Julie Atherton Will Star in Brief Runs of tick, tick and Last 5 Years in London

News   Julie Atherton Will Star in Brief Runs of tick, tick and Last 5 Years in London
Jason Robert Brown's The Last 5 Years and Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! are to be staged at the West End's Duchess Theatre, in short runs from May 6-10 and May 13 -17 respectively.

Julie Atherton will star in both, joined by Paul Spicer for The Last 5 Years and Paul Keating and Leon Lopez for tick, tick...BOOM!, which are both being presented as fully-staged productions.

The staging of The Last 5 Years is based on the production originally presented last October as part of the "Notes from New York" series, which marked its fifth anniversary by staging the two-character musical for a one-night run at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, where it proved such a success that two extra performances were added. That production is now being reconceived for the Duchess Theatre, with "Notes from New York" associate artists Atherton and Spicer (who also co-founded the series) reprising their performances.

The Last 5 Years premiered at Chicago's Northlight Theatre in 2001 (starring Lauren Kennedy and Norbert Leo Butz), and was subsequently produced at Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theatre in 2002 (again with Butz but newly joined by Sherie Rene Scott). The U.K. premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2006 starred Lara Pulver (who subsequently appeared in Brown's Parade at the Donmar Warehouse) and Damian Humbley. The show revolves around the relationship between a newly published novelist Jamie and an aspiring actress Cathy, whose lives pull in opposite directions.

Atherton, who plays Cathy, was seen as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in the original London cast of Avenue Q. She recently returned to the company for its final months at the Coward Theatre and will return to it when it resumes performances at the Gielgud Theatre. She has also previously played Sophie in Mamma Mia! and Serena in Fame.

Spicer, who plays Jamie, was seen in 2008 as Tobias in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the Gothenburg Opera in Sweden. Previous West End roles include taking over the role of Michael in The Witches of Eastwick and Billy in Taboo. tick, tick... BOOM!, which tells the autobiographically-inspired story of a composer wrestling with his career choice, was originally produced with composer Larson himself appearing in early versions of the show at Off-Off Broadway addresses in 1990. It was subsequently expanded and produced again after his death, premiering at Off-Broadway's Jane Street Theatre in 2001. It received its British premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2005. For this new production at the Duchess, Atherton is joined by Keating (Tommy, Closer to Heaven, The Full Monty and Little Shop of Horrors) and Leon Lopez (seen in the West End in the 2007 revival of Rent, in which he played Tom Collins, and who has also played the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but who is best known for his TV roles in "Brookside" and "Hollyoaks").

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 811 0052, or visit www.notesfromnewyork.com

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