Menier Chocolate Factory: Samuel Barnett and Declan Bennett join Kiss Of The Spider Woman

Kiss of the Spider Woman


Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kiss of the Spider Woman

The Menier Chocolate Factory, in association with Darren Bagert, today announced that Samuel Barnett (Molina) and Declan Bennett(Valentin) join the company of their new production of Manuel Puig’s ground-breaking novel Kiss of the Spider Woman in a new adaptation by José Rivera and Allan BakerLaurie Sansom directs this iconic play, making his Menier debut. The production opens on 21 March, with previews from 8 March, and runs until 5 May.

A provocative tale of love, victimisation, fantasy and the friendship that develops between two strikingly different men imprisoned together in a Latin American jail.

Samuel Barnett plays Molina – he returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory having previously appeared in Dealer’s Choice (also West End). His theatre credits for the National Theatre include The Beaux’ StratagemWomen Beware WomenThe History Boys (original cast, also Broadway – Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play), His Dark Materials. Other theatre work includes Twelfth NightRichard III (Shakespeare’s Globe/Apollo Theatre/Belasco Theater), The Way The World (Sheffield Theatres), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Chichester Festival Theatre/Theatre Royal Haymarket), 66 BooksThe Whiskey Taster, When You Cure Me (Bush Theatre), Accrington Pals (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Notes From New York (Arts Theatre). His television credits include  the title role in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective AgencyPenny DreadfulTwenty TwelveEndeavour, and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps; and for film, The Lady in the VanJupiter Ascending,Bright Star, The History Boys and Mrs Henderson Presents.

Declan Bennett plays Valentin. His theatre credits include the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Once(Phoenix Theatre – originating the role of Guy), American Idiot (St. James Theatre, Broadway/Berkeley Rep), Rent (Nederlander Theatre, Broadway/US tour), Taboo (The Venue/UK tour), It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow and Our Day Out (Belgrade Theatre). For television his credits include as series regular Charlie Cotton in EastEnders; and for film, Inside Llewyn Davis.

Manuel Puig (1932-1990) was an Argentinian novelist, playwright and screenwriter. His other major novels include Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, Heartbreak Tango and The Buenos Aires Affair; and his plays include Under a Mantle of Stars: A Play in Two Acts.

José Rivera is a playwright and screenwriter. His work for the theatre includes Marisol, Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and Sonnets for and Old Century. He has won two Obie Awards for playwriting, a Kennedy Center Fund for New American plays Grant, a Fulbright Arts Fellowship in playwriting, a Whiting Award, a McKnight Fellowship, the 2005 Norman Lear Writing Award, a 2005 Impact Award and a Berilla Kerr Playwriting Award. As a screenwriter, he is perhaps best known for The Motorcycle Diaries for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Allan Baker’s first translation was Kiss of the Spider Woman. He also did the adaptation and screenplay of Storia di una Capinera (Sparrow). His television work includes Dead EntryAliens in the FamilyJust William, and El Tránsfuga.

Laurie Sansom directs – making his Menier debut. He was previously Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal and Derngate in Northampton. His work includes for the National Theatre: The Driver’s Seat, The James Plays, The Holy Rosenbergs, Spring Storm, Beyond the Horizon (also Royal and Derngate – TMA Award and Evening Standard nomination for Best Director); for Royal and Derngate, One for the Road, Hedda Gabler, Blood Wedding, The Bacchae, Eden End, Spring Storm, The Duchess of Malfi, My Zinc Bed, The Prime for Miss Jean Brodie and Follies; and Frankie and Tommy (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Garrick Theatre), Villette, Playing God, Inglorious Technicolour, Soap, I Ought to be in Pictures and Spittin’ Distance (Assembly Rooms).

Listings Information                                                                                                      Kiss of the Spider Woman

Venue:                                Menier Chocolate Factory

Address:                             53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Press performance:         21 March at 8pm

Dates:                                 8 March – 5 May

Times:                                Tue – Sat 8pm, matinees Sat and Sun 3.30pm (no matinee on 10 March)

Box Office:                         020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)

Website:               (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)


Rehearsals begin for The Great Wave

The Great Wave

The Great Wave

On a Japanese beach, teenage sisters Hanako (Kirsty Rider) and Reiko (Kae Alexander) are caught up in a storm. Reiko survives while Hanako is lost to the sea. Their mother (Rosalind Chao), however, can’t shake the feeling that her missing daughter is still alive, and soon family tragedy takes on a global political dimension. Set in Japan and North Korea, Francis Turnly’s epic new thriller is directed by Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre Indhu Rubasingham in a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre.

