Casting Complete for West End Revival of The Pajama Game

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13 Feb 2014

Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding

Casting is now complete for the West End transfer of the Chichester Festival Theatre's production of The Pajama Game, which will begin previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre May 2 with an official opening May 13.

Directed by Richard Eyre, performances will continue through Sept. 13.

Peter Polycarpou and Colin Stinton will reprise their roles as Vernon Hines and Hasler, respectively, with Gary Wilmot taking over the role of Vernon Hines beginning June 2. They join the previously announced Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier.

The complete cast comprises Joanna Riding (Babe Williams), Michael Xavier (Sid Sorokin), Peter Polycarpou/Gary Wilmot (Vernon Hines), Alexis Owen Hobbs (Gladys), Claire Machin (Mabel), Colin Stinton (Hasler/Pop), Eugene McCoy (Prez), Siôn Lloyd (Max), Jennie Dale (Mae), Sharon Wattis (Poopsie), Keisha Amponsa Banson (Brenda), Lauren Varnham (Charlene), Jo Morris (Rita), Nolan Frederick (Charley), Richard Jones (Frank), Dan Burton (Earl) and James O’Connell (Joe).

"In 1950s America, love is in the air at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory as handsome new Superintendent Sid Sorokin (Michael Xavier) falls head-over-heels for firebrand Union rep Babe Williams (Joanna Riding)," according to press notes. "Sparks fly when the employees are refused a seven-and-a-half cents raise, leaving Sid and Babe deliciously at odds as the temperature rises. . . Will love, eventually, conquer all?"



The musical will feature choreography by Stephen Mear, designs by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Paul Groothuis, musical supervision and dance and vocal arrangements by Gareth Valentine, musical direction by Musical Director Michael England and casting by Pippa Ailion.

The Pajama Game features music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell. The original Broadway production opened at the St. James Theatre May 13, 1954, and later transferred to the Shubert Theatre. The musical ended its run Nov. 24, 1956, having played 1,063 performances. The premiere Broadway cast featured Janis Paige as Babe Williams and John Raitt as Sid Sorokin. Revivals were seen at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1973 and at the American Airlines Theatre in 2006; the latter cast Harry Connick, Jr. as Sid with Kelli O'Hara as Babe.

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 and Stephen McGill.