UK Roundup - Nathan Lane, David Schwimmer, Gaby Roslin

The Laurence Olivier Awards were announced last Sunday in a closed ceremony at the Hilton Hotel. With Nathan Lane leaving with Best Actor in a Musical and Lee Evans with the Best Musical (The Producers) statue, they joked 'we're going to play chess with them'. Mary Poppins won Best Actress in a Musical and Best Choreography, whilst Woman in White only picked up one award for sound design. The History Boys was the big play winner with Best New Play, Best Director, Best Actor and a Special Award for Outstanding Contribution for its writer Alan Bennett, who nicknamed it the 'zimmer frame award'. Clare Higgins, soon to be seen in Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy, won Best Actress whilst Trevor Nunn was rewarded with Best Revival for Hamlet. Full list of winners here.

Following the success of co-star Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer is to come to the West End for a summer season. As Ross in Friends he always had Joey and Chandler to fall back on for male company, but his London debut Schwimmer will see him as the only male in a cast of five. In Neil LaBute's premiere of Some Girls at the Gielgud Theatre he will play a womaniser visiting four ex-girlfriends. On the long-running NBC series, Ross married three women, so perhaps playing a womaniser is appropriate casting. I, for one, can't wait. Whilst casting Hollywood names is often frowned upon, there's no denying the talents of Schwimmer and the buzz this play will have in London. Opens at the Gielgud from 24th May, no further casting or director yet named.

Following a reasonable West End run, the stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally is to step out on tour from April. In a comedown from the West End's bigger star attractions Luke Perry and Alyson Hannigan, it is Gaby Roslin and Jonathan Wrather who play the best friends in the regions. Roslin is a famous TV presenter who has recently made a transition into acting, playing MamaMorton in Chicago and on tour in Dinner. She is commonly associated with the annual fundraiser Children in Need, but has stepped down due to them decreasing her role on the show. Wrather made his name in the long-running soap Coronation Street, and regularly frequents the tabloid gossip columns.

 

The Birmingham Rep, one of the leading players in regional theatre, has announced that Les Dennis is to head the cast of its main-house revival of Tim Firth's Neville's Island. Having recently starred at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Murderer, the actor / TV presenter is heading to up north with a string of credits to his name already, including Amos in Chicago and the lead of Bill in Me and My Girl. Best known for presenting game show Family Fortunes, he is joined by Stewart Wright – who most recently appeared with Dawn French in Wild West on TV – and directed by Paul Raffield. Soon to be seen at the Rep is Henry Goodman in The Birthday Party; Neville's Island follows on April 22nd.

And finally, after ten successful West End years the Reduced Shakespeare Company are to leave their home at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus. Delighting audiences for a century with their three-men shows The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Bible (abridged) and The Complete History of America (abridged), it was set to return after a two-month break, but due to the logistics decided to shut shop for good. The theatre is in a prime West End location – almost our equivalent of Times Square – and will play home to Amajuba, an intimate portrayal of growing up in apartheid Africa, from April 5th to May 28th.

 


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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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