Cast includes Kae AlexanderRosalind ChaoTuyen DoVincent LaiKwong LokeFrances Mayli McCannKirsty RiderLeo Wan and David Yip. Design by Tom Piper, video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, music by David Shrubsole, sound design by Alex Caplen, movement direction by Polly Bennett and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Developed, while on a Channel 4 playwriting bursary at the Tricycle, The Great Wave won the Catherine Johnson Best Play Award in 2016.

Rosalind Chao is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

Mercury Theatre Colchester and Tbo Productions announce brand new musical Pieces Of String

Gus Gowland
Gus Gowland

Gus Gowland

Mercury Theatre Colchester and TBO Productions today announced the world première of the brand-new musical – Pieces of String with book, music and lyrics by Gus Gowland. The production, directed by Ryan McBryde and designed by 2017 Linbury Prize Finalist Fin Redshaw, opens on 27 April at the Mercury, with previews from 20 April and runs until 5 May.

When Jane returns from her father’s funeral to start clearing the house she grew up in – packing away the family photographs, closing a chapter – she isn’t prepared for the untold story she’s about to discover threaded through her past, a story that threatens to unravel her relationship with her own children and shake her understanding of who she is.

A new musical set simultaneously in the 1940s and in the present day, Pieces Of String tells how Jane’s father, Edward, came back from the Second World War with a secret that would change his life forever – a secret that he would carry until the day he died.

With hauntingly beautiful music and a heart-rending human story, Pieces Of String is a tender, funny, emotionally-charged exploration of how three generations of one family learn to deal with a story that nobody’s been brave enough to tell until today.

Times may have changed but some battles still need to be fought.

Gus Gowland. Book, Music and Lyrics.

Most recently Gowland wrote a short musical, Sick!, which was performed at LOST Theatre as part of Accidents & Emergencies, while his short play Clocks & Teapots was performed at Rada Studios and the London Transport Museum as part of London Omnibus. He co-wrote and directed Barren, Love Love Love (Canadian Fringe Tour) and wrote and performed in Tell Me on A Thursday at the Camden Fringe and wrote two songs for Copyright Christmas, for Olivier Award-winning theatre collective Duckie at the Barbican. He has also produced and directed a season of Miniscule Musicals at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, one of which was performed at the Duckie 10th anniversary birthday party at South Bank Centre and he also co-wrote the song Home, with Alistair Brammer for the MAD Trust album – The West End Goes MAD for Christmas. Gowland was shortlisted for the inaugural Perfect Pitch award in 2013 and his songs Take Me Back and Turning Stones have been shortlisted for the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Award. In addition, he was also one of 5 music industry experts to form the UK jury for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014.

Ryan McBryde directs. His credits include The Invisible Man (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch), Before the Party, Cinderella, Jack And The Beanstalk (Salisbury Playhouse) Faust I, 1984, Spring Awakening and The Crucible (Schauspielbühnen, Stuttgart), Angus, Thongs and Even More Snogging (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Hamlet – The Musical (Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Richmond Playhouse), Saturday Night Fever (Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour), The House of Mirrors and Hearts and The Jabberwocky (Arcola Theatre), A Day at the Racists (Finborough Theatre), The RSC’s 50th Anniversary Gala (RSC), On the 20th Century (Union Theatre), The Life, The Ruling Class, Sweet Charity, Spring Awakening – The Musical, The Who’s Tommy, The Full Monty, Hysteria, Hair, Deathtrap and The Fox (The English Theatre, Frankfurt).

Production supported by the Linbury Trust


The Mercury Theatre Colchester is the most active producing theatre in East Anglia and is a vital centre of excellence in the East’s growing creative economy. The Mercury exists to put theatre at the heart of the community it serves and to make work in Colchester that reaches audiences and generates critical attention regionally and nationally. The Mercury is a champion of regional arts, both as an active co-producer with other venues and companies and also touring our own productions to audiences across the UK. On-site production and workshop facilities create sets, props and costumes for both for in-house productions and touring companies, including the National Theatre.



