The West End's latest Broadway musical and its longest running comedy - Thoroughly Modern Millie and the Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) - have extended their booking periods.

A week after its UK premiere on 21 October 2003 (previews from 11 October), Thoroughly Modern Millie has added three and a half months to its schedule at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical had been booking up to 24 January 2004 and is now taking bookings up to 8 May 2004.

Cutting It TV star Amanda Holden (pictured) takes the title role made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1967 film original. The nostalgic musical comedy is set in 1920s New York where recent arrival-from-Kansas Millie Dillmount is determined to bob her hair, dance to jazz, get a job and marry her boss - all in the modern fashion.

In the West End, Holden is joined in the cast by Maureen Lipman (who alternates with Marti Webb), Craig Urbani, Sheila Ferguson, Mark McGee and Helen Baker. The production reunites the original Broadway creative team, including director Michael Mayer and designer David Gallow. Thoroughly Modern Millie features new songs by Dick Scanlan (lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music), with a book by Scanlan and Richard Morris.


Meanwhile, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has extended its booking by another four months. The American troupe's signature production, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), now in its seventh year, is the West End's longest running comedy. Earlier this year, the RSC's The Bible - The Complete Word of God (abridged) joined it and The Complete History of America (abridged) at the company's West End home, the Criterion Theatre.

All three comedies continue to run in repertory with America playing on Tuesday evenings and The Bible on Thursday evenings and Shakespeare running all other nights of the week. They are now taking bookings up to 30 May 2004.

- by Terri Paddock