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40 Photo: Paul Coltas

40 Photo: Paul Coltas ANNIE ARRIVES IN THE WEST END In times like these, there can be no better recommendation than to see a ‘good old fashioned family musical’. After a critically acclaimed opening night in June, Nikolai Foster’s production of Annie has arrived in the West End 40 years after the original Broadway production opened in 1977, with Miranda Hart leading a sparkling cast. In 1977, the Broadway production received seven Tony awards including the Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The much-loved score includes the classics, ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Easy Street.’ Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family. Miranda Hart is cleverly cast as Miss Hannigan, using her dynamic personality and booming voice to the full. With the aid of a shrill whistle, she attempts to control the lively and rather extrovert orphans. Tickets are available at the Box Office telephone 0844 871 7630. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING The Globe's Associate Director Matthew Dunster tells Shakespeare’s classic tale of antagonistic romance and madcap humour, as the bold new production of Much Ado About Nothing comes to the Globe stage this summer with a fusion of Latin music, desert flowers and revolutionary politics. Set during the armed struggles of the Mexican Revolution in 1914, Claudio and Benedick return home from the first wave of the revolution. Claudio has been pining for his love, Hero. Benedick loves her cousin Beatrice and Beatrice Benedick; but because neither will admit it, nothing seems likely to bring them together. Only the intrigues of a revolutionary with a dark heart, force Benedick to prove his love for Beatrice by vowing to kill Claudio. The company of 42nd Street. 20th ANNUAL KIDS WEEK Kids Week, the annual London theatre initiative run by the Society of London Theatre, returns for the whole of August, with more than 35 shows offering free tickets for children. This year marks the 20th Kids Week, which began in 1998 and over the years has reached over 1.2 million children and families. One of the world’s longest running audience development initiatives, Kids Week encourages young people to experience live theatre. During August one child aged 16 or under can go free to a wide range of participating shows when accompanied by an adult paying full price. In addition two extra children can go for half price, and there are no booking, postage or transaction fees. Kids Week also has a range of free activities and events which includes everything from storytelling and backstage tours to choreography and stage combat workshops. The full activity listings can be found at KidsWeek.co.uk Shows include The Wind In The Willows, Wicked, 42nd Street (pictured), What The Ladybird Heard, The Hunting Of The Snark, An American In Paris, Around The World In 80 Days, Horrible Histories - The Best Of Barmy Britain, Half A Sixpence, Thriller - Live, We're Going On A Bear Hunt, Mamma Mia, Kinky Boots, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Annie, Stomp, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Phantom Of The Opera and Dreamgirls. Photo: Brinkhoff/Moegenburg. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

Toby Stephens. TOBY STEPHENS IN LINCOLN CENTER PRODUCTION OF OSLO Toby Stephens returns to the stage in the role of social-scientist Terje Rød- Larsen, with Lydia Leonard as his wife, in The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Oslo, which begins performancees at the National Theatre on 5 September and later transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre from 2 October – 30 December. This gripping new play by J T Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, was awarded ‘Best Play’ at the 2017 Tony Awards ® and was winner of every ‘Best Play’ award on Broadway this season. In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo. Oslo tells the true story of how one young Norwegian couple planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, Oslo is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together – and fighting each other – as they seek to change the world. THE LION KING Lyceum There are few shows in the theatre firmament which stand the test of time by staying in tune with the generations who grow up with the stories. Disney have perfected this with their legendary catalogue of cartoon classics which regularly reappear to the delight of new young audiences and the nostalgia of their elders. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the ongoing evolution of The Lion King. Julie Taymor’s brilliant puppetry changed the stage forever and not just with musicals. The daemons in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials at the National Theatre came hauntingly alive as the soul of their characters and Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse was stageable only through the subtle movements of the wooden, skeletal horses where the actors within all but disappeared. The Lion King, however, ensures the audience can plainly see the faces beneath the costumes so the imagination is stimulated to understand the complex relationships of the animal kingdom, including with man. The tale of Simba and his family struggling through a drought in the African Savanna is known to millions but the inspired staging of The Lion King takes the tale to a whole new level. Elton John and Tim Rice (among others) captured the mood of the millennium with music and lyrics which became familiar the world over and still resonate 'The Embrace' – Nick Afoa as Simba, Janique Charles as Nala. ® Disney 18 years later. The Circle of Life, Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the evocative He Lives in You, He Lives in Me, weave a spiritual context into the show which transcends language, race and creed. But it is unquestionably the spectacular costumes which turn Disney’s masterpiece into an extravaganza. Shimmying grasslands hats, exquisite lioness dancers, scary hyenas, gangling giraffes and prancing gazelles provide a breathtaking setting to the drama unfolding at Pride Rock where Mufasa, Scar, Nala and Simba and cheeky chappies Timon, Pumbaa and Zazu gather to tell the story of The Lion King. Whatever generation you are, just be sure not to miss it! Gemma Court Photo: Johan Persson. 41 t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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