UK Roundup - Billy Elliot, Cabaret, Sienna Miller

The new Leo Bloom in The Producers will be… John Gordon Sinclair. Replacing the stand-up comedian Lee Evans, who garnered brilliant reviews from the press and public alike, was never going to be an easy feat, but with his similarly geeky appearance Sinclair is a brilliant choice for replacement. Though perhaps not as big a name – he's best known for the film Gregory's Girl in 1981 - he is an Olivier Award winner and regular stage face. Brad Oscar is the current Max, and looks likely to be replaced by another actor from previous American companies. Though demand is by no means as high as the original American run, it continues to sell well, especially at weekends. Post-Producers Evans will embark on a UK stadium tour.

We're invite to come to the Cabaret again thanks to a planned revival of the Kander and Ebb classic under the direction of Rufus Norris. Norris, hot off the success of Festen in the West End – and hopefully soon to hit Broadway, is the choice of producer Bill Kenwright. The last time Cabaret was revived in the West End was for the intimate Sam Mendes production at the Donmar Warehouse. That production subsequently transferred to Broadway, where it enjoyed a run of 2378 performances. No doubt Kenwright has similar high hopes for his revival, and theatregoers will have their eyes peeled for the next Sally Bowles. What with Evita, Sound of Music and now Cabaret on the cards, it could be a strong season for women next year..

Previews have begun for the multi-million pound stage adaptation of Billy Elliot the Musical. At the Victoria Palace Theatre Billy will play for four performances a week until opening night on May 11th. The reason for staggered previews is to give the creative team time to rework and to cope with the complexities of having three different lead actors, each with different orchestrations, dances, etc. With three boys sharing the role of Billy on different nights, it is not yet clear who will play him for the press performance on May 11th, but there will be a separate opening night to press night to relieve the pressure for the cast, as is common practice in New York. The first released picture of the show is below.

Sienna Miller, otherwise known as 'Jude Law's girlfriend', is to spend her summer in As You Like It at the Wyndham's Theatre. Alongside Helen McCrory and Dominic West, Miller plays Celia to McCrory's Delia in a production directed by David Lan and produced by Sonia Friedman. Opening on 21st June, Lan sets his production in 1940s France with philosophers and poets of Paris' café society. Sienna Miller was highly acclaimed for her performances in the films Layer Cake and Alfie, and trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. McCrory – last seen in Old Times at the Donmar Warehouse - has won many awards throughout her career and West is best known for his part in the US drama The Wire.

Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat was due to close at the New London Theatre this weekend but a last minute decision by producer Bill Kenwright sees the musical extend by another five months instead. Its most recent star, Darren Day, recently left the production early citing 'vocal troubles', which – if one choses to believe the tabloid newspapers – is more likely to be because of the breakup of his relationship to co-star Suzanne Shaw. He will go on to play the title role in Alfie the Musical at the WatfordPalace at the end of May. The current production of Joseph, which has the hit songs 'Close Every Door to Me' and 'Any Dream Will Do' has had high profile names in the past including Stephen Gately and 'H' from pop group Steps.

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From This Author Jake Brunger

Jake is currently studying at Bristol University and hopes to eventually pursue a career in the theatre industry as a writer/director. His favourite writers include (read more...)

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