Witches of Eastwick Tour, with Marti Pellow, Launches in U.K. Aug. 23

News   Witches of Eastwick Tour, with Marti Pellow, Launches in U.K. Aug. 23 The musical version of The Witches of Eastwick — based on the John Updike novel and the 1987 Warner Brothers film — with book and lyrics by John Dempsey and music by Dana P. Rowe launches a U.K. tour Aug. 23 at the Norwich Theatre Royal.
Marti Pellow
Marti Pellow

The production will officially open at the Norwich Aug. 27 and play through Sept. 5 before continuing on tour.

Pop star Marti Pellow – lead singer of the Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, who has since pursued a successful solo career – plays the lead role of Darryl van Horne (Jack Nicholson in the film version), whose arrival in small-town America gives three desperate housewives far more than they bargained for.

For the new U.K. tour, which is directed by Nikolai Foster (who recently staged a U.K. national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love and a revival of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus at Sheffield's Crucible), Ria Jones, Rebecca Thornhill and Poppy Tierney play the trio of Alexandra Spofford, Sukie Rougemount and Jane Spofford, respectively.

The role of Felicia Gabriel, the chief busybody and self-appointed moral guardian of Eastwick, is played by Rachel Izen, most recently seen onstage in the tour of Hot Flush! The ensemble includes James Graeme, Oliver Walker, Ralph Birtwell, Gergory Clarke, Ross Finnie, Victoria Hay, Russell Leighton Dixon, Samantha Mercer, Ngo Omene Ngofa, Claire Platt, Julie Stark, Vicki Lee Tyalor and Olivier Watton.

Set and costume designs are by Peter McKintosh, whose credits include The 39 Steps currently running in the West End and on Broadway, with choreography by Geoffrey Garrett, lighting by Guy Hoare and sound by Colin Pink. Michael Harrison, Kenneth Wax and Paul Elliott produce, by arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh. Following its Norwich opening, The Witches of Eastwick will continue to Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre, Northampton's Derngate Theatre, Bradford's Alhambra Theatre, the New Wimbledon Theatre in Lonkdon, Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre, Manchester's Opera House, Plymouth's Theatre Royal, Woking's New Victoria Theatre, High Wycombe's Wycombe Swan, Ipswich's Regent, Southampton's Mayflower, Wolverhampton's Grand, Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre, and the Edinburgh Playhouse, ending there on Jan. 3, 2009, with further dates in 2009 to be announced.

The original West End production of the show, which was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Eric Shaeffer, featured Ian McShane as Darryl van Horne and also starred Maria Friedman, Lucie Arnaz and Joanna Riding as the trio of witches of the title. It opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in June 2000, and subsequently transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre the following March, where it played to October 2001. It has subsequently been seen internationally in Melbourne in Australia in 2002, Moscow in Russia in 2003, the Czech Republic in 2007, and at Arlington, VA's Signature Theatre in 2007, where Eric Schaeffer staged a revised version of the show with a cast led by Marc Kudish.

Pellow has previously appeared onstage with a stint in the West End production of Chicago, where he took over the role of Billy Flynn, and subsequently also played it on Broadway in August 2004. Jones' credits include playing Eva Peron in a tour of Evita, Mrs. Overall in the touring production of Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques and Carla in the Donmar Warehouse revival of Nine in 1996. Thornhill previously took over the role of Sukie in the original production of The Witches of Eastwick after it transferred to the Prince of Wales, and other West End stage credits include playing Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, Roxie Hart in Chicago and Lina Lamont in the West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Singin' in the Rain that transferred to the National Theatre and earned her an Olivier Award nomination. Tierney was recently seen as Guiletta in Foster's production of Aspects of Love. She has also played the title role of Mary Poppins in the West End, Cosette in a U.K. national tour of Les Misérables and Ellen in Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

For more details visit www.witchesofeastwickthemusical.com.

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