A Chorus Line Returns to the West End, Beginning Performances at the London Palladium Feb. 5
By Mark Shenton
A new production of A Chorus Line begins performances at the London Palladium Feb. 4, delayed from the originally announced Feb. 2, prior to an official opening Feb. 19.
This is the show's first full London revival since the original Broadway production transferred to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1976, where it ran for three years. The show features music by Marvin Hamlisch, the composer who died in early August last year, a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, with lyrics by Edward Kleban. It is directed by Bob Avian, Michael Bennett's longtime collaborator and his co-choreographer on the original production. Avian was also responsible for directing the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
The cast is led by John Partridge, Scarlett Strallen, Leigh Zimmerman and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt. They are joined by Lucy Adcock (Judy), Georgie Ashford (Trisha), Ed Currie (Bobby), Frances Dee (Kristine), Segun Fawole (Butch), Harry Francis (Mark), Simon Hardwick (Al), Rebecca Herszenhon (Val), James T Lane (Richie), Marc Leslie (Roy), Vicki Lee Taylor (Maggie), Daisy Maywood (Bebe), Alice Jane Murray (Lois), Alastair Postlethwaite (Larry), Andy Rees (Greg), Adam Salter (Mike), Alexzandra Sarmiento (Connie), Michael Steedon (Tom), Gary Watson (Don) and Gary Wood (Paul), with Rebecca Giocopazzi, Genevieve Nicole and Ashley Nottingham.
Murray and Leslie were selected to join the company from open auditions that were held at the London Palladium last September, which attracted some 2,000 auditionees.
Partridge, who plays Zach, is best known for his role as Christian Clarke in TV's "EastEnders." His extensive musical theatre credits include appearances in Cats, Starlight Express, Tommy, Grease, The Drowsy Chaperone, Rent and Miss Saigon He is currently one of the presenters of the National Lottery programme and he was selected by the BBC to join Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charlotte Church and Sheila Hancock as a judge on BBC1's "Over The Rainbow."
Strallen, who plays Cassie, was recently seen as Kathy in the West End production of Singin' in the Rain. Previous West End credits include Clara in Passion (Donmar Warehouse), the title role in Mary Poppins (West End and Broadway) and Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium).
Zimmerman, who plays Sheila, has played Velma in the two seasons of Chicago in the West End and originated the role of Ulla in the West End premiere of The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), for the latter of which she was Olivier nominated. Broadway credits include The Will Rogers Follies, Crazy For You and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Hamilton-Barritt, who plays Diana, was most recently seen playing Gypsy Rose Lee in Leicester Curve's production of Gypsy. She also played the lead role of Alex in Flashdance in the West End and Maria in the international tour of West Side Story.
In a press statement, Andrew Lloyd Webber (who owns the theatre) has commented, "I am delighted to welcome A Chorus Line into The London Palladium. This classic Broadway production has not been seen in the West End for almost 35 years. Marvin Hamlisch was a great friend and supporter in my early career and I can think of no more fitting tribute to him than this major revival."
This production of A Chorus Line is produced by Mark Goucher, Adam Kenwright, ACT Productions, Tim Lawson, Daniel Sparrow & Mike Walsh Productions by special arrangement with John Breglio and A Chorus Line Broadway.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 4412 2957, or visit achoruslinelondon.com.
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