Theatre News

Unexpected Joy a new musical by Side Show writer to run at Southwark Playhouse

Bill Russell and Janet Hood’s musical opens Off-Broadway in April before transferring to London in September

Southwark Playhouse will play host to the European premiere of Bill Russell and Janet Hood's new musical Unexpected Joy in September.

The musical tells the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions and a week together where change is in the air.

Unexpected Joy sees Russell and Hood reunite after their work on the song cycle Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens. Russell's other credits include Pageant, The Texas Chainsaw Musical and Side Show, which played the Southwark Playhouse in 2016.

Opening at The York Theatre Company, Off-Broadway in April before transferring to London from 6 September, the show is the first co-production from Katy Lipson (The Addams Family, Hair, The Toxic Avenger) and New York City-based producer Jim Kierstead (Kinky Boots, Dreamgirls and Waitress). The pair have joined forces to develop and present new musicals on both sides of the pond.

Both productions will be directed by Amy Anders Corcoran (Escape To Margaritaville, Broadway), with full casting and creatives to be announced in due course.

Unexpected Joy runs at Southwark Playhouse from 13 to 29 September, with previews from 6 September.