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Full casting announced for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group have confirmed the full casting for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, following the previous announcements that Sheridan Smith will star as The Narrator, Jason Donovan will return to the show as Pharaoh, and that Jac Yarrow will mark his professional debut as Joseph.

 Today’s announcement completes casting for the new production at the world-famous London Palladium, where the production will play a strictly limited 11-week season from Thursday 27 June (Press Night: Thursday 11 July 2019).

 Michael Pickering will play Simeon and Richard Carson will be Reuben. Joining them will be Femi Akinfolarin, Casey Al-Shaqsy, JR Ballantyne, Lydia Bannister, Thalia Burt, Michael Cortez, Vanessa Fisher, Ahmed Hamad, Blythe Jandoo, Matt Krzan, Kelsie-Rae Marshall, Billy Mitchell, Georgina Parkinson, Emily Ann Potter, Matthew Rowland, Harriet Samuel-Grey, Carl Spencer, Joshua Steel, Hannah Taylor and Jack Wilcox.

The cast will also include a rotating children’s ensemble, featuring Rihana Akhtar, Mia Byers, Angel Clark, Aoife Connelly, Oliver Crouch, Jacob Dennison, Anna De Oliviera, Tilly Doherty, Nessa Eriksson, Dara Gleeson, Sean Gordon, Maci Hughes, Isabelle Jones, Dino Karakostas, Jamie Kenly, Jaxon Knopf, Olivia Leask, Olivia McNulty, Indiphile Mbonzongwana, Jack Meredith, Chloe Muldowny, Keanna-Skye O’Quinn, Regan Parker, Devon Pomeroy, Etienne Ragoo, Olivia Seagrove, Tom Skoines, Nina Stevenson, Jandice Stewart, Mia Walsh, Luca Willemburg and Sacha Yarwood.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be directed by Laurence Connor (School of Rock Miss Saigon). Laurence will be joined on the creative team by Choreographer JoAnn M HunterMorgan Large who will design the set and costumes, Lighting Designer Ben Cracknell and Sound Designer Gareth Owen.

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals. The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of thousands of times including multiple runs in the West End and on Broadway, international number one tours, and productions in over 80 countries as far afield as Austria and Zimbabwe and from Israel to Peru! The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door To MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of the NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is produced by Michael Harrison.

Sheridan Smith returns to the West End in new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium

Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith

Sheridan Smith

Today Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group have announced that BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith will return to the West End this summer in the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium.

Sheridan will play The Narrator, as the iconic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is re-imagined in a brand new production. The production will play a strictly limited 11-week season from Thursday 27 June (Press Night: Thursday 11 July 2019).

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be directed by Laurence Connor. Laurence’s credits include the acclaimed London production of School of Rock and the Tony-Award nominated production on Broadway, the recent London productions of Miss Saigon and Chess, the international arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and he is also the Co-Director of the new version of Les Misérables which has enjoyed worldwide success including Broadway, UK and US tours.

Laurence will be joined on the creative team by Choreographer JoAnn M Hunter (who has 20 Broadway shows to her credit, including School of Rock and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever), the award-winning Morgan Large who will design the set and costumes, Lighting Designer Ben Cracknell and Sound Designer Gareth Owen.

Double Olivier Award winning Sheridan Smith is Britain’s most captivating young actress. She made her TV debut in 1999 in ITV’s comedy series Dark Ages and went on to become a renowned household name on the long running cult series Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. Her other TV credits include her starring role in Mrs Biggs, for which she was named Best Actress at the 2013 BAFTA TV Awards and was nominated for an International EMMY, and winning the National TV Award for her highly acclaimed portrayal of British icon Cilla Black in ITV’s 3-part drama Cilla, for which she was also nominated for her second BAFTA and International EMMY. Her most recent TV project was the ITV Primetime Drama Cleaning Up.

Her film credits include HysteriaTower BlockQuartet and Universal’s The Huntsman and Winter’s War.

