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Galas: Roger Promotes Album, Almeida Fundraiser

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Piaf star and recent Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award nominee Elena Roger (pictured) is performing a special “tango-inspired” evening of music in the Prince of Wales theatre's Delfont Room on 31 January 2009 to promote her new album.

Roger made her West End debut in 2006 playing Eva Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita, directed at the Adelphi Theatre by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage. Grandage's associate at the time, Jamie Lloyd, now helms Piaf, which is currently booking at the Vaudeville until 24 January.

Her new album is called Vientos Del Sur (Winds from the South), featuring songs inspired by the tango tradition. Her performance at the Prince of Wales comes just two weeks before the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards Concert at the same venue on 15 February, at which she will also be performing (See News, 9 Dec 2008). Roger is shortlisted in the Best Actress in a Musical category in this year's awards.

In other gala news, Imelda Staunton, best known for her roles in films Vera Drake and Harry Potter among many others, is hosting a fundraising gala at the Almeida Theatre on Sunday 8 February 2009. The evening will feature a host of other performers, including Eileen Atkins, Henry Goodman, Nigel Lindsay, David Morrissey, Bill Paterson and Clive Rowe.

The gala will see the Almeida’s auditorium transformed into a cabaret-style space and includes a reception, cabaret performances, a short auction and a post show party with dinner, drinks, and live entertainment. Host Staunton, who will be performing with her band, was last seen on the Almeida stage in 2007 playing Margaret alongside Eileen Atkins in Frank McGuinness’ There Came A Gypsy Riding.

The annual cost of producing the Almeida Theatre’s programme of work is approximately £3.3 million, and each year the Almeida must raise over £1.2m of this through fundraising in order to produce its artistic programme, keep ticket prices affordable, and run Almeida Projects, the theatre’s community and learning programme. All funds raised through the Almeida’s Cabaret Gala evening will contribute towards their yearly target. Tickets are priced at £300, with a limited number of restricted view tickets at £150 and some exclusive premium tickets at £500.

Meanwhile, the Tricycle theatre is holding its annual All-Star Cabaret at the Bloomsbury Ballroom on March 26, with guests for this year's event still to be confirmed.

- by Theo Bosanquet


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