Lion King, Grease & Abba Extend West End BookingsDate: 25 February 2003
Disney's The Lion King, rockabilly revival Grease and Sing-a-long-a ABBA have all extended their booking schedules in the West End, the latter two having already announced extensions earlier this month (See News, 10 Feb 2003).
Adding to the previous seven-week extension, Grease has added another five months to its run at the Victoria Palace, where its now booking up to 6 September 2003. The 1972 Broadway musical - immortalised by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1979 film - currently stars Ben Richards as Danny, Caroline Sheen (soon to join the cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Sandy, and Steps' Lee Latchford-Evans as Teen Angel
Grease previously ran for six years in the West End, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre. It returned to the Dominion for two weeks in October 2001 as part of a year-long, UK-wide tour, at the end of which it transferred to the Victoria Palace in September 2002. Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Grease, this production of Grease is directed by David Gilmore, choreographed by Arlene Phillips and produced by Paul Nicholas and David Ian.
After success in rep at the Prince Charles cinema - where the Sing-a-long-a version of the film, The Sound of Music, started the karaoke-style phenomenon more than three years ago - the Sing-a-long-a ABBA concert opened at the West End's Whitehall Theatre on 9 January. It has now added another week to its previously announced four-week extension and is now booking up to 5 April 2003.
Meanwhile, Disney's long-runner The Lion King has announced another three-month extension to its booking period, taking it up to 28 September 2003. The Disney musical, based on the hit animated film, has songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and is housed at the Lyceum Theatre, its home since 1999.
- by Terri Paddock