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Anita Dobson leads Carnival of the Animals at Riverside Studios

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Anita Dobson is set to star in new musical Carnival of the Animals, which premieres at London's Riverside Studios from 4 to 14 July 2013.

The new musical, set in modern Paris, is based on the orchestral suite of the same name by French Composer Camille Saint-Saens.

The musical elaborates on the original story, depicting the animals of a carnival losing their motivation to perform the increasingly outdated show. Yet with the introduction of four more animals, the quest to rejuvenate the show begins.

Anita Dobson plays fashion designer Mademoiselle Parfait, who opens a boutique in a street of Paris near the carnival and holds dark, sinister intentions for the animals.

Dobson's recent credits include playing Joan Crawford in Bette and Joan at the Arts Theatre and Mistress Quickly in Merry Wives of Windsor for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In Carnival of the Animals she leads a cast which includes Allyson Ava-Brown, Bronte Barbe, Alastair Brookshaw, David Burt, Jacob Chapman, Cassandra Compton, Liam Doyle, Jonny Fines, Matthew Gent and Stephen Webb, playing the roles of the various animals.

The creative team comprises composer Gavin Greenaway (Hunger Games, Shrek, Chicken Run), lyricist Roger Hyams (Billy Elliot) and book writer Andrew Marshall (Poirot, Stuff), along with director Thom Southerland (Annie Get Your Gun, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado) and producer Brian Eastman (A Round-Heeled Woman, Shadowlands).

- Ben Lockwood


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