HAPPY DAYS Tour to Play Marlowe Theatre, 27-31 May

HAPPY DAYS Tour to Play Marlowe Theatre, 27-31 May

FORTY years since it first appeared on television screens, Happy Days comes to The Marlowe Theatre later this month.

This feel-good musical version of the classic sitcom features all the familiar characters, including Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, the Cunningham family and the rest of the gang - Potsie, Ralph Malph, Joanie and Chachi.

Henry Winkler, the original Fonz from the TV series, is the production's Creative Consultant, working alongside the director in creating the Happy Days' world of 1959 America. The musical is written by Garry Marshall, the legendary creator of the TV series.

West End leading man and Emmerdale star Ben Freeman takes on the role of The Fonz, alongside Cheryl Baker as Mrs Cunningham, and Heidi Range as Pinky Tuscadero.

Freeman recently starred as Fiyero in Wicked at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre. His other West End credits include Warner in Legally Blonde, and Norman in Dreamboats and Petticoats. He is probably best known to TV audiences as Scott Windsor in Emmerdale.

As a member of the pop group Bucks Fizz, Cheryl Baker won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, and has subsequently had more than 20 hit records, including three number ones. She made her theatrical debut in the musical Footloose, starring in both the inaugural tour and in the West End. Her other musicals include Mrs Potts in Beauty And The Beast and Menopause The Musical. A television regular, last year Cheryl took part in Celebrity Masterchef and she came in as first runner-up on Pop Star To Opera Star in 2011.

Range is best known for being the longest serving current member of the multi-platinum-selling British girl group, the Sugababes. Last year, she took part in the ITV series Dancing on Ice, and subsequently in the Dancing on Ice live UK tour. Heidi was one of this year's Celebrity Masterchef contestants.

Happy Days features 21 songs by Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning songwriter Paul Williams, including the much-loved theme tune from the TV show.

Producer Amy Anzel was one of the stars of Channel 4's recent series The Sound Of Musicals, which followed her journey as a first-time producer.

Happy Days is at The Marlowe Theatre from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 May, with performances at 7.30pm and 2.30pm on the Thursday and Saturday. Tickets, priced from £17 to £38 (concessions available; booking fee applies) are from the Box Office on 01227 787787, or at marlowetheatre.com.

There will be a British Sign Language interpreted performance at 7.30pm on the Thursday; and the show will be captioned at 2.30pm on the Saturday.

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