I agree re: Stephen and Alexia! It's performances like theirs that make me really annoyed that the Olivier Awards refuse to separate 'supporting performers' in musicals into best actor and best actress because they'd both deserve it!
I really hope Stephen wins an award for his McKinley as it makes the show for me
He is one of the best Valjeans I've heard or seen for sure. He'd do a great job as the Phantom (and probably be better, at least vocally, than Marcus as others have alluded to) and if that is how it ends up I'd book right away. Geronimo is also London-based for at least another year as he posted recently.
As for the new cast, I've heard Dan did really well as Valjean, his vocals are surprisingly powerful and Rob Houchen seems to be the the pick of the rest as Marius. Fits like a glove apparently, akin to other feedback in this thread too.
You guys really could've warned me that this show is bad...
This show was just absolutely dire. I really should've known better after reading the reviews on here but I still held out the hope that my incredibly low expectations meant I could be nothing but pleasantly surprised in the end. Boy was I wrong.
The book is rubbish and filled with tasteless and misjudged jokes (repeatedly making fun of cancer patients and critising the body images of the size 6/8 actresses on stage, really?!?), and the performances were amateuristic at best with terrible acting skills on display and even worse singing voices.
The story was so bad anyway they really should've just sung one Spice Girl hit after another to get the audience in the spirit instead of singing the songs only briefly or rearranged (with exception of "Wannabe", "Don't Stop Me Now" and "Spice Up Your Life" which are of course therefor repeated again at the end of the show).
The only bit I liked was the re-arranged version of "Viva Forever", which was now acoustic and sung by a male voice (partly in Spanish too) but it was ruined as soon as the character of Viva joined in as she arguably had the worst voice of the lot on stage. I was mostly bored throughout the performance and it was painfully obvious that the four lead girls were as well.
I can only be grateful that our tickets were comps as I do not want to throw a single pound at this awful production.
Just to add my penny's worth I think you will find both kerry and dianne had it written in their contracts to become leads after, di was just filling in as analene (can NEVER spell her name right) left and kerry was meant to open the show but they brought idina over for a west end record fee. wasnt it something like 30,000 dollars a week/month?
Yes, that's why I said they were exceptional. Apart from those two, London has only seen actresses go from understudy to standby (and I think we're going to have chorus straight to standby soon) etc. but never to lead.
This cast change takes place on Sunday 10th March 2013. Not all of the names below are officially confirmed by the show, producers or the theatre it should be said; instead they rely on things that have been said at stage door/passed on from that person directly, or via Facebook/Twitter.
Thought this should be started as Dan Burton has announced today that he will be joining 'The Pyjama Game' in Chichester next year, and therefore leaving come March. As contracts are up for renewal soon and auditions are imminent, post any news here!
Leaving: Matthew Wycliffe (Bob Gaudio), Eugene McCoy (Nick Massi), Howard Jones (Bob Crewe), Dan Burton (Joe Pesci), Mark Carroll (Knuckles), Trina Hill (Francine), Michael Conway (Swing)
Staying: Ryan Molloy (Frankie Valli), Edd Post (Bob Gaudio), Jon Boydon (Tommy DeVito), Jon Lee (alt. Frankie Valli), Stuart Milligan (Gyp DeCarlo), Ben Jennings (Joe Pesci), Tee Jaye (Barry Belson), Jake Samuels (Norm Waxman), Chris Gardner (Hank Majewski), Nicola Brazil (Mary Delgado), Lucy Martin (Lorraine), Mark Isherwood (Swing), Ben Wheeler (Swing), Lucinda Gill (Swing), Gemma Whitelam (Swing)
New Cast: David McGranaghan (Nick Massi), Will Barratt (Bob Crewe), Mark Halliday (Knuckles), Rebecca Jayne-Davies (Francine), Stuart King (Swing), Ben Evans (Swing), Michael Watson (Swing)