According to press materials, a love story unfolds within the world of daytime television in this satirical new musical that offers a contemporary look at today’s celebrity and story-hungry media culture.
In the show, a young orphaned couple from Rio's favelas, who are struggling financially with their internet cafe, enter "Payback," a paternity TV show in England. The government has privatized paternity claims and "Payback" aims to track down errant fathers and pay the injured party compensation. But the reality TV show is not quite reality, and the young couple are in danger of being nothing more than a solution to diving ratings, a soft target for the cynical and manipulative host, Matt Matthews, and a distraction to the government's inability to deal with paternity claims.
In a press statement, director Simon Greiff, who has also developed the show, commented, "Over the last four years I have been at the forefront in helping to develop new writing, working closely with the UK writers and composers of new musicals. Payback is a rare thing - an original British musical. Paul Rayfield has created a wonderfully satirical story, with great songs, that will make you question the state of celebrityville & how 15 minutes of fame comes at a cost."
Greiff has previously directed Stand Tall at London's Landor Theatre and at New York's 45th Street Theatre as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other directing work include premieres of A Song Cycle for Soho at Soho Theatre, The Pork Crunch at the Pleasance Theatre and Striking 12 at Waterloo East Theatre. He is also known for championing new writers through concerts and records he promotes as part of his company SimG Productions /SimG Records. (www.SimGProductions.com).
The cast is led by Matthew White as Matt Matthews. White is currently represented as a director by the West End production of Top Hat; other directorial credits include Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors, both which transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to, respectively, the Haymarket and the Duke of York's. His previous acting credits in the West End include Ragtime (for which he was Olivier-nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Les Miserables. Also in the cast are Katie Bernstein, Sarah Earnshaw, Adam Flynn, Howard Samuels, Alan Vicary and James Yeoburn.
The musical director is Nick Larkin, the designer is Kate Unwin, choreography is by Adam Murray, lighting by Robert Casey, and AV by Laura Lomax. The general manager is Milton Morrisey.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 8237 1111 or visit www.paybackthemusical.com for more details.