THE A-Z OF MRS P Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Cast Album
The brand new musical fable THE A-Z OF MRS P opens at SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE on FRIDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2014 (Press night Monday 24 February 2014): starring ISY SUTTIE (Peep Show / Shameless) in her first musical, as the pioneering Mrs P; with Tony Award winner Frances Ruffelle (Les Miserables, Pippin, Piaf) as her emotionally fragile mother; and Olivier Award winner Michael Matus (Martin Guerre, The Baker's Wife, The Sound Of Music) as Phyllis's beloved and impossible father, the map publisher Alexander (Sandor) Gross. The musical has just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to create a cast recording! Watch the video below!
In 1936, Phyllis Pearsall left her husband in Venice and came to find her way in London. Then she received a telegram from her father, map publisher Alexander Gross. And here begins the story of how a Bohemian artist put down her paints and picked up the drawing board to follow in her father's footsteps to map an entire city. Follow their different journeys as they intersect and diverge through the thoroughfares and alleyways of London, seizing opportunities, to build an iconic business midst the tangled labyrinths of a troubled family saga. For anyone who has ever searched to find their way, here is a re-telling of the myth and even more remarkable reality behind the handy, all-purpose, pocket-sized A-Z Street Guide of 23,000 streets (with house numbers).
A love letter to London, and inspired by the autobiographies of the eccentric Phyllis Pearsall, THE A-Z OF MRS P has certainly found its feet. The book is by Diane Samuels (Kinderstransport - West End/Broadway) and music and lyrics by singer/songwriter GWYNETH HERBERT (Albums on Blue Note & Universal) - THE A-Z OF MRS P is their first musical together. The song Lovely London Town has already won the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize.
Unusually for British Musical Theatre, it is a very female-led creative team. Working alongside DIANE and GWYNETH are musical arranger Sarah Travis (Tony Award for Sweeney Todd on Broadway) and designer KLARA ZIGLEROVA (Jersey Boys / Sister Act). THE A-Z OF MRS P is directed by Sam Buntrock (Sunday In The Park With George - Menier/West End/Broadway).
Diane Samuels says: "One of the joys in my life is walking around London and, even today, the A-Z is still my guide of choice. The link seemed pretty straightforward. Then I found out about the emotionally complex family story, particularly the relationship between Phyllis and her father, map publisher Sandor Gross, behind these very handy maps. I'd always wanted to write a father/daughter play and here, unexpectedly, it was. Gwyneth and I were outside the musical theatre world, and in writing and composing our take on Phyllis' journey we have faced her struggles and thrilled as she found her own feet, to create an intimate, epic work of psycho-geography that celebrates what it is to realise a vision, no matter what the challenges."
GWYNETH HERBERT says: "I'd never seen a musical before I started this crazy journey 5 years ago. Thing was, I loved stories, I loved music, I loved the theatre. And now, after working intensively and intimately alongside Diane exploring Mrs P's own inspiring journey, I find myself in love with this huge beast of an art-form: its limitless possibilities for creative invention, the way you can plant one thought or feeling and make it shudder through the whole piece, music and words and action and visual art all weaving together. For me, I have found it's the most multi-dimensional and exciting way to tell a magical story."
The cast also includes: Stuart Matthew Price (Parade, Shrek) as Phyllis's brother Tony Gross, Sarah Earnshaw (Wicked); MAX GALLAGHER (History Boys); Dawn Sievewright (Glasgow Girls) and Sidney Livingstone (Acorn Antiques The Musical, Oklahoma!).