Polly Penn and Laurence Klavan's Bed and Sofa to Play London's Finborough Theatre

News   Polly Penn and Laurence Klavan's Bed and Sofa to Play London's Finborough Theatre
Polly Penn and Laurence Klavan's 1996 Off-Broadway musical Bed and Sofa will receive its European premiere at London's Finborough Theatre, beginning performance March 29, prior to an official opening March 31, for a four-week run through April 23 only.

Cast member Kaisa Hammurland
Cast member Kaisa Hammurland

It is being presented as part of "In Their Place," the theatre's three-month season of work by women playwrights and composers.

The production, which is being directed by Luke Sheppard, has a cast led by West End performer Kaisa Hammurland (whose credits include Petra in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of A Little Night Music that transferred to the West End's Garrick Theatre), Alastair Parker (recently seen in the RSC's Matilda at Stratford-upon-Avon, and part of the original National Theatre cast of Jerry Springer – the Opera) and Alastair Brookshow (Shoes at Sadler's Wells, Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre). The production will also feature the voice of veteran West End and television star Penelope Keith, recently seen in the West End production of The Rivals, as the Announcer, to guide proceedings.

Bed and Sofa is described in press materials as a "silent movie musical," based on Abram Room's 1926 Russian film comedy that brings a raunchy ménage-a-trois with a twist to life. Nikolai (Parker) lives with Ludmilla (Hammarlund), a housewife who stays at home dreaming of romance. Moscow has a housing shortage, so when Volodya (Brookshaw) arrives with nowhere to live he is invited to share the couple's cramped quarters with surprising results.

Bed and Sofa originally premièred at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre in 1996, where it won two Obies (including Distinguished Music for Polly Penn) and seven Drama Desk nominations (including Best Musical). Penn's other musicals include Goblin Market and Christina Alberta's Father (both Off-Broadway), The Night Governess (McCarter Theatre), Her Lightness (Sarasota Opera) and The Dumb Cake (a radio musical for NPR).

Lyricist Klavan received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics to Bed and Sofa. He has also collaborated with Penn on the musical Embarrassments, developed at the O'Neill Music Theatre Conference and premiered at the Wilma in December 2003. His one-act play The Summer Sublet is included in Applause Books' Best American Short Plays 2000-2001. He was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has received commissions from the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Vineyard Theatre and the Wilma Theatre. He also writes novels and for television. Director Sheppard is the inaugural recipient of the Noël Coward Director Bursary. He was recently assistant director to Matthew Warchus on Matilda for the RSC.

Musical direction is by Candida Caldicot who leads an on-stage live quartet, with movement by Lucy Cullingford, set design by David Woodhead, costumes by Simon Wells and lighting by Howard Hudson. The production is produced by Take Note Theatre and Claire Evans, in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 1652, or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.

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