TBO Productions have produced a veritable smorgasbord of productions Rhinestone Mondays (UK Tour), Haunting Julia (UK tour), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), Sherlock Holmes – The Best Kept Secret (UK tour), September In The Rain (UK tour), Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be(Theatre Royal Stratford East), April in Paris (UK tour), The A-Z of Mrs P (Southwark Playhouse). Recent productions have included, Associate Producers & General Managers for Harvey (Birmingham Repertory Theatre / Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Buskers Opera (Park Theatre),Tap factory (UK tour), Mindgame (UK tour). Their latest production, Son of a Preacher Man is currently on a nationwide UK tour.



Perfect Pitch, supported by Arts Council England, is currently the only non-profit theatre company in the UK dedicated exclusively to creating, developing, producing and promoting new contemporary British musicals. Their mission is to create a high standard of new British musical theatre that reflects and connects with today’s diverse and contemporary Britain. Perfect Pitch aim to predominantly work with artists whose work is contemporary, challenging and innovative. Musicals that could break boundaries and help us develop an audience’s perception of what the musical theatre art form can be. They work in partnership and collaboration with venues, writers, producers and creatives all over the UK and beyond.


Listings Information                                                                                                                       Pieces of String

20 April – 5 May

Press night: 27 April, 7.30pm

Performance times vary

Tickets £12 – £27 & discounts

01206 573948

Cast of Titanic The Musical Announced

Titanic The Musical. Photo by Scott Rylander
Titanic The Musical. Photo by Scott Rylander

Titanic The Musical. Photo by Scott Rylander

Casting has been confirmed for the first ever UK & Ireland Tour of Titanic The Musical. Directed by returning director Thom Southerland, 25 actors from across the country will take the production on its maiden UK and Ireland tour, to visit the cities and communities whose forebears built, manned and sailed on the famous ship. The tour will start at Mayflower Theatre from 12 April – 21 April 2017.

The press night performance will be held in Southampton on 17th April, in the same city from which the RMS Titanic set sail.

In the final hour of 14th April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and ‘the unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic and infamous disasters of the 20th Century. 1517 men, women and children lost their lives.

Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s stunning musical focuses on their hopes and aspirations. Unaware of the fate that awaits them, the Third Class immigrants dream of a better life in America, the newly-enfranchised Second Class dream of achieving the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and the millionaire Barons of the First Class dream of their mastery lasting forever.

The cast will feature eleven actors returning from Titanic The Musical’s performances at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Southwark Playhouse and Charing Cross Theatre. The cast includes Alistair Barron (Titanic The Musical, Bumblescratch), Kieran Brown (The Phantom of the Opera, Chess), Greg Castiglioni (Titanic The Musical, Fiddler on the Roof), Lewis Cornay (The Break, Brothers), Alexander Evans (Eugenius, The Sound of Music), Simon Green (Titanic The Musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Emma Harrold (Cinderella, The Sound of Music), Devon-Elise Johnson (Half a Sixpence, Mamma Mia), Claire Machin (Titanic The Musical, The Girls), Claire Marlowe (Titanic The Musical, The Importance of Being Earnest), Oliver Marshall as Bride (Blondel, Forty Years On), Matthew McDonald (Death Take a Holiday, A Christmas Carol), Chris McGuigan (Bananaman The Musical, West Side Story), Matthew McKenna (Bananaman The Musical, 42nd Street), Gemma McMeel (Big Fish, Royal Variety Performance), Janet Mooney (The Woman in White, The Braille Legacy), Joel Parnis (My Fair Lady, Les Miserables), Timothy Quinlan (Jersey Boys, Mack & Mabel), Philip Rham (Titanic The Musical, Dr Korczak’s Example), Dudley Rogers (Titanic The Musical, A Christmas Carol), Victoria Serra (Titanic The Musical, Mamma Mia), Niall Sheehy (Titanic The Musical, Miss Saigon), Judith Street (Titanic The Musical, The Girls) and Stephen Webb (Rothschild & Sons, Jersey Boys) & Samuel J Weir (Common, The Caucasian Chalk Circle).

Maury Yeston commented on the cast of the UK tour: “The idea that a troupe of actors will tour this show in the UK, birthplace of the ship, where the workers of Belfast, the cabin boys and maids and stewards from Liverpool, the officers and crew, the stokers and stevedores from the Midlands all created a miraculous floating city, means more to me than I can say. I am touched that, musically, Titanic will finally be coming home, sung by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of its builders – touched, and forever grateful.”

Opening at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton in April 2018, the critically acclaimed, multi award-winning production will transfer straight to Belfast, where the ship was constructed. From there, Titanic The Musical will visit 13 theatres nationwide.

“It’s an evening both shattering and gorgeous…

The day after seeing it, I went back to see it again. It’s that good.”

