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Minister Returns to West End, Brigstocke Children

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The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Yes, Prime Minister which played the Gielgud Theatre until 15 January this year will return to the West End for a run at the Apollo Theatre from 6 July to 17 September 2011.

The production, which won the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy, ran at the Gielgud from 27 September (previews from 17 September) until 15 January 2011. The production has since embarked on a national tour starring Simon Williams as civil servant Sir Humphrey and Richard McCabe as hapless Prime Minister Jack Hacker - who will lead the cast at the Apollo.

Yes, Prime Minister, transferred to the Gielgud following strong reviews in Chichester where it ran from 20 May 2010 (previews from 13 May) to 5 June. It transferred to the West End with David Haig and Henry Goodman in the lead roles.

Adapted for the stage by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn (who also directs), the creators of the classic BBC sit-com which ran from 1980 to 1988, the plot has been updated to reflect modern politics, with special policy advisors and a country in financial meltdown. The nation's only prospect of salvation comes in the form morally dubious allies – leading to “deliciously comic consequences”.

Prior to returning to London Yes, Prime Minister plays tour dates in Southampton, Nottingham, Leicester, Malvern, Plymouth, Aylesbury, Norwich, Manchester, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Northampton and Richmond, finishing in Cardiff on 2 July 2011.

Yes, Prime Minister is designed by Simon Higlett with lighting by Tim Mitchell. It is produced by Mark Goucher, Wimpole Theatre and Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions.

Currently at the Apollo, Thea Sharrock directs Alison Steadman, Robert Bathurst, Hermione Norris and Ruthie Henshall in classic Noël Coward comedy Blithe Spirit, which transfers to the Apollo Theatre following a national tour. The show, which opened on 9 March (previews from 2 March) continues to 18th June 2011.

Another show returning to London, Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award-winning show The Railway Children has today (18 March 2011) announced comedian and broadcaster Marcus Brigstocke will lead  the cast as Station Master Perks. Restaged in the former Eurostar terminal in Waterloo Station, the production will run from 19 June to 4 September 2011.

The show finished an extended run on 2 January this year, having opened on 12 July 2010 (previews from 4 July). With a set featuring the old Gentleman’s saloon carriage from the 1970 film version and a period steam train - the 'Stirling Single' - the production won Joanna Scotcher the Best Set Designer prize at this year's Whatsonstage.com Awards before scooping the Best Entertainment gong at the 2011 Olivier Awards which were presented on Sunday.

Brigstocke recently made his musical theatre debut playing King Arthur in the UK Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot. A regular on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You, QI, The Now Show and Just A Minute, he played Adam Savage in the BBC 1 drama The Savages as well as Rick in BBC3’s Vacant Possession. His stage credits include God Collar at the Vaudeville Theatre, The Award Winning Show and The Museum of Everything at the Pleasance Theatre and Help Yourself at the Gilded Balloon and on tour.

Further casting has been confirmed as: David Baron (the Old Gentleman), Mark Holgate (Jim), Tim Lewis (Peter), Andrew Loudon (Father and Doctor), Amy Noble (Roberta), Blair Plant (Shepansky) and Grace Rowe (Phyllis).

The Railway Children tells the story of Bobby, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother where they befriend the local railway porter and embark on a magical journey of discovery, friendship and adventure.

Adapted by Mike Kenny from E Nesbit's classic 1906 novel, it's directed by York Theatre Royal artistic director Damian Cruden, with lighting by Richard G Jones, music by Christopher Madin and sound by Craig Vear.

The Railway Children, a York Theatre Royal production, is presented in London in association with the National Rail Museum by Jenny King and Matthew Gale for The Touring Consortium (Railway Children), Tristan Baker, Oliver Royds, PW Productions and Sue Scott Davison. The production has been made possible with the support of BRB (Residuary) Ltd and Network Rail.


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