Novello Theatre – Mamma Mia! Booking Period Extension

Mamma Mia!  The Musical has been extended from Monday 29 April 2013 to Saturday 26 October 2013 at Novello Theatre, London.

Night after night, audiences are having the time of their lives at MAMMA MIA!. Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny story of love, laughter and friendship has been thrilling London audiences for over 10 years. More recently it became the biggest British hit movie of all time when the three women who created the worldwide stage smash hit adapted it for the silver screen.   Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ to ‘Super Trouper’ and ‘Thank You For The Music’, MAMMA MIA!’s enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolds on a Greek Island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the island they last visited 20 years ago…

Over 40 million people worldwide have been dancing in the aisles to this sensational musical, and London is where it all began back in 1999. So who will you bring to experience the joy and exhilaration of MAMMA MIA! with you?

Mamma Mia! moves to the Novello Theatre in September 2012

The smash hit musical Mamma Mia! will transfer from Prince of Wales Theatre to the Novello Theatre in September 2012.

Judy Craymer producer of this show said: “I am delighted that the original production of Mamma Mia! will move to the stage of the beautiful Novello Theatre. It is a perfect space for the musical. The Novello is a gem of a theatre that perfectly suits the creative needs of Mamma Mia!, and provides a comfortable and friendly experience for audiences in the heart of Theatreland.”

Night after night, audiences are having the time of their lives at MAMMA MIA!. Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny story of love, laughter and friendship has been thrilling London audiences for over 10 years. More recently it became the biggest British hit movie of all time when the three women who created the worldwide stage smash hit adapted it for the silver screen.

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ to ‘Super Trouper’ and ‘Thank You For The Music’, MAMMA MIA!’s enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolds on a Greek Island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the island they last visited 20 years ago…

Over 40 million people worldwide have been dancing in the aisles to this sensational musical, and London is where it all began back in 1999. So who will you bring to experience the joy and exhilaration of MAMMA MIA! with you?

Hit Musical Crazy For You at Novello Theatre from 08 October 2011

Hailed by critics as a musical triumph, the Gershwins’ smash hit musical ‘CRAZY FOR YOU’ has received more five star reviews than any other West End musical this year.

Packed full of George and Ira Gershwins’ classic songs including “I Got Rhythm”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “Embraceable You” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, CRAZY FOR YOU boasts not only some of the finest songs ever written but some of the most dynamic choreography ever seen on the London stage.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this ‘glorious’ (Daily Telegraph) musical at the Novello Theatre and fall crazy in love all over again….

‘SHEER JOY’ Daily Mail

‘GLORIOUS’ Sunday Telegraph

‘JOYOUS’ The Guardian

‘IRRESISTIBLE’ Sunday Times

‘BLISSFUL’ Daily Telegraph

‘PERFECT’ Sunday Express

‘OUTRAGEOULSY FEEL-GOOD…NOTHING SHORT OF SUBLIME’ Metro

‘A GLORIOUS BLAZE OF COLOUR AND EXUBERANCE’ Sunday Telegraph

‘WATCH THIS AND YOU WILL SPEND THREE HOURS WITH A GRIN ON YOUR FACE‘ The Independent

‘PACKED FULL OF BIG NUMBERS WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE?’ Daily Express

‘NOTHING CAN ERASE THE SMILES AT THE END..A ROMCOM PICK-ME-UP’ The Independent on Sunday

‘THE BEST LOOKING CHORUS LINE I’VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME’ The Guardian

‘EVERYTHING YOU COULD WISH FOR’ Variety

Book tickets for Crazy For You at Novello Theatre!

Betty Blue Eyes Extends until 28 Jan 2012 at Novello Theatre

Betty Blue Eyes has extended its booking period until 28 Jan 2012 at Novello Theatre London, Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Belts are being tightened and the country’s long-suffering citizens are being told by the government that there will be fair shares for all in return for surviving Austerity Britain.  Meanwhile local officials feather their own nests by taking far more than their own fair share.

It is of course 1947, and having won the war Britain seems to have lost the peace, and the country is staggering under the burden of acute rationing, unemployment and the coldest winter for decades.  The only bright spark on the horizon is the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. 

