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Galas: Stiles & Drewe Debut Soho Cinders, Dress Circle

By • West End
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s new musical Soho Cinders will receive its world premiere in a one-off charity concert at the West End's Novello Theatre - currently home to the pair's musical Betty Blue Eyes - held in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust on Sunday 9 October 2011.

Tickets for Soho Cinders, ranging from £11 to £100 VIP packages, have gone on sale today (27 July 2011) and are available from Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

An all-star cast has been announced, including Kerry Ellis, Hannah Waddingham, Beverly Rudd, David Bedella and Sandi Toksvig. The concert, which is billed as "Cinderella remixed", will be directed by Jonathan Butterell, Stephen Mear and Drew McConie choreograph.

A modern musical fable, Soho Cinders is a satirical comedy with a story which centres around the complicated love life of prospective Mayoral candidate James Prince, his fiancée and his law-student lover, Robbie - who's paying his college bills in a somewhat unorthodox way.

The performance is held in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity devoted to improving the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust aim to ensure that every young person with cancer and their family receive the best possible care and professional support throughout their cancer journey.

Stiles and Drewe are arguably the most successful British musical-writing team of the past 20 years. Their credits include Just So, Peter Pan, the Olivier Award-winning Honk!, The Ugly Duckling and new songs for Mary Poppins to accompany the Sherman Brothers’ existing classics.

Their musical adaptation of the Alan Bennett-scripted comedy film A Private Function, Betty Blue Eyes opened at the Novello Theatre on 13 April 2011 (previews from 19 March). The first new musical produced by Cameron Mackintosh in over a decade, it features a book by Americans Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman and a cast led by Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith.

Kerry Ellis' theatre credits famously include spending two years as Elphaba in the London production of Wicked and then for six months on Broadway. Her other theatre credits include Oliver!, Chess In Concert, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.

Hannah Waddingham is currently starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. Her recent theatre credits include Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Beverly Rudd has made a name for herself at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, having appeared as Little Red Riding Hood in last year's Into the Woods alongside Waddingham. She can currently be seen in the theatre's production of The Beggar’s Opera.

Having originated the role of Satan in Jerry Springer – The Opera and recently appeared in Chicago, David Bedella currently stars in Stephen Sondheim's Road Show at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Broadcaster, writer, presenter and comedian Sandi Toksvig’s varied career includes founding of The Comedy Store Players and co-writing the musical Big Night Out. She can also regularly be heard on BBC Radio 4.

Soho Cinders has music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe. It has a book by Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis.


A celebratory gala in aid of the West End theatre shop Dress Circle will be held at Her Majesty's Theatre on Sunday 7 August 2011.

As was reported in May, competition from music download websites, increased rent and the recession have caused Dress Circle to struggle to make ends meet. Facing the prospect of closure without extra investment, the gala is amongst a number of activities being undertaken to help raise money for the shop's future.

The store, "the longest-running showbusiness and musical theatre shop in the world", is located on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden and opened in 1977. It has been a haven for theatre fanatics ever since, selling a wide selection of cast recordings, sheet music, and memorabilia.

The August gala will be hosted by singer Aled Jones with the event backed by a 33-piece orchestra conducted by Simon Lee.

Amongst an extensive list of West End and Broadway performances lined up to perform are Helen Anker, Jonathan Ansell, Rosemary Ashe, Julie Atherton, Samantha Barks, Tracie Bennett, Mark Bonnar, Norman Bowman, Simon Bowman, Daniel Boys, Rebecca Caine, Anita-Louise Combe, Kim Criswell, Portia Emare, Shaun Escoffery, Josefina Gabrielle, Tiffany Graves, Ashleigh Gray, Ellen Greene, Jodie Jacobs, Ramin Karimloo, Alexia Khadime, Joanna Kirkland, Debbie Kurup, Sarah Lark, Emma Lindars, Simon Lipkin, Gary Milner, Claire Moore, Robyn North, Landi Oshinowo, Steven Page, Malinda Parris, Dianne Pilkington, Peter Polycarpou, Lara Pulver, Zoe Rainey, Charlotte Riby, Jon Robyns, Frances Ruffelle, Caroline Sheen, Emily Tierney, George Ure, Hannah Waddingham, Stephen Webb, Jayne Wisener and the Donmar Warehouse cast of Parade with others still to be announced.

A male chorus made up of Anthony Bristoe, Jon-Scott Clark, Ste Clough, Ricardo Coke-Thomas, Adrian Der Gregorian, Dougal Irvine, Bradley Jaden, Michael Jibson, Aaron Lee Lambert, Adam Linstead, Damien Poole, Stuart Matthew Price, Christopher Ragland, Jon Robyns, Robbie Scotcher, Jonathan Stewart, Philip Wrigley and James Yeoburn will perform "Bui Doi" from Miss Saigon.

Guest composers to be featured include Dougal Irvine and Laurence Mark Wythe with an ensemble comprising students from the Royal Academy of Music, Arts Educational School and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

The Dress Circle Benefit Gala is directed by Simon James Green with musical direction by Simon Lee and assistant musical direction by Jon Ranger. It is produced by West End performer Stuart Matthew Price and James Yeoburn with the support of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Really Useful Group.

Tickets for the gala are on sale from See Tickets, the Dress Circle shop or Her Majesy’s Theatre box office.


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