The Langston Hughes’ musical revival, first seen at the Young Vic in spring 2003, opened at the Trafalgar Studios on 25 October 2004 (previews 15 October) and had just extended bookings up to 16 July 2005. It will now close on 19 February 2005.
Christopher Colquhoun (Five Guys Named Moe, Ain’t Misbehavin’, currently in TV’s Casualty) has only just taken over from Rhashan Stone as Jesse B Semple, an offbeat Harlem everyman who indulges in the blues and bar-room philosophies with his friends at Paddy’s. After a Christmas break, Whatsonstage.com Award nominees Clive Rowe and Ruby Turner have also now returned to their roles as Melon and Miss Mamie.
Simply Heavenly is directed by Josette Bushell-Mingo, choreographed by Paul J Medford and designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Paul Anderson and sound by Nick Lidster. In the 2005 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, the production was nominated for Best Musical Revival as well as Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Rowe and Turner.
No further productions have yet been confirmed for Trafalgar Studios, although Simon Mendes da Costa’s comedy Losing Louis has been tipped to transfer from north London's Hampstead Theatre, where its current limited season continues until 19 February 2005. The world premiere production, directed by Robin Lefevre, stars Alison Steadman, Lynda Bellingham, Brian Protheroe and Jason Durr.
- by Terri Paddock