Two West End hits – RC Sherriff’s World War I drama Journey's End and ‘live forever’ musical Fame - have announced five-month extensions to their London booking periods as well as separate touring productions.

David Grindley’s anniversary revival of Journey's End opened at the West End’s Comedy Theatre on 21 January 2004 (previews from 15 January), 75 years (to the day) since its first West End season at the Savoy Theatre (See News, 12 Dec 2003). On 3 May, it transferred to the Playhouse where, with the extension, it is now booking up to 2 April 2005.

Based on Sherriff’s own experience in the trenches of the First World War, Journey's End follows a group of officers, positioned behind British lines at St Quentin, France, and awaiting their fate. The current London cast features Philip Franks, Paul Bradley, David Sturzaker and Pearce Quigley.

A separate three-month touring production opens at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal on 7 September 2004 before continuing to Richmond, Plymouth, Salford, Bath, Jersey, Brighton, Wolverhampton, Woking, Malvern, Nottingham and Bradford, where it finishes on 4 December. It’s presented by Background Productions.


At the West End's Aldwych, the addition of five months to the schedule of Fame, which transferred to the theatre on 4 September 2002, takes its bookings up to 26 February 2005. The Runar Borge production, based on Alan Parker's 1980 Oscar-winning film and the American TV series of the same name, first opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 1995, when it was nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Choreography. It returned in 1998 for a run at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

The musical's current West End run began in October 2000 at the Victoria Palace (its second outing at that venue, where it also played in 1997) before transferring back to the Cambridge in September 2001 and then to the Aldwych in 2002. With its on and off appearances in the West End and ongoing tours, Fame has now been seen by more than 3.5 million people in the UK.

A new four-month tour launches next month. It opens at The Lowry in Salford Quays on 20 August 2004 before continuing up until December to Woking, Glasgow, Hull, Bromley, Cambridge, Liverpool, Leeds, Stoke, Southampton, Wimbledon, Belfast, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Plymouth and Leicester. Additional dates will be announced for 2005. Fame is produced by Adam Spiegel and Mark Goucher.

- by Terri Paddock