Olivier Award winner Jenna Russell will star as Francesca in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s The Bridges of Madison County. As previously announced, the musical will bow July 13 in an all-new staging by Tony and Olivier Award–winning director Trevor Nunn.
Russell won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2006 for her performance in Sunday in the Park With George at the Menier Chocolate Factory (a performance she later reprised on Broadway) and was nominated for her work in the Menier’s 2012 revival of Merrily We Roll Along. She recently appeared in the London premiere of Fun Home at the Young Vic.
Casting for the role of Robert Kincaid has not been announced. Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale created the roles of Francesca and Robert in the musical’s 2014 Broadway premiere.
The musical, which earned Brown Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, receives its U.K. premiere at the London venue, with an opening night set for July 23. Performances are currently scheduled through September 14.
In the musical, Francesca is an Italian immigrant housewife living a happy existence on a farm in the American Midwest. When her family heads to the Iowa State Fair, she meets Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer on assignment filming bridges in the area. Their initial friendship develops into a brief but passionate affair which has consequences on all of their lives.
The production will also feature sets and costumes by Jon Bausor, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Gregory Clarke, and musical supervision and direction by Tom Murray.