Sheridan made her stage debut at the Donmar Warehouse in Into the Woods, and has since gone on to establish herself as one of the leading actresses in UK theatre. She earned her first Olivier Award Nomination for her performance in Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End, and in 2009 was awarded her first Olivier Award for her role of ‘Elle Woods’ in the West End production of Legally Blonde the Musical. She also won the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her role of ‘Doris’ in Flare Path. Most recently Sheridan enjoyed a highly celebrated run at The Savoy Theatre in Funny Girl, playing ‘Fanny Brice’, a role last played by Barbara Streisand.

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals. The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of thousands of times including multiple runs in the West End and on Broadway, international number one tours, and productions in over 80 countries as far afield as Austria and Zimbabwe and from Israel to Peru! The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door To MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of the NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is produced by Michael Harrison.

Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith – theatrical trailer released ahead of Global Cinema release

Funny Girl

««««« ‘Sheridan Smith is the greatest star by far.

Daily Telegraph

««««« Michael Mayer’s exhilarating embrace of a production.’ The Independent

 The theatrical trailer for Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith is released today ahead of the worldwide cinema release on 24 October. The production opened to critical acclaim at the Menier Chocolate Factory, ahead of a run in the West End, and then on tour. Michael Mayer’s production was filmed during the final week of its run at the Manchester Palace Theatre by Digital Theatre, and will be released in cinemas by Trafalgar Releasing.

For more information or to find a cinema screening Funny Girl please visit: www.funnygirlincinemas.com

Darius Campbell played Nick Arnstein to Smith’s Fanny Brice, and they were joined by Nigel Barber (Florenz Ziegfeld), Zoë Ann Bown (Mrs. Meeker), Martin Callaghan (Mr. Keeney), Jennifer Harding (Emma), Rachel Izen (Mrs Brice), Joshua Lay (Eddie) and Myra Sands (Mrs. Strakosh); with Rhianne AlleyneKit BenjaminLloyd DaviesFlora DawsonJoseph DockreeAbigayle HoneywillBrontë LavineDavid McintoshPeter NashGillian ParkhouseTom PartridgeNova SkippAlexandra Waite-RobertsSam Wingfield and Alexandra Wright.

“Fanny Brice was an extraordinary woman who broke the mould for female entertainment, not only that, she was a brilliant comic! Her lack of vanity and her goofiness made her unique and very special, and the role was an utter joy to play. I’m beyond excited to be able to share our production of Funny Girl with audiences across the UK.” Sheridan Smith

With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, was revived with Sheridan Smith playing Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York to become one of Broadway’s biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfield.  While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved.  With a score featuring now-classic songs such as “People”, “You Are Woman, I Am Man” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, this new production was a must-see theatrical event.

‘A winningly exuberant performance. The most brilliant comic actress at work today.’

Sunday Times

‘Michael Mayer’s vivacious production has wit, charm and energy, sparkly choreography, and a strong, ebullient cast.’ Financial Times

“Sheridan Smith is one of British Theatre’s truly golden performers – a versatile star who thrills with her ability to be simultaneously touching and hilarious. Here she’s on glorious form.”

Evening Standard

An unforgettable star turn… Smith is hilarious, glorious, touching. With a performance that is all-singing, all dancing, all-joking and, somehow, all-soul too.’ The Times

FUNNY GIRL

Music by Jule Styne   Lyrics by Bob Merrill

Book by Isobel Lennart from an original story by Miss Lennart

Revised Book by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Michael Mayer

Choreography is by Lynne Page, with set design by Michael Pavelka, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker, the musical supervisor is Alan Williams and orchestrations are by Chris Walker.

The capture of Funny Girl is co-produced by Digital Theatre and Sky Arts.

