed Peace – The Battle of Yohn and Joko (Cockpit Theatre, 29 Mar to 28 Apr)
- Corali Dance Company – with invited guests Thick & Tight (The Place Theatre, 30 Mar)
- Tales from Star City (The King’s Head Theatre, 31 Mar to 1 Apr)
- Grav (The Hope Theatre)
- How Am I Looking Now? (The New Diorama Theatre)
- Barefoot (Drayton Arms Theatre)
- Sick (The King’s Head Theatre)
- London Contemporary Dance School (The Place Theatre)
- Company (Gielgud)
- The American Clock (Old Vic)
- A Hundred Words for Snow (Trafalgar Studios)
- A Family Outing – 20 Years On (The Pit – Barbican Centre)
- The Life I Lead (Park Theatre)
- Alys, Always (Bridge Theatre)
- Angry Alan (Soho Theatre)
- Trainspotting (Tower Theatre)
- Shipwreck (Almeida Theatre)
- Circa (Old Red Lion)
- The Grenfell Project (The Hope Theatre)
- Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho (Wilton’s Music Hall)
- High Rise eState of Mind (BAC – Battersea Arts Centre)
- The Amygdala (The Chapel Playhouse)
- Amazonian Sweat Lodge (Ovalhouse)
- Le Gateau Chocolat (Soho Theatre)
- Corali Dance Company – with invited guests Thick & Tight (The Place Theatre)
- Sunday Encounters – An Evening with Jason Robert Brown & Special Guests (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
- Strike Up the Band (Upstairs at the Gatehouse)
- The Wider Earth (The Natural History Museum)
- The Murder Express (Pedley Street Station)
This week is a pretty quite weekend for the West End with Top Girls being the only major addition to Theatreland, in terms of plays and musicals. It is exciting however to see a new opera come to the London Coliseum and to see Lionel Bart’s Maggie May being revived Off-West End.
This week, however, is a sad week for closing productions. This week we see Marianne Elliott’s acclaimed reworking of Stephen Sondheim’s Company close at the Gielgud as well as Rachel Chavkin’s production of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock at The Old Vic. It will be exciting to see how Company performs at the Olivier Awards in two weeks, where it is nominated for 9 awards. Hopefully it will be the perfect sendoff.