OK, I admit it. It’s almost a year since I posted on here. I guess I’ve just been so busy with other projects that I allowed by own blog to fall by the wayside.

Still, no problem is as permanent as a solution…so bear with me while I attempt to put that right. Nothing says “I’m working” more than a quick post from Costa Coffee!

In the past year I’ve been privileged to see some utterly awesome theatre…soon I might start lampooning it again.

With my other hat on, writing for From The Box Office, I thought I’d share some pretty useful advice from the wonderful Libby Purves. Having blogged and erred myself, it seems pretty timely.

With Libby’s words ringing in my ear, I will try to get something online a bit more frequently!

TACKS AVOIDANCE “PERFECTLY LEGAL” SAYS MAYOR

London’s blue “Boris Bikes” are to be painted red under a seven-year sponsorship deal with HSBC‘s Swiss operation worth around £7 a year to the British economy, it has been announced. They will also be fitted with a new special “tacks avoidance” sensor to make them more comfortable to ride for rich Londoners who sometimes find tacks “inconvenient”.

No More Road Tacks

No More Road Tacks

The bank’s Swiss branch will take over the branding of the cycle hire scheme from Barclays, marking the end of a contract that attracted criticism for failing to make Barclays as much money as the UK capital’s mayor, Boris Johnson had promised them whilst playing golf in The Cayman Islands.

The scheme, which enables short bike trips around central London has proved increasingly popular since it started in 2010, with more than 10 hires in 2014 alone.

Santander will pay £6.25 a year for the rights and contribute a further annual £1 to promote and grow the scheme.

The mayor said the money would pay for new more comfortable seats, extra “dodging” stations and new loopholes to make the scheme easier to fiddle. Johnson added: “If anyone still persists in calling them ‘Boris bikes’ rather than Tacks Avoidance Bikes I will be very cross. I hate self-promotion. I am just a humble future Prime Minister and you can quote me on that.”

He said the money would not cover the entire costs, but said: “We have worked tirelessly to build in the anti-tacks sensors with a great big dollop of private sector cash – I haggled them up to £7 over lunch at Le Manoir de Quatre Saisons and I can highly recommend the Foie Gras.”

Asked whether the red and white colour-scheme was a belated recognition of his predecessor Ken Livingstone’s launch of the cycle hire plan in 2008, Johnson said: “It was never a plan. He had no budget, no sponsorship and no billionaire school chums.”

Apparently you aren't allowed to publish this any more...

Apparently you aren’t allowed to publish this any more…

He added: “The colour has no political significance whatsoever. The bikes will now match London’s buses, phone boxes, and everything else that’s red like the UK balance sheet and my pants.”

Green politicians in London welcomed the extra money for cycling and called for the scheme to be expanded into areas where London’s workers can now afford to live, but said there were “concerns over whether it might be too tiring to cycle from Manchester?”

Construction will start on two new segregated cycle superhighways in the next two months, to be completed later this year. There will be one lane for the rich, guaranteed tacks free, and one narrow lane for everyone else.

NEWSFLASH

May 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

The Sunday Spasm – Eurovision Special

Conchita: You go girl!

Conchita: You go girl!

 

It’s True! For a while we feared the Wurst, but the girl dun good! This weekend saw fabulous Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst crowned queen of the Eurovision with her Bond-theme-in-waiting “Rise Like A Phoenix” – sure to become the anthem that means a generation of young men and women can embrace their identity with fire and passion while they get ready to go “clubbing up London.”

It got us thinking at Spasm Central…can we look forward to a wave of Lady Beards in the West End? Of course we can. They’ll take a little while to grow of course…so our art department have spent literally minutes creating a vision of what’s coming for Musical Theatre following Conchita’s win.

Elaine Paige: Tim Rice "couldn't cope with the beard"

Elaine Paige: Tim Rice “couldn’t cope with the beard”

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

Les Mis: Fantine's hair vs Cosette's beard...FIGHT!!!

Les Mis: Fantine’s hair vs Cosette’s beard…FIGHT!!!

Thanks Sausages. See you next week.

FRIDAY SPASM: BERNADETTE PETERS SPECIAL

FRIDAY SPASM: BERNADETTE PETERS SPECIAL

 

 MISS SAIGON: WELCOME TO DREAMLAND!

