Danny Colligan takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Danny Colligan trained at PPA in Guildford and after a hugely successful run at the Bridge House Theatre, with their Christmas radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life in 2014, landed his dream role in the West End production of The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. After a fabulous year, playing one of the all singing all dancing Mormons, Danny ventured on to pastures new and is now part of a hugely successful vocal harmony group.

What are you currently working on?
I’m gigging a lot at the moment with a band, we do covers of songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and some other classics.
I’ve got something else, but can’t tell ya yet. Look out for the news in January.

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?
Loving what I do, and just always trying my best.
I never let teachers, colleagues or anyone tell me I wasn’t good enough or wouldn’t make it. I stayed as Northern and true to myself as possible and just kept pushing.

What is your favourite Book?
I don’t often read. I know it’s bad but the last boom/play I read was Harry Potter and the cursed child, and I loveeeedd it! I nearly cried.

What are you currently watching on TV?
Prison Break. Me and my girlfriend are on season 4 and absolutely loving it. Never to late to join the hype.

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?
Theatre. I love the theatre, it’s my second home, but would love a meal out at a restaurant first then go for a show.

What’s your favourite sweet?
Maltesers! All the way!

What did you want to be when you were a child?
Performer, It’s all I can do.

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?
I used to hide in toilets to scare my parents! Awful I know.

What is your proudest achievement to date?
I have to say performing in The Book of Mormon. It was my dream when I started at drama school to be in the show, and I got to be in it! Sooooo happy!

What’s next?
I’m doing Panto over in Aylesbury. Playing Aladdin in Aladdin, which is cool. I love panto.
Also, got something really cool coming up, but, I can announce anything till January so you’ll have to wait.

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The Wind in the Willows musical set to open at the London Palladium

Following a highly acclaimed pre-West End engagement, producer Jamie Hendry announced this morning that the major new musical The Wind In The Willows will open in the West End at the world-famous London Palladium.

Leading comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound stars as the amazing Mr. Toad in this spectacular new musical based on Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved classic which reunites Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Jamie Hendry (Producer): “ Following wonderful receptions in Plymouth and Manchester where The Wind in the Willows has delighted adults and children alike, I’m thrilled that a wider audience will be able to share in the joy of this glorious new musical at the London Palladium.”

Hendry also confirmed that he would be continuing his pledge to provide readers of all ages the opportunity to enjoy The Wind in the Willows by sending free copies of Kenneth Grahame’s novel to every school and library in London. He added, “ I am a firm believer that our most classic novels should be freely available for everyone to enjoy. I hope that readers will fall in love with Grahame’s story as much as I did, which ultimately led to the commissioning of this musical. ”

Julian Fellowes (Book): “For my adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which I have loved since I was a boy, to play the London Palladium, the most famous theatre of my childhood, is to bring together two of my life-long favourites. It’s a dream come true, really.”

George Stiles & Anthony Drewe (Music & Lyrics): “It’s so thrilling to be coming to one of London’s greatest theatres with this brand new version of The Wind in the Willows. We’ve had a joyous time working again with Julian Fellowes and writing a score that celebrates this quintessentially British classic in all its eccentric glory.”
This riotous comedy follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. With his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.
Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, exuberant choreography and a gloriously British score, The Wind in the Willows brings an explosion of anarchy, humour and heart to the world-famous London Palladium.

The Wind in the Willows will start previewing at the London Palladium from 17 June 2017. If you would like any further details, you can visit the website http://www.windinthewillowsthemusical.com

Sheena Easton set to make West End debut in 42nd Street

Sheena Easton – the Grammy Award winning artist who has sold over 20 million records around the world – is to make her West End debut in the forthcoming production of 42 nd Street.

Easton, who remains the only artist in history to have top five records on five major Billboard charts, will perform the iconic role of ‘Dorothy Brock’ in this new production of 42 nd Street, the dazzling and romantic homage to the world of musical theatre.

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The role of ‘Julian Marsh’ will be performed by Tom Lister, who played ‘Carl King’ in Emmerdale for 8 years and has recently been starring as ‘Wild Bill Hickok’ in the UK Tour of Calamity Jane. Clare Halse, who most recently appeared in the acclaimed production of Gypsy as ‘Marjorie May’ at the Savoy Theatre, will play ‘Peggy Sawyer’.

The production will be directed by the show’s co-author Mark Bramble (whose other hit shows include Barnum, Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers The Grand Tour) and director of many award-winning previous productions of 42 nd Street on Broadway and around the world .

42nd STREET is the song and dance, American dream fable of Broadway and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as ‘ We’re In The Money’ , ‘ Lullaby of Broadway’ , ‘ Shuffle Off To Buffalo’ , ‘ Dames ’, ‘ I Only Have Eyes For You’ , and ‘ 42nd Street’ .