For more information or to find a cinema screening Funny Girl please visit: www.funnygirlincinemas.com

Twitter: @FunnyGirl_UK              Facebook: /FunnyGirlUK     Instagram: @FunnyGirlUK

Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith To be screened in cinemas across the UK

Sheridan Smith Photo Credit Johan Persson

***** ‘Sheridan Smith is the greatest star by far.’ Daily Telegraph

*****Michael Mayer’s exhilarating embrace of a production.’ The Independent

Sheridan Smith Photo Credit Johan Persson

Sheridan Smith Photo Credit Johan Persson

Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith will be broadcast in cinemas nationwide on 24 October, as part of a worldwide release of the smash-hit stage production that played to critical acclaim at the Menier Chocolate Factory, in the West End and on tour. Michael Mayer’s production was filmed during the final week of its run at the Manchester Palace Theatre by Digital Theatre, and will be released in cinemas by Trafalgar Releasing.

Darius Campbell played Nick Arnstein to Smith’s Fanny Brice, and they were joined by Nigel Barber (Florenz Ziegfeld), Zoë Ann Bown (Mrs. Meeker), Martin Callaghan (Mr. Keeney), Jennifer Harding (Emma), Rachel Izen (Mrs Brice), Joshua Lay (Eddie) and Myra Sands (Mrs. Strakosh); with Rhianne AlleyneKit BenjaminLloyd DaviesFlora DawsonJoseph DockreeAbigayle HoneywillBrontë LavineDavid McintoshPeter NashGillian ParkhouseTom PartridgeNova SkippAlexandra Waite-RobertsSam Wingfield and Alexandra Wright.

“Fanny Brice was an extraordinary woman who broke the mould for female entertainment, not only that, she was a brilliant comic! Her lack of vanity and her goofiness made her unique and very special, and the role was an utter joy to play. I’m beyond excited to be able to share our production of Funny Girl with audiences across the UK.” Sheridan Smith

“Sheridan Smith gives the performance of a lifetime in this unforgettable production of Funny Girl. We are excited to give audiences the opportunity to see the show in cinemas across the UK. We look forward to collaborating with Digital Theatre, Sonia Friedman Productions and the Menier Chocolate Factory.” Alice De Rosa, Director of Distribution for Trafalgar Releasing

Funny Girl has been a true collaboration for all those involved, and yet again as we prepare to share the production with cinema audiences across the UK. It’s a privilege for Digital Theatre to have become part of the remarkable story of this production, working with so many fantastic collaborators and to have been able to capture this unforgettable star turn from Sheridan Smith.” Robert Delamere, Founder of Digital Theatre

With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, was revived with Sheridan Smith playing Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York to become one of Broadway’s biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfield.  While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved.  With a score featuring now-classic songs such as “People”, “You Are Woman, I Am Man” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, this new production was a must-see theatrical event.

‘A winningly exuberant performance. The most brilliant comic actress at work today.’

Sunday Times

‘Michael Mayer’s vivacious production has wit, charm and energy, sparkly choreography, and a strong, ebullient cast.’ Financial Times

“Sheridan Smith is one of British Theatre’s truly golden performers – a versatile star who thrills with her ability to be simultaneously touching and hilarious. Here she’s on glorious form.”

Evening Standard

An unforgettable star turn… Smith is hilarious, glorious, touching. With a performance that is all-singing, all dancing, all-joking and, somehow, all-soul too.’ The Times

Sheridan Smith reprises her smash hit performance in the role of Fanny Brice. Her other theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), The People are Friendly (Royal Court) and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse). For television, her credits include Clean Break, Ratburger, The Moorside Project, Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, The Widower, The 7.39, Dates, Mr Stink, Mrs Biggs (BAFTA Award for Best Actress), Accused, Scapegoat, Little Crackers, Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Larkrise to Candleford, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, The Royle Family and Wives and Daughters; and for film, The More You Ignore Me, The Huntsman, Powder Room, Quartet, Tower Block and Hysteria. She released her self-titled debut album Sheridan in November 2017 and embarked on a subsequent sell out tour.

Following runs at the Menier, in the West End and on tour, Darius Campbell plays Nick Arnstein. His theatre work includes in the West End, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Gone with the Wind, and From Here to EternityCarmen (Europe and 02) and The History of the Big Bands (tour). Also a recording artist, his first single Colourblind went to #1 in the UK singles chart.

