The musical takes place during an American beauty contest. British tap dancer and entertainer Lionel Blair plays competition emcee Frankie Cavalier who oversees the all-male Miss Glamouresse competition. Each night, it's down to the audience to decide who the svelte winner will be. Cast members, playing the contestants, include Graham MacDuff (as Miss Texas), Miles Western (Miss West Coast), Dale Mercer (Miss Deep South), Leon Maurice-Jones (Miss Industrial North East), Michael Xavier (Miss Great Plains) and Eaton James (Miss Bible Belt).
Lionel Blair's West End credits include Lady Be Good and Mr Cinders. Eaton James has just been seen in Les Miserables, Graham Duff recently starred in West Side Story, Leon-Maurice Jones was in the West End production of Rent, Miles Western has appeared in West End productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Rocky Horror Show, and Dale Mercer featured in the recent BBC TV series Wives and Daughters.
Pageant received its European premiere at the King's Head. The musical ran for over a year off-Broadway and has also toured to numerous American cities as well as Australia and Japan. The musical's book and lyrics are by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, with music score by Albert Evans. The show was conceived by Robert Longbottom. Russell also directs, with design by Nigel Hook, costume by Gregg Barnes, musical direction by Elliot Davis and choreography by Warren Carlyle.
Russell's previous writing credits include Side Show, which received multiple Tony nominations, Everything's Ducky, and Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, which transferred from the King's Head to the West End's Criterion Theatre in 1992.