Jacob Fowler is set to play Prince Topher in Hope Mill Theatre’s U.K. premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,opposite the previously announced Grace Mouat. The Manchester run, postponed from 2020, will begin previews November 1, with opening night set for November 6. Performances will continue through December 11.
“It has been a dream of mine to sing a Rodgers and Hammerstein score, so to do so, opposite Grace and at the Hope Mill, is a privilege,” says Fowler in a statement.
The performer is best known for playing J.D. in Heathers: The Musical at The Other Palace. He also won the BBC reality series Little Mix: The Search and went on to support the British pop band on their final U.K. arena tour.
Joseph Houston will direct with William Whelton co-directing and choreographing. The creative team continues with music supervision by Leo Munby, music direction by Audra Cramer, new musical arrangements by Jason Carr, set and costume design by Elly Wdowski, assistant design by Alfie Heywood, projection design by George Reeve, lighting design by Aaron J Dootson, sound design by Adam Fisher, associate choreography by Charise Renouf, wig design by Richard Mawbey, assistant costume design by Eve Salter, sound by Josh Evans, and casting by Jane Deitch.
This retelling of the classic fairytale follows Ella, who lives with her horrible and uncaring stepmother Madame and two stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle, and the collision of her world with that of Prince Topher at a ball planned by the scheming advisor Sebastian, and their story as their worlds become entwined.
Cinderella is the only musical Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote specifically for television. The original broadcast in 1957 starred Julie Andrews and was remade in 1965 with Lesley Ann Warren in the title role. The musical is also well-known for its 1997 reboot starring Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood. In 2013, a new Broadway version premiered with a book by Douglas Carter Beane that introduced new characters and songs to the story. It received nine Tony Award nominations and one win.
Beane's revision of the show received a one-night concert performance in London in 2019. Hope Mill Theatre's production will be the first fully staged production to be performed in the U.K.