|Richard Shelton and IIan Goodman|
Miss Nightingale brings Burlesque to Lowry, 20 Jan
Date: 7 January 2011
A new musical celebrating gay love, scandals and showbusiness in 1940s London opens at The Lowry later this month.
Miss Nightingale the musical explores the challenging relationship between two men, against the backdrop of WWII. This touching love story shows the injustice and prejudice that gay men faced in this period. It combines emotionally charged songs with powerful drama and Burlesque-style performance.
London 1942. Two men struggle in the shadows of a war-torn city to thrust a new star into the spotlight. Maggie Brown dreams of becoming a famous singer as she nurses wounded soldiers in an East End hospital. With her songwriter George, a Jewish refugee, she auditions at every night club and cabaret bar in London. But nobody wants their act. Their luck and liveschange when they meet the handsome, charming and wealthy Sir Frank Conner. A plan is hatched and the mysterious Miss Nightingale explodes onto the stage. Feathers are ruffled and polite society is shocked by her scandalous exploits, outfits and songs. She takes the West End by storm.But out of the spotlight, sexual tensions threaten to reveal secrets far more dangerously explosive than the bombs falling in the Blitz.
Miss Nightingale the musical's book, lyrics and music by are by Matthew Bugg, and features 15 original songs and stars Ilan Goodman, Emmerdale’s Richard Shelton, and neo-Burlesque sensation Amber Topaz.
Topaz started her career in West End musicals (inc. leads in Les Miserables), before razzle-dazzling her way to international Burlesque stardom and enchanting audiences with her showgirl splendour. In 2008 she had the unique honour of being inducted into Las Vegas’ legendary Miss Exotic World Burlesque Hall of Fame.
Goodman recently appeared in Michael Grandage’s production of Danton’s Death, National Theatre. He has also played: Doug in Six Degrees of Separation, Old Vic; Basil in Dorian Gray, Leicester Sq theatre; Dominic in Austentatious, the Landor.
Shelton created the role of Frank Sinatra in the award-winning musical Rat Pack Confidential in the West End. He appeared on screen as the charming yet murderous Dr Adam Forsythe in Emmerdale, alongside screen-wife Lorraine Chase. He also played Harry Bright on the international tour of Mamma Mia!
Matthew Bugg got his first professional theatre job as Musical Director at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, before he had even graduated, and was quickly made an Associate Artist of the new Mercury Theatre Company. He went on to work at many of the major theatres across the country as composer and choreographer. He wanted to write and direct a musical - an intelligent, witty, deeply moving musical that really had something important to say. Miss Nightingale is his dream job.
Miss Nightingale - The Musical runs at the Lowry from 20 - 22 January.
- by Glenn Meads
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