WhatsOnStage Logo
Theatre News

Musical Casting: Drowsy McCarthy & Planer Who

The full cast has been announced for the first Off-West End revival of The Drowsy Chaperone which will open at Highgate's Upstairs at the Gatehouse on 28 September 2010 (previews from 23 September) for a month-long run until 31 October.

Siobhan McCarthy, best known for her leading roles in Mamma Mia, Evita and Hairspray, as well as and her role in ITV's Bad Girls, stars as the alcohol-fuelled chaperone.

Joining McCarthy in the cast are Michael Howe, who has been seen in West End productions of Footloose, Chess and Grease as latin lothario Aldolpho; Ashley Day who played Troy in the UK Tour of High School Musical, as well as appearing in West End productions of Evita and Mary Poppins as groom Robert; Amy Diamond, finalist in BBC’s Over The Rainbow search for a Dorothy as the starlet-turned-bride Janet; and Matthew Lloyd Davies whose West End credits include Chicago and The Lion King as the eccentric Man In Chair.

Despite winning five 2006 Tony Awards for its Broadway production, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, the 1920's pastiche musical failed to achieve the same success on this side of the pond. It ran for only two months at the West End's Novello Theatre where Elaine Paige took the title role in a cast that also featured Summer Strallen and, reprising his Broadway performance, Bob Martin, co-writer of the musical with Don McKellar, as the Man in Chair narrator.

The Drowsy Chaperone is the tale of a modern day musical theatre anorak, known simply as Man in Chair. To chase his blues away he drops the needle on his favourite LP - the 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. The musical bursts to life on-stage telling the tale of the pampered Broadway starlet Janet who wants to give up showbiz to get hitched and her producer's attempts to sabotage her impending nuptials. Antics ensue with her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorus girl, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters masquerading as pastry chefs.

The full cast was today announced as: Gavin Keenan (George), Graham Lappin (Mr. Feldzeig), Ursula Mohan (Mrs. Tottendale), Jo Parsons and Giovanni Spano (the Gangsters), John Rawnsley (Underling) and Tanya Robb (Kitty).

Last seen in the West End in 2007, this revival is being produced by Upstairs at the Gatehouse's owners Ovation Productions in association with Alex Segal. The production will be directed by Racky Plews with musical supervision by Michael England and musical direction by Tim Whiting. Choreography is by Fabian Aloise, design by Martin Thomas and lighting design by Martin Thomas.

In other musical casting news, the cast has been announced for the national tour of Doctor Who Live by the show's producers, BBC Worldwide. Nigel Planer, star of the BBC's The Young Ones as well as musicals We Will Rock You, Evita and Chicago will lead the cast in the role of Vorgenson, a character exclusively adapted for the tour by the television programme's executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat. The new character is described as an ‘inter-galactic showman’ who is the Doctor’s biggest fan.

The stage show, which promises to combine music and monsters, will follow Vorgenson on an inter-galactic journey as he summons monsters for the audience to see. Television Doctor Matt Smith will appear in the stage show in specially filmed sequences to be shown on a giant screen on stage. Nick Briggs, famous for voicing some of the scariest Doctor Who monsters including the Daleks and Cybermen, is also onboard to replicate his voice talents live on stage every night. Briggs will also portray Winston Churchill.

Doctor Who Live will also feature stunts and illusions designed by illusionists, The Twins. The pair, who have come to prominence in the last few years by designing the illusion of flying without wires, and have a reputation for large scale stunts including making an elephant disappear live on stage, will deliver tricks including a flying Dalek.

Taking in nine cities and 25 dates, the show kicks off in London at Wembley Arena on 8 October 2010, and tours to Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff and Liverpool, ending its run in Belfast on the 7 November.


Tagged in this Story