★★★★★ The Times

Having received its UK premiere in 2013 at Southwark Playhouse, the production returned to London in 2016 for an 11-week season at the Charing Cross Theatre, where it won overwhelming critical acclaim.

Titanic The Musical has music and lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel, Phantom) and a book by Peter Stone (Woman of the Year and 1776). The pair have collectively won, including their previous works, an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, an Olivier Award and three Tony Awards for their works. The original Broadway production of Titanic The Musical won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

Titanic The Musical is produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M Levy and Vaughan Williams, in association with Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.


Alistair Barron as Lightoller

Kieran Brown as Murdoch

Greg Castiglioni as Andrews

Lewis Cornay as Bellboy/Hartley

Simon Green as Ismay

Emma Harrold as Kate Mullins

Devon-Elise Johnson as Kate Murphy

Claire Machin as Alice Beane

Claire Marlowe as Lady Caroline

Oliver Marshall as Bride

Chris McGuigan as Jim Farrell

Matthew McKenna as Pitman/Etches

Joel Parnis as Fleet

Timothy Quinlan as Edgar Beane

Philip Rham as Captain Smith

Dudley Rogers as Isidor Straus

Victoria Serra as Kate McGowan

Niall Sheehy as Barrett

Judith Street as Ida Straus

Stephen Webb as Charles Clarke

Ensemble includes Alexander Evans, Matthew McDonald, Gemma McMeel, Janet Mooney & Samuel J Weir.

Tickets for Titanic The Musical (Thursday 12 – Saturday 21 April 2018) via Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833



COMPETITION: Win 2 x tickets to three new plays (total 6 tickets) from Paines Plough’ Roundabout

Win 2 x tickets to Paines Plough Roundabout’s three new plays in repertoire, direct from critically acclaimed performances in Edinburgh and a nationwide tour at Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. 

 The three new plays for which you can win tickets:

  1. Out of Love by Elinor Cook
  2. Black Mountain by Brad Birch
  3. How To be A Kid by Sarah McDonald Hughes

2x tickets for each play to be won, therefore 3 winners.

Competition closes on Wednesday 7 February at 12 noon. 

Sign up below to enter the lucky draw.


The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards


First Look: Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in Long Day’s Journey Into Night

First photos of SHEILA HANCOCK and BILL MILNER in the UK premiere of Harold and Maude

“I’d loved the film all those years ago but I thought: ‘Oh blimey, old lady having affair with young man. Don’t think so!’ But the more I read, the more I liked what it was saying about the relationship between young and old, something I feel very strongly about.”

She tells today’s Daily Telegraph: “The theme is that love has no rules. I’m sure everyone will make a fuss about the tiny bit of sex in the story. I understand that: Harold is 18, Maude is 80. And yes, their relationship is consummated. But there’s a marvellous speech about building bridges rather than walls and that seems so pertinent with Trump in the White House.” 

Olivier Award-winning West End star Sheila Hancock and Bill Milner (Dunkirk, X-Men: First Class, Son of Rambow) are to star in the London premiere of the black comedy romantic drama Harold and Maude.

Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins reunites Sheila with director Thom Southerland after their acclaimed sold-out success with the UK premiere of the musical Grey Gardens in 2016.

It will premiere at Charing Cross Theatre, Thom Southerland, Artistic Director, Steven M. Levy, Managing Director, from Monday 19 Februaryand run for a strictly limited run of 6 weeks to Saturday 31 March.

Press Night is Monday 26 February 2018 at 7.30pm.

Harold and Maude is an idiosyncratic romantic fable told though the eyes of the most unlikely pairing: a compulsive, self-destructive young man and a devil-may-care, septuagenarian bohemian. Dame Marjorie “Maude” Chardin (Sheila Hancock), is a free spirit who wears her hair in braids, believes in living each day to its fullest, and “trying something new every day”. Harold Parker Chasen (Bill Milner) is an 18-year-old man who is obsessed with death, attends funerals of strangers for entertainment and stages elaborate fake suicides. Through meeting Maude at a funeral, he discovers joy in living for the first time. Part dark comedy and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with ones that separate people by class, gender and age.

