As theatrical in London’s West End theatre land opens, some of the productions are highly anticipated for their cast, crew and writers. In London a large variety of big box office theatre productions are available, including the return of Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren to the role of Queen Elizabeth II; as well as The Book of Mormon by the creators of anarchic cartoon South Park.
Opening in February 2013, The Audience reunites actress Helen Mirren with writer Peter Morgan to recreate their Oscar wining collaboration on the film The Queen. The Audience sees Mirren play the role of Queen Elizabeth II as she interacts in secret regular meetings with her Prime Ministers throughout her reign; Queen Elizabeth’s Prime Ministers have included great historical figures, such as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot is one of the most popular plays that is liked by many. The story of boy who finds his true passion in dance, much to the surprise of his friends and family, reveals the personal joy he finds in following his dreams.
Theatre in the West End and across the Atlantic or America has recently seen a large increase in the number of tribute shows to groups and singers in popular music. Opening at the Hammersmith Apollo in December 2012, American Idiot continues to be as a tribute to the musicals by bringing the music of post punk rock band Green Day to the West End. The show features the music of Green Day’s album American Idiot by narrating the story of a group of friends chasing their dreams in the suburban America.
Using the music of the late Whitney Houston and the plot of her biggest movie hit, The Bodyguard is due to open soon this year. Lloyd Owen plays the former secret service agent who turned bodyguard, assigned to protect singer Rachel Marron from a deranged stalker; with the heart-felt music of Houston’s career, including Queen of the Night and the iconic Dolly Parton penned I Will Always Love You, the show still stands to be one of the highlights till date.
In complete contrast to the rest of the openings this year, The Book of Mormon will begin its run on the West End stage. Written by South Park and Team America creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with composer Robert Lopez, the musical has been a surprise hit on Broadway. Taking a satirical look at the attempts of Mormon missionaries to convert a disinterested group of northern Ugandan villagers to the faith, the show pokes fun at organised religion and musical theatre itself.