Twenty six years ago Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray wove this story into a hilariously funny but sharply observed comic film called A Private Function, which centered around Betty, an adorable pig, who is being illegally reared to ensure the local dignitaries can celebrate the Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet while the local population make do with Spam.  Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman have brilliantly adapted and expanded this story for the stage and George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have written a deliciously infectious, toe-tapping, retro contemporary score.  The result is an utterly British musical, full of eccentric characters, such as the strange odd couple, Gilbert – an evangelistic chiropodist, and Joyce – a nobody determined to be somebody; Inspector Wormold – an obsessive destroyer of illegal meat; Mother Dear –‘She’s seventy four and ravenous’; along with a weird assortment of bullies, spivs and snobs and of course, our star, Betty the pig.

Buy tickets for Betty Blue Eyes!

‘Webisodes’ with Betty Blue Eyes

Exclusive backstage footage is being brought to you via the web by the cast & crew of Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit new musical Betty Blue Eyes with the cool ‘Betty Blue Eyes Webisodes’!  Watch Part One to join Reece Shearsmith and Sarah Lancashire behind the amazing set at the Novello Theatre as they rehearse for Another Little Victory and find out what people think of the show.  Meet the stars and check out behind the scenes of their fabulous pig tale!

Buy tickets for Betty Blue Eyes!

A New Musical Comedy – Betty Blue Eyes at Novello Theatre!

Tickets are on sale for a new musical comedy Betty Blue Eyes which is going to run at Novello Theatre from 19 March 2011 until 22 October 2011.

Belts are being tightened and the country’s long-suffering citizens are being told by the government that there will be fair shares for all in return for surviving Austerity Britain. Meanwhile local officials feather their own nests by taking far more than their own fair share. It is of course 1947, and having won the war Britain seems to have lost the peace, and the country is staggering under the burden of acute rationing, unemployment and the coldest winter for decades. The only bright spark on the horizon is the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Twenty six years ago Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray wove this story into a hilariously funny but sharply observed comic film called A Private Function, which centered around Betty, an adorable pig, who is being illegally reared to ensure the local dignitaries can celebrate the Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet while the local population make do with Spam.

Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman have brilliantly adapted and expanded this story for the stage and George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have written a deliciously infectious, toe-tapping, retro contemporary score. The result is an utterly British musical, full of eccentric characters, such as the strange odd couple, Gilbert – an evangelistic chiropodist, and Joyce – a nobody determined to be somebody; Inspector Wormold – an obsessive destroyer of illegal meat; Mother Dear -‘She’s seventy four and ravenous’; along with a weird assortment of bullies, spivs and snobs and of course, our star, Betty the pig.

With a simply marvellous cast of great British actors headed by Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith, Betty Blue Eyes is like no musical you will have ever seen -but she is worth saving up for!

Buy tickets for Betty Blue Eyes at Novello Theatre!

A Disappearing Number will run at Novello Theatre from 10 September 2010

A Disappearing Number takes as its starting point the story of the most mysterious and romantic mathematical collaborations of all time.

Simultaneously a narrative and an enquiry, the production crosses three continents and several histories, to weave a provocative theatrical pattern about our relentless compulsion to understand.

Threaded through this pattern of stories and ideas are questions. About mathematics and beauty; imagination and the nature of infinity; about what is continuous and what permanent; how we are attached to the past and how we affect the future; how we create and how we love.

A man mourns the loss of his lover, a mathematician mourns her own fate. A businessman travels from Los Angeles to Chennai pursuing the future; a physicist in CERN looks for it too. The mathematician GHHardy seeks to comprehend the ideas of the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan in the chilly English surroundings of Cambridge during the First World War. Ramanujan looks to create some of the most complex mathematical patterns of all time.

We are all looking. The question is who can see.

People like us who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Book Tickets for A Disappearing Number!

Onassis at Novello Theatre from 30 September 2010

Aristotle Onassis was a millionaire at 25 and became one of the world’s richest men, but it was the glamour of the women in his life which brought him real fame, causing him to pursue personal vendettas and amassing empires on an international scale.

