New West End Production of The Fantasticks Opens June 9

News   New West End Production of The Fantasticks Opens June 9
A new West End production of the Off-Broadway musical institution The Fantasticks opens at London's Duchess Theatre June 9, following previews from May 24.

The Fantasticks' Hadley Fraser and Lorna Want
The Fantasticks' Hadley Fraser and Lorna Want

The production is directed and choreographed by Amon Miyamoto (who has previously fulfilled the same duties on Sondheim's Pacific Overtures at Broadway's Studio 54 in 2004, and whose recent credits include Bill Russell and Henry Krieger's Up in the Air, seen at Washington, DC's Kennedy Center in 2008, and Maltby and Shire's Take Flight at Tokyo's International Forum Hall in 2007).

The cast features up-and-coming actors Lorna Want and Luke Brady as the young lovers, joined by David Burt and Clive Rowe in the roles of the two fathers, as well as Tony Award nominee Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter who will play the roles of Henry and his sidekick Mortimer. The character of El Gallo, around whom much of the twists and turns of the plot revolve, is played by Hadley Fraser. The role of the mute will be played by Carl Au.

Want was last seen on stage as Gabrielle in High School Musical. Other credits include Les Miserables (in which she played Cosette at the age of nine), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet The Musical, Ariel Moore in Footloose the Musical and the Mistress in Evita.

Brady is making his West End debut. He has previously appeared in Nightfall at the Edinburgh Festival and in Tarantula in Petrol Blue at Albeburgh Music in Suffolk.

Burt is a veteran of the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company where he has appeared in such productions as The Beggars Opera (Olivier Nomination), The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida. His West End credits include Evita, Cats, Tommy, Les Miserables, Chess, La Traviata (Olivier Nomination), Edmund Kean (Evening Standard Award Nomination), Jesus Christ Superstar, Taboo, The Woman in White and Bad Girls: The Musical. Rowe appears annually as the panto dame in the Hackney Empire's pantomimes, for which he has been Olivier nominated, including Mother Goose, Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin. He has also appeared in Twelfth Night at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park and As You Like It at Wyndham's Theatre; Caroline or Change and Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre; Simply Heavenly at the Young Vic and West End's Trafalgar Studios; and Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre. His TV credits include "Dr Who," "All the Small Things," "Tracy Beaker," "Dalziel and Pascoe," "American Voices" and "The Harry Hill Show."

Petherbridge was last seen on the London stage in Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase at the Old Red Lion. He created the role of Guilden in the original production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, during his tenure as a regular member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre company. He subsequently co-ran an actors' company at the National with Ian McKellen in the mid-'80s. On Broadway, he was Tony-nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for both playing Newman Noggs in the Broadway transfer of the RSC's production of The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby and for playing Charles Marsden in another transfer from London of Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude. He played Mr Fairlie in the world premiere production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White at London's Palace Theatre in 2004.

Hunter is an actor, director and writer and founder of the hugely successful theatre company Told by an Idiot. Recent appearances include: The Farenheit Twins at The Barbican, Troilus and Cressida and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe and Noctural at The Gate Theatre.

Fraser has previously been seen in the West End in Les Miserables, The Far Pavilions, The Pirates of Penzance and Peter Pan. On Broadway he created the role of Tiernan in the world premiere of Boublil and Schonberg's The Pirate Queen at the Hilton Theatre in 2007.

Au appeared in the London production of High School MusicaI at the Hammersmith Apollo. His other appearances include A Christmas Carol at Birmingham Rep and Sleeping Beauty at Oxford Playhouse.

The original production of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's musical ran for some 42 years and became the world's longest-running musical. Their other stage credits include 110 in the Shade (premiered in 1963) and I Do! I Do! (1966), among others. Their score for The Fantasticks includes such classics as "Much More," "I Can See It" and "Try to Remember." The Fantasticks first premiered Off-Broadway at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1960, with a cast that included Jerry Orbach, Rita Gardner, Kenneth Nelson and librettist Tom Jones himself. It finally closed Jan. 13, 2002 after a record-breaking 17,162 performances. It subsequently returned in a new production to Off-Broadway's Snapple Theater Centre in 2006, where it is still running. It was last seen on the London stage in July 1990 as part of the annual summer season at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. It has also played in over 2000 cities and towns in the States, and internationally it has been seen in 67 countries.

This new Fantasticks is designed by Rumi Matsui (who previously collaborated with Miyamoto on Pacific Overtures, for which he was Tony nominated), with lighting by Rick Fisher (2009 Tony winner for Billy Elliot), costumes by Nicky Shaw, orchestrations and musical supervision by Jason Carr and musical direction by Tom Deering.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4659, or visit

Clive Rowe, Luke Brady, Hadley Fraser, Carl Au, Lorna Want and David Burt in <i>The Fantasticks</i>
Clive Rowe, Luke Brady, Hadley Fraser, Carl Au, Lorna Want and David Burt in The Fantasticks
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