National’s Award-winning Honk! Launches UK TourDate: 19 February 2001
The National’s award-winning musical Honk! hits the road this spring on its first UK tour. The production – directed by Julia McKenzie and starring Tracie Bennett, Norman Pace and Clive Rowe – opens at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal on 29 March 2001 and continues to a further 14 venues across the UK until 22 July.
Originally commissioned by Newbury’s Watermill Theatre, The Ugly Duckling or The Aesthetically Challenged Farmyard Fowl first opened in 1993. In 1997, Julia McKenzie directed a revised version at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, retitled Honk!. She went on to stage Honk! for the 1999/2000 Christmas show at the National where it enjoyed a sell-out season. The production was a surprise winner at last year’s Laurence Olivier awards, beating out fierce competition from The Lion King, Mamma Mia and Spend Spend Spend to win the Best New Musical award.
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic children’s story, “The Ugly Duckling”, Honk! explores the trials and tribulations of being the odd one out. The musical has music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe.
Tracie Bennett, known to TV audiences for her role as Sharon Gaskell on Coronation Street, won an Olivier award for her performance in She Loves Me and her other stage credits include Carousel and Merrily We Roll Along. Norman Pace is best known as one half of the double act “Hale and Pace”; he has recently appeared in the West End in Chicago. West End musicals veteran Clive Rowe’s credits include Carousel, Company and the National’s Guys and Dolls, for which he too won an Olivier.
They are joined in the cast by Marilyn Cutts, Martin Callaghan, Michael McClean, Lindsey Dawson, Richard Dempsey, Ben Evans, Katie Hudson, Dee Livingstone, Kirsty Malpas, Samantha Matthew, Dena McCullagh and Jason Nolan.
The touring production of Honk! features choreography by Aletta Collins, set and costume design by Peter McKintosh, musical supervision and orchestrations by John Cameron, lighting design by Chris Davey and sound design by Clement Rawling. The tour is supported by Barclays Stage Partners.
Following Plymouth, Honk! visits Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Billingham, Nottingham, Bradford, Woking, Bromley, Canterbury, Bath, Salford, Sheffield, Jersey and High Wycombe.
- by Terri Paddock