TV stars in new stage musicals

stepout
Amanda Holden (left) and other cast members of Stepping Out, opening in London in March.

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BY BILLY SUTER

IF YOU are a fan of tall British actress Miranda Hart, love musicals and happen to be in London later this year, you are for a big treat.

The 44-year-old star of TV’s Miranda, also popular as loveable nurse Camilla ‘Chummy’ Browne in the British drama series, Call the Midwives, is to make her West End theatre debut as tipsy orphanage manageress Miss Hannigan in a revival of Annie.

And another TV personality soon to be seen on the London stage in a musical is blonde Amanda Holden, a judge on Britain’s Got Talen.

Holden – who I was lucky enough to see in the London production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, playing the title role opposite South African actor Craig Urbani – heads the cast of Stepping Out, which also features Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Natalie Casey.

Also among the cast are Nicola Stephenson, Judith Barker, Jessica-Alice McCluskey, Sandra Marvin, Dominic Rowan, Janet Behan, Suzy Bloom, Emma Hook, Marcia Mantack, Katie Verner and Nick Warnford.

annie
Miranda Hart and children on a poster shot for the new London production of the musical Annie. It opens in September.

Directed by Maria Friedman, Richard Harris’s award-winning comedy transfers into the West End following a limited run at the Theatre Royal Bath.

Stepping Out, which was turned into a 1991 film starring Liza Minnelli and Julie Walters, runs from March 1 to June 17 at the Vaudeville Theatre.

The story follows the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class. Initially all thumbs and left feet, the group is just getting to grip with the basics when they are asked to take part in a charity gala…

Getting back to Hart… she has also been busy in the US. She appeared in the 2015 action-comedy, Spy, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law, which meant she was not able to film Call The Midwife for series five and the 2015 Christmas special. She has said she will not be returning to the popular series. Other news for fans of musicals in London is that the wonderful Young Frankenstein musical, based on the 1974 Mel Brooks movie classic, is set for a West End run, at the Garrick Theatre, from September 28 until February 10.

The musical, which first ran on Broadway from October 2007 to January 2009, is co-written by Thomas Meehan and directed by Susan Stroman, who also was at the helm of his musical, The Producers. Stroman has also choreographed Young Frankenstein.

The show, which has not yet been cast, is a re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend. It follows bright young Dr Frankenstein (that’s Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather’s masterwork and bring a corpse to life.

Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that’s Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant Inga, and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fiancé Elizabeth, Frankenstein succeeds in creating a creature – but not without frightening and quite often hilarious complications.


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