Legrand's Umbrellas of Cherbourg to Transfer to Gielgud After Leicester Premiere; Casting Announced

News   Legrand's Umbrellas of Cherbourg to Transfer to Gielgud After Leicester Premiere; Casting Announced
The Kneehigh production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Michel Legrand's musical version of Jacques Demy's film of the same name, will transfer to the West End's Gielgud Theatre in March after its regional try-out at Leicester's Curve Theatre the month before. 

Emma Rice
Emma Rice Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

It will begin performances in London March 5, prior to an official opening March 22, and is currently booking through Oct. 1. It will play in Leicester first from Feb. 11-26.

Directed by Emma Rice, recently represented on Broadway by the transfer of her Kneehigh production of Brief Encounter to Studio 54, the cast for Leicester and the West End comprises Joanna Riding (Madame Emery), Meow Meow (Lola), Carly Bawden (Genevieve), Gareth Charlton (Sailor), Andrew Durand (Guy), Cynthia Erivo (Madelaine), Dominic Marsh (Cassard), Aki Omoshaybi (Sailor) and ensemble members Laura Brydon and Matt Wilman.

Originally a 1964 film "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg," directed by Jacques Demy, Legrand's contributions received three Oscar Best Music nominations, including one for "I Will Wait for You" as Best Original Song, which has been recorded subsequently by many artists including Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and Liza Minnelli. A stage version of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was previously presented in the West End in a different short-lived stage version, seen at the Phoenix Theatre in 1979.

In the show, 20-year-old French auto mechanic Guy Fouchier has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother's chic umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève vow to remain lovers. After discovering she is carrying Guy’s child she must choose between waiting for his return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

Riding most recently played Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Other leading roles in musicals in the West End and at the National Theatre include Me and My Girl, Carousel, My Fair Lady, The Witches of Eastwick, Guys and Dolls and A Little Night Music. Meow Meow is best known as a cabaret artist who recently won the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize for her show Feline Intimate. Her work is characterized as "kamikaze cabaret" and "performance art exotica." The Sydney Opera House recently commissioned her original music theatre work Vamp.

Bawden, who is making her West End debut, has previously appeared in national tours of Whistle Down The Wind and Evita.

Charlton's stage credits include Don Giovanni for the English National Opera, Cinderella at the Old Vic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on tour in the U.K., and in Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands at Sadler's Wells and an American tour of Bourne's The Nutcracker.

Durand, who is making his West End debut, has been seen on Broadway in Spring Awakening, and Off-Broadway in The Burnt Part Boys (Playwright's Horizons) and Yank! (York Theater Company). He is appearing here with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programm between American Equity and UK Equity.

Erivo has appeared in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East and The Three Musketeers and The Princess of Spain, a co-production with The English Touring Theatre, Traverse Theatre and Belgrade Theatres.

Marsh has appeared in Longitude at Greenwich Theatre, The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, Mimi and several productions at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park and for the RSC.

Omoshaybi has appeared in Hair at the Gielgud Theatre, Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and national tours of West Side Story and South Pacific.

Brydon has appeared in Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre, Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre and a national tour of Cats.

Wilman has appeared in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales and in pantomime at Preston and Derby.

The Umbrellas of Cherboug has lyrics translated by Sheldon Harnick, designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, sound by Simon Baker and musical supervision by Nigel Lilley. It is produced in the West End by Daniel Sparrow and Mike Walsh Productions, Curve Leicester and City Lights International in association with Be Yu Productions.

To book tickets for the West End run, contact the box office on 0844 482 5130; for Leiceter, contact 0116 242 3595. Visit www.umbrellasofcherbourg.com for more information.

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