Hold the front page as Newsies is about to make big headlines in London, as Disney’s award-winning musical crosses over the pond to make its U.K. debut in November at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. The true story of the strike by New York newsboys first became a beloved stage show back in 2011, and its invigorating choreography and catchy tunes have since earned Newsies an army of “fansies” all around the world but what exactly is all the fuss all about? Here’s a quick guide to all things ‘Newsies.’
What is the Newsies musical about?
Newsies is the amazing true story of how a group of young newspaper boys took on one of the most powerful news magnates on the planet and managed to change the future of workers’ rights. Based on the real newsboys’ strike of 1899, the show follows the fortunes of teenager Jack Kelly and his fellow newsboys as they go out on strike against the powerful publisher Joseph Pulitzer, after he suddenly hikes up the money he charges them just to work. The Newsies decided to make a stand and go on strike, and before long their small, unofficial union became the frontrunners of a citywide movement.
Which theatre is Newsies playing at?
Newsies will showcase at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre which is located close to Wembley Park Station at 3 Fulton Road in London, HA9 0SP. The purpose built venue has a 2,000-seat capacity with seating in the round and the audience surrounding the stage on multiple sides to accommodate the production. Due to the layout of the theatre there is very little restricted view seating however there are several different price bands so to get maximum value for money it is recommended that patrons study the seating plan in detail prior to purchase as exploiting the cut off points can benefit bargain hunters looking to secure cheap tickets to Newsies. There is also value to be had by booking tickets to midweek and off peak performances where ticket prices are slightly lower than at weekends or during peak times such as school holidays
How long is the Newsies musical?
The duration of Newsies is 2 hours and 30 minutes, which includes an interval.
What days will Newsies play?
Newsies will run in London from November 29th to February 19th and will play up until January 1st from Tuesday through Sunday, with no performances on Mondays or on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. From January 2nd onwards, the show will perform from Wednesday through Sunday, with no performances on either Mondays or Tuesdays.
When did the Newsies musical premiere?
The story of Newsies was showcased as a movie in 1992 starring Christian Bale starring as ‘Jack Kelly’ before being adapted for the stage nearly two decades later. The Disney movie musical Newsies premiered with Kenny Ortega making his debut as a film director and also choreographing. Initially, the movie flopped but later began to gain a cult following.
In 2010 The first workshop was held for the Newsies stage musical had its world-premiere at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011. The pre-Broadway production of the musical ran for just three weeks, but received widespread acclaim.
In 2012: Newsies finally opened on Broadway featuring much of the Paper Mill cast and ran at the Nederlander Theatre for two years winning two Tony Awards.
After closing on Broadway in 2014, Newsies embarked on a tour throughout North America which ran until 2017, playing a total of 784 performances in 65 cities finishing with a special performance in Hollywood at the Pantages Theatre in 2017. That special show featured multiple lead actors hailing from the original Broadway cast, alongside touring company members and was filmed and shown in movie theatres before being released on Netflix and later Disney+.
Newsies celebrated the 10th anniversary of its premiere on Broadway in March 2022 with multiple members of its Broadway and touring productions performing a special New York concert in honour of the milestone.
Newsies will now make its U.K. debut at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in November 2022.
Who wrote the musical Newsies?
Newsies has a book by Harvey Fierstein who is a multi-award-winning writer and actor who also wrote the musicals ‘La Cage aux Folles’ and ‘Kinky Boots’, and wrote a new script for the musical ‘Funny Girl’.
The songs featured in both the movie and stage versions of Newsies were written by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman. The duo edited a multiple of the songs in the movie adapted them to suit the musical. Menken is best known for composing songs for several other Disney musicals on screen and stage including ‘Aladdin’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘The Little Mermaid’. Newsies is to date Feldman’s only stage credit, but he has also written songs for Disney movies such as ‘A Goofy Movie’ and ‘Oliver & Company’.
Who is in the London cast of Newsies?
The Newsies cast in London is led by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay who takes on the role of Jack Kelly. He is joined by Bronté Barbé as Katherine Plumber, Moya Angela as Medda Larkin, Matthew Duckett as Crutchie, Ryan Kopel as Davey, and Cameron Blakely as Joseph Pulitzer.