42 nd Street arrives in London with an all-singing, high-kicking cast of over 50, ready to explode on to the West End’s biggest stage. The confirmed cast are:

Jasna Ivir , who will play ‘Maggie Jones’, Norman Bowman as ‘Pat Denning’, Stuart Neal as ‘Billy Lawlor’, Graeme Henderson as ‘Andy Lee’, Christopher Howell as ‘Bert Barry’, Bruce Montague as ‘Abner Dillon’, Mark McKerracher as ‘Mac/Doc/Thug’ and Emma Caffrey as ‘Annie’.

The ensemble comprise Clare Rickard, Victoria Hay, Leah Harris, Jasmine Kerr, Millie O’Connell, Katy Riches, Gabrielle Lewis Dodson, Daisy Steere, Karli Vale, Sophie Camble, Christina Shand, Courtney George, Zoe Rogers, Jessica Keable, Sara Bispham, Lisa Dent, Katharine Pearson, Kirsty Fuller, Rebecca Herszenhorn , Charlene Ford, Dylan Mason, Philip Bertioli, Luke George, Ronan Burns, Eddie Myles, Ryan Gover, Sam Murphy, Freddie Clements, Zac Watts, Greg Bernstein, Kristen Gaetz, Charlotte Anne Steen, Gabrielle Cocca, Kate Ivory Jordan, Josh Andrews, Martin McCarthy.

42nd Street will open at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Monday 20 March 2017. If you would like any further information, you can visit the website http://www.42ndStreetMusical.co.uk

Michelle Collins joins Joanne Clifton in Thoroughly Modern Millie at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Award winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie is set to tour the UK in 2017 opening at New Wimbledon Theatre on Tuesday 17 January.

Michelle Collins will join the cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie until Saturday 4 March as Mrs Meers. She has worked extensively in television and theatre for the last 30 years and is perhaps best known for her roles as Cindy Beale in EastEnders and Stella Price in Coronation Street. Her theatre credits include Calendar Girls (West End), The Play What I Wrote (West End), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour) and most recently Kindertransport (Chickenshed, London).

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Strictly Come Dancing favourite and World Ballroom Showdance Champion and Professional Dancer Joanne Clifton takes on the title role of Millie Dillmount, a Kansas girl determined to make it big in New York City! Joanne’s credits include Face the Music, Burn the Floor, Strictly Live Tour and Marilyn Monroe in Norma Jeane Musical.

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Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film. Taking you back to the height of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York City, when ‘moderns’ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

From explosive tap numbers to a ‘Fred and Ginger’ dance routine on a window ledge, and featuring hit songs including Gimme Gimme, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Not for the Life of Me Thoroughly Modern Millie is a brilliantly funny and entertaining show for all the family.

Tickets for Thoroughly Modern Millie are on sale now. If you would like any further details, you can visit the website atgtickets.com

The First Lady of the West End will now soar across the airwaves as Kerry Ellis gets her own radio show

She has conquered the West End and Broadway, winning awards on both sides of the Atlantic as Elphaba the green-faced star of Wicked.

Now Kerry Ellis, who originated the role of Meat in Queen’s We Will Rock You and starred as Nancy in Oliver! at Drury Lane, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Maureen in RENT and Fantine in Les Miserables, has signed to new radio station ENCORE RADIO to present her own weekly show, starting Saturday 5 November.

“I am so excited to announce this,” said Kerry. “It’s going to be such a buzz to play three hours of my favourite musical theatre songs every Saturday afternoon and I’ll also be talking to some very special West End guests. When I was growing up, I listened to Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Celine Dione and Michael Ball, which we both giggle about now when we do concerts together! But as well as playing tracks from my own stage heroes I’ll be playing some less well know musical theatre gems. If you love musicals as much as I do then you won’t want to miss a show – we are going to have so much fun every week!”

Head of Content Jamie Crick, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kerry, the First Lady of the West End, to the ENCORE RADIO family. With Kerry on air every Saturday between 1pm and 3pm and “Hollyoaks”, Blue and West End star Duncan James hosting his own show on Sundays between 10am and 1pm, ENCORE RADIO is unmissable. Make sure you make a date every week with the biggest stars of the West End.”

ENCORE RADIO is a brand new 24-hour 7-day-a-week radio station playing hits from musicals and films. It launched on October 24, and presents a non-stop mix of West End and Broadway favourites from shows loved by millions of theatregoers across the UK. ENCORE RADIO is available through its free app for tablet, iphone and android smartphones, online via http://www.encoreradio.co.uk, and on DAB digital radio across London and the South East.

ENCORE RADIO’s weekly schedule includes several stand alone programmes featuring in-depth interviews with West End stars, broadcasts from opening nights and backstage news and gossip and reviews of the reviews of the shows.

