Theatre News

Sleepless musical plans to begin performances with socially distanced audiences in August 2020

The show will go on!

The cast of Sleepless the Musical
The cast of Sleepless the Musical
© Matt Crockett

Sleepless: A Musical Romance, based on the screenplay for hit film Sleepless in Seattle, will begin performances in August 2020.

The piece will begin previews from 25 August, with the limited season running until Sunday 27 September 2020 at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. There will also be a special NHS Gala, A Night for Sleepless Heroes, for NHS and Care workers on Thursday 27 August.

Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh will reunite to perform in the musical based on the hit film following their turns in Big the Musical in 2019. The new musical has a book by Michael Burdett, music by Robert Scott and lyrics by Brendan Cull.

Producer Michael Rose said: "Lockdown has effected and frightened a huge number of people in this country – particularly in our industry. Our story in Sleepless deals with mending something that is broken – it's about putting a family back together after a loss – and we feel it's time to do exactly that – it's time to start the healing process – that's part of what we do in theatre."

The show will follow health guidelines, with the venue stating that: "Our first priority is and always has been the safety and comfort of our audiences, staff and visiting companies. We are working closely with health and safety experts and strictly following all government guidelines and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the world premiere of Sleepless whenever this is allowed."

There will be no physical contact between staff and audience members, with face masks, temperature checks and contactless ordering all a few of the measures put in place.

The piece is directed by Morgan Young with set design by Morgan Large, costume design by Sue Simmerling, lighting by Ken Billington, video design by Ian William Galloway, sound design by Simon Biddulph, orchestrations and arrangements by Larry Blank, musical supervision by Stuart Morley, musical direction by Chris Walker, orchestra management by Sylvia Addison for Music Solutions, wig and hair design by Richard Mawbey and casting by Sarah Bird CDG and Michael Donovan CSA.

The show also notes that "While live performances are not currently permitted inside theatres, it is hoped Sleepless will be able to open on 25 August with Government permission."