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Tracie Bennett and Jason Gardiner to star in Ruthless – the Musical

The musical opens at the Arts Theatre in March

Tracie Bennett, Harriet Thorpe and Jason Gardiner
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Casting has been announced for the West End premiere of Joel Paley and Marvin Laird's all-female character musical Ruthless!, which opens at the Arts Theatre in March.

Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner will play agent Sylvia St. Croix alongside Olivier Award-winner Tracie Bennett, Harriet Thorpe (Great Britain), Lara Denning (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Kim Maresca (Ruthless!, off-Broadway). The children alternating the role of Tina Denmark will be announced shortly.

Directed by Richard Fitch with choreography by Rebecca Howell and musical supervision by Gareth Valentine, the comedy spoofs Broadway shows such as Gypsy and Mame.

It tells the story of a talented 8 year-old who will do anything to play the lead in her school play. The show's 1992 off-Broadway premiere discovered young performers including Natalie Portman and Britney Spears.

Gardiner's stage credits include 42nd Street, West Side Story and My Fair Lady. Bennett was most recently seen in Follies at the National Theatre and other theatre roles include her award-winning turns in Hairspray and She Loves Me.

The production will have design by Morgan Large, lighting by Tim Lutkin and sound by Gregory Clarke. The Menier Chocolate Factory will act as executive producer and general manager.

Ruthless! the Musical runs at the Arts Theatre from 27 March to 23 June, with previews from 16 March.

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