Award-winning musical Groundhog Day will be re-staged in London next summer, it has been revealed.
Based on the much-loved book (and subsequent film adaptation), the musical is penned by Danny Rubin (who wrote the original screenplay) with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin (Matilda the Musical) and direction by Matthew Warchus, artistic director of the Old Vic.
Telling the story of a meteorologist stuck in a time loop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the show first played at the Old Vic in the summer of 2016. It garnered a wealth of positive reviews, including the full five stars from WhatsOnStage’s Sarah Crompton, who described it as “a magnificent work that sends everyone out into the night cheering – and just a little wiser”.
It was no stranger at awards ceremonies either, picking up seven WhatsOnStage Award nominations and eight Olivier Award nominations – winning two for Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Leading Role in Musical. It also won a Critic’s Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical. The show then transferred to Broadway in 2017, where it picked up a further seven Tony Award nominations.
The show will return once more to the Old Vic, where it plays from 20 May to 12 August 2023, with a press night on 8 June. There will be an audio described performance on 7 July with a captioned show on 20 July. Public booking begins on 12 December.
Andy Karl (Pretty Woman) will return to the leading role of Phil Connors for the London run, with further casting to be revealed. Warchus has also stated that the show’s set and revolve will be simplified for this new run, making the production better suited to touring.
Groundhog Day has choreography by Lizzi Gee, set and costume by Rob Howell, orchestration, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker, illusions by Paul Kieve, additional movement by Finn Caldwell, video by Andrzej Goulding, casting by Will Burton for GBC, musical direction by Alan Berry, voice by Charlie Hughes-D’Aeth and dialect by Penny Dyer.
The associate directors are Paul Warwick Griffin and Nik Ashton and the assistant musical supervisor is Jack Hopkins.
Minchin said this morning: “Creating this musical was hugely challenging and enormously fun. Working with the wondrous Danny Rubin and the brilliant Matthew Warchus, alongside Chris Nightingale – music supervisor and orchestrator extraordinaire – we wrestled this iconic existential comedy drama into a completely new work; something that not only found critical acclaim, but also seemed to affect its audiences in a way I’ve not witnessed. It was dense with laughs, crowded with big ideas, wildly ambitious and profoundly emotional. Seeing it come back to the Old Vic, perhaps my favourite theatre on the planet, is a huge thrill.”
Warchus added: “Groundhog Day is one of my all-time favourite films and making the musical stage adaptation with Danny Rubin and Tim Minchin was one of the happiest creative experiences of my life. With echoes of classics such as The Music Man and It’s A Wonderful Life, the Groundhog Day film manages to be both a great screwball comedy-romance and also a profound life-lesson combined… adding up to, in my view, the perfect entertainment.
“Our musical adaptation aims to build on those dual attributes and unlock – in comic, theatrical form – a potent and uplifting message for us all: ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in having new eyes’.”
Warchus, Minchin and Nightingale are reuniting after working on the seminal movie version of Matilda, currently playing to strong box office numbers in UK and Irish cinemas.