Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Clive Rowe to star in Hackney Empire 2014 pantomime Mother Goose

Celebrated grande dame of pantomime Clive Rowe will make his much-anticipated return to Hackney Empire this Christmas in Mother Goose. Rowe will star in the title role, for which he received an Olivier Award-nomination in 2008.  
Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D Clarke will play the good enchantress Charity opposite Rowe in this glittering celebration of inner beauty.  

Both Rowe and Clarke return to Hackney Empire after starring in the critically acclaimed Blues In the Night here earlier this year. They will appear in London’s number one pantomime following previous starring roles; Rowe was last seen in a  Hackney Pantomime as Dame Daisy in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2010 and Clarke returns after 2013’s Puss in BootsMother Goose will again be directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Susie McKenna with music by Steven Edis. The production will run at Hackney Empire from 22 November 2014 to 4 January 2015.

Set in the merry kingdom of Hackneytopia E8, Hackney Empire’s production features a battle between two Enchantress Sisters, Charity (good, of course) and her evil sibling Vanity, for the soul of our heroine, Mother Goose.  Will she be saved by Princess Pricilla, a goose who lays golden eggs?

The production will feature dazzling dance routines, colourful costumes and show-stopping songs, performed alongside a stunning live band.   

Clive Rowe was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his role as Mother Goose at Hackney Empire. Rowe’s extensive theatre credits include his Olivier Award-winning performance in Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), The Light Princess, Carousel (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award), Fuente OvejunaCaroline or ChangeThe Villains OperaMoneyCandidePeter Pan (all National Theatre), Kiss Me Kate (Chichester and Old Vic Theatre) and The Ladykillers(West End and UK Tour. He is well known for his role as ‘Duke’ in the BBC’s The Story of Tracey Beaker. Other television credits includeAll the Small ThingsDoctor WhoDalziel & Pascoe, and The Harry Hill Show.

Sharon D Clarke won the 2014 Best Supporting Actress Olivier Award for her role as ‘Odessa’ in The Amen Corner (National Theatre) following previous Olivier nominations for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for both We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre) and Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre). Other West End theatre credits include Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre) and Chicago (Adelphi Theatre). Clarke is currently starring in Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and her return to Hackney marks her fourth appearance in the theatre’s pantomime. 

Mother Goose will be Susie McKenna’s 16th Hackney pantomime. From starting as principal boy in Nottingham Playhouse pantomimes, Susie is now Creative Director of Hackney Empire. Her directing credits include Blues In The Night (Hackney Empire, UK Tour 2015) A Midsummer Night’s Madness (Hackney Empire, New York and Edinburgh Festival), La Varieté,, Sit and Shiver (assisting Steven Berkoff), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre, London) and Once on this Island (Hackney Empire, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse). Susie has also worked as an actress for over 30 years. Her acting credits include Chicago, Cats, Ragtime  and The Witches of Eastwick in the West End and national tours of HairThe Rocky Horror Showand Jesus Christ Superstar.

Steven Edis returns once again as musical composer to create a magical mix of musical mash-ups, chart remixes and an original score. Steven has worked with the National Theatre, in the West End and on a variety of prestigious projects as composer, arranger and orchestrator. Credits include The Captain of Kopenick (National Theatre), The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Chorus of Disapproval, Flarepath and Birdsong for the West End. Steven brings his vast experience to create a musical score that rivals a West End musical.

Tickets are on sale and full cast is to be announced.

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