ENCORE RADIO is now the no1 destination for theatre lovers and people who enjoy music from the stage and films. It is backed by major radio group UKRD, which owns and operates 14 local commercial radio stations with a further 8 services delivered via DAB, the station has studios in London and Guildford.

Silversun Pickups will play London’s Electric Ballroom next Wednesday 9th November

Influential US alt-rock quartet Silversun Pickups return to the UK for the second time in 2016 next week as part of their current European tour. The LA band’s sold-out European shows this Spring were their first in Europe for over six years, and the demand was so huge that they are back six months later for a more extensive tour of much bigger venues, including London’s Electric Ballroom next Wednesday 9th November.

“We are so lucky to be able to tour Europe for a second time on this album,” says Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert. “Returning there after a 6 year absence was the highlight of our whole tour. And that tour gave us the opportunity to return. So excited.”

Siversun Pickups new single “Latchkey Kids” is available to stream & download now, watch the video here. The track is taken from the acclaimed new album ‘Better Nature’, available now on New Machine Recordings/ADA.

Silversun Pickups spent summer on the road in the US, playing a huge headline tour and festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza. Their European tour visits Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Austria before reaching the UK on Sunday.

David Tennant returns to the West End

David Tennant will make a return to the West End in March 2017 to play the title role in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho.

The former Doctor Who star will lead the cast in the production, which will be presented at Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited eleven week run.

“Please don’t be charmed, he’s not a lovable rogue…” Loosely based on Molière tragicomedy ‘Don Juan’, this savagely funny and filthy modern update transports the action to contemporary London and follows the final adventures of its debauched protagonist – a cruel seducer who lives only for pleasure.

David Tennant has worked extensively in theatre, television and film winning numerous awards for his work including the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Shakespearean Performance and the National Television Award’s Outstanding Drama Performance. For the Royal Shakespeare Company his credits include Richard II, a role he reprised earlier this year at the Barbican and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, As You Like It, The Herbal Bed, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost and the title role in Hamlet, as well as co-hosting the live broadcast of Shakespeare 400. Tennant was last in the West End playing Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing. His Film credits include Danger in the Manger, St Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. On television he is best known for playing the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in the BBC’s classic series Doctor Who. He has just wrapped on the third season of ITV’s award winning series Broadchurch and starred in the US version, Gracepoint.

Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho premiered to great acclaim ten years ago at the Donmar Warehouse and will run at the Wyndams Theatre from 17th March until 10 June 2017. If you would like any further information, you can visit the website http://www.DonJuaninSoho.com

Vas Leon takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

London artist VAS LEON has recently released his debut LP ‘Krossover’, an explosive LP showing the growth of his position in the music industry after a break to travel.

Singles from the Krossover LP, “That Vibe” & “Lyrical Slaughter” have been premiered on The Beat London (previously BANG Radio) and instantly grabbed attention all over the world resulting in festivals supporting UK Chart topping West London collective WSTRN. After working with legendary Americans record producer and DJ Arthur Baker and supporting the MTV, Brit & Grammy Award winning FatBoy Slim, VAS LEON decided it was time to finish and release this work of art filled with passion.

Vas took on the challenge of our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

Pushing my debut release ‘Krossover’ and working towards making a difference in the music industry.

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?

The strength of my family. Without their support I would not be successful…

What is your favourite Book?

Naughts and crosses by Malorie Blackman

What are you currently watching on TV?

I never watch TV… literally I don’t watch TV at all!

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?

Theatre! 100%! More entertainment, more cozy, more interaction!

What’s your favourite sweet?

I don’t eat sweets, but if I was to answer this question in my weird self my answer would be ‘Life’. HOWEVER… If I absolutely had to choose one when I was younger i used to love ‘Wine Gums!’ It was between those and jelly babies.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Happy. Other than that. A cross between Michael Jackson and Will Smith! Someone who can act sing and dance and make people laugh!

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?

I can’t remember. Everything I did was naughty haha.

What is your proudest achievement to date?

Exceeding the expectations in music that people thought I would never achieve. Remaining positive and pulling through no matter what barriers occur. Someone told me one of my songs saved their life which made me really proud of my talent.

What’s next?
To get into a place where I am independently as influential as Kanye West! To spread the message of my music and make a difference. My music isn’t just words and sounds. It’s life. Its soul. It has a pulse, it just doesn’t walk around haha.

http://vasleon.com/krossover/

Matthew Seadon-Young joins the cast of the West End smash hit Beautiful

On 28 November 2016 Matthew Seadon-Young and Barbara Drennan will join the West End cast of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical to play Gerry Goffin (Carole King’s husband and song-writing partner) and Genie Klein (King’s mother) respectively.

Cassidy Janson continues in the title role as well as Lorna Want as song-writer Cynthia Weil, a role for which she won the 2015 Olivier for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical and Ian McIntosh as song-writer Barry Mann. Joseph Prouse, who recently joined the company, plays Donnie Kirshner (music publisher and producer).

