With a top price of £65 for weekend shows — which with booking fees can exceed £70 — the show will ascend further above the West End’s once sacred £50 ceiling than any other London show.
In fact, Acorn’s producer, Phil McIntyre, was one of those who first smashed the £50 ceiling with the Queen musical We Will Rock You (still running at the Dominion). But Acorn Antiques sets a new high. Reportedly, it was Wood herself who stopped the prices being set even higher.
New casting for the show, which will play at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket beginning Jan. 31, 2005 (official opening night is set for Feb. 9), has also been announced. Josie Lawrence and Neil Morrissey will join the already reported casting of Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Sally Ann Triplet and Duncan Preston in director Trevor Nunn’s starry line-up. And, with Walters taking off Monday nights and Wednesday matinees (to play bingo, says the press release), Wood herself will take on the leading role of Mrs. Overall.
The musical marks the twentieth anniversary of Wood’s spoof soap opera, which was first broadcast on BBC television in January 1985. Wood’s original part, however, is played by Triplet, who joins Nunn again after playing Reno Sweeney in his recent production of Anything Goes at Drury Lane. Josie Lawrence, who made her name in another TV comedy, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” further expands a stage resume which has since included parts as diverse as Kate in an RSC The Taming of the Shrew and Anna in The King and I at the London Palladium.
Gareth Valentine is music supervisor, with Chris Walker as orchestrator. Stephen Mear choreographs. Set designs will be by Lez Brotherston, costumes by Stephen Brimson-Lewis with Andrew Bridge on lighting duties and Paul Groothuis on sound. For more information, call (0)870 602 1110.