Michael Mayer directs. His West End credits include Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre). For Broadway his work includes The Terms of My Surrender, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award nomination for Best Director), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, American Idiot (Drama Desk Award for Best Director of a Musical), Spring Awakening (Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Musical) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical).  For television, his work includes Smash and Alpha House, and for film his credits include A Home at the End of the World, Flicka and Chekhov’s The Seagull.  He made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a celebrated new production of Rigoletto.

FUNNY GIRL

Music by Jule Styne   Lyrics by Bob Merrill

Book by Isobel Lennart from an original story by Miss Lennart

Revised Book by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Michael Mayer

Choreography is by Lynne Page, with set design by Michael Pavelka, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker, the musical supervisor is Alan Williams and orchestrations are by Chris Walker.

The capture of Funny Girl is co-produced by Digital Theatre and Sky Arts.

For more information or to find a cinema screening Funny Girl please visit: www.funnygirlincinemas.com

Twitter: @FunnyGirl_UK              Facebook: /FunnyGirlUK     Instagram: @FunnyGirlUK

Winners announced at today’s Manchester Theatre Awards

Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith

Sheridan Smith © Johan Persson

  • HOME leads the way with five awards for its productions and performers
  • Sheridan Smith and Danny Mac win for their starring roles in hit musicals
  • Drama, dance, opera, fringe theatre and panto all represented at the awards, the most significant annual theatrical prize-giving outside London

Sheridan Smith and Danny Mac were among the winners at the Manchester Theatre Awards – which were announced today at The Lowry.

Presented by comedian Justin Moorhouse, the annual awards – the most important theatrical prize-giving outside London – honoured productions seen in Greater Manchester during 2017.

HOME led the way with five awards, with the rest of the honours largely even among the area’s other venues including two for Oldham Coliseum, two for the Royal Exchange Theatre and other awards going to productions and performers at The Lowry, the Palace Theatre and Opera House, Hope Mill Theatre, Contact, Royal Northern College of Music and Greater Manchester Fringe festival.

Janet Suzman was named Best Actress for Rose at HOME while Kenneth Alan Taylor won Best Actor for The Father at Oldham Coliseum – which also won the Best Production prize.

Best New Play was won by Rosie Fleeshman for Narcissist in the Mirror, part of Greater Manchester Fringe.

The big shows on the touring circuit visiting Manchester in 2017 were also honoured, with Michael Harrison, David Ian and Curve’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard winning Best Musical, and its star Danny Mac scooping Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his role as Joe Gillis. Sheridan Smith was named Best Actress in a Visiting Production for her star turn as Fanny Brice in the West End-turned touring production of Funny Girl.

The star-studded pantomime Dick Whittington, produced by Qdos and which featured John Barrowman and The Krankies, scooped the Best Special Entertainment prize.

The Robert Robson Award for Dance was taken by English National Ballet for their Double Bill at the Palace Theatre while Opera North’s The Snow Maiden at The Lowry won the opera prize, renamed this year The Philip Radcliffe Award for Best Opera, in memory of the late arts journalist and one of the founders of the Awards

 Scott Hunter won Best Newcomer for his performance in Yank! at Hope Mill Theatre, a role he also reprised in the West End when the show transferred there last year.

The MTA judging panel includes a group of enthusiastic young critics who contribute to deliberations and reviews and have their own dedicated award for youth performances. This prize was won by Singin’ in the Rain by the Royal Northern College of Music Young Company.

Also presented on the day was the Stage Door Foundation award that was given to JB Shorts, the Reallife Theatre company platform for playlets written and performed by industry professionals, which started life at the Joshua Brooks pub in the city and are now performed at the 53Two fringe venue.

Special Achievement Awards were given to Barrie Rutter, founder and former artistic director of Northern Broadsides, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye audio describers which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

Presenters of the awards included BBC Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty, former Coronation Street cast including Tupele Dorgu and Eric Potts, television and stage actress Roxanne Pallet and Dinnerladies star Sue Devaney.

