Paice and Danesh Are Gone with the Wind Beginning April 5 in London

News   Paice and Danesh Are Gone with the Wind Beginning April 5 in London The world premiere of Gone with the Wind, the new musical version of Margaret Mitchell's epic novel, begins previews in the West End at the New London Theatre April 5. An April 4 preview was canceled due to the injury of a cast member.
Gone with the Wind stars Darius Danesh and Jill Paice.
Gone with the Wind stars Darius Danesh and Jill Paice. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Directed by Tony Award winner Trevor Nunn, the production — co-starring Guys and Dolls' Darius Danesh as Rhett Butler and Curtains' Jill Paice as Scarlet O'Hara – will officially open April 22.

Joining Paice and Danesh onstage are Edward Baker-Duly (South Pacific) as Ashley Wilkes; Madeleine Worall (Cinderella at the Old Vic) as Melanie Wilkes; American NaTasha Yvette Williams (The Color Purple) in her West End debut as Mammy; and Jina Burrows (Boogie Nights and Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall) as Prissy.

The ensemble comprises Emily Bryant, Gareth Chart, Laura Checkley, Julian Forsyth, Kirsty Hoiles, Chris Jarman, Tober Reilly, David Roberts, Tom Sellwood, Ray Shell, Savannah Stevenson, Gemma Sutton, Sue Jane Tanner, Susan Tracy and Alan Winner.

The creative team for Nunn's production includes set and costume designers John Napier and Andreane Neofitou, respectively. Gareth Valentine (Wicked and Sinatra) is the musical supervisor and arranger with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Paul Groothius.

Paice created the role of Laura Fairlie in Nunn's production of The Woman in White both at the Palace Theatre in London and on Broadway. Her other theatre credits include Nicki Harris in Curtains at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and on Broadway where she reprised the role opposite David Hyde Pierce. She was also the original Sophie in the Las Vegas company of Mamma Mia! and appeared in the U.S. touring company of Les Misérables. Her recording credits include the original cast recordings of Curtains, The Woman in White and The Gig as well as a featured artist on the "Andrew Lloyd Webber on Broadway" album. Onstage Danesh has twice played Billy Flynn in the London production of Chicago and starred as Sky in Michael Grandage's London revival of Guys and Dolls.

With music and lyrics by sociologist-turned-composer Margaret Martin, Gone With the Wind has been in development for three years with Nunn, Martin and producer Aldo Scrofani of Columbia Artists, who has teamed up with London producer Coilin Ingram for the West End premiere.

Set in 1860s Atlanta, Georgia, Gone With the Wind takes in America's Civil War and the Reconstruction Period that followed. Mitchell's heroine is 17-year-old Scarlett who lives a life of luxury on her father's plantation and embarks on a turbulent relationship with the dashing and dangerous Rhett.

In an earlier statement, Nunn said, "Having now worked on adapting two vast novels for the stage, Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables I am drawn to the challenge of telling Margaret Mitchell's epic story through words, music and the imaginative resources of the theatre. The major turning point of American history is conveyed through Mitchell's extraordinary cast of characters, black and white, as they pursue their different ideas of the future, and of the past."

For more on Gone With the Wind call (0)870 890 0141.

Darius Danesh, Jill Paice and Edward Baker-Duly in rehearsal for <i>Gone with the Wind</i>.
Darius Danesh, Jill Paice and Edward Baker-Duly in rehearsal for Gone with the Wind. Photo by Catherine Ashmore