Tillinger to Direct Praed and Gabrielle in The Murder Game at London's King's Head

By Mark Shenton
24 Feb 2009

Michael Praed
Michael Praed
Photo by John Good Holbrook

John Tillinger will direct Michael Praed and Josefina Gabrielle in the new comedy The Murder Game, which begins performances at the King's Head March 11 prior to an official opening March 17.

The production is booking initially to April 19.

Described in press materials as "a screwball comedy set in the cut-throat world of the New Orleans legal system," it is the first play of James Farwell, an American lawyer and political consultant. He was named by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the "rising stars" in American political consulting, and Roll Call named him one of the top consultants in the United States.

In the play, a killer is on the loose but where is he? Can the two people whose job it is to uphold justice catch him before killing each other? Will their trusted friend Melvin pay his gambling debts on time? Will the Brazilian footballer turned crime writer help? Or could it all be solved by an evening round the dinner table?

Director John Tillinger was last represented on Broadway by a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular, seen at the Biltmore Theatre in 2005 under the auspices of Manhattan Theater Club. Other Broadway credits include Say Goodnight, Gracie (2002), Judgment at Nuremberg (2001), Night Must Fall (1999), Getting and Spending (1998), The Sunshine Boys (1997), Inherit the Wind (1996) and Broken Glass (1994), amongst others. He was Tony-nominated for Best Direction of a Play for his 1986 production of Loot.



Michael Praed, who appeared on Broadway in the short-lived run of The Three Musketeers in 1984, has been seen in the West End in such shows as Aspects of Love, September Tide, Design for Living, Contact and Beautiful and Damned. He has previously appeared at the King's Head in Carl Djerassi's Three on a Couch (with his Contact co-star Leigh Zimmerman) and Misery. He has also toured regionally in Killing Castro, Sleuth and An Ideal Husband, amongst others. On TV he played the title role in "Robin of Sherwood" and Prince Michael of Moldavia in "Dynasty.

Josefina Gabrielle, who starred as Laurie in Trevor Nunn's National Theatre production of Oklahoma! in 1998 opposite Hugh Jackman and subsequently re-created the role in the West End and on Broadway (opposite Patrick Wilson), has also appeared on the London musical stage in The Witches of Eastwick and as Roxie Hart in Chicago. She was most recently seen in The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre.

The cast also includes Matt Healy (best known for his TV roles in "Emmerdale," "Coronation Street," "Holby City" and "Playing the Field"), Patrick Clancy (best known for his musical theatre roles in the West End in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Aspects of Love and The Producers) and Ben Jones (TV appearances include "Doctors," "Spooks," "Echo Beach," "Moving Wallpaper" and "My Family").

To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 412 2953 or visit www.kingsheadtheatre.org.