This is the true story of the relationships between Onassis, his lover Maria Callas, his wife Jackie Kennedy and his long running feud with the Kennedy family and the American establishment. An extraordinary account of one man’s voracious appetite for sex, money and power – how those with great wealth and political influence live their lives detached from the moral code and realities of ordinary mortals.

Robert Lindsay stars as Onassis with a superb cast of characters portraying his family and the women he loved. First performed to great acclaim at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, this explosive new play by Martin Sherman opens at the Novello Theatre this September for a strictly limited season.

Buy Tickets for Onassis at Novello Theatre!

Review: The Key is to Laugh when you’re Grumpy Old Women!

Grumpy Old Women Live 2 has moved to the West End.  It’s playing at the majestic Novello Theatre until 5th June 2010.

What better way to spend an evening (or afternoon) than sitting in a beautifully decorated room in comfortable, luxurious-looking seats having three very funny ladies keep you entertained!

Grumpy Old Women Jenny Eclair, Susie Blake and Wendi Peters are recruiting GOW’s for The Grumpy Revolution!  And, you don’t have to be an ‘old’ woman to sign up… they’ll take any lady who can grump with the best of them – no minimum age requirement.

They have opinions on how to make the world better… to do with everything you can think of like elections (particularly the 2010 election), stopping the ‘yankiness’, reclaiming the handshake, men being a bachelor until they are DIY able, bringing back politeness/manners… to name a few.  I love their idea of a ‘Chin Up Era’ which includes my favorite – contestants aren’t allowed to cry on the talent shows like X-Factor and Over the Rainbow.  If you cry you get booted out.  Spot on except they’d be out of contestants after the 2nd week.

They address everything from finances (recession) and thereby banks and bankers; how to save money like feeding your family of 4 by visiting someone at dinner time or growing your own veggies though may be tasteless; royalty; having fun on a budget with examples like Kitchen Disco; their own version of Olympics (Grumpathalon); having a 3 day Christmas only – once every 3 years due to the stress; getting rid of all the bank holidays but don’t worry they created their own; having a woman run the country.

Then the ‘Grumpy Old Women Unite’ banner drops and there’s a seemingly short intermission.  They come back introduced with an appropriate combo of ‘Here Comes The Girls’ and ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’.  They continue entertaining us with a comedic look at real life issues concerning the middle years like invisibility syndrome and menopause (or adaptly called change of life) and how it changes your periods, breasts, and sleep ability or lack of bringing with it forgetfulness.  They continue with discussing diet food, GOW Diet Do’s & Dont’s, GOW Army, men’s snoring, shopping, things that drive GOW crazy, romance in a long-term relationship, sex, and the ‘Before I Die’ To Do List.  

Don’t forget, we all have grumpiness in us from the time we’re born – and the GOW have a chart to show the evolution of grumpiness.

Young or Old(er), you should be able to relate to everything they put before you and you can have a ‘Ah Ha’ Ha Ha.  The impromptu bits (or unexpected occurrences)add humor to an already funny show.  Don’t go thinking that three ‘Grumpy Old Women’ are just going to stand stationary on stage telling jokes / making fun… they don’t stop moving, smiling, laughing, entertaining using their lines, their wits, their passion.  And, you may grump about the price of the Souvenir Programme but it’s worth it as it continues to amuse you.  It’s not like most Programmes and is actually all about the show, the history of Grumpy Old Women, the people involved, Grumpy World Hot Spots, and even tips on how to tackle the recession.

by Ann Kamran (stagetalk.co.uk)

[Rating:3.5/5]

Sign up today!  Join the Revolution!  Grumpy Old Women need you!

Hop like a CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF to get your ticket!

Excitement and anticipation was in the air as people arrived for Press Night on 1st December 2009 at the Novello Theatre, London for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

One word sums it up – BRAVO!  This Tennessee Williams play directed by the talented Debbie Allen and played by an all black cast is full of passion, conviction, drama, humor and touching moments.  The unchanging set seemed authentic… making you believe you were in a big beautiful mansion on a Mississippi plantation.  You could see the wealth and prestige of the Pollitt family.  The mirrors on either side of the Stalls seating area in the beautiful Novello Theatre actually made the stage seem bigger.

