Jibson won an Olivier Award nomination for his performance as the mixed-up hero of the Madness musical Our House. Also in the cast will be Sophie Ragavelas, who finishes her stint as Eponine in Les Misérables at the Queen’s on June 26. The musical, decades in gestation (when Barry first had the idea, Greene himself wanted to write the lyrics, but according to Barry his efforts were unusable), will preview at Islington’s tiny Ameida Theatre beginning Sept. 20, opening on Oct. 5. Depicting the gang wars in 1930’s Brighton, and the 17 year-old gangster who must battle older rivals, and his own conscience, the show runs until Nov. 13. Michael Attenborough, whose father Richard Attenborough starred in the famous 1947 movie version, will direct, with designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Tim Mitchell, musical direction and arrangements by Steven Edis, choreography by Karen Bruce, sound by John Leonard and fights by Terry King.
Barry and Black (the latter also penned the lyrics to Bombay Dreams, currently running on Broadway) are a long-standing song-writing team. In 1967 they were the first British songwriters to win an Oscar, for the song “Born Free” (Barry subsequently won a further three Oscars). Their other stage musicals include the 1974 West End hit Billy, which gave a first big theatre success for Michael Crawford and an early break to Elaine Paige. Barry and Black also wrote James Bond songs together, including “Thunderball” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” The book is by Giles Havergal, who previously wrote a well-received adaptation of Greene’s Travels With My Aunt. The show is presented in association with West End producer Bill Kenwright.