THE DRIFTERS GIRL – Beverley Knight to star as legendary manager of the iconic group in new musical


Michael Harrison and David Ian today announced The Drifters Girl, a brand new musical starring Beverley Knight, which tells the remarkable story of one of the world’s greatest vocal groups The Drifters and the woman who made them. It will make its World Premiere at Newcastle Theatre Royal next year, before transferring to the Garrick Theatre in London for a strictly limited season of 20 weeks.

The Drifters Girl, to be directed by Jonathan Church (Singin’ In The Rain), will begin performances in Newcastle on Saturday 5 September 2020, playing until Saturday 19 September. Performances at the Garrick Theatre start on Thursday 1 October 2020 (Press Night: Thursday 22 October 2020).

 Beverley Knight stars as Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters, who, alongside her husband, fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records’ hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon.

From the highs of hit records and sell out tours to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy, The Drifters Girl charts the trailblazing efforts of the world’s first African American, female music manager and how she refused to ever give up on the group she loved. Thirty years, and hundreds of hit songs later, there is no doubt that Faye Treadwell was and always will be, The Drifters Girl.

With an incredible soundtrack of some of the most famous songs in history, including Save The Last Dance For Me, Under The BoardwalkKissin In The Back Row Of The MoviesStand By MeCome On Over To My PlaceSaturday Night At The Movies and many more, The Drifters Girl will play for just 15 performances in Newcastle before transferring to London for a limited 20 week season.

Beverley Knight is the Queen of British Soul. She has enjoyed several Top 10 Albums, including the platinum selling Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight. Her most recent solo album Soulsville was released in June 2016 and went straight into the UK Top 10. She was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2007 for services to British music and charity, has won three MOBO Awards, and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. 2019 sees her celebrating 25 years in the music business with a live album, ‘BK25’, recorded with the Leo Green Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, out November 8th on Warner Music.

Beverley has also made several, highly acclaimed performances in the West End. Her debut in London was in the star role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard in 2013. In 2014 she received an Olivier Award Nomination as Best Actress in a Musical for her much praised role of Felicia Farrell in the Tony Award winning hit show Memphis The Musical, and in 2015 she played the iconic role of Grizabella in Cats at The London Palladium. In 2018 she starred as Emmeline Pankhurst in much praised new funk and hip hop musical Sylvia at The Old Vic, for which she won a best supporting actress award at the inaugural Black British Theatre Awards.

The Drifters Girl, with a book by Ed Curtis, will be directed by Jonathan Church, designed by Anthony Ward, choreography by Karen Bruce, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and music supervision and orchestrations by Chris Egan.

Further casting and full creative team will be announced at a later date.

The Drifters Girl is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Summer season at Live At Zédel announcement

Live at Zedel

Live At Zédel, Soho’s unique live entertainment concept at Crazy Coqs, announces their new 2019 summer season produced in partnership with Fane Productions.

Andy Hornby, Head of Events says: “Crazy Coqs continues to establish itself as London’s art deco gem for international cabaret and live music. The season outlined below reflects the quality of shows that are both returning to Crazy Coqs and artists that are making their debut, and it is rewarding that more and more see Crazy Coqs as a platform to showcase their material. Our audience too continues to grow and become more diverse – a reflection of the density and breadth of the programme. This season, we are particularly proud to support the National Autistic Society in partnership with West End Wilma and some world-class guests, as well as supporting Pride In London with a incredible selection of LGBTQ-themed shows.”

Featuring over 200 shows, highlights of the 2019 summer season include a new partnership with West End Wilma that features a monthly afternoon chat show with the West End’s biggest names. The season starts in June with guests including Beverley Knight, Emma HattonRachel Tucker and Luke Bayer. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions and all profits raised from the series will be donated to the National Autistic Society, to help stage more Relaxed Performances of theatre shows.  The Crazy Coqs Presents… series with new solo shows just announced from Broadway’s Telly Leung (Glee, Aladdin) and West End stars Sophie Isaacs and Claudia Kariuki. Olivier Award nominated writers of SixToby Marlow and Lucy Moss will come to the venue forAn Evening with Marlow & Moss (LOL), in which they’re joined by the Queens from the hit show, currently running at Arts Theatre. New solo shows include Tony and Grammy Award winner John Lloyd Young, TV magician Ben HartHeathers’ T’Shan Williams, The Overtones’ Lockie Chapman, and the highly-anticipated return of cabaret royalty, Kit & McConnel.

Joe Stilgoe continues his annual weeklong residency this May with guests including Jason ManfordMeow MeowHarry Hill, Hadley Fraser, Liane Carroll andThe Mash Report’s Rachel Parris. London’s leading cabaret experts Black Cat return with ‘Salon des Artistes’ most Saturdays at 9.15pm and The Crazy Coqs Presents… curated by Mark Petty tackles a new music theme every last Sunday of the month. Other residencies include Bounder & Cad, Flo & Joan, Harold Sanditen’s Open Mic Party, Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique, Flanders & Swann, and Jay Rayner with his QuartetAlong with the continuation of the free of charge ‘Round Midnight events every Friday and Saturday, other musical acts coming this season include contemporary swing group Jack Pack, classical vocal crossover group Per Voi with special guest Lucy Kay, string quartet Bowjangles and classical artists Laura Wright and Piano Brothers.

 From across the pond, American female impersonator extraordinaire Randy Roberts is back by popular demand in June for a run of five shows of Randy Roberts Live! Tony nominee Charles Busch hosts an evening featuring the songs of Michael Legrand and Stephen Sondheim, and performer and daughter of Judy Garland, Lorna Luft returns to the venue for an extended run following a series of sold-out performances earlier this year. From further afield, Australian theatre star Michael Griffiths returns in August with his popular cabaret shows celebrating the music of Madonna, Kylie and Annie Lennox.

 From July, Crazy Coqs will host the return of The Big Smoke Festival which includes Mum’s The Word, a new honest and entertaining cabaret about the journey into motherhood by West End stars Lorna WantVivien Carter and Joanna Woodward. Other leading performers include Emma LindarsNick HayesGenevieve Nicole and Declan Egan each with their own solo cabarets.

Also in July, the venue celebrates Pride in London with shows from living fashion doll Clementine with Clementine’s Liberty Special: A Star-Spangled Rainbow, Crazy Coqs’ favourite La Voix, and Mark Farrelly’s acclaimed one-man play Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope.