Based on the world-famous Peanuts comic-strip - which debuted in 1950 and continued for 50 years until January 2000, just weeks before the death of its creator, Charles M Schulz - Snoopy! had its West End premiere in 1983 with an Olivier award-winning season at the Duchess Theatre. It has since had runs on the London fringe at the Rosemary Branch and the Jermyn Street theatres (See News, 22 Jan 2003).
This new production reunites two of the Jermyn Street cast members - Sarah Lark and Stuart Piper as Lucy and Linus Van Pelt - who joined by Clare Louise Connelly (as Sally Brown), Alex Woodhall (Woodstock), Steven Kynman (Charlie Brown), Kellie Ryan (Peppermint Patty) and Robin Armstrong (as Snoopy). It’s directed by Broadway’s Arthur Whitelaw, who conceived, co-wrote, produced and directed the original American production of the musical.
Atop his kennel, Snoopy surveys the skies, scene of his triumph as a First World War flying ace. Modestly, he considers his genius. Stoically, he accepts that his brilliance in nearly every field of endeavour will forever go unremarked by humankind. He can but uphold his own high standards.
Snoopy! The Musical has a book by Charles M Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L Grace, with music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Hal Hackady. It’s choreographed by Lizzi Gee, designed by David Graden, and produced by Morning Vicar Productions, set up by actor-producers Stephen Carlile and Stuart Piper, who first produced the show for the Jermyn Street engagement.
No further productions have yet been announced for the New Players – which Snoopy! reopened last month after more than two years of closure (See News, 28 Mar 2002) – although American composer Jason Robert Brown will stage concert performances there from 23 to 26 September (See News, 29 Jul 2004).
- by Terri Paddock & Hannah Kennedy