Johnson's Shang-a-Lang Premieres at BushDate: 10 November 1998
Catherine Johnson's latest play, Shang-a-Lang, receives its world premiere this week at the west London fringe venue, the Bush Theatre. It opens Friday 13 November, following previews from Wednesday 11 November, and continues until 19 December 1998.
Johnson - who is currently collaborating with ABBA singers Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson on Mama Mia, a musical based on the group's songs which is due to open at the West End's Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1998 - continues the 70s revival theme with this Glam Rock nostalgia play. Shang-a-Lang charts the rocky 40th birthday weekend of three women who head for Butlins to try to relive the Bay City Rollers fantasies of their youth.
Nicola Redmond plays 'Pauline', hell-bent on having a 40th birthday to remember, and Joanne Pearce is 'Jackie', Pauline's more settled friend who is just along for the ride. Ona McCracken plays their burnt-out, boozed up mate 'Lauren' and Peter Jonfield and Stephen Graham are 'Vince' and 'Carl', members of the Rollers' tribute band they get entangled with.
Redmond has appeared in several RNT productions as well as, at the Bush, The Baby and Phoenix. Pearce has worked extensively with the RSC where recent roles have included Imogen in Cymbeline and Ophelia opposite Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
Bush artistic director Mike Bradwell directs, with design by Geoff Rose, lighting design by Chahine Yavroyan and sound design by Mic Pool.
Johnson's two previous plays - Boys Mean Business and Dead Sheep - also received their world premieres at the Bush Theatre.