Robbie Fairchild, Gary Wilmot, and Briana Craig Will Lead World Premiere of THE ARTIST in 2024

Performances run at Theatre Royal Plymouth from Saturday 11 May until Saturday 25 May 2024.

By: Sep. 28, 2023
Robbie Fairchild, Gary Wilmot, and Briana Craig Will Lead World Premiere of THE ARTIST in 2024

Lead casting has been announced for the world premiere stage production of Michel Hazanavicius’ multi–Academy Award-winning film The Artist. Multi award-winning international dancer and actor Robbie Fairchild returns to the UK stage for the first time since his acclaimed leading performance in An American In Paris to play silent movie icon George Valentin, with West End favourite Gary Wilmot as Al Zimmer, and introducing Briana Craig (42nd Street tour) as Peppy Miller.

Tickets are now on sale for The Artist at Theatre Royal Plymouth, where the production begins its journey with a strictly limited run from Saturday 11 May until Saturday 25 May 2024.

Drew McOnie, Artistic Director of The McOnie Company, said: “It is such an honour to be collaborating with these exceptional artists on this brand new production. The commitment and talent that pours from them is palpable and I’m so excited for audiences to fall head over heels in love with each of them for their bravery, honesty and heart.”

Robbie Fairchild (George Valentin) said: “There are few moments in the life of a performer when you are given the opportunity to play a character that you instantly feel so connected to… that in the process of diving into them, you begin to understand yourself and your own life experiences more. The Artist is one of those moments for me, and my gratitude is very, very abundant.”

Gary Wilmot (Al Zimmer) said: “It’s a great privilege to be a part of The Artist next year, I loved the film when I saw it in the packed cinema, and now that Drew McOnie’s got his hands on it,  it’s going to go stratospheric. Truly honoured to be in the company of such talented people – the audiences are going to get a first-class show!”

Briana Craig (Peppy Miller) said: “Working with Drew, this creative team and these artists, is such an honour. I’ve never experienced anything so collaborative or such genius in one space. As a child, I dreamed of doing work as special as this and now it’s a reality I feel incredibly lucky. Every day in the room I’m amazed at how we’re using theatre as a medium to create this innovative piece of art. Expect the unexpected!”

The Artist is co-adapted for the stage by Lindsey Ferrentino and Drew McOnie and directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. The multi award-winning creative team includes set and costume designs by Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts I & II, Red, Disney’s Frozen), music by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Hale (Girl From The North Country, Get Up Stand Up!) lighting by Zoe Spurr (Good, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World), sound by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Baker (Matilda The Musical, A Christmas Carol), video by Ash J Woodward (The 47th, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), puppetry by Maia Kirkman-Richards (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and casting by Will Burton. The Associate Director/Choreographer is Ebony Molina and the Musical Director is Chris Poon

Robbie Fairchild, George Valentin

Robbie made his Tony nominated Broadway debut in 2015 as Jerry Mulligan in the Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris, which he reprised in London’s West End in 2017. He was awarded the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, National Dance and Astaire Award for this performance and was nominated for the Evening Standard and Drama League Awards. From 2009 to 2017, Fairchild performed as a Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet. His other theater credits include Monster in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (Signature Theater, Chita Rivera Award), Harry Beaton in Brigadoon (New York City Center), Will Parker in Oklahoma! (Royal Albert Hall, London), Mike Costa in A Chorus Line (Hollywood Bowl), and Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate (Roundabout Theater Company’s 2017 Gala). Television: Soundtrack (Netflix), Mixtape (FOX Pilot), Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Oklahoma! (BBC Proms), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Carousel Boy in NY Philharmonic’s Carousel (PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center), Dancing With The Stars, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly and Michael, CBS Sunday Morning, and 60 Minutes. Film: Tom Hooper's Cats, An American in Paris Live (West End Production), The Chaperone and NY Export: Opus Jazz.

Gary Wilmot, Al Zimmer

Theatre credits include: The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz (The Palladium), Queen Nigella in Jack & The Beanstalk (The Palladium), The Wizard in Wicked (Apollo Theatre) Elisha Whitney in Anything Goes (The Barbican) Dame Gary in Pantoland at the Palladium (The Palladium) Jethro in Prince of Egypt (The Dominion), Goldilocks and the Three Bears (London Palladium), Jonathan Ripples in Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear (National Theatre), Grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine (Arcola), Mrs Crumble in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (London Palladium), Major/Monsieur Armande in Flowers for Mrs Harris (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sarah The Cook in Dick Whittington (London Palladium), Badger in The Wind in the Willows (London Palladium), George McMillan in Big (Plymouth/Ireland), Anthony in End of the Rainbow (National Tour), Ali Hakim in Oklahoma (National Tour), Andre in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (The Savoy Theatre & National Tour), Vernon Hines in The Pajama Game (The Shaftesbury Theatre), Sammy Shaw in Radio Times (The Watermill & National Tour), A Bowl Of Cherries (Charing Cross Theatre), Thomas Marvel in The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory), Septimus Podgers in Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime (National Tour), Billy Flynn in Chicago (National Tour), Lion in The Wizard of OZ (The Royal Festival Hall), Scarecrow in The Wizard of OZ (The Mayflower Theatre), Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence (National Tour), Santa Claus The Musical (The Mayflower), Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore (NSC, Regents Park), Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Palladium), Henry 3 in Travels With My Aunt (National Tour), Pirate King in The Pirates Of Penzance (NSC, Regents Park & National Tour), Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream (NSC, Regents Park), Confusions (National Tour), Dennis Cain in One For The Road (Bristol Old Vic & National Tour), Fagin in Oliver (National Tour), Elliot Garfield in The Goodbye Girl (Albert Theatre & National Tour), Stephen/Tony in Copacabana (The Prince Of Wales Theatre), Joe in Carmen Jones (The Old Vic), Teething Troubles (National Tour), and Bill Snibson in Me And My Girl (The Adelphi Theatre & National Tour).

Screen credits include: Grandpa Who The Grinch NBC, Showstoppers, Cue Gary, The 6’ O’Clock Show, The Saturday Gang, Copycats, So You Wanna Be Top, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon, Aspel And Co, The Bob Monkhouse Show, Don Black - Diamonds Are Forever and One Drop (Short Film).

Radio: Lennie in Prostrate (B.B.C.Radio 4)

As a writer/director: Sweet Lorraine at Regis Centre, Bognor Regis, Hackney to Hollywood (Co-written with Don Black).

Briana Craig, Peppy Miller

Training: The Dance School of Scotland and Laine Theatre Arts. Theatre includes: u/s Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain (Sadler’s Wells/Japan/ National Tour/Toronto) directed by Jonathan Church; Jack and the Beanstalk (London Palladium); Cat in Dick Whittington (New Wimbledon Theatre). Other credits include: Festival of Remembrance (BBC/Royal Albert Hall) directed by Matt Flint. Currently: Lorraine Fleming & u/s Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (National Tour/Sadler’s Wells/Toronto) directed by Jonathan Church.


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