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New outdoor version of Pippin musical to open in London

The show is on its way back to the stage in a new version given its blessing by Stephen Schwartz

The cast of Pippin
© Pippin, photo edited by WhatsOnStage

Exclusive: A new six-person version of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin is due to open in London next month.

The outdoor production of the hit show will star Ryan Anderson (West Side Story) as Pippin, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe (Tina) as Leading Player, Tanisha-Mae Brown (making her professional debut) as Catherine, Joanne Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing) as Fastrada / Bertha), Harry Francis (Cats) as Lewis/Theo and Dan Krikler (Loserville) as Charles.

It has direction by Steven Dexter, who will be joined by choreographer Nick Winston, musical director Michael Bradley, designer David Shields, casting director Anne Vosser and producer Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions.

The 90-minute musical is composed by Schwartz, with a book from Roger O Hirson. Told by a troupe of Victorian vaudeville players, Pippin is the tale of a young prince on a journey to find meaningfulness. It was originally directed by Bob Fosse and features songs including "Magic to Do" and "Corner of the Sky". Opening on Broadway in 1972, it transferred to the West End the following year. The piece was most recently seen in London at Southwark Playhouse in 2018.

Pippin will run at the newly launched Garden Theatre in London, from Tuesday 8 September to Sunday 20 September. Tickets are now on sale via the venue's page on Ticket Source. Face masks or coverings must be worn throughout the performance by socially-distanced audience members. Update: The show has now extended its run by a week to 27 September after the original run sells out.

Dexter said today: "Pippin originally opened on Broadway in October 1972, however Stephen Schwartz started writing an early version of the show while a student at Carnegie Mellon University in 1967. Flower power was at its peak, war was raging in Vietnam and Hair opened on Broadway.

"It was the year of the Summer of Love. My take on the show – which I have been lucky to direct twice before at drama schools – is told by a group of hippie travellers. A huge thank you to Stephen Schwartz and David Hirson, (son of book writer Roger O Hirson) for embracing this approach and granting us the rights for a new version of Pippin with a cast of six players."

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