With a cast of 26 and an orchestra of 12, t he Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning show opened in the West End in February 2015 and earlier this year a further 200,000 new tickets were released for sale taking booking at the Aldwych Theatre to 22 July 2017. The performance schedule is Monday at 7.30pm, Tuesday at 2.30pm, Wednesday at 7.30pm, Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is the untold story of her journey from school girl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to her remarkable rise to stardom. Along the way, she became one of the most successful solo acts in music history, and wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

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Matthew Seadon-Young was last on stage playing Tony, Billy’s brother, in Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. His other theatre credits include Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum, Urinetown: The Musical at the Apollo Theatre, The Architects , a Shunt event at the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, The School for Scandal for the Theatre Royal Bath, She Stoops to Conquer for the National Theatre and Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. Seadon-Young’s film credits include Pride and Les Misérables. He has also performed at the 2015 BBC Proms and in the Les Misérables ensemble at the 2013 Oscars Ceremony.

Barbara Drennan ‘s theatre credits include The Winter’s Tale, To Kill A Mockingbird, An Enemy of the People, The Family Way, Noises Off, A View from the Bridge, Love Story all at the Octagon Theatre Bolton, Sweeney Todd at the Manchester Royal Exchange and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Season’s Greetings at the Theatre Royal Windsor and national tours of The Graduate and Over The Rainbow. Her television credits include A Touch of Cloth, By Any Means, Mayday, The Jury, Holby City, Emmerdale, EastEnders, Doctors, Brookside, Dangerfield and Bergerac. Drennan’s film credits include Brooklyn, Can’t Bank on Heaven, In The Dark, and Scary Movies.

Joseph Prouse ‘s theatre credits include Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent’s Park Theatre, The Suicide for the National Theatre, Mack and Mable for Chichester Festival Theatre, Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum, Forbidden Broadway at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Vaudeville Theatre , I Can’t Sing and Oliver! at the London Palladium, Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre, Shrek at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre and Footloose at the Playhouse Theatre.

The cast (from 28 November 2016) will also include Gavin Alex, Georgie Ashford, Koko Basigara, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Ashford Campbell, Treyc Cohen, Natasha Cottriall, Michael Duke, Matthew Gonsalves, Jammy Kasongo, Leigh Lothian and Earl R. Perkins who play iconic musical performers and band members of the era and swings Derek Aidoo, Rosie Heath, Dominic Hodson, Emma Louise Jones, Jessica Joslin, Vicki Manser, David O’Mahony and Jaime Tait .

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is based on the early life and career of legendary singer/ songwriter Carole King and book by Douglas McGrath with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and is directed by Marc Bruni. Choreography is by Josh Prince with set designs by Derek McLane, costume designs by Alejo Vietti, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations and Music Arrangements are by Steve Sidwell.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical features the Carole King classics including So Far Away, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Take Good Care of my Baby, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Up on the Roof, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You’ve Got a Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Feel the Earth Move, along with hits like You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, On Broadway and Uptown from songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
http://www.beautifulinlondon.co.uk

Dark comedy about suicide entitled Boys, comes to the LOST Theatre

Ella Hickson’s critically acclaimed dark comedy about suicide, Boys, comes to the LOST Theatre, Stockwell, this November. This new revival is directed by James Thacker, new associate director, following his full-length directorial debut, Mojo by Jez Butterworth, at LOST in 2015.

“(James Thacker) addresses the script with ingenuity and common sense” Paul Vale in The Stage on The Dumbwaiter (2014)

On an unusually hot summer’s night, Benny and his band of compatriots – a punk, a prodigy and a poet – drink to the end of an era. With revolution and resolutions the order of the day, and time quickly running out, Benny just wants to fix everyone’s problems – and ignore his own demons at all costs. Amidst a sanitation strike in Edinburgh, the garbage keeps mounting, but there is more than the smell of rotting rubbish hanging in the air. Nostalgia soon turns to soul-searching and division as everyone’s dirty laundry is aired one last time.

Ella Hickson’s first play, Eight, produced by the Edinburgh University Theatre Company, won a Fringe First, the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award and the NSDF Emerging Artists Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008, with subsequent tours to New York and London. Boys debuted in 2010 at the Soho Theatre, produced by Headlong. Her current play Oil premiered at Almeida in October 2016.

James Thacker joined LOST in 2013 as a designer and costumier, and since then has progressed to become associate director with the company. His directing credits include Omar for the 5 Minute Festival, Harold Pinter’s The Dumbwaiter for the One Act Festival, and Jez Butterworth’s Mojo in his full length directorial debut in 2015.

Boys is at the Lost Theatre from November 23rd 2016 – November 26th 2016. If you would like further information, you can visit the website losttheatre.co.uk