Five-star Show Boat sails into the West End

Show B oat at the New London Theatre
The original Sheffield Theatres cast of Show Boat. Photo: Johan Persson

Daniel Evans’ five star production of Show Boat will transfer from Sheffield to the West End this spring.

Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, Show Boat, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, is currently booking to 7 January 2017.

One of the most romantic musicals of all time, set against the backdrop of America’s Deep South at the turn of the 20th Century, Show Boat tells a powerful story of freedom, loyalty and, above all love.

Show Boat at the New London Theatre
The original Sheffield Theatres cast of Show Boat. Photo: Johann Persson

Spanning 40 pivotal years in American history, this epic musical follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard the Cotton Blossom show boat as it plies the Mississippi River, and features the timeless songs Ol’ Man River, Make Believe and Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.

Evans’ sell-out production opened at the Crucible in Sheffield on 10 December last year and, after being hailed by audiences and critics alike, extended booking to January 2016. Evans took over as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009 and in June this year he takes over as artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre.  As a director at Sheffield Theatres his productions include The Effect,  Anything Goes, Oliver!, This Is My Family, The Full Monty, My Fair Lady, Macbeth, Othello, Racing Demon as part of The David Hare Season and An Enemy of the People – the opening production of his inaugural season.

He said: “Show Boat is often thought to be the mother of all musicals.  Hammerstein and Kern’s score continues to blow audiences away, almost 90 years later.  As well as being a riveting story, the piece’s themes of family and freedom still speak to us today in a profound way.  I feel proud that the production we made in Sheffield will now get to travel further afield and be experienced by yet more audiences in the capital.”

Show Boat will play at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane from 9 April 2016 with booking currently to 7 January 2017

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