The rest of the cast is made up of Sion Lloyd as Bunsen, Samuel Bailey as Specs, Josh Barnett as Race, Matt Trevorrow as Henry, Jack Bromage as Tommy Boy, Jamie Golding as Wiesel, Arcangelo Ciulla as Ike, Jacob Fisher as Albert, Damon Gould as Finch, Alex Christian as Buttons, George Crawford as Morris Delancey, Ross Dawes as Snyder, Joshua Denyer as Mush, Ross Dorrington as Splasher, George Michaelides as Romeo, Mukeni Nel as Jo Jo, Joshua Nkemdilim as Elmer, Mark Samaras as Mike, Alex James-Hatton as Oscar Delancey, and Barry Keenan as Nunzio. Ethan Sokontwe, Oliver Gordon, Nesim Adnan, and Haydn Court, will alternate as Les.
Lindsay Atherton, Clarice Julianda , Lillie-Pearl Wildman, Kamilla Fernandes, and Bobbie Chambers make up the ensemble. Zack Guest, Bradley Trevethan, Jordan Isaac, and Imogen Bailey, are swings.
Who are the main Newsies characters?
The main characters in Newsies feature both the newsies themselves along with high ranking figures from the newspaper world at the time.
Jack Kelly: A New York newsboy who leads his colleagues in the strike. Jack longs to escape the city to find a better life in Santa Fe, but hesitates after falling in love with Katherine. Jack is loosely based on the real-life strike leader ‘Kid’ Blink.
Joseph Pulitzer: The very rich and powerful publisher of the New York World. The newsies went on strike against him for raising the prices of his newspapers which they must buy first in order to resell them.
Katherine Plumber: A reporter working for the New York Sun, a newspaper uninvolved in the strike. Katherine wants to be taken seriously as a reporter, and covering the newsies’ strike is her first major scoop. Along the way, she gets close and falls for Jack.
Davey Jacobs: A newsie who works with his little brother, Les but reluctantly becomes Jack’s right-hand man and the brains behind the strike.
Crutchie: A close friend of Jack and a newsboy who uses a crutch.
Medda Larkin: A New York vaudeville singer and Jack’s friend. Jack paints backdrops for her vaudeville shows, and in return, she offers him refuge at the theatre she owns when he needs it.
What are the songs featured in Newsies?
The Newsies musical features 17 songs including all the major songs from the movie along with multiple tracks specifically written for the stage show. All the songs in Newsies are listed here.
Santa Fe (Prologue)
Carrying the Banner
The Bottom Line
Never Planned on You/Don’t Come A-Knocking / I Never Planned on You – Jack, Katherine, Bowery Beauties
The World Will Know
Watch What Happens
Seize the Day
King of New York
Watch What Happens (Reprise)
The Bottom Line (Reprise)
Something to Believe In
Seize the Day (Reprise)
Once and for All
Finale – Company
Has Newsies won any awards?
The Newsies musical has won multiple awards in the States. Here are the major awards Newsies has won and been nominated for.
Tony Awards: Newsies won the 2012 Tony Awards for ‘Best Original Score’ and ‘Best Choreography’. The show received six additional nominations, including ‘Best Musical’, ‘Best Book of a Musical’, and ‘Best Direction’.
Drama Desk Awards: Newsies also achieved success at new York’s Drama Desk Awards, winning ‘Outstanding Choreography’ and ‘Outstanding Music’ and received four other nominations, including ‘Outstanding Musical’.
Grammy Awards: The musical score for Newsies was nominated for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’
Some fun facts about the Newsies musical
Fans of the Newsies musical have been named “fansies.”
After Newsies eventually closed on Broadway, a new song was penned for the touring production: “Letter From the Refuge,” sung by Crutchie which is now included in all productions.
Both the movie and musical are based on the real 1899 New York newsboys’ strike which was led by young newsboys ‘Kid’ Blink and David Simmons, and saw newspaper sellers across the city going on strike to protest about unfair pay. The actual strike lasted two weeks.
Other fictional characters featured in the show also take their inspiration from real-life: Jack’s right-hand man, Davey who is the brains behind the strike, has a similar name to the real-life president of the union David Simmons, and Katherine is named for Joseph Pulitzer’s daughter. There are also multiple characters in the show that are named after real-life newsboys who took part in the 1899 strike, including Spot Conlon, Racetrack Higgins, and Mush Meyers.
How to Book Newsies tickets
Roll up, roll up, it’s the time to seize the day and book tickets to see Newsies in London. The world will soon know that Newsies is going to be the ‘must-see’ show this winter, so book your seats now and don’t miss this beloved, high-energy musical. Tickets are now available to book online from Theatretickets-London.co.uk for this unmissable new musical