The cast also includes Anthony Cable (The Woman in White, Death Takes a Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre), Rebecca Caine (Flowers For Mrs Harris,Crucible Sheffield, Christine, The Phantom Of The Opera, Cosette in the original cast of Les Miserables), Christopher Dickins (Ragtime, Charing Cross Theatre, War Horse, National Theatre), Joanna Hickman (Off West End Award Best Supporting Actress nominee for Ragtime, Charing Cross Theatre), Samuel Townsend (84 Charing Cross Road, Cambridge Arts Theatre), Anne White (Love in the Past Participle, The Other Palace), Johnson Willis (Dido Queen of Carthage, Salome, RSC).

Creative team: Director Thom Southerland, Designer Francis O’Connor, Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman, Lighting Designer Matt Clutterham, Sound Designer Andrew Johnson, Composer Michael Bruce, Casting Stephen Crockett for David Grindrod Associates.

Artistic Director of Charing Cross Theatre, Thom Southerland said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Colin Higgins’ masterpiece Harold and Maude to Charing Cross Theatre for its first ever London production. I am honoured and delighted to be teaming up again with Sheila Hancock on this incredible piece, which dares us to think beyond the obvious.”

Harold and Maude is produced by Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams. Consulting producer James Cass Rogers.


Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams

Harold and Maude
by Colin Higgins

Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches
Villiers Street
Box office: 08444 930650

Monday 19 February – Saturday 31 March

Press Night:
Monday 26 February at 7.30pm

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday at 2.30pm
and Saturday at 3.00pm

Ticket prices:
£35.00 stalls
£25.00 balcony
£17.50 slips

Cast announced for Ruthless! The Musical

Ruthless! The Musical
Ruthless! The Musical

Ruthless! The Musical

Jason GardinerLara Denning, Kim Maresca, Harriet Thorpe and Tracie Bennett join the company of Joel Paley and Marvin Laird’s award-winning all female character camp killer cult classic Ruthless! The Musical for its strictly limited 14 week run at the Arts Theatre. The children alternating the role of Tina Denmark will be announced shortly.

The musical has played Off Broadway to critical acclaim over the past 25 years. This brand new production, directed by Richard Fitch, opens on 27 March, with previews from 16 March, and runs until 23 June.

How far would you go to get what you want?

Ruthless! The Musical tells the story of the beautiful and talented 8 year old Tina Denmark who will do anything to play the lead in her school play… ANYTHING!

Ruthless! started Off-Broadway 25 years ago and discovered young performers including Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. The show famously spoofs Broadway musicals from Gypsy to Mame as well as iconic films including The Bad Seed and All About Eve.

Joel Paley (Book and Lyrics) directed the first production of Ruthless! at the Players Theater which won the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and for which he won the Drama Desk Award as Best Lyricist. He has directed many highly acclaimed productions including New York (Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk nominee for Best Director), South Beach, Florida (Carbonell Award winner for Best Director and Best Musical Production), the original Los Angeles production as well as the record-breaking concert production starring Bernadette Peters. He conceived and staged an all-singing, all-dancing showroom parody for Bob Newhart in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City; creating dances for Maude starring Bea Arthur; and writing (with Laird) and staging the opening production sequence of the Academy Award-nominated short film, A Different Approach, featuring physically challenged performers dancing in wheelchairs. He also directed the all-female national tour of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple starring Barbara Eden, Rita McKenzie and Georgia Engel.

Marvin Laird (Music) began his career on Broadway in the early 1960s writing dance and vocal arrangements. Years of TV scoring (Dynasty, Love Boat, Laverne & Shirley), movie arranging (Hello, Dolly!New York, New York) and creating/conducting Las Vegas acts  – including for Diana Ross, Juliet Prowse, Ann-Margret, Mama Cass Elliot, Goldie Hawn and Bernadette Peters, followed.  Most recently, he conducted the Broadway productions of Follies, Gypsy and Annie Get Your Gun. Additionally, he has been music director and conductor for Bernadette Peters’ international concert appearances and night club act for over 40 years, and is currently Associate Conductor on Hello Dolly! accompanying her.

Jason Gardiner plays Sylvia St. Croix. Originally from Melbourne, he is a television broadcaster, performer and choreographer – he is currently a judge in the popular ITV series Dancing on Ice. He began his professional career in the original Australian cast of 42nd Street at the age of 16, and has since gone on to perform in over 20 award-winning musicals including West Side Story, Cats, Dames At Sea, Oklahoma, Anything Goes, Chicago, Pippin and My Fair Lady. As a choreographer he has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names including Pink, Dame Shirley Bassey, Kylie, Cher, Bjork, Roseanne Barr and Sir Elton John. His choreography received critical praise for the Raindance Film Festival favourite, Meet Pursuit Delange. His other television presenting roles have included ITV’s This Morning as their fashion presenter, culture expert on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy UK, a permanent panellist on Ultimate Shopper for TLC Network and the UK presenter on Red Carpet Moments for E! Entertainment.

