Adam Blanshay Productions and The Theatre Café are delighted to present a brand-new musical theatre-based web series, The Theatre Channel. Bringing together talents from the theatre world, both on and off stage, the series will showcase well-known musical theatre classics; performed by some of the industry’s most beloved performers, many of whom hold a close connection to The Theatre Café.
With artists and creatives now using the web and social-media platforms to present their eclectic talents through live-stream videos, the collective display of creativity and ingenuity from the arts, media and theatre community has been an inspiration to many and audiences are now quickly turning to the internet to indulge their theatrical appetite.
Producers Adam Blanshay of Adam Blanshay Productions and Ryan Woods of The Theatre Café – legendary for celebrating all things stagey in the West End and Broadway – have teamed up to produce this unique web series; bringing together the extortionary talents of some of the UK’s most sensational performers and West End stars to sing a selection of musical theatre favourites in a manner not seen before.
The pilot episode is set to premiere in September, with a full season of 9 further episodes planned to launch soon after. Each episode will run at approximately 30 minutes and feature a mix of 4-5 musical theatre songs, ordinarily set in a café, bar or restaurant but individually recontextualised and filmed on location at The Theatre Café. Every scene will make full use of The Theatre Café’s space – from the bar seating area to the downstairs office space – and ultimately standalone as individual performances, but each episode shall be linked by a fundamental premise.
The pay-to-stream series will be available via a new platform hosted on The Theatre Café’s website. The primary goal of this venture is to readily employ artists, creatives and stage managers while theatres remain closed or unable to operate at full capacity and to also provide audiences a slice of the best that the theatre industry has to offer. Unlike recent one-off paid live streamed concerts, every episode of The Theatre Channel series, once published and paid for, will be available to watch at the viewers leisure for an unlimited number of streams.
Naturally, the production will strictly employ the latest PPE measures and social-distancing procedures while filming and producing the series.
Bill Deamer (Follies, Top Hat, Evita) is confirmed to direct and choreograph the first episode, with Michael England (The Phantom of the Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra) as Musical Supervisor. Set and Costume will be designed by Gregor Donnelly, lighting design by Jack Weir, sound design by Keegan Curran and videography by Ben Hewis.
The pilot episode will feature the following performers: Tarinn Callender (Come From Away, Hamilton), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Heathers, Addams Family, Les Misérables), Olivier Award Winner* Matt Henry MBE (Kinky Boots, One Night in Miami), Lucie Jones (Waitress, Legally Blonde, X-Factor UK & Eurovision Song Contest 2017), Oliver Ormson (Back to the Future, Addams Family, Book of Mormon) and Olivier Award Winner** Jenna Russell (Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George). The series will also include 4 additional performers – ‘The Café Four’ – who will feature across each episode in variety of supporting roles. Further casting to be announced soon.
Adam Blanshay said:
“With our UK leaders encouraging the theatre industry to think innovatively in order to endure these unprecedented times, Ryan and I were adamant about creating an eclectic digital platform where we could create an ongoing stream of engaging content for theatre fans all over the Globe throughout the continued theatre closures. Using London’s beloved hub of all things theatrical- The Theatre Café- as our palette, The Theatre Channel aims to create a steady flow of work for artists and creatives over the next six months, and we’re hopeful it will grow beyond that. Combining performance with digital streaming is the way forward, and we hope to capture the hearts and minds of viewers hungry to satisfy their theatrical appetites.”
Ryan Woods said:
“Myself and Adam had an idea to use the café as a kind of working set to bring theatregoers a live style production to then watch online, which so many have looked to during these recent times to stay connected with theatreland. The Theatre Café has remained committed to bring our audience the best quality content to watch online. We believe, with this fabulous team now assembled, we can produce something really special!”
The on-sale date shall be announced soon, alongside a trailer for the pilot episode and additional casting.
CAST BIOGRAPHIES (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
Training: The Arts Educational School.
Theatre includes: Bob & others in Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre); Dick in Dick Whittington and his Cat (Hackney Empire); the dual roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the Original London Cast of Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre); Paul in Kiss Me, Kate (Kilworth House Theatre).
Other credits include: Tunde in Party (BBC); Voiceover in I Think We Are Alone (Frantic Assembly).
Carrie Hope Fletcher
Theatre includes: Fantine in Les Misérables (Sondheim Theatre and Concert at the Gielgud Theatre), Veronica in Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Brenda in The Christmasaurus Live (Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith), Wednesday in The Addams Family (Music and Lyrics), Eponine in Les Misérables (Queens and Dubai), Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Beth in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds (arena tour), Wind in the Willows (Regent’s Park Open Air), Jane Banks in Mary Poppins (Prince Edward), Jemima in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Young Eponine in Les Misérables. Television includes: In Two Minds, Break Kids, Princess Beatrix in Wilhelmina and Dog & Duck.
