Lawrence & Morrissey Join Acorn Antiques CastDate: 2 December 2004
Josie Lawrence and Neil Morrissey have joined the cast of Victoria Woods’ upcoming stage musical, Acorn Antiques, based on her popular 1980s TV series of the same name. Other stars from the original TV show, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and Wood herself, will also appear. Wood and Walters are expected to be on hand for a press conference held this morning at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket, where it will have a strictly limited six-week season from 31 January to 12 March 2005. Ticket go on sale today.
According to the Theatre Royal Haymarket website, Acorn Antiques is a “lovely musical with singing and dancing following the fortunes of Miss Babs, Miss Berta and their loveable old cleaner Mrs Overall, in their loveable old antiques shop in the High Street of loveable old Manchesterford”. In any case, that’s the dream of the actress who plays Mrs Overall in the axed soap opera. In fact, she and her fellow cast members have wound up in an experimental “opera” in Sutton Coldfield, but a stroke of good luck means Mrs Overall has a chance to bring her musical to the West End.
Based on the characters from Woods’ TV spoof, the show within a show (within a show?) follows Miss Babs’ struggle to keep the antiques shop open in the face of competition from multinational chains, in particular The Guilty Bean coffee shop.
Morrissey, best known from long-running TV sitcom Men Behaving Badly, was last seen in the West End in the 2000 revival of Speed the Plow. Lawrence’s TV credits include Where the Heart Is, Fat Friends and Whose Line Is It Anyway?. She’s been seen most recently on stage in The King and I, Frozen and, earlier this year, Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Victoria Wood and Julie Walters will alternate in the role of Mrs Overall, with Wood covering Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees only and Walters playing all other performances. The cast also includes Whatsonstage.com Award Winner Sally Ann Triplett, seen earlier this year in Anything Goes.
Acorn Antiques will be directed by former Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre artistic director Trevor Nunn. Nunn won this past year’s Whatsonstage.com Best Director prize for Anything Goes and his other 2003 productions, and has just this week been nominated for the same award again for his 2004 productions of Hamlet at the Old Vic and the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Woman in White.
The new musical is designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis and Lez Brotherston and produced by Phil McIntyre. Currently at the Haymarket, John Caird’s revival of Becket, starring Dougray Scott and Jasper Britton, finishes its run on 11 December 2004.
NOTE: Check back later for more details and reporting live from today’s press conference at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.