Miss Saigon 2014: Budgets "not what they were in 1989"

Miss Saigon 2014: Budgets “not what they were in 1989”

 

Although it’s been a while since we last published Sunday Spasm, what a few weeks it’s been. Pope John Paul II (the sequel) became a Saint, Oscar Pistorious is still on trial for mistaking his girlfriend for a toilet attendant and trying to shoot her (something Cheryl Cole also tried but failed to do), and finally the big news that Miss Saigon is back – with a brand new helicopter to boot!

The show originally opened in 1989 and was a huge international smash hit with productions running simultaneously as far afield as Basildon and Dundee. It is rumoured that Cameron Mackintosh made so much money from the original production that he is now the third richest gay man in the inner Hebrides.

Cameron Mackintosh: Not dating Michael Ball

Cameron Mackintosh: Not dating Michael Ball

The “He-Brides” as they are pronounced are a series of islands off the West Coast of Scotland where it’s traditional for all men to live in same sex couples.

Mackintosh, who travels everywhere by Helicopter with Michael Ball is always on the lookout for new shows with Helicopters in them although this has at times led to accusations that his productions can be a bit samey.

The cast of the original production of Miss Saigon famously became wedged in the Drury Lane helicopter during the final matinee in 1999, meaning that the original set could not be moved. The actors who play John and Chris have been fed liquidised sandwiches through a small gap in the window for the past 15 years.

It has proven a challenge for subsequent Drury Lane productions to work around the first helicopter. One ASM told the Spasm “It was fine for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but My Fair Lady was a nightmare, particularly explaining the presence of a military helicopter at the Ascot Gavotte.”

Moving Saigon to the Prince Edward Theatre has proven no less problematic. Sources close to the production told us that producer Cameron Mackintosh orignially considered using two ushers with torches who could do “helicopter noises”, but when one of the ushers fell off the stilts in rehearsal, the concept was deemed too dangerous and Mackintosh reverted to using a real helicopter.

A spokesman for Mackintosh told our reporter “It does make the production very expensive because the pilot has to hover for most of act one”.

Asked whether the combined weight of him ,Michael Ball and a helicopter could have been responsible for the collapse of the roof at the the Apollo Theatre, Cameron replied “No. And you’ll never prove it”.

Miss Saigon is now booking to 20 Dec 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street.

0844 482 5155

http://www.miss-saigon.com/

Tel: 0844 482 5155

Tickets £67.50, £45.00, £27.50*

*a limited number of day seats are available from the box office priced £20.00

"Burn A Debt" Peters

“Burn A Debt” Peters

Bernadette Peters: Hasn’t aged since World War I

Broadway golden girl Bernadette Peters, most recently seen wowing audiences at the 2014 Laurence Olivier Awards, this week stunned fans by announcing that she has paid off third world debt in its entirety by selling one of her shoes.

Peters, who is crazy, told backstage gossips at the Oliviers “They don’t call me burn a debt for nothing. I didn’t like that shoe anyway and if selling it means that Africa can afford to get air conditioning then it’s worth it. I’ve been to Africa and it’s far too hot.”

Peters also helped out two of her gay fans by paying off a credit card bill run up when they went to Mykonos.

Peters claims to be 67 years old. Even close up she looks great. Many believe Bernadette has not aged since being laminated during a production of Mack & Mabel on Broadway in 1974. Since then, her boobs seem to have entered some sort of anti-gravity orbit around her neck, and according to Ms Peters’ agent, whereas some celebrities have had work done, Bernadette has simply worn lead-lined shoes to stop her from floating off into space, “which is why her feet always look so huge”.

A Portrait of Bernadette Peters found in Rolf Harris's attic

A Portrait of Bernadette Peters found in Rolf Harris’s attic

 

However, during a recent police raid of close friend Rolf Harris’s loft, several canvasses were found portraying a much older-looking ‘Peters, including a medieval portrait along with an early box brownie photograph. This would fit in with some fan’s theories that Bernadette Peters may have sold her soul in exchange for antigravity boobs.

 

Bob Hoskins: Terrible taste in hats

Bob Hoskins: Terrible taste in hats

Bob Voyage

Sad news this week as the Spasm learned of the loss of fine actor and all round good egg, Bob Hoskins. Already a national treasure, it’s a little known fact that Hoskins also invented haircuts. Prior to 1960, everyone just let their hair grow and grow which caused a number of terrible accidents. Nobody could see where they were going and fringes would often become trapped in carts or industrial looms.

