Final casting has been announced today for the European premiere of Grey Gardens the musical which will play at the Southwark Playhouse from Saturday 2 January – Saturday 6 February 2016. The musical Grey Gardens is based on the iconic documentary, telling real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin, Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale. Starting in 1941 at an engagement party at Grey Gardens, the Bouvier’s mansion in East Hampton, Long Island, the musical tracks the progression of the two women’s lives from American aristocrats to reclusive social outcasts living in such squalid conditions, in a home overrun by cats, that the Health Department deemed the mansion ‘unfit for human habitation’. Joining the previously announced Olivier Award-winning West End stars, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell are: Billy Boyle, who has just finished two years playing Grandpa George in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the … Read more
Sam Mendes’ production of the musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is in excellent shape. Nothing indicates that more clearly than the show not missing a beat despite the fact that three understudies were called upon to perform. The company didn’t hiccup. Routines are polished and well-drilled; Mark Thompson’s wonderfully colourful, and sometimes colourless, costumes and sets are in pristine shape and conjure up the requisite sense of magic effortlessly. The tunefulness and sprightly fun of Marc Shaiman’s music remains infectious and sweet.