Concerts: When the Curtain Falls (Cadogan Hall), Jason Robert Brown in Concert (Haymarket Theatre), West End Does Love (FortyFour Productions), West End Does Christmas (FortyFour Productions), West End Does Animation (FortyFour Productions), Edges (Prince of Wales), Andrew Lippa in Concert, Sheytoons in Concert (St James) and Ramin Karimloo’s 2012 tour Road to Find Out.
Music: When the Curtain Falls (Top 20 UK Album Charts).
Presenting: Backstage Host of the Olivier Awards (2016 & 2018).
Books: All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully, On the Other Side, All That She Can See, When The Curtain Falls, In The Time We Lost.
Upcoming: Ballet Shoes.
Awards include: Two-time Best Actress in a Musical WhatsOnStage Award Winner for Heathers and The Addams Family. Best Take Over in a Role WhatsOnStage Award for Les Misérables. Social Media: Well-known Vlogger with over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube Channel. Top 100 on 2019 Sunday Times Influencer List.
Matt was awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queens New Years Honours list for his work in Musical Theatre.
Theatre: Lola in Kinky Boots (2016 Olivier Award Winner for Best Actor in a Musical and voted by London theatre goers as Best Actor in a Musical at the 2016 What’s On Stage Awards).
Television includes: Finalist on The Voice (BBC), mentored by will.I.am and Jessie J.
Music: Original London Cast Recording of Kinky Boots (Grammy Nominated), Red Flare (Debut Solo Album).
Previous theatre credits include: Our Lady of Blundellsands (Liverpool Empire), One Night in Miami (Nottingham Playhouse), The Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare’s Globe), Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre and UK tour); Lion King (Lyceum); Miss Saigon (UK tour); Saturday Night Fever (Apollo Victoria); Hair (UK tour); The Rat Pack Live from Vegas (Adelphi and UK tour) The Harder They Come (Stratford East and UK tour); The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Royal & Derngate) and The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Theatre credits include: ‘Jenna’ in Waitress (Adelphi Theatre); ‘Lou’ in Girlfriends (LMTO); ‘Elle Woods’ in Legally Blonde (National Tour); ‘Emily’ in A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre); ‘Maureen Johnson’ in RENT The Musical (The Other Palace & National Tour); ‘Holly’ in The Wedding Singer (National Tour); ‘Elle Woods’ in Legally Blonde the Musical (Leicester Curve / South Korea; DIMF Best Actress in a Musical Award); ‘Molly Jensen’ in Ghost: The Musical (Asian Tour); ‘Victoria’ in American Psycho The Musical (Almeida); ‘Meatloaf’ in the We Will Rock You (World Arena Tour); ‘Kelly’ in The Prodigals (Edinburgh Fringe); ‘Cosette’ in Les Misérables (Queens Theatre);
Television includes: Midsomer Murders (ITV) and The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC). Lucie was a finalist in the 2009 series of The X Factor. She toured the UK playing to sell out arena crowds on The X Factor tour in 2010. In January 2017, Lucie won the public vote on BBC2 show Eurovision- You Decide with her original song, ‘Never Give Up On You’. She competed at the Eurovision World Final in Ukraine.
Instagram – @luciejones1
Twitter – @luciejones1
Training: Liverpool Theatre School.
Forthcoming: Oliver will be originating the role of Hans in the West End production of Frozen (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).
Other Theatre includes: Goon and u/s Biff in Back To The Future (Manchester Opera House) directed by John Rando; Rob in High Fidelity (Turbine Theatre); Rum Tum Tugger in Cats (Kilworth House); Steve in Nerds and Fishboy in The Protagonists (The Other Palace); Lucas Beineke in The Addams Family (National and International Tours); understudied and played Elder Price in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); Link Larkin in Hairspray (Aberystwyth Arts Centre).
Workshops include: Dorian in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella (RUG/The Other Palace); Back To The Future (Universal).
Television includes: Bernardo in West Side Story (Reef Television/BBC Symphony Orchestra).
West End Includes: Dot in Sunday in the Park with George (Wyndham and on Broadway. Olivier Award Winner for Best Actress in a Musical, Tony Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical), Doctor Faustus (Duke of York), Urinetown (Apollo), Merrily We Roll Along (Harold Pinter. Olivier Award Nominee for Best Actress in a Musical), Seasons Greetings (National Theatre), Amy’s View (Garrick), Guys & Dolls (Piccadilly. Olivier Award Nominee for Best Actress in a Musical), Midsummers Night Dream (Regents Park), Into the Woods (Donmar), Follies (Shaftesbury), Martin Guerre (Prince Edward), Les Miserables (Palace).
RSC: Anthony and Cleopatra, A Winters Tale, As You Like It, Wildest Dreams, Misha’s Party, The Beggars Opera.
Other Theatre includes: The Bridges of Madison County (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fun Home (Young Vic), Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse) Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), High Society (Crucible).
Television includes: Eastenders, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Call The Midwife, Born and Bred, Holby City, Home To Roost, Men Only, Minder, Missing Persons, On The Up.
Film includes: The Death and Life of John F Donovan, Mortdecai, P’tang Yang Kipperbang, Scared Hearts, The Fear.