Cast Announced for Ain’t Misbehavin’! A Made in Colchester Production

Mercury Theatre Colchester and Paul Taylor-Mills in association with Tamasha Theatre Company have announced casting for their brand-new production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ – the first London revival in almost 25 years – playing at Southwark Playhouse from Friday 19 April to Saturday 1 June, following its premiere at Mercury Theatre Colchester from Friday 15 – Saturday 30 March. Tickets are on sale now.

The cast will feature Adrian Hansel as André, Renée Lamb as Armelia, Carly Mercedes-Dyer as Charlaine, Landi Oshinowo as Nell and Wayne Robinson as Ken.

Adrian Hansel originated the role of Seaweed in the West End production of Hairspray, with other credits including Five Guys Named Moe at Marble Arch Theatre. Renée Lamb played Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Catherine of Aragon in the original London cast of Six at the Arts Theatre. Carly Mercedes-Dyer was recently seen in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre, with other credits including The Lorax at The Old Vic and Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Landi Oshinowo recently appeared in Big Fish at The Other Palace, with West End credits including Shrek the Musical and Sister Act. Wayne Robinson returns to Southwark Playhouse having played Benny in In The Heights. He was most recently seen as Jagwire in Bat Out of Hell. Click here for a first look at the cast in rehearsal

The full creative team is also announced today. Joining previously announced director Tyrone Huntley and choreographer Oti Mabuse are designer Takis, lighting designer James Whiteside, sound designer Dan Samson and associate choreographer James Bennett. There will be new orchestrations by Mark Dickman, and casting is by Will Burton CDG.

Several roles on the production are supported by the Sustained Theatre Fund in association with Tamasha Theatre Company. The aim of the Sustained Theatre Fund is to support the development of established and emerging Black and minority ethnic theatre makers and to increase the representation of Black and minority ethnic theatre makers across the wider theatre sector in England. Associate Producer Dilek Latif is on a producer placement at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester supported by the Sustained Theatre Fund and will work as associate producer on Ain’t Misbehavin’ as part of this placement. Dilek has also been able to offer a bursary

to the Associate Lighting Designer Kiaran-Lee Kesby as part of the Tamasha Developing Artists fund.

Finn Kennedy, Artistic Director of Tamasha said: “It is incredibly rewarding to see the results of the scheme – and our Associate Producers’ hard work – come to the stage. Each producer has achieved a huge amount – mentored, supported and given every opportunity to learn and develop by their venue and Tamasha. They have proved themselves beyond any expectations and I am proud that Tamasha has been able to propel them in their careers, and – I hope – provide role models for other BAME producers and practitioners to break into the industry.

Celebrating the legendary jazz musician Fats Waller and his energetic, exuberant and effervescent music, Ain’t Misbehavin’ steps back into the 1920’s and the raunchy nightclubs of Manhattan. Join an extraordinary group of performers on a journey through a defining period of American musical history, the Harlem Renaissance – where musicians were free to experiment with new styles, and joints were jumpin’ with talented dancers, singers and instrumentalists jamming to a new beat known as swing.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ will mark Tyrone Huntley’s directorial debut. Tyrone is best known for his acclaimed performance as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, for which he won the Evening Standard Theatre Award and received an Olivier Award nomination. Tyrone is soon to appear in Leave to Remain at the Lyric Hammersmith with other performing crediting including Angry (Southwark Playhouse) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).

Oti Mabuse also makes her debut as a theatre choreographer. Best known as a professional dancer on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing since 2015, Oti is also an 8-time South African Latin American Champion and one of the most successful South African dancers in the world. Oti is currently a Dance Captain and Mentor on BBC One’s new Saturday night dance and entertainment show The Greatest Dancer.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ first premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1978 and transferred to Broadway the same year, where it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The original West End production opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1979, and was followed by a revival at the Tricycle Theatre and Lyric Theatre in 1995. This new production will mark the first London revival in almost 25 years.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr, with orchestrations and arrangements by Luther Henderson, vocal and musical concepts by Jeffrey Gutcheon and vocal arrangements by Jeffrey Gutcheon and William Elliott. It is produced by Paul Taylor Mills and Mercury Theatre Colchester in association with Tamasha Theatre Company, with support from Arts Council England.

Twitter: Mercury Theatre Colchester @Mercury Theatre Southwark Playhouse @SwkPlay

Instagram: Mercury Theatre Colchester @MercuryTheatreColchester Southwark Playhouse @SwkPlay