Tuesday, 6 June 2017

FIRST LOOK: The European Premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s WORKING


Gillian Bevan, Dean Chisnall, Krysten Cummings, Siubhan Harrison, Peter Polycarpou and Liam Tamne lead the cast of the European Premiere of WORKING, directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Fabian Aloise. WORKING will open at Southwark Playhouse on 7 June 2017, with previews from 2 June, for a strictly limited season ending 8 July 2017. 

Completing the cast of the European Premiere of WORKING at Southwark Playhouse are six young performers all making their professional debuts. Patrick Coulter (Bird College of Dance), Nicola Espallardo (Guildford School of Acting), Izuka Hoyle, Luke Latchman, Huon Mackley (all Arts Educational Schools, London) and Kerri Norville (Bird College of Dance).













Gillian Bevan played regular Clare Hunter in the Channel 4 series Teachers. Her other TV credits include recurring roles in Holby City (BBC1) and Doctors (BBC 1). Gillian recently played the title role in the RSC's production of Cymbeline. Her previous theatre credits include the Witch in Into the Woods (Manchester Royal Exchange), Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot (West End), Polonia in Hamlet (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Krysten Cummings originated the role of Mimi Marquez in the West End production of Rent, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. She also played the role on Broadway. She most recently appeared in the Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Dean Chisnall is currently playing the Narrator in Blood Brothers (UK Tour). His previous theatre credits include the title role in Shrek the Musical (Theatre Royal Drury Lane & National Tour), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre), La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre) and Never Forget (Savoy).

Siubhan Harrison most recently starred as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls (Savoy and Phoenix Theatres). Her other notable theatre credits include Lorene in From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Sally Simpson in Tommy (Prince Edward Theatre) and Rizzo in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre).

Peter Polycarpou has a wide range of theatre, TV and film credits to his name. He recently appeared as Buddy Fiddler in City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre) & Inspector Messiter in The Magistrate (National Theatre). Peter was part of the original casts of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and played Ali Hakim in the National Theatre’s Olivier Award-winning stage and film production of Oklahoma! alongside Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman. Peter played regular Chris Theodopolopodous in BBC 1’s Birds of a Feather from 1990-1994 and appeared in the film adaptation of Evita starring Madonna, as well as the 2004 musical film De-Lovely.

Liam Tamne most recently starred as Frank N Furter in Rocky Horror Picture Show (UK Tour). His other theatre credits include Raoul, in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Enjolras in Les Misérables (The Queen’s Theatre) and Link Larkin in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre). Liam was part of team Will.I.Am on BBC’s The Voice in 2013. 

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The show has been adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the creators of Godspell and Rags, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg.

This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation. WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights) as well as Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead.

WORKING first opened on Broadway in 1978, under the direction of Stephen Schwartz, with a cast including Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Joe Mantegna, David Patrick Kelly and Rex Everhart. The show has since undergone several revisions, with additional songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda being introduced in 2009. WORKING was last performed off-Broadway in December 2012, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg (Holiday Inn, Guys and Dolls, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris).

WORKING will have Set Design by Jean Chan, Costume Design by Gabriella Slade, Lighting Design by Nic Farman and Sound Design by Tom Marshall with Musical Supervision by Alex Parker, Musical Direction by Isaac McCullough and Casting by Will Burton CDG.

The new production at Southwark Playhouse is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

WORKING is produced by Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi & D.E.M. Productions.

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