Queen Victoria: Died tripping over her own hair

Queen Victoria: Died tripping over her own hair

 

In the 1960s, whilst learning to play the spoons for a production of Me & My Girl, Hoskins accidentally invented scissors (initiatlly know as “chop-chops”) and the “bob” haircut was born. The style became ubiquitous – for a while even the prime minister and royal family wore their hair off the shoulder. These days, although other haircuts have been added, it was Bob we have to thank for shorter hair and increase in life expectancy.

Victoria Beckham: Spent early life living in a cupboard with Bob Hoskins

Victoria Beckham: Spent early life living in a cupboard with Bob Hoskins

 

R.I.P. Bob.

It's the Monday Spasm

It’s the Monday Spasm

AND THE WINNER IS…….

Drum roll. The West End is nursing the mother of all hangovers this morning as the waiting is finally over and the winners of this year’s Olivier Awards are finally announced.

Olivier Awards: 2014 Winners

Olivier Awards: 2014 Winners

 

MasterCard Best New Musical

  • The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Best Actress in a Musical

  • Zrinka Cvitešić for Once at the Phoenix Theatre

Best Actor in a Musical

  • Gavin Creel for The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Best Performange in a Supporting Role in a Musical

  • Stephen Ashfield for The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music

  • Once – Martin Lowe for composition & arrangements, Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová for music & lyrics

Best Director

  • Lyndsey Turner for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Theatre Choreographer

  • Casey Nicholaw for The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre

  • Handbagged at the Tricycle Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Opera

  • English Touring Opera for its brave and challenging touring productions at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

Best New Opera Production

  • Les Vêpres Siciliennes at the Royal Opera House

Best Musical Revival

  • Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best New Comedy

  • Jeeves & Wooster In Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre

BBC Radio 2 Audience Award

  • Les Misérables

American Airlines Best New Play

  • Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Actress

  • Lesley Manville for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios

Best Actor

  • Rory Kinnear for Othello at the National Theatre, Olivier

Outstanding Achievement in Dance

  • Michael Hulls for his body of lighting work including Ballet Boyz – The Talent at Sadler’s Wells

Best New Dance Production

  • Eastman – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Sadler’s Wells for Puz/zle at Sadler’s Wells

XL Video Award for Best Set Design

  • Es Devlin for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Costume Design

  • Mark Thompson for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Best Entertainment & Family

  • The Wind In The Willows at the Duchess Theatre

Best Sound Design

  • Carolyn Downing for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
  • Gareth Owen for Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design

  • Tim Lutkin & Finn Ross for Chimerica at the Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
  • Paul Pyant and Jon Driscoll for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Sharon D Clarke for The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, Olivier

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Jack Lowden for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios

Best Revival

  • Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios

Phew. Glad that’s over….well done to The Book of Mormon and Once, both fantastic shows, and the Almeida who ran away with the night! Congratulations also to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – even that managed to win two awards!

The Impotence of Ben Ernest

The Impotence of Ben Ernest

 

DAVID SUCHET: WHAT A DRAG

Talking of the Oliviers, Olivier winner David Suchet this week revealed to an astonished Sunday Spasm that he will spend the next year living as a woman in preparation for his 2015 stage role as Lady Bracknell in The Impotence of Ben Ernest. The show will open in the West End next summer in a venue yet to be announced.

Artist's Impression: Suchet as Lady Bracknell

Artist’s Impression: Suchet as Lady Bracknell

 

Adrian Noble (formerly RSC) will direct Oscar Wilde’s hit comedy – all about a baby left in a handbag at Victoria Station who grows up to be sexually dysfunctional – and it’s guaranteed to be the funniest show about an adult baby in a handbag when it opens on 1st July 2015. Most anticipated is what Suchet will be wearing, but we’re fairly sure it will be something along the lines of either Mrs Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, largely because of Suchet’s “more mature female figure”.

The seven-time Olivier Award nominee, who is best known for his hilarious impression of a Crime-solving Belgian Parrot on ITV, follows in the footsteps of fellow actors Geoffrey from Rainbow and Brian Blessed, who have both donned ladies’ attire to play Bracknell (a small town in Berkshire).

Fully of hilarious observations on posh, uppity Victorian society, Wilde’s comedy tells of the hilarious comings and goings of confirmed bachelors John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff as they try to get Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew to sleep with them to prove they aren’t impotent.

The Impotence Of Ben Ernest opens in the West End 12 months after Lucy Bailey’s production of Wilde’s comic farce starring Nigel Havers and Siân Phillips, which opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre in June but producers insist it’s just a co-incidence, and that Havers “wouldn’t have fitted the dress”.

 

Clary "Havers looks terrible in a dress".

Clary “Havers looks terrible in a dress”.

 

David, whose brother John is a newsreader, believes Wilde would approve. “Oscar was quite partial to a bit of drag”.

Sunday Spread

April 7, 2014 — Leave a comment
The Monday Spasm - 7 April 2014

The Monday Spasm – 7 April 2014

GOODBYE MICKEY ROONEY…HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMMA MIA!

Taking The Mickey

Taking The Mickey

This week, The Spasm says a special Monday farewell to Hollywood legend, Mickey Rooney. In a glittering career, Rooney worked with the likes of Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. His love life was no less dramatic, first marrying Ava Gardner.Rooney enjoyed marriage so much, he tried it a further seven times.

Films included:

  • Strike Up The Band
  • Girl Crazy
  • National Velvet
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s
  • A Night At The Museum
Lifelong friend and drinking buddy, Judy Garland

Lifelong friend and drinking buddy, Judy Garland

Rooney’s other love was of course, football. He enjoyed a successful career and will be much missed by both Manchester United and England – teams he continued to play for well into his nineties. Rooney leaves behind a wife, Colleen.

MAMMA MIA!

Pure Theatrical Marmite

Pure Theatrical Marmite

This week, Mamma Mia turns fifteen. Not old enough to drive a car or sleep with anyone, but old enough for a paper round. To many it’s Marmite Mia – but love it or loathe it, it’s racked up fifteen years in the West End, had homes in three different theatres, and it’s not going anywhere soon. So, here are some stats which the producers have released, plus some which are exclusive to the Spasm.

 

  • 2 Billion          Totally gross box-office dollars
  • 4.2 Million       Number of people on facebook waiting for a “hate” button
  • 33,000            Totally Made-up number of rhinestones hand-sewn on to the Super Trouper costumes
  • 1,327               Number of performances which made Mamma Mia! the longest-running show at the Prince of Wales theatre
  • 1,000               People believed to have thrown up in the auditorium
  • 980                  Number of babies named Mia born in England and Wales in 1999, the year the production opened.
  • 400                  Number of Bangladeshi children who died to make the Super Trouper costumes.
  • 121                  Number of bras worn by the entire cast
  • 27                    Number of Abba songs that are performed in the production
  • 26                    Number of Abba which could be cut from the production which would make no difference to the story
  • 14                    Number of languages in which the production has been performed.
  • 2                      Number of stars Lyn Gardner gave the production on its London debut, in 1999. (“Catchy, enjoyable, melodic … a bit bland.”)
  • 1                      Number of stars Peter Bradshaw gave the movie version of the musical (“No film has ever had a more irrelevant story”)
  • 0                      The number of times Pierce Brosnan has been asked to sing again

 

So, happy birthday Mamma Mia. Love it or loathe it, it’s hear for the long haul.

Thank You For The Music….Have a great week!

The Monday Spasm?

March 31, 2014 — Leave a comment
Special Monday "late edition"

Special Monday “late edition”

 

LEGAL ACTION CALLED OFF

Marti Webb: Let's call the whole thing off

Marti Webb: Let’s call the whole thing off

Phew, what a relief. Marti Webb is no longer suing Sunday Spasm and said it was “all a terrible misunderstanding”.

It seems that the threat of legal action, and the Spasm’s decision to suspend publication for a week was enough to satisfy the musical theatre actress who once famously said “take me to a zoo that’s got chimpanzees” before being sectioned under the mental health act and held in a secure dressing room for several months.

In further developments, the Spasm is temporarily dropping all made up stories and idle gossip and for the next few editions will concentrate on ruining West End Theatre posters.

So, it is with great sadness that this week’s Spasm bids farewell to, amongst other shows, the latest offering from the Lloyd Webber stable – Stephen Ward (tagged by critics as “Emergency Ward”).

Andrew Lloyd Webber: It will take more than a defibrilator to save this one...

