Barnum at the Watermill Theatre – first look

Join the Circus… in Bagnor!

The cast of Barnum at the Watermill Theatre
The cast of Barnum at the Watermill Theatre, © Pamela Raith

The Watermill Theatre has released first look production shots for its current revival of Barnum.

The 1980 musical, which has music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Michael Stewart, and a book by Mark Bramble, won both Olivier and Tony Awards, and is running at the venue until 8 September.

Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle with choreography by Oti Mabuse, the show features an ensemble cast of actor-musicians and circus performers.

Matt Rawle (Father Brown, Evita) plays PT Barnum, alongside Monique Young (Sondheim’s Old Friends, Mary Poppins) as Charity Barnum. Penny Ashmore, seen in Ride of the Valkyries at the Royal Albert Hall, takes on the role of Jenny Lind.

Other cast members include Fergus Rattigan as General Tom Thumb, Tania Mathurin as Joice Heth, Josh Barnett as James Bailey, and Tom Sterling as Edgar Templeton.

Returning to the Watermill Theatre are Emma Jane Morton and Tom Sowinski, alongside newcomers Jessica Jolleys, Charis Alexandra, and Elena Bluck, who is making her professional debut.

The cast is completed by onstage swings Kaine Hatukai and Laura Sillett, and circus performers Kiera BruntonEmily Odunsi, Dan Holland and Andre Rodrigues in his musical theatre professional debut.

The creative team also includes Amy Panter as the circus director, with George Dyer as the musical supervisor. Set and costume design are by Lee Newby, lighting design is by Jai Morjaria, with Matt Nicholson as associate choreographer and Sofia Gallucci as assistant director. Circus consultancy is provided by the National Centre for Circus Arts.

The production team includes Tom Nickson as production manager, Cat Pewsey as company stage manager, Geoff Field as stage manager, Karen Habens as deputy stage manager, Fern Bamber as assistant stage manager, Leila Stephenson as rehearsal assistant stage manager, and Laini Johnson as assistant stage manager placement. Audio describers are Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove and Lixi Chivas, BSL consultant is Paul Whittaker, and BSL sign performers are Fliss Becker and Lixi Chivas.

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