All the characters play specific contributing roles but James Earl Jones (Big Daddy) was bigger than life – what a presence!  Sometimes you weren’t sure what to think about Big Daddy as he was usually what could be perceived as loud, rude and uncaring.  However, maybe he was who he was from working his way up in the cotton fields to owning the largest plantation this side of the Nile and putting up being surrounded by mendacity.  There were some words (actually one word said a few times) and movements that I wasn’t expecting from James Earl Jones but they seemed to fit the character – so well done.  As Big Daddy faced his mortality, he was trying to figure out who to leave his large estate to… wanting to leave it to his favorite son, Brick, but not knowing he could handle the responsibility while being an alcoholic.

I expected Big Mama played by Phylicia Rashad to be bigger (literally), especially the way Big Daddy talked about her but she played her part really well… the way she acted ‘older’ and as a loving and devoted mother and wife… strong and fearless when she had to be.  You could see her love for Big Daddy though he said he wished he could believe it.  That’s a sad statement after 40 years of marriage though you saw some tenderness between them at the end.  It was odd how sometimes what he said to her made us laugh when in reality, we would have been upset at the harsh tone / words he used disrespecting someone who deserves respect.

Sanaa Lathan as Maggie the Cat and Adrian Lester as Brick the alcoholic husband/son gave outstanding performances.  There were times I had to laugh thinking she is hounding that poor man and does she ever shut up but by the end I was admiring her for her strength and perseverance.  She seemed genuinely concerned for Big Daddy and caring towards Big Mama though at first she did only seem worried (like the others) about what they would inherit.  I found myself wanting to defend or protect Brick as you could feel his pain with the loss of his best ‘friend’ and having to think / talk about that in an unwelcomed heart-to-heart with his father.  Maggie and particularly Brick seemed to have the genuine affections of Big Daddy which was such a stark contrast to how he talked to / treated everyone else.

Nina Sosanya (Mae) and Peter de Jersey (Mae’s husband, Gooper) did great in their supporting roles.  I was just wondering where the fifth kid was as they kept talking about their 5 kids and 1 on the way… usually there were only 4 on the stage that I noticed anyway.  You kind of loved to hate them as they were annoying with their pettiness and greed while appearing upper class / proper.

The show passionately and accurately touches on alcoholism, loss, illness (cancer), facing mortality, family gatherings, greed, family discontent, sibling rivalry, being childless, sexuality, love, pain, and fear.  It has everything.  All the actors gave it their all from Big Daddy to the servants to the children and everyone in between – that was quite obvious.  I liked the references to a ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ tying the title with the characters / behaviors.

The lighting was well done showing the sun setting, seeing the moon and stars, fireworks, etc.  As mentioned, the set/stage was well done and I thought it was interesting how the whole play took place in Maggie and Brick’s bedroom (due to Brick’s injured ankle) though it had everything needed from a sitting area to a bar complete with radio and television to a couple of doors leading out to the Gallery.

I’m not sure about the two ‘intermissions’ (or the 15 minute interval and 5 minute break).  I’m not sure the 5 minute break is needed unless people know how long it is so they can get back to their seats before the play continues although it gives people an opportunity to stand and stretch their legs.  The intermissions seemed to be timed right though according to what was going on within the play.  The safety curtain was a beautifully painted nature scene of the Mississippi contributing to the feel of the south.

It is certainly worth it to experience this brilliant play with the cast and creative team involved.  They are responsible for making this magnificent version of this play the success it is.  The Novello Theatre is the perfect venue… suitable luxurious-feeling surroundings (with marble and mirrors), comfortable seats… nice view from the Stalls (seemed to be light and spacious).

Bravo, everyone!  Bravo!  And ‘many happy returns’.

by Ann Kamran (stagetalk.co.uk)

[Rating:4.0/5]

Book Tickets for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Novello Theatre!