"High Concept" Production of Pippin Opens at London's Menier Chocolate Factory Dec. 7

News   "High Concept" Production of Pippin Opens at London's Menier Chocolate Factory Dec. 7
 
A new production of Stephen Schwartz and Roger O'Hirson's 1972 Broadway musical Pippin, with a cast that includes Matt Rawle (Leading Player), Harry Hepple (Pippin), Tony winner Frances Ruffelle (Fastrada) and Catherine Bawden (Catherine), opens at London's Menier Chocolate Factory Dec. 7 (following previews that began Nov. 22), for a run through Feb. 25, 2012.

Matt Rawle
Matt Rawle Photo by Tristram Kenton

Mitch Sebastian directs and choreographs the production, which is described as "high concept" and relocates the action into a futuristic computer game that Pippin is playing. The cast also includes Ian Kelsey (Charles), David Page (Lewis), Stuart Neal (Theo) and Louise Gold (as Berthe, through Jan. 8, then succeeded by Caroline Quentin from Jan. 10-22, with further casting for the role to be announced).

The production is designed by Timothy Bird, who also designed the Menier's Sunday in the Park with George that subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway, with lighting by Tony winner Ken Billington, costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant, orchestrations and music supervision by Simon Lee and sound design by Gareth Owen. Original Bob Fosse choreography has been re-created by Chet Walker.

Harry Hepple and Carly Bawden
photo by Tristram Kenton

The show is described in press materials as "a colorful, imaginative and darkly humorous coming-of-age story," in which the title character Pippin, heir to the throne of Charlemagne, is searching for beauty, glory, fame and magic but in doing so has to come to grips with lust, sex, war, politics and religion.

Director Mitch Sebastian, who started his career as a dancer and appeared in over 12 West End shows, has previously directed a high-concept production of Pippin at London's fringe Bridewell Theatre in 1997. He also created The Ratpack Live from Las Vegas, which has played a number of West End seasons. Other West End credits include La Cava (Victoria Palace/Picadilly Theatre), Playhouse Creatures (Old Vic Theatre) and Romance Romance (Gielgud Theatre).

Pippin is being presented at the Chocolate Factory in conjunction with Michael Jackowitz/Arlene Scanlan and Adam Blanshay/Natalie Macaluso. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7378 1713 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for more details.

Frances Ruffelle and company
Frances Ruffelle and company Photo by Tristram Kenton
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