Guests were also treated to performances during the ceremony by comic singer songwriter Daniel Cainer, performance poetry by Alex Slater and Rosie Fleeshman and Opera North’s Marie Claire Breen and Dean Robinson who performed arias from Don Giovanni.

The list of winners in full below.

 

http://www.manchestertheatreawards.com

@MTAwards

#McrTA2018

 

Manchester Theatre Awards – Winners in Bold

Actress in a Leading Role

Karen Henthorn, Spring and Port Wine, Oldham Coliseum

Lisa Dwyer Hogg, People, Places & Things, HOME

Nina Hoss, Returning to Reims, Manchester International Festival

Janet Suzman, Rose, HOME

 

Actor in a Leading Role

Cliff Burnett, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum

Jason Merrells, Uncle Vanya, HOME

Kenneth Alan Taylor, The Father, Oldham Coliseum

Ashley Zhangazha, Guys And Dolls, Royal Exchange

 

Actress in a Supporting Role

Alison Halstead, The House of Bernarda Alba, Royal Exchange

Kate Kennedy, Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange

Kerry Peers, The Father, Oldham Coliseum

Katie West, Uncle Vanya, HOME

 

Actor in a Supporting Role

Tom Michael Blyth, Hard Times, Oldham Coliseum

David Fleeshman, Uncle Vanya, HOME

Andrew Sheridan, People, Places & Things, HOME

 

Actress in a Visiting Production

Ria Jones, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Laura Pitt-Pulford, Nell Gwynn, The Lowry

Natalie Radmall-Quirke, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

Sheridan Smith, Funny Girl, Palace Theatre

 

Actor in a Visiting Production

Danny Mac, Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Graham McDuff, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Palace Theatre

Sean Murray, The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

 

Ensemble

Oh What A Lovely War, Oldham Coliseum

Operation Black Antler, HOME

The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

 

Performance in a Fringe Production

Rosie Fleeshman, Narcissist in the Mirror, Greater Manchester Fringe

Amie Giselle-Ward, Little Women – The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre

Alexandra Maxwell, The Loves of Others / Freak, Greater Manchester Fringe

Danny Solomon, Days Of Wine And Roses, 53TWO

 

Performance in a Studio Production

Rhodri Meilir How My Light Is Spent, Royal Exchange

Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan, Contact

Keisha Thompson, Man On The Moon, Contact

Alex Walton, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry

 

Robert Robson Award for Dance

Debut, Acosta Danza, The Lowry

English National Ballet double bill, Palace Theatre

Ghost Dances, Rambert Dance, The Lowry

Leviathan, James Wilton Dance, Contact

 

Design

Jenny Melville (set) and Lysander Ashton (video), Paul Auster’s City of Glass, HOME

Bunny Christie, People, Places & Things, HOME

Alex Lowde, Persuasion, Royal Exchange

Yael Bartana, What If Women Ruled the World?, Manchester International Festival

 

Fringe Production

Bad Advice, Greater Manchester Fringe

Gypsy Queen, Hope Mill Theatre

The Marriage of Kim K, Greater Manchester Fringe

Moth, Hope Mill Theatre

 

Musical

Funny Girl, Palace Theatre

Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell the Musical, Opera House

Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre

Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre

 

New Play

Gypsy Queen, writer Rob Ward, Hope Mill Theatre

How My Light Is Spent, writer Alan Harris, Royal Exchange

Narcissist in the Mirror, writer Rosie Fleeshman, Greater Manchester Fringe

Narvik, writer Lizzie Nunnery, HOME

 

Newcomer

Gemma Dobson, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Octagon Theatre Bolton

Scott Hunter, Yank!, Hope Mill Theatre

Vinay Lad, The Railway Children, The Lowry

 

The Philip Radcliffe Award for Opera

Cendrillon, Royal Northern College of Music, RNCM

La Cenerentola, Opera North, The Lowry

Opera North Little Greats, Opera North, The Lowry

The Snow Maiden, Opera North, The Lowry

 