Andrew Lloyd Webber: It will take more than a defibrilator to save this one…

 

The story focuses on goings on in the sixties when everyone wore a gimp mask and nobody knew you weren’t supposed to put butter on a burn.

Reviews ranged from

“Flaccid” – Variety

to

“I went to see Stephen Ward with my mum, 16yr old son and my husband because we live near Cliveden and was intrigued to see how the story would be interpreted in a musical. We have seen many musicals and this was by far the worst.” — Boxoffice.com

The show closed on 29th March – so now, West End audiences will have to look elsewhere for a musical with an S&M butler.

Ta ta for now and enjoy your tea and crumpet.

LEGAL ACTION

March 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

Under advice from solicitors, Sunday Spasm wishes to make it clear that MARTI WEBB has never slept with DON BLACK and ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER at the same time. As a result, last week’s Sunday Spasm went unpublished. Our legal team regrets any disappointment this may have caused. A statement from our Editor as follows:

 

The Sunday Spasm aims through spurious allegations and made up facts to expose all that the world of celebrity and showbusiness would rather keep hidden. Our cutting edge journalism and photoshopped images with other people’s heads stuck on the wrong bodies is groundbreaking. We strive to bring more and more unusual facts to a global audience and although on sound legal advice we pulled this week’s issue, we will continue to make stuff up and be back up and running in time for the next issue.

 

We thank our loyal readers and hope that you both understand why there was nothing to read with your toast and tea this previous weekend.

 

Niall Palmer, Editor in chief

Spasm Header 16 Mar 14

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • HAS SUSAN BOYLE EATEN AN AIRCRAFT?
  • GODSPELL RETURNS TO WEST END
  • WE WON’T ROCK YOU
  • OLIVIER AWARDS 2014 – THE NOMINEES
Flight MH370: The Mystery Deepens

Flight MH370: The Mystery Deepens

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FLIGHT 370?

On the morning of Saturday 8th March (local time), a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

That is all anyone knows for sure about flight MH370. But there are now reports that the jet was deliberately diverted by someone on board about an hour after take-off.

Spasm Journalists have tried to contact Judi Dench, who was believed to be in space doing experiments, for comment. It was hoped that Dame Judi may hold vital clues to the Malaysian plane’s disappearance, but it appears that she too may now have vanished. Worryingly, both NASA and the Russian Space Agency say they have no record of Judi Dench ever having entered orbit.

It seems incredible that an entire aircraft could simply vanish, let alone Dame Judi Dench, but this isn’t the first time something inexplicable has occurred on planet Spasm.

MYSTERY TIMELINE

  • 1937 – Aviatrix Emelia Earhart disappears over the Pacific
  • 1944 – Bandleader Glenn Miller and the Noorduyn Norseman aircraft vanishes over the English Channel
  • 1974 – Lord Lucan disappears after allegedly killing his childhood nanny with the lead piping in the basement
  • 1983 – European racehorse Shergar is stolen from stables in Ireland and never seen again
  • 1996 – The Spice Girls release Wannabee
Debbie McGee: Loves a bit of sausage

Debbie McGee: Loves a bit of sausage

So, how does an entire Boeing aircraft just vanish? The Spasm contacted Debbie McGee who once made Paul Daniels‘ sausage disappear. McGee told the Spasm “All you need is a dark room and a bit of a run-up”.

It certainly worked in Ghost The Musical, when Sam Wheat walks upstage at the end of the show and then seems to simply fade through the back wall.

In fact, the world of Show Business is full of disappearances, so could air accident investigators be about to turn to the world of entertainment for help?

Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow: Before disappearing up Simon Cowell's bottom

Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow: Before disappearing up Simon Cowell’s bottom

Simon Cowell seems to think so. Cowell, whose musical “I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical” is reporting poor sales, will now talk to anyone about anything so long as they mention his show. Cowell told The Spasm “They need to start searching in my back garden. It’s enormous. Easily big enough for a plane to land without anyone noticing.”

The impresario was admitted to a private hospital in Chelsea just last year for an emergency operation on his back garden. At first, surgeons suspected Haemorrhoids, but using special cameras, they soon discovered Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow had become wedged tight and had to be removed with special cutting tools and a fire engine.

Asked whether a Boeing 777 could be up there too, Cowell said “It’s certainly worth a look”.

