The Wicked Witch of the West End brings you all the news, reviews and juicy gossip from all over Theatreland. Feel free to comment with your thoughts and tips!


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3 Responses to “WestEndGirl”

  1. I’d like to invite you to review a very special ONE OFF event called GALA, which plays at GREENWICH THEATRE on October 9th.

    There will be an exclusive reception afterwards for invited industry professionals, which you would also be welcome to attend.

    This showcase will celebrate the work of the A STAGE KINDLY new musical theatre initiative, which over the past 3 years has showcased music from over 50 musicals and operates as an unfunded organisation.

    I do hope you can attend and would appreciate a preview article.

    In brief:

    “To celebrate the achievements of the first three years of operation, the A Stage Kindly New Musical Theatre Initiative will be presenting a special gala performance of highlights of their diverse back catalogue of new musical theatre writing from all around the world.

    Regular visitors to the Kings Head in Islington will be no strangers to a night in the company of A Stage Kindly – a fantastic range of songs from new musicals, all performed by a company of outstanding musical theatre performers.
    An event not to be missed.”

    Sunday 9th October 7.30pm
    £15; £10 Concession
    020 8858 7755

    Greenwich Theatre
    Crooms Hill
    SE10 8ES

    A Stage Kindly are about to launch an exciting new songbook concept to provide auditioning artists and music students with exclusive repertoire from new musicals from around the world. This will ensure they have the edge with the latest new writing, and its creators get a new and exciting means of having their work exposed – so everyone’s a winner. It is so easy to use tired older repertoire but to have the option to use cutting edge new writing keeps the people who count at the forefront of the industry. This exciting new service is being launched on the night of GALA.

    I will of course reserve complimentary tickets, should you be able to attend. In the mean time, I would be very grateful for any coverage you can give this special event. A Stage Kindly is the only theatre company of its kind perhaps in the world, and as an unfunded and independent organisation, relies entirely on the support of musical theatre enthusiasts. They have brought to life music from over fifty new musicals from all around the world in just three years, and hope to continue introducing many more in the years to come.

    The press release is included in this email (scroll down!) , please let me know if your readers would like to find out more about A Stage Kindly and it’s work – I’d be happy to provide you any information you like.

    Warm regards,

    Caroline Hardman
    Katy Lipson and Giles Howe
    Artistic Directors
    07947 074 887

    A STAGE KINDLY LTD – Registered in England and Wales No: 7368298 – Registered Office: 7 Northiam, Cromer Street, WC1H 8LB


    From: The A STAGE KINDLY New Musical Theatre Initiative
    Subject: “GALA” – A Musical Celebration
    Date: September 2nd 2011

    A Musical Celebration

    In just three years, which independent theatre company has presented the UK premiere of no less than seven new musicals, and presented music from over fifty international new musicals in a series of acclaimed new-writing revues, by scores of writers from countries in three continents?

    Only one theatre company can boast such impressive achievements in its first three years, and with several exciting announcements to make The A STAGE KINDLY New Musical Theatre Initiative is staging an event called GALA – a one night only musical celebration at The Greenwich Theatre on Sunday 9th October, 7.30pm. Featuring highlights of their diverse back catalogue by popular demand and starring some of the brightest new stars they have discovered plus special guests, GALA is a celebration of the unique work that A STAGE KINDLY does to pioneer new musical theatre writing around the world.

    Founded by Giles Howe and Katy Lipson, The A STAGE KINDLY New Musical Theatre Initiative offers unique opportunities to British and international writers independently creating new musicals.

    “With the market dominated by a small number of successfully established practitioners, we feel passionate that the next generation of musical theatre writers should be given the opportunity to break into this notoriously difficult profession” says Giles Howe “and this was our reason to found the company.”

    Katy Lipson continues “We are delighted to have survived as an unfunded and independent organisation for three years, and to have so many exciting shows under our belt and forthcoming to celebrate. We have worked so hard to bring audiences exciting new works that otherwise may never see the light of day, and we hope musical theatre enthusiasts from all around will join us to enjoy looking both backwards and forwards over what we have achieved and are looking forward to in coming years. This is a great chance for people who have missed out on our shows to experience selections first-hand, and for people who have seen our productions live to relive some of the greatest moments from our previous shows.”

    Artistic Directors Giles and Katy met as students, and after writing and producing their own work for several years they founded this unfunded organisation to put their experience and expertise to good use encouraging other people with similar ambitions and creative vision. As well as five sell-out new-writing revues, they have debuted full-length works including:

    “Slay It With Music” – A murder mystery about a retired film stars movie comeback in a slasher film

    “Soviet Zion” – An epic new musical set in the Yiddish Autonomous Region of Siberia

    “Maya” – A musical drama about the final days of the Mayan empire

    “Turkish Delight the Opera” – A bizarre rock opera charting a scorned woman’s revenge

    “A Feast of Snacks” – A unique collection of mini-musicals

    “Don’t Cry Butterfly” – A new musical about the love affair between Puccini and Mata Hari

    “Ballets Russes” – A new musical set within the realm of the famous dance company

    GALA also marks the launch of a new collaboration between A STAGE KINDLY and Stage Scripts Ltd – The Musical Song Book – an online source of especially selected fresh material from new musicals for singers to use in auditions, classes, and performances. Several other exciting announcements will be made on the night.