Tracie Bennett plays Lita. Her theatre work includes Follies (National Theatre); and in the West End, Mrs Henderson Presents, End of the Rainbow (also Broadway – winner of Outer Critics’ Circle and Drama Desk awards; and Olivier and Tony Award nominations), La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray – Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, Les Misérables, She Loves Me – Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Other theatre work includes The Hypochondriac (Theatre Royal Bath), Sex, Chips & Rock ’n’ Roll – TMA Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical (Royal Exchange Manchester), Carousel, Billy Liar (ATG), High Society(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita, Spring Awakening (Sheffield Theatre). For television, her work includesScott & Bailey, Burn It, New Tricks, Candy Cabs, Dalziel and Pascoe, Vincent, The Royal, The Long Firm, MIT: Murder Investigation Team, Heroes and Villains, Keen Eddie, Where the Heart Is, Coronation Street (as series regular Sharon Bentley), Heartbeat, The Gingerbread Girl, Joking Apart, The Upper Hand, Rich Tea and Sympathy, Making Out; and for film, Shirley Valentine, Deep Red Instant, Knights and Emeralds.

Lara Denning plays Louise Lerman/Eve. Her theatre work includes Scrooge the Musical (Curve), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical (Menier Chocolate Factory), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Matilda (Cambridge Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (European tour), Gotta Sing, Gotta DanceAll The Fun of the FairYou Don’t Bring Me FlowersDirty Dancing in Concert(UK tours) and Can Can (Sadlers Wells). Her television work includes Toast of London.

Kim Maresca plays Judy Denmark, reprising the role she played Off Broadway in the most recent run of Ruthless! The Musical. She recently played her fifth sold-out engagement of her one-woman show at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Regional: Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse), Biondella in The Taming of the Shrew (Saratoga Shakespeare Company) and Maureen in Rent (Thomaston Opera House).

Harriet Thorpe plays Myrna Thorn. She is perhaps best known for her role as Carole in the BBC’s popular Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous. Her West End credits include Great Britain (Theatre Royal Haymarket), PravdaThe Government InspectorAll My Sons, A Prayer for Owen Meany (National Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Theatre), Rufus Norris’ production of Cabaret (Lyric Theatre, UK tour and Savoy Theatre), Crazy for You (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Novello Theatre), Tanya in Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre), Madame Thenardier in Les MiserablesThe Vagina Monologues and Jackie O. Other theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s DreamTwelfth Night, Cymbeline (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Street Car to Tennessee (Young Vic), Brighton Rock (Almeida Theatre) and Calendar Girls (Phoenix Theatre). Work with French and Saunders includes Girls on Top, French And Saunders series and most recently Vivienne Vyle. Other television work includes The Secrets: The Conversation, Material Girl, Victoria Wood’s Christmas Special and The Musketeers. Films include Absolutely Fabulous The Movie, Maurice, Greystroke, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet, Zefferelli’s Toscanni, Suzie Gold,Calendar Girls, The CallingS.N.U.B., An Arm’s Length, Wise Girl and The Lady in the Van.

Richard Fitch trained at the Young Vic and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. As a director, his credits include Top Hat (Arts Educational), Funny Girl (UK tour – also Associate Director for the runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatr Clwyd), Much Ado About Nothing (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), Barnes’ People (Trafalgar Transformed), Serious Heroes, Twenty Four Hour Plays (The Old Vic), A Kid Like Jake (The TS Eliot US/UK Exchange, The Old Vic), The Moment Before I’m Powerful (Trafalgar Transformed), Land’s End (Birmingham REP), Last Man on the Heygate (Lyric Hammersmith), The Hour of Feeling(HighTide Festival with Public Theater, New York), The Welsh Atlantis (Latitude Festival) and The Boy Who Lived Down the Lane (Riverside Studios & Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore).

The Menier Chocolate Factory will act as Executive Producer and General Manager for the UK première.

Ruthless! The Musical                                                                                                            Listings:

Arts Theatre

Great Newport Street, London, WC2H 7JB

Box Office: 020 7836 8463

Monday – Saturday evenings at 7.45pm

Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.30pm

Tickets from £19.50

Midweek matinee concession rate available

Group rate available for 8+

Age guidance 10+