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Jenna Russell cast in The Bridges of Madison County at the Menier Chocolate Factory

The actress will lead the cast of the newly announced musical

Jenna Russell
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Jenna Russell is to star in Trevor Nunn's upcoming production of The Bridges of Madison County at the Menier Chocolate Factory, WhatsOnStage can exclusively reveal.

Russell will play Francesca in Nunn's new staging, which opens in previews on 13 July and plays until 14 September.

Russell said: "David Babani [the Menier's artistic director] mentioned the musical to me a couple of years ago, and when we met up in New York last year I told him I couldn't stop thinking about it. So he said 'okay, let's do it'.

"I'm really excited, I love Jason Robert Brown's music and have loved singing it for many years. It's a different kind of singing to what I'm used to but I'm really looking forward to it. This is my third time back at the Menier too – the place is like a home from home. The beauty of the space is the intimacy and with a story like this it puts the spotlight on something really delicate."

Robert Brown and Marsha Norman's musical is an adaptation of Robert James Waller's bestselling novel of the same name.

It follows Francesca, an Italian immigrant housewife living a happy existence on a farm in the American Midwest who meets Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer on assignment filming bridges in the area.  

Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep starred in the 1995 film which was also directed by Eastwood.

Jon Bausor designs the piece which has lighting from Tim Lutkin, sound from Gregory Clarke and musical direction from Tom Murray.

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