    With guests already confirmed to attend from several foreign countries, GALA is a major highlight of the Musical Theatre calendar and an event that you don’t want to miss.

    Tickets to Gala £15 (£10 concs.)

  2. Please find below the Press Release for the revival of “The Mystery Of Edwin Drood” at the Landor Theatre. We would be delighted to invite you to press night on the 12th April. We are fortunate to have secured former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters as the role of Princess Puffer. Please do tell me if you would like me to send you some pictures in a separate email.

    All the best,

    Katie Snaydon
    Associate Producer
    On behalf of Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment

    The Mystery of Edwin Drood

    April – May 2012

    Wednesday 11th April – Saturday 5th May 2012
    7.30pm (3pm Saturday & Sunday, 7pm Friday,

    no performances on Mondays)

    The Landor Theatre, 70 Landor Road,

    London, SW9 9PH

    Tickets: £18/£15 (concs)
    Box Office: 0207 737 7276
    Previews: Wednesday 11th April
    Press Night: Thursday 12th April

    In the 200th ANNIVERSARY YEAR of Charles Dickens’ birth, Aria Entertainment in association with The Landor Theatreare pleased to present the London revival of Rupert Holmes’ Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood at The Landor Theatre, London in April/May 2012.

    The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a thrilling and comical play within a play, originally based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Full of intrigue and mystery, the story follows the exploits of the Theatre Royale Music Hall Company. Set against the backdrop of the Great British traditions of Music Hall and Pantomime, the Theatre Royale actors set about completing the story of Edwin Drood – with just a little help from the audience along the way. The Tony Award winning score is full of beautiful and evocative melodies, encapsulating the Victorian vaudevillian spirit of the show.

    The Director for The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be Matthew Gould; Musical Direction is by James Cleeve with Orchestrations by Tony Osborne. Casting is done by Benjamin Newsome and photographs are by Claire Bilyard.

    The cast is headed by Natalie Day (Les Misérables, Queens) as Edwin Drood, Victoria Farley (Les Misérables, Barbican) as Rosa Budd and Daniel Robinson (Jekyll & Hyde UK Tour) as John Jasper; with former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters as Princess Puffer.

    The cast also includes:

    Loula Geater (Helena Landlass), David Francis (Neville Landlass), Denis Delahunt (Chairman), Richard Stirling(Reverend Crisparkle), Oliver Mawdsley (Horace), Mark Ralston (Bazzard), Paul Hutton (Durdles), Tom Pepper (Deputy), and Ben Goffe (Harry Sayle).

    The show’s Costume Designer will be Jean Gray; Set Design by Natasha Piper with Lighting Design by Maria Kearney.

    Wendi Peters, best known for playing Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street, is delighted to be returning to the stage as the Princess Puffer. She has also appeared in the hit ITV series Bad Girls and on Celebrity Masterchef, Soapstar Superstarand in Dictionary Corner on Countdown.

    On the stage she has performed in a variety of productions including Brighouse’s The Game, April In Paris, Cecelia Ahern’sMrs Whippy, Grumpy Old Women Live 2 – Chin Up Britain and Noises Off. Also no stranger to musicals, Peters has appeared in national tours of Hello Dolly! and Guys and Dolls, as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Into the Woods (Wolsey, Ipswich) and Follies In Concert (London Palladium).

    Wendi became a fan of The Mystery of Edwin Drood after watching the 1986 Tony Awards on television and seeing the original Broadway cast perform; she is delighted to be playing Princess Puffer for this London revival. Peters says “I love the idea of old time Music Hall mixed in with Dickens. The score is so beautiful, a real mix of genres, from Music Hall through Broadway to almost Classical”.

    The role of Princess Puffer is one that Wendi has been keen to play for a long time. “Dickens creates such fabulous characters – they are so funny, he really was ahead of his time. They are almost 'soap' like”.

    “Since seeing the clips of the show in 1986 it's always been a role I've had my eye on, and now 26 years on I'm getting to the right age! She is a larger than life ‘grande dame’ of the Music Hall; playing a run-down woman who runs an opium den – I can't wait, but it's the show as a whole that's the real pull”.

    Having appeared in front of millions on television, Wendi is particularly looking forward to performing at The Landor Theatre.

    “Having trained mainly in theatre and appeared in productions all over the country in the last 25 years, there is nothing like the buzz you get from a live audience. The Landor is a wonderfully intimate space and it is lovely as you are close enough to see people's reactions, and you really feel they are with you and, almost, part of the production”.

    Produced by:

    Katy Lipson for ARIA ENTERTAINMENT

    Children of Eden Charity Gala; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)


    Ragtime; The Hired Man; John & Jen)

  3. Lucy Says:

    Hi ladies,

    I totally didn’t get the first comment in October or I would definitely have come! Edwin Drood sounds great; for future reference my email address is I will add it to my profile.

    Many thanks,


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