Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Tours from 8 SepDate: 2 September 1998
The New Shakespeare Company's production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes embarks on an 11-week, 10-stop national tour next week, following its summer run at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, the company's home venue. This production is the first major revival of the musical since the 1962. The tour kicks off Tuesday, 8 September at the Oxford Playhouse and concludes 21 November at the Blackpool Grand.
Set in the 1920s, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes tells the story of gold-digger Lorelei Lee and her sail across the Atlantic with chum Dorothy Shaw. Despite her engagement to multi-millionaire Gus Esmond, Lorelei employs her charm and natural assets to seek out all the rich gentlemen on and off ship, from New York to Paris and back again. The score includes classic songs “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend” and “Bye Bye Baby”.
Sara Crowe, best known in the UK as the ditz from the Philadelphia Cheese TV adverts, plays Lorelei Lee, a role made famous on Broadway by Carole Channing in 1949 and immortalised on screen by Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. She is joined by Debby Bishop as Dorothy and Clive Rowe as Gus. Rowe won the 1997 Olivier Award for Best Support Role for his performance as Nicely Nicely Johnson in the National Theatre Production of Guys and Dolls. Bishop has appeared in London productions of Kiss Me Kate, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ain't Misbehavin and The Cotton Club.
New Shakespeare Company artistic director Ian Talbot directs, with design by Paul Farnsworth. The tour will visit Oxford, Cheltenham, Poole, Brighton, Richmond, Bath, Newcastle, Guildford, Sheffield and Blackpool.