Ahrens and Flaherty's Dessa Rose to Receive U.K Premiere at London's Trafalgar Studios

Dessa Rose, a musical based on the novel by Sherley Anne Williams of the same name that premiered Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2005, is to receive its British premiere, beginning performances July 29 at London's Trafalgar Studios 2, prior to an official opening July 31, for a run through Aug. 30.

Rachel York (left) and La Chanze in Dessa Rose
Rachel York (left) and La Chanze in Dessa Rose (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Featuring music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics and book by Lynn Ahrens, the musical is set in 1846 in the ante-bellum South. It follows two young women on their journey to acceptance. Passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave faced with a barrage of hardships because of the color of her skin. Ruth, a young white mother, faces difficulties because of her gender. Ruth and Dessa hand down the story to their grandchildren, reliving the adventure they experienced together. The musical follows their deep and lasting bond and how this makes them part of a long, strong line of women.

It will be directed by Andrew Keates, who in a press statement has said, "In our current political climate, I can think of no better time to tell this visceral story of how we can learn from those that are different to us and also form lifelong relationships indiscriminate of age, gender and race."

Keates' recent productions in London include Passing By, As Is, Rooms – A Rock Romance and Howard Goodall's A Winter’s Tale, all produced with Arion Productions who are also producing here.

Casting is yet to be announced.

To book tickts, contact the box office on 0844 871 7632 or visit atgtickets.com/trafalgarstudios