New outdoor Lavender Theatre to open with Annie Get Your Gun revival
The venue is just outside of London
A new 250-seat venue in Epsom, Surrey will open this July with Annie Get Your Gun.
Just outside of London, the Lavender Theatre is founded by Joe McNeice (who produced the WhatsOnStage Award-nominated Diva! Live from Hell) and will open with a new staging of beloved musical Annie Get Your Gun, running from 17 July to 6 August.
Irving Berlin's classic tells the fictionalised tale of the real-life sharp-shooter Annie Oakley who falls for a star marksman. It includes numbers such as "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Anything You Can Do". Casting for the new production, directed and choreographed by Simon Hardwick, is to be revealed.
McNeice said today: "Audiences will be able dine in our glass house restaurant underneath Mediterranean citrus trees, or grab a picnic to enjoy among the blossoming rows of lavender as the sun begins to set, before taking their seats in our covered auditorium to watch a show under the stars. We think it's going to be a truly special experience."
Hardwick added: "The show will be a rip-roaring staging of the well known Broadway musical in a very raw and kinetic production that evokes the energy of Buffalo Bill's original touring celebrations of the Wild West. The Lavender Theatre will be a dream destination; an environment in which to enjoy a West End-standard production under a hazy summer sky."
McNeice added: "With no public funding or grants to help us achieve this mammoth project, we are relying solely on our box office income to build the Lavender Theatre into a profitable business, but we believe that creating a new producing theatre, a proper landmark location for the arts in Surrey, is something worth the investment, for both the local community and the wider industry.
"I'm really passionate about developing new shows, particularly musicals. The location is perfect because it's actually very close to London, but far enough away to have its own identity, which will give us the opportunity to develop work without the vast expense and pressure that comes with opening new shows in the capital. It's an incredibly exciting opportunity. There's a lot to be said for Zone Six!"