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Liverpool’s Adelphi Musical Gets London Premiere

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Phil Willmott’s award-winning musical Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi, written for and premiered as part of Liverpool’s reign as European City of Culture in 2008 (See News, 12 Dec 2007), will receive its London premiere next month with a limited season at Southwark’s Union Theatre from 5 to 27 March 2010 (previews from 3 March).

Taking an irreverent look at Liverpool’s iconic hotel during its 1930s heyday, Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi captures the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as bigwigs pour off the luxury liners for their first taste of England. Amidst all the decadence, no-nonsense Alice from reception has fallen for the charming Thompson from accounts - but fate, Hollywood, two wars and a dizzying array of staff and guests intervene in a love story spanning 60 years.

Commenting on the musical and its new London life, Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, said: “Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi is one of our most popular and best loved shows of recent years. It's that very rare thing: an original British musical based on an original story with original music. We're delighted that Phil and his team are reuniting to give the show a London outing following its sell-out extended run and standing ovations at Liverpool Playhouse. Adelphi certainly feels like a musical with a rosy future.”

Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi won Best Musical Production in the 2008 TMA Awards, and was nominated for Best Regional Production in last year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards. It’s written and directed by Phil Willmott, whose previous musicals include Dick Barton - Special Agent, A Christmas Carol and Around the World in 80 Days. Willmott’s myriad other credits include F**king Men, which was nominated for Best Off-West End Production in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards.

The cast for Adelphi’s London run are: Marc Antolin, Emily Barlow, Emma Barr, Jamie Birkett, Benjamin Bond, Lucyelle Cliffe, Nicholas Collier, Paddy Crawley, Joanna Goodwin, Jon-Paul Hevey, Ally Holmes, Rebecca Hutchinson, Rudi Last, Lucinda Lawrence, Matt Markwick, Jodie Michaels, Matthew Naegeli, Lindsay Scigliano and Will Stokes.

The production is designed by Charlie Cridlan, with musical supervision by Elliot Davis, choreography by Andrew Wright, musical direction by Michael Bradley and costumes by Geraldine Spencer. It’s presented in London by Holly Reiss and Joe Fredericks for MokitaGrit Productions in association with the Steam Industry. 


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