Former "EastEnders" star Tamzin Outhwaite is on board to play the title character of Charity Hope Valentine, created on Broadway by Gwen Verdon and subsequently in the 1969 film version by Shirley MacLaine. The show will be directed by Matthew White (who staged the Menier's 2006 production of Little Shop of Horrors that subsequently transferred to the West End's Duke of York's and New Ambassadors Theatres, and has recently been on a national tour), with choreography by Stephen Mears (2007 Tony nominee for Best Choreography for Mary Poppins which he co-choreographed with Matthew Bourne, and currently also represented on Broadway by his choreography for The Little Mermaid).
Outhwaite, who studied at the London Studio Centre, has previously appeared in the West End in such musicals as Carousel (at the National Theatre), Grease (Dominion Theatre) and Oliver! (London Palladium) before she joined "EastEnders" in 1998, where she played the role of Melanie Healy until 2002. Since leaving EastEnders, she has also appeared in the original West End cast of the revival of Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy Theatre in 2007, in which she played the American hostess Gloria. Other TV roles have included "Out of Control," "Red Cap," "Hustle," "Final Demand," "Frances Tuesday," "Walk Away and I Stumble," "Vital Signs," "Hotel Babylon" and "The Fixer." She has also appared in the films "7 Seconds" with Wesley Snipes, "Backwaters" and "Radio Cap Cod." She is about to begin filming a new BBC series "Paradox".
As well as Little Shop of Horrors, other musicals to transfer to the West End from the Menier Chocolate Factory include Sunday in the Park with George (also Broadway), and the current pair of revivals of La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music, currently playing at the Playhouse and Garrick Theatres, respectively.
Sweet Charity has been revived twice on Broadway since its original production: in 1986 at the Minskoff, when Debbie Allen starred; and in 2005 at the Al Hirschfeld, when Christina Applegate starred. It was first seen in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1967 starring Juliet Prowse; it was last revived in London in 1998 in a short-lived production at the Victoria Palace Theatre starring Bonnie Langford.
No further casting has been announced yet, and booking is not yet open.