Friday, 30 October 2015

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Sugababe Jade Ewen is on the Aladdin wish list: Singer could play Princess Jasmine in new Disney stage show

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Sugababe Jade Ewen is on the Aladdin wish list: Singer could play Princess Jasmine in new Disney stage show

Whole new world: Jade Ewen is in early negotiations to play Princess Jasmine in the Disney musical Aladdin
Whole new world: Jade Ewen is in early negotiations to play Princess Jasmine in the Disney musical Aladdin
It's going to be a whole new world for former Sugababes singer Jade Ewen and West End actor Dean John-Wilson.
The pair are in early negotiations to play the lead roles in the Disney musical Aladdin.
If cast, they will feature in one of the musical’s most exciting scenes: singing the annoyingly addictive A Whole New World as they fly across the stage on a magic carpet (conjured up by designer Bob Crowley, illusion creator Jim Steinmeyer and special effects guru Jeremy Chernick).
Provided that terms are agreed, Ms Ewen — who is scorching as wannabe hair stylist Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hot salsa musical In The Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre — will play Princess Jasmine, who becomes entangled with the seemingly unsuitable street hunk Aladdin.
And should the early talks progress, John-Wilson (right) will play the eponymous hero.
Trevor Dion Nicholas, who is in the Broadway production, has been cast as Genie by Disney theatre chief Thomas Schumacher and Aladdin director Casey Nicholaw. 
Genie was the role that Robin Williams gave voice to in the hugely successful 1992 animated movie.
A spokesman for the show said he was unable to confirm whether Ewen and John-Wilson were in discussions.
‘Deals aren’t done and we won’t be announcing the full cast for some time,’ the spokesman added.
I’m guessing a lamp will be rubbed and names will emerge, amid puffs of smoke, around November 23, when tickets go on general sale (though you can buy seats now if you sign up for priority booking at
John-Wilson, a star in the making, played Benigno Aquino in the brilliant David Byrne and Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, which opened the new Dorfman space at the National Theatre last autumn.
And Ewen is Disney family . . . sort of. When she was still a student at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London’s Marylebone, she won the role of the young Nala in The Lion King.
Aladdin will begin performances at the Prince Edward on May 27, with an official first night on June 9.
Disney hero: Should the early talks progress, Dean John-Wilson (pictured with Cynthia Erivo at the Kinky Boots after party in September) will take the title role of Aladdin
Disney hero: Should the early talks progress, Dean John-Wilson (pictured with Cynthia Erivo at the Kinky Boots after party in September) will take the title role of Aladdin

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Jade and Dionne Bromfield on Gaby Roslin's Sunday 18.10.15 show- Radio London

Click the link to listen to Jade and Dionne from 07.00 till 38.20

With Dionne Bromfield and Will Young

Listen in pop-out player
Will Young live in the studio, Bill Willbond and Martha Howes chat about ‘Bill The Movie’ plus live music from Nell Bryden and Jade Ewen.

Release date:

28 days left to listen
3 hours

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

In Rehearsal - In The Heights - officiallondontheatre


Reporter: Kate Stanbury, first published Wed 30 Sep 2015 13:42

In The Heights will be hip hopping its way to the King’s Cross Theatre next month, but the company seems to have chosen are rather more ecclesiastical setting for its rehearsals.
Praying, however, is unlikely to be needed to secure the hip-hop and Latin-inspired musical’s success. With a quartet of Tony Awards under its belt from Broadway and a string of impressive reviews for its run at Southwark Playhouse, not to mention original London cast members David Bedella, Josie Benson and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt reprising their roles, we’re pretty sure that’s a given.
Judging by the smiles on the faces of some of the cast members caught on camera by photographer Robert Workman as he snuck into rehearsals for the show’s transfer, they already knew that.
The musical tale of one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities, which explores what it takes to make a living and what it costs to have a dream, will play a four-week season at the venue from 3 October to 1 November.
We don’t mean to preach to the probably-already-converted here, but we’d say it’s probably worth buying a ticket. You can do that through us!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

In The Heights: Interview with Jade Ewen - London Calling

In The Heights: Interview with Jade Ewen

30 September 2015 |


Ryan Ormonde Entertainment Interviews

Image Credit: Robert Workman

Image Credit: Robert Workman
Image credit: Robert Workman
Image credit: Robert Workman
In The Heights, an American musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes, has won four Tony awards and a Grammy and has been produced all over the world. Following a successful run at Southwark Playhouse last year, it returns to London with a limited run at King’s Cross Theatre, where Jade Ewen joins the cast. Here, Jade talks to London Calling about the show, her career and growing up in London.

