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Waddingham, Lipman & IDA\'s Buckley Play Music

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Hannah Waddingham, Maureen Lipman, Alexander Hanson and I’d Do Anything runner-up Jessie Buckley (pictured) will star in Trevor Nunn’s highly anticipated revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which runs from 3 December 2008 (previews from 22 November) to 8 March 2009 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark (See News, 25 Sep 2008).

Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 Swedish film and written largely in waltz time, A Little Night Music concerns the tangled romantic lives of several couples in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century. The score includes the Grammy Award-winning ballad “Send in the Clowns”.

A Little Night Music premiered on Broadway in 1973, ahead of its 1975 West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre. There have been two major revivals since: at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre in 1989 and at the National Theatre in 1995.

Waddingham, who was Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award nominated for creating the role of The Lady of the Lake in the West End production of Spamalot, will star as Desiree, the part for which – a much older - Judi Dench won a Best Actress in a Musical Olivier for her performance in the NT production.

Alexander Hanson, who appeared in the 1989 West End production and has more recently starring in Marguerite and The Sound of Music, plays Fredrik, Jessie Buckley is Anne, and Maureen Lipman is Mme Armfeldt. Buckley was the youngest ‘Irish Nancy’, who lost out to Jodie Prenger in the final of this year’s BBC TV competition I’d Do Anything to win a starring role in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (See News, 2 Jun 2008). Lipman’s most recent London stage credits include Glorious!, Aladdin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peggy for You and Trevor Nunn’s NT production of Oklahoma!.

Also in the cast are: Alistair Robins as the Count, Gabriel Vick as Henrik, Kaisa Hammarlund as Petra, Grace Link as Fredrika and Andy Morton as Frid.

The new production is designed by David Farley, who won a hat trick of awards for the Chocolate Factory’s biggest hit to date: Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George which, after spending Christmas 2005 at the 150-seat Southwark venue, transferred to the West End, won five Oliviers and transferred for a Broadway run earlier this year. It’s choreographed by Lynne Page, with musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, orchestrations by Jason Carr and lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.

- by Terri Paddock


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