Other theories include the possibility that Susan Boyle has eaten the aircraft. Boyle was recently seen eating what may have been Elaine Paige, and Stephanie Lawrence who also appeared in Cats disappeared some years ago at the same time as Boyle was visiting London. Police are now considering whether to move Anita Harris and Brian Blessed to a safe house in Crouch End.

SUBO: Is that a bit of aircraft?

SUBO: Is that a bit of aircraft?

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Ben Elton: Got the idea for We Will Rock You whilst on the toilet

Ben Elton: Got the idea for We Will Rock You whilst on the toilet

Sad news this week, Spasmodicals. Producers have announced that We Will Rock You will join the list of West End shows about to close, including From Here to Eternity and Stephen Ward.

We Will Rock You was the brainwave of Ben Elton who co-wrote Blackadder with Richard Curtis although some say that the genius of Blackadder was mainly Curtis and that Elton really only threw in a few turnip jokes. All we know is that We Will Rock You is packed full of wonderful Queen songs and if you overlook the dreadful dialogue and the odd joke about a turnip shaped like a thingy, it’s actually quite good fun.

If you really must see We Will Rock You before it closes for tickets:

Seat Prices

Monday – Saturday Evenings:
£90 (premium), £67, £57, £51, £46, £36 & £15 (standing)

Week Commencing 26th May 2014:
£90 (premium), £70 & £15 (standing)

Booking info available online at http://www.wewillrockyou.co.uk/

Or better still, the tkts booth in Leicester Square sells half price tickets most days.

MARTI WEBB: ALWAYS THERE

Godspell: The Original London Cast

Godspell: The Original London Cast

She’s at it again. Hot on the heels of her threesome with Don Black and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marti Webb has now agreed to spend a night with David Essex.

The starry pair will attend a one off charity gala of 1970s musical Godspell in aid of Make-A-Wish Foundation®UK. Godspell is based on parables from the New Testament gospels, but fortunately it’s not performed very often.

The show was written by Stephen Schwartz and opened at the Roundhouse Theatre in Chalk Farm on 17 November 1971. After a very successful run it transferred to the Wyndhams Theatre on 26 January 1972.

The gala performance will be attended by Essex, Webb and other original cast members on Monday 19 May: Tickets are on sale now at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

The 1970s cast also included:

  • Gay Soper, the voice of Pootle in the Flumps
  • Julie Covington (Not coming)
  • Jeremy Irons (Hopefully coming “subject to filming commitments”. In other words he’s not coming either)
Gay Soper: The voice of Pootle in The Flumps

Gay Soper: The voice of Pootle in The Flumps

OLIVIER AWARDS: 2014 NOMINEES REVEALED

Olivier Awards: 2014 Nominees Announced

Olivier Awards: 2014 Nominees Announced

The Olivier Award nominations are in. The awards were originally known as the Potties because the winners were presented with an enormous Wedgwood Toilet – helpful as you couldn’t get out of your seat during the 22 hour ceremony; everyone wanted to sit near a Potty winner.

These days the winners are presented with a solid bronze statuette depicting the young Olivier as Henry V at the Old Vic in 1937. Winners still need to have sturdy mantelpieces; each statue weighs 16kg.

OLIVIER FACTS:

  • In 2002 Martine McCutcheon won Best Actress in a Musical for playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. However, McCutcheon took the character’s name a little too literally, and through a combination of laziness and “being a celebrity” McCutcheon missed several shows and was replaced by Joanna Riding. The following year Riding won for her performance in the role. It is the only time the same award has been won for the same show in two successive years.
  • Matilda The Musical (2012) and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (2013) share the title for most awards won at one Oliviers ceremony, both winning an impressive seven awards.
  • If Shakespeare were alive today he would have seen his plays receive a total of 65 awards across performance and creative categories. Of course, he would now be 450 years old so would probably need a lie down.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: Original Cast waving goodbye to their chances of winning Best New Musical

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: Original Cast waving goodbye to their chances of winning Best New Musical

The 2014 Olivier Award nominations are in, and unfathomably, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory leads the nonimations. The show has been disappointing families since it opened in 2013 and includes a best supporting actor nomination for Nigel Planer who also appeared in We Will Rock You, Wicked and Chicago largely because casting director and producers wanted someone off the telly and Rowan Atkinson was too expensive.

This year’s Best New Musical nominees are:

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Roald Dahl’s hugely popular story ruined by a poorly written book and only slightly redeemed by garish costumes and Oompa-Loompas.

Once at the Phoenix Theatre

Enda Walsh’s adaptation of the film is charming London audiences with its bittersweet tale and folk/acoustic score. A love story to Dublin that cleverly avoids a schmaltzy ending.

The Book Of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Tony Award-winning satirical hit was one of last year’s most offensive and funny shows. Warm hearted and with a catchy – albeit filthy – score. Hurrah!

The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic

Kander and Ebb’s musical uses the loaded conventions of a minstrel show to tell the story of a group of young black men whose lives were destroyed by a false rape accusation.

The Olivier Awards will be held on Sunday 13th April at the Royal Opera House.

For the full details of this year’s nominees, visit www.olivierawards.com

SPASMALICIOUS GOSSIP NEXT WEEK

Kristin Chenoweth: Coming or going?

Kristin Chenoweth: Coming or going?

Kristin Chenoweth’s head “may be on the wrong way round” following botched cosmetic surgery.

If it's out, it's in!

If it’s out, it’s in!

JOHN TRAVOLTA INVENTS NEW LANGUAGE

TRAVOLTA: RAMA LAMA LAMA

TRAVOLTA: RAMA LAMA LAMA

Inspired by his good friend and fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise, John Travolta this week unveiled a new language he has been working on before an astonished world.

Many of the new words were only audible to dogs and other Scientologists, but a few were at a low enough frequency to be picked up by the TV cameras.

Specialist equipment brought in by the Sunday Spasm has now been able to decipher the entire speech which was encrypted inside normal, but meaningless, human language.

Transcript:
Hail fellow Lizard people. Be ready – the ships are coming. We will be meeting at half past four outside Taco Bell. All Lizards must follow the new Lizard Queen, Adele Dazeem. She is going to sing and when she sings she will use the letter “L” instead of “N” so you know it’s her.

It is a loosely guarded secret in celebrity circles that Travolta and other Scientologists like Cruise share interests including dressing up as Lizards and giving money to the church. However, although Cruise also tried to invent a language, he was unsuccessful because he was too small to hold a pen to write it down.

NICOLE KIDMAN: NOT A SCIENTOLOGIST

NICOLE KIDMAN: NOT A SCIENTOLOGIST

We tried to speak with Nicole Kidman who apparently did NOT say in a famous Tinseltown diner whilst still married to Cruise,

“I’ll have the pork…and he’ll have the waiter”

However, the Oscar© winning actress’s agent would not allow Kidman to speak with our reporters. The Spasm later learned from other media sources on the Red Carpet that Kidman was, in fact, not even at the Academy Awards© but had sent the robot from Stepford Wives in her place.

CHARLES MANSON: Scientology is "too crazy"

CHARLES MANSON: Scientology is “too crazy”

Other famous ex-scientologists and their supporters include former Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor Will Smith and serial killer Charles Manson who took Scientology classes and then murdered a bunch of people, after deciding that Scientology was “too crazy” for him.

Travolta admitted after the Academy Awards© ceremony that some other phrases from his new language may also have caused confusion over the years:

TRAVOLTAPEDIA

  • “Idina Menzel” = Adele Dazeem
  • “Rama lama lama ka dingitty dinga dong” = How much is the massage?
  • “Shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom” = Is the happy end included?
  • “Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop” = Please may I return this Lizard costume?

John Travolta is now releasing a 2014 version of his 1978 Hit “Sandy” with special lyrics from the new language. The Sunday Spasm has seen the new words with the song now provisionally titled “Driving Miss Dazeem”. Travolta had been eating kebabs and was “on the toilet” when the Spasm called, but colleages at The Scientologist said they hope the song will go one place higher than its first release, when it just failed to make the number one spot, though they admit that “the song is still a complete number two.”

Driving Miss Dazeem

ADELE DAZEEM: WE'RE OFF TO SEE THE LIZARD

ADELE DAZEEM: WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE LIZARD

Stranded at the Oscars
Branded a tool
Why do they say, “dyslexic fool?”

Miss Dazeem, weren’t you green? Were you in Gravity?
I saw you through the autocue
I’ve never heard of Glee…
I took a doze, my mind just froze
I stood and pondered why-yi-yi
Oh why, you’re so green, Adele Dazeem?