It was through an association with musical theatre that Jade Ewen was first brought to public attention – a rather big association, in fact. In 2009, Andrew Lloyd Webber had been roped in to write a song in our annual desperate attempt to win the Eurovision Song Contest, and he accompanied Ewen on piano as she sang at the live final. Placed fifth, she is still our most successful Eurovision act in over a decade. A Sylvia Young Theatre School pupil who won the role of Nala in the West End production of The Lion King at the age of 12, Ewen was more prepared for this high drama experience than most. Indeed, as she tells London Calling while on a break from rehearsals for the forthcoming musical In The Heights, it’s onstage where she is most comfortable, where “everything makes sense”.
Lin-Manuel Miranda started working on In The Heights while he was still a student in Connecticut in the late 90s. Based on his own experiences of growing up in Washington Heights, New York, the musical was his love letter to a deprived yet often joyous and ethnically diverse city neighbourhood. Promising Philadelphia born playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes drew on her own inner-city experiences when she was brought in to write the book a few years later. Does Ewen relate to her character Vanessa, a dreamer who wants a better life? “Oh absolutely, yes of course, because she’s from an underprivileged background, she lives in the ghetto, she feels like she wants more, she has bigger aspirations and she just wants to get out. She’s very strong and determined and focused, she’s got this fighting spirit; she’s quite sassy. It’s very easy for me to step into her shoes because so much of her character is me.”
Ewen grew up in Plaistow (pronounced ‘Plah-stow’ for anyone not in the know). What are her memories of the area? “My childhood is very mixed because I grew up in Plaistow and literally on a council estate. I remember going to primary school with my dad. He can’t see, he has a guide dog, so everyone in our area knew us. We’d be running behind him to school because him and the dog would be walking so fast!” A scholarship to Sylvia Young was the first of many twists and turns in her career: “I went from being in a primary school that had no uniforms to having to wear a blazer and a tie, getting on the tube to Baker Street, being in the middle of central London in a really posh private school, dancing every day and then coming back home.”
There is something very ‘big city’ about this contrast, and Ewen thinks this connects to the appeal of the show. “It doesn’t really matter that it’s about a Latino community (a friend helped her with her ‘Jennifer Lopez New York/Latino accent’) - it’s [relatable for] anybody that’s from a city. There are so many cultural influences, it’s all about family and aspiration.” She has always felt the push and pull of various cultures: “Caribbean culture is really strong, and my dad’s Sicilian, so I’m always somewhere in the middle, just trying to stay afloat!”
Ewen’s career path has hardly been linear. Television roles followed her early success in The Lion King, while a few pre-Lloyd-Webber attempts at pop stardom left her in A&R limbo with girl group Trinity Stone for a couple of years. Then after Eurovision, another all-female pop group came knocking on her door: one of the most successful of all time. Ewen is still technically a member of the Sugababes, but perhaps she arrived a bit late to the party, just prior to their indefinite hiatus. Her future in musical theatre seems more secure: next year sees her join the cast of a revival of Godspell.
Are these twists and turns all part of the same plan? “I think I’ve gone backwards and forwards with that and I think part of me - maybe this is the performer - always wants to be in control. Actually you’re not in control at all! The only moment you can take control is when you’re on stage delivering those lines, or the song. I was just stressing out, like ‘No, I need to be like this’, and you need to be able to just accept change. So right now I don’t really have a plan - I’m just going from one experience to the next. There is a plan ultimately out there; I don’t know what it is yet, I don’t need to know. But I’m just going to go with it.”
In The Heights opens this weekend at the King’s Cross Theatre. To book tickets, see website.