London's Union Theatre Offers Revivals of Two Classic Musicals and a World Premiere

News   London's Union Theatre Offers Revivals of Two Classic Musicals and a World Premiere London's Union Theatre in Southwark, currently represented by the transfer to Wilton's Music Hall of Iolanthe and soon to transfer Irish Blood English Heart to the Trafalgar Studios, will stage three musicals in succession at its home theatre: revivals of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell and Lionel Bart's Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, plus the world premiere of Gerry Ware's 1888.

Godspell, Stephen Schwartz's musical based on the gospel according to St. Matthew that was conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak, will be revived to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary. Directed by Michael Strassen with musical direction by Michael Bradley, whose previous production of Sondheim's Assassins at the Union Theatre won the Best Production Award at the Off-West End Awards, it begins performances April 13, prior to an official opening April 15, for a run to May 7. The cast comprises Madalena Alberto (Sonia), Jill Armour (Gilmer), Daryl Armstrong (Herb), Jeremy Batt (Jeffrey), Davis Brooks (Judas), Billy Cullum (Jesus), Natalie Green (Robin), Sophie Isaacs (Joanne), Caroline Hubbard (Peggy) and Iwan Lewis (Lamar). For more details, visit www.godspellthemusical.co.uk.

It will be followed by a new production of Lionel Bart and Frank Norman's 1960 British musical Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be. Originally premiered at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in 1960 before subsequently transferring to the West End's Garrick Theatre, it launched the starring musical career of Barbara Windsor. The new production, directed by Phil Willmott, who previously staged his own musical Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi at the Union, begins performances May 10, prior to an official opening May 13, for a run through June 4. The cast will be led by Hannah-Jane Fox, who created the role of Scaramouche in the original West End production of We Will Rock You at the Dominion, in the role originally played by Windsor.

According to press materials, Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be is the tale of Fred, a loveable rogue, who comes out of prison to find he is not quite the king of the manor he once was. This revival is produced by Elliot Davis and Ellie Collyer Bristow, with choreography by Nick Winston and musical supervision and new arrangements are by Elliot Davis.

Finally, the Okai Collier Company, who last produced The Remains of the Day at the Union, will return to the venue to produce 1888, the world premiere of a musical by Gerry Ware. It begins performances June 7 for a run through July 2. According to press materials, it is set against the vibrant, chaotic and colourful backdrop of London, and follows the horrific story of a serial killer that occurred during the hot summer of 1888 that gripped the East End from Whitechapel to the "Bohemia" of Hoxton. Simon James Collier and Omar F Okai jointly direct and stage the show, with Collier also acting as producer and Okai also as choreographer. The cast comprises Vlach Ashton, Angeline Bell, Stacey V. Bland, Stephanie Hampton, Matthew Ibbotson, Stephen Lloyd, Stephanie Parry, Phineas Pett, Craig Vincent Power, Dudley Rogers and Gemma Salter.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7261 9876, or visit www.uniontheatre.biz.

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