Oh Dazee’, baby someday when my massage is through
Somehow, someway, your name will be Tom Cruise
In heaven, forever with scientology
Oh please change your name oh Dazee’

Dazeem my darling, just had a shish kebab
You know it’s true
And baby you gotta believe me when I say “I’m hopelessly bloated”
Have to go, I’m fit to blow
I sit, I wonder why-yi-yi-yi
Why, you left glee oh Dazee’

Dazee’, Dazee’, why-yi-yi-yi-yi
Oh Dazeem

Merman: New DNA tests prove star was NOT part fish

Merman: New DNA tests prove star was NOT part fish

ETHEL MERMAN: I LIVED AS A WOMAN THROUGH KOREAN WAR

Dead musical theatre star Ethel Merman this week contacted the Sunday Spasm from beyond the grave. Merman, a shell-shocked male soldier who is convinced he is a famous Broadway Leading Lady, told our medium, Barry Spraggan

“That lucky star I talk about is due!
Honey, everything’s coming up roses for me and for you!”

MERMAN: Dead Popular

MERMAN: Dead Popular

Barry has been in regular contact with the spirit of Merman for some time and is currently working on a musical of the Soldier’s life, entitled The Book of Merman. The show tells the story of the young marine’s life in Korea at a time when Musical Theatre was outlawed. The young Merman prompted the US Military’s famous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Mama” policy and later went on to develop post dramatic stress and multiple personality disorders.

Merman became convinced that he was several different women including Annie Oakley, Dolly Levi, and socialite widow and US Ambassador to the fictional European country of Lichtenburg, Sally Adams.

MERMAN: Insisted soldiers "Call me madam" at gunpoint

MERMAN: Insisted soldiers “Call me madam” at gunpoint

Perhaps Merman’s most outrageous alter-ego was that of Mama Rose “the ultimate Showbusiness mother”. For a time, Merman travelled around the States, living as a gypsy before settling in New York in 1959.

The story inspired Foxy Sondheim’s son Stephen and funny girl Jule Styne to write a musical and, unable to think of a better name, they called the show “Gypsy”.

SONDHEIM: Friend of Dorothy Fields

SONDHEIM: Friend of Dorothy Fields

News has reached the Sunday Spasm that this autumn, Merman’s Mama Rose years will be recreated on stage in “Gypsy” by the glorious Imelda Staunton (Comrades, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore) as part of the Chichester Festival. Staunton teams up with Spasm favourite Lara Pulver and TV’s Kevin Whately (Lewis, ITV) who is making his Chichester debut as Herbie.

GYPSY: That's How Burlesque Was Born

GYPSY: That’s How Burlesque Was Born

Gypsy runs at the Chichester Festival Theatre from 6 Oct – 8 Nov 2014.

TO BOOK, visit http://www.cft.org.uk/gypsy

HARRY STYLES: WAND ERECTION

WICKED: SUBSTANCE OVER STYLES

WICKED: SUBSTANCE OVER STYLES

Talk about Wand ErectionHarry Styles could soon be swapping lip-synching for acting as he is being lined up to ruin a movie version of stage show Wicked.

Styles crashed Freida Spongepants’ exclusive pre-Oscars bash last weekend in Joe Allen’s and now rumours are rife in Theatreland that the pube-headed nuisance made a big impression with musical bosses – including Spongepants.

‘Harry is very focused on his pop career but there’s a real buzz about him. Movie makers see him as a new Chesney Hawkes and think he would be a perfect casting for a movie musical,’ a source told our friends at The Sun.

‘He’s top of the Wicked team’s wish list to play the romantic lead role of Fiyero – who becomes The Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. His hair would be perfect’

ONE DIRECTION: The boys are tiny in person

ONE DIRECTION: The boys are tiny in person

And Spongepants apparently told the publication that she’s keen to make Harry a Hollywood star too, adding: ‘First he’s got to date my sister, Maria. She’s desperate.’

One Direction fans were left fearing what the future now holds for the manufactured band. Mega-fan and simpleton Katerina Poopoopsi said “One Direction is five people. If Harry leaves, then what does that mean for the other three?”

SPASMALICIOUS GOSSIP NEXT WEEK

SUBO: I ate the cast of Cats

SUBO: Where is the cast of Cats?

Susan Boyle “may have eaten Elaine Paige”.