By Mark Shenton
16 Dec 2013
Joanna Riding will reprise her Chichester role of Babe Williams, with Michael Xavier joining the cast to replace Hadley Fraser as Sid Sorokin, the handsome new superintendent at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory where she is the union rep for the workers.
The musical, which features words and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, revolves around what happens at the factory when the employees are refused a seven-and-a-half cents raise.
In a press statement, director Eyre commented, "The Pajama Game was the first musical I ever heard - on an album belonging to my sister when I was 14. I had never seen it until I directed it at Chichester. It was a long wait to discover what an entrancing, joyful, tuneful and sharp show it is."
Riding, who is currently appearing in Eyre's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical Stephen Ward, has won Laurence Olivier Awards for her performances as Julie in Carousel and Eliza in My Fair Lady, both produced by the National Theatre. She has also appeared at the National in A Little Night Music and Oh! What A Lovely War. West End credits include Blithe Spirit, Billy Elliot, The Witches of Eastwick and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Xavier has been Olivier-nominated for his performances in Love Story (Duchess Theatre, transferred from Chichester Festival Theatre) and in Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). His many other credits include My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Phantom of The Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre) and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park).
The Chichester Festival Theatre production of The Pajama Game is produced in the West End by Joseph Smith and John Brant, Old Vic Productions, Gavin Kalin, Neil Franklin and Stephen McGill.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 20 7379 5399 or visit www.thepajamagamethemusical.com for more details.