Matt Rawle, Monique Young & More to Star in BARNUM at The Watermill Theatre

The new production of the Olivier and Tony award-winning musical Barnum will run from 2 July – 8 September.

By: May. 21, 2024
Matt Rawle, Monique Young & More to Star in BARNUM at The Watermill Theatre
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The Watermill Theatre has revealed the cast and creative team for Barnum, the venue’s spectacular summer musical.
The new production of the Olivier and Tony award-winning musical Barnum will run from 2 July – 8 September. Featuring music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Michael Stewart, and a book by Mark Bramble, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, with choreography by Oti Mabuse, and featuring an ensemble cast of actor-musicians and circus performers, this sensational show will take over the Watermill site with the wonders and delights of Barnum’s circus.
Titular character P.T. Barnum will be played by Matt Rawle (Father Brown, BBC; Evita, Theatre Royal Drury Lane) alongside Monique Young (Sondheim’s Old Friends, Gielgud Theatre; Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre) as ‘Charity Barnum’ and Penny Ashmore (Ride of the Valkyries, Die Walküre - Gala Concert, Royal Albert Hall) as ‘Jenny Lind’.
Fergus Rattigan (The Sovereign, York Theatre Royal) will play ‘General Tom Thumb’ with Tania Mathurin (The Witches, National Theatre; Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre) as ‘Joice Heth’, Josh Barnett (Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace; Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park) as ‘James Bailey’, and Tom Sterling (The Third Man, Menier Chocolate Factory; The Phantom Of The Opera, His Majesty’s Theatre) as ‘Edgar Templeton’.
Returning to The Watermill Theatre are ensemble members Emma Jane Morton (Sweet Charity, The Watermill Theatre; Amelie, West End and UK Tour) and Tom Sowinski (As You Like It, The Watermill Theatre; Romeo & Juliet, Reading Rep Theatre), alongside newcomers to The Watermill Theatre, Jessica Jolleys (Beautiful, UK Tour; Oliver Twist, Storyhouse Chester), Charis Alexandra (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, West End) and Elena Bluck who is making her professional debut.
The cast is completed by onstage swings Kaine Hatukai (The Secret Love of Ophelia, Greenwich Theatre) and Laura Sillett (Footloose, West End and UK Tour) and circus performers Kiera Brunton (Dancing in a Winter Wonderland, UK Tour and West End), Emily Odunsi (Diamonds are Forever, Epsom Downs Racecourse), Dan Holland (Priscilla the Party, Here at Outernet; The Secret Garden, Ambassadors Theatre) and Andre Rodrigues in his musical theatre professional debut.
Step right up and enter the dazzling world of P.T. Barnum, where imagination and ambition know no bounds.  Delight at every sight, wonder and miracle as the creator of spectacle comes to town with a sensational show featuring a whole host of characters.
Hand in hand with wife Charity, Barnum’s life and career twists and turns as he schemes and dreams his way to headier heights.  However, the irresistible pull of an ever-bigger humbug comes at a cost, and the people paying are usually those on whom Barnum tramples, on the way to the top.
 Barnum will be directed by Jonathan O’Boyle (Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical - West End, The Last Five Years - Southwark Playhouse & West End) with choreography by Oti Mabuse who returns to the Watermill after her work on Kiss Me Kate in 2019, and circus direction by Amy Panter.
Musical supervisor George Dyer is reorchestrating the brilliant original score for the 18 strong cast of actor-musicians. Set and costume design is by Lee Newby with lighting design by Jai Morjaria. The creative team is completed by associate choreographer Matt Nicholson and assistant director Sofia Gallucci with circus consultancy from the National Centre for Circus Arts.
The production manager for Barnum is Tom Nickson, with CSM Cat Pewsey, SM Geoff Field, DSM Karen Habens, ASM Fern Bamber, rehearsal ASM Leila Stephenson, and ASM placement Laini Johnson.  The audio describers are Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove and Lixi Chivas, the BSL consultant is Paul Whittaker and Fliss Becker and Lixi Chivas are the BSL Sign Performers.
Director Jonathan O’Boyle said, “I’m thrilled to be directing Barnum at the beautiful Watermill Theatre this summer and with this wonderful cast and creative team. Barnum is a magical show, full of thrills, music, dance and yes, circus performers. With a fresh new take on this classic story, we’re approaching the show through a modern lens and perspective, celebrating the rich diