The production, directed by Matthew White and choreographed by Stephen Mears, is now confirmed to run at the 150-seat Off-West End powerhouse in Southwark from 2 December 2009 (previews from 21 November) to 7 March 2010.
Outhwaite will be joined by in the cast of West End stars by Josefina Gabrielle (Hello, Dolly!, The 39 Steps, Chicago, The Witches of Eastwick, Oklahoma!), Mark Umbers (My Fair Lady, The Pirates of Penzance, Funny Girl, The Glass Menagerie, The Vortex, TV’s Mistresses, The Turn of the Screw) and Tiffany Graves (Chicago, Shout!, Cats, Sunset Boulevard), as well as Paul J Medford (Five Guys Named Moe, My One and Only) and Ebony Molina (Shall We Dance, Sinatra, Beauty and the Beast), with further casting still to be announced.
Sweet Charity - which has music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and a book by Neil Simon, with original direction and choreography by Bob Fosse - takes a look at the seedy underbelly of 1960s New York. The gullible, enchanting heroine Charity Hope Valentine dances, laughs and cries her way through a series of whirlwind romances to show-stopping numbers including “Rhythm of Life”, “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Hey Big Spender”.
Charity was originally played by Gwen Verdon on Broadway, Juliet Prowse in the West End (in 1967) and was immortalised in the 1969 film version by Shirley MacLaine. The musical was last revived in the West End in a 1998 production at the Victoria Palace starring Bonnie Langford.
Tamzin Outhwaite is best known for her TV roles in EastEnders as well as Red Cap, Hustle, Frances Tuesday, Vital Signs, Hotel Babylon and The Fixer. Her theatre work includes Breathing Corpses and Flesh Wound at the Royal Court and, most recently, the hit 2007 West End revival of Sixties’ sex farce Boeing Boeing (See News, 21 Dec 2006). Earlier in her career, she appeared in musicals including Carousel, Oliver! and Grease.
The Chocolate Factory’s last four Christmas musical revivals have all transferred to the West End: the five-time Olivier Award-winning Sunday in the Park with George, Little Shop of Horrors (also directed by Matthew White), La Cage aux Folles (still running at the Playhouse Theatre) and this past Christmas’ A Little Night Music.