Production

The Father, Oldham Coliseum

People, Places & Things, HOME

Rose, HOME

The Suppliant Women, Royal Exchange

 

Special Entertainment

Dick Whittington, Opera House

Running Wild, The Lowry

The Toad Knew, The Lowry

Under Glass, Clod Ensemble,The Lowry

 

Studio Production

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, The Lowry

Joan, Contact

Man On The Moon, Contact

Swansong, The Lowry

 

Target Live Award for Best Visiting Production

La Strada, The Lowry

My Country; a Work in Progress, HOME

Nell Gwynn, The Lowry

The Weir, Oldham Coliseum

 

Youth Panel Award

There is a Light/BRIGHTLIGHT, Contact Young Company

Singin’ in the Rain, RNCM Young Company

Tis Written in the Stars, Oldham Theatre Workshop, Oldham Coliseum

 

Sheridan Smith to star in Funny Girl at Mayflower Theatre

Following critically acclaimed and record-breaking sold-out runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre, Sheridan Smith will reprise her highly praised performance of Fanny Brice at selected venues for the UK tour of Funny Girl – she is set to perform at Mayflower Theatre from Monday 22 – Saturday 27 of May 2017.

Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl

Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl
Credit: Johan Persson

Funny Girl brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including People and Don’t Rain On My Parade. This ‘iconic, legendary, laugh-out-loud’ (The Times) musical tells the story of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star.

Sheridan Smith reprises the role of Fanny Brice. Her other theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), The People are Friendly (Royal Court) and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse). For television, her credits include Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, The Widower, The 7.39, Dates, Mr Stink, Mrs Biggs (BAFTA Award for Best Actress), Accused, Scapegoat, Little Crackers, Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Larkrise to Candleford, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, The Royle Family and Wives and Daughters; and for film, The Huntsman, Powder Room, Quartet, Tower Block and Hysteria.

Director Michael Mayer’s West End credits include Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre). For Broadway his work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award nomination for Best Director), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, American Idiot (Drama Desk Award for Best Director of a Musical), Spring Awakening (Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Musical) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical).  For television, his work includes Smash and Alpha House, and for film his credits include A Home at the End of the World, Flicka and currently in post-production, Chekhov’s The Seagull.  He made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a celebrated new production of Rigoletto.

FUNNY GIRL is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis Productions, Chocolate Factory Productions, Dante Di Loreto and Michael Harrison.

Tickets for Funny Girl (Monday 22 May – Saturday 27 May 2017) are on sale from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk. Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833

The producers of Funny Girl cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist, which is always subject to illness and holidays.

 

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Alastair Knights talks about My Fair Lady 60th Anniversary concert, his next directorial venture and more

Alastair Knights

Alastair Knights set to direct My Fair Lady 60th Anniversary concert

The cafe is bustling with people. Alastair Knights is on a break from rehearsals for Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Union Theatre. Knights leads us to the bar area and we sit on an old sofa. He’s just returned from America and is a little jet-lagged. Last Summer Alastair directed The Spitfire Grill to great acclaim at the Union, went on to direct Kings of Broadway; featuring music from shows and an all-star cast of West End talent. He was also behind the St James Theatre RE:act scheme. Now, he is set to direct the hotly anticipated My Fair Lady 60th Anniversary Concert later this month.

Alastair Knights

Alastair Knights

How much of the industry is who you know vs what you know

I ask him how much of the industry is who you know vs what you know. “Oh God. Who you know! Friends help each other out. You need to be talented and prepared, that’s a given. But what you do need is luck. You need that little moment and if you don’t get it you’re fucked.” It’s clear from speaking to Alastair that a little luck goes a long way.** It was in 2013 that Knights and Musical Director Alex Parker devised and directed Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and staged Putting It Together – A Musical Revue at G Live in Guildford. Putting It Together was a hit later at the St James. One man in the audience was Robert Mackintosh, who runs the St James Theatre and brother of theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh. He adds “I had my luck because Robert Mackintosh decided to drive to Guilford to see Putting it Together. I wouldn’t be here now if that hadn’t happened. Actually, I’d say it’s 60% who you know and 40% what you know.”

