The Roar of the Greasepaint Will Finally Make Its London Premiere

News   The Roar of the Greasepaint Will Finally Make Its London Premiere
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s The Roar of the Greasepaint — the Smell of the Crowd will receive its London premiere at the fringe Finborough Theatre, beginning performances June 7, prior to an official opening June 9, for a season through July 2.

Originally premiered in a pre-London British tour starring Norman Wisdom in 1964, it subsequently by-passed London and was presented on Broadway instead in 1965 in a production that starred Anthony Newley and Cyril Ritchard. Now it is to be presented as part of the Finborough’s season celebrating British music theatre, in a production that is being directed by veteran RSC helmer Ian Judge, who has also directed musicals in the West End and opera globally from English National Opera and the Royal Opera House in London to New York City Opera, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, St Petersburg, Paris and Madrid.

The show is designed by three-time Olivier winner Tim Goodchild, with lighting by Mark Doubleday, musical direction by Magnus Gilliam and choreography by Tim Jackson.

The cast comprises Matthew Ashforde, Oliver Beamish, Terry Doe, Jennifer Done, Samantha Giffard, Louisa Maxwell, Beth Morrissey, Elizabeth Rowden, Tanya Shields, Charlotte Silver and Hannah Wilding.

With a score that includes "A Wonderful Day Like Today," "The Joker," "Who Can I Turn To?" (a hit for Tony Bennett), "The Beautiful Land" and "Feeling Good" (a hit for Michael Bublé), The Roar of The Greasepaint, The Smell of The Crowd presents the follies of the irrepressible Cocky and the imperious Sir as they play the comical Game of Life in an allegorical satire on the British class system. As they play, demonstrating how the working class can't get ahead because of the rules set and constantly changed by the ruling classes, they are led to an unexpected conclusion.

Bricusse and Newley’s other collaborations include Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, which includes "Gonna Build A Mountain" and "What Kind of Fool Am I?," which sold more than a million records and became Newley’s signature tune as a performer. Bricusse’s other credits include Pickwick; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; The Good Old Bad Old Days; Scrooge; Victor/Victoria; Sherlock Holmes – The Musical; and Jekyll And Hyde. Songs and/or screenplays for films include "Goldfinger," "Doctor Dolittle," "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "Scrooge," "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory," "Superman," "Santa Claus - The Movie," "Home Alone," "Hook," "Tom and Jerry – The Movie," "Victor/Victoria" and various "Pink Panther" movies. The late Anthony Newley was also an actor, singer and director in a career that spanned more than 50 years embracing film, repertory theatre, rock and roll, comedy revues, music hall and television. Hit records include "I've Waited So Long," "Why" and "Do You Mind?" To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 1652, or visit

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