Favourite off -West-End-Theatre

We discuss London venues and I inquire his favourite off-West-End theatre. “The St James Theatre. They gave me my first opportunity in RE: act, a short-plays initiative, and over the last year we have worked with 120 emerging artists. Writers are paired with upcoming directors and actors to create a response piece to productions. It’s an exciting place to be.”

Actors are the bravest people ever

Sitting in one of London’s most vibrant pub-theatres, it is apt that Alastair speaks of his admiration for fringe theatre workers; It’s here that shows can be calling cards for emerging artists. “I’m strongly for Fringe Theatre. I think actors are the bravest people ever. It’s so exposing.” He delves deeper into this advocacy, “There is a lot of discussion around low pay work, but fringe theatre gives actors and directors such wonderful opportunities. I would have never been asked to do Little Voice at a West End or big regional theatre. For me, working somewhere like The Union is a creative and collaborative dream.”

Whats next on the direction list

Alastair’s modesty is endearing. Some directors talk like they’re reading from a script; Alastair speaks with utter conviction and clarity of thought. His enthusiasm is persuasive to the point of being faintly intoxicating. I probe to find out what is next on his directing wish-list. He beams “Fanny and Stella! It’s a new musical I’m working on with composer Eamonn O’Dwyer. It’s about two female impersonators in the gruesome underbelly of Victorian England. We have the rights to Neil Mckenna’s book and we’ll workshop the show next month.”

More about the My Fair Lady Concert happening at St. Paul’s Church

For someone at the start of their career Knights has a lot already under his belt, his ambition is palpable. He tells me about the My Fair Lady Concert he will be directing, “Amazingly, Liz Robertson called Cameron Mackintosh and he suggested Alex Parker and I put it together. We are celebrating 60 years since the first Broadway performance! It’s a gala performance at the iconic St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, the location of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins’s first encounter. We have an incredible cast including Patricia Routledge, Kara Tointon, Frank Skinner, Gina Beck and many more telling the story of the inception of the show, along with songs from the musical itself. The evening is generously supported by Cameron Mackintosh and all proceeds are going towards St Paul’s Church to improve access.”

We talk briefly about imposter syndrome. He says that, if he wasn’t doing this he’d be working an office job. “Probably PR. That’s what I’d probably be doing. Definitely marketing, actually, because I like talking.” Well, quite.

The last five photos on his phone

At this point I ask what are the last five photos he took on his phone. He giggles and coyly begins to list: “The Little Voice Poster, me with a teeth whitening strip in California, a soundboard desk here at the Union, me and my best friend in Hollywood and a theatre in LA.” Whilst looking at his phone, it strikes me that I’m five seconds away from being able to contact Cameron Mackintosh.

The thing about being star struck

I ask Alistair if he’s ever been star-struck. “All the time. I think the first time that I worked with Elaine Paige was a huge deal for me. She is so incredibly talented. Her voice is insane; she’s in her 60’s and looks amazing. What’s more in rehearsals she sang Nobody’s Side from Chess at a Danceworks in Fulham, at midday, and proper belted it. A dream. I know I’m going to be star-struck when I start rehearsals with Patricia Routledge!”

Finishing on a Sheridan Smith note

As we draw to the end of our lunch I ask him if there’s anything he’d like to add, or retract. He seems concerned about Sheridan Smith, who has taken time out from Funny Girl due to exhaustion. “I find the Sheridan Smith situation really, really sad. I’ve seen her be absolutely incredible on stage in Flare Path and Legally Blonde. I watched her in Funny Girl and the spark was missing. I hope she takes some time out and returns better.”

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (@LittleVoiceLDN) runs at The Union Theatre (@TheUnionTheatre), Southwark from 4 to 26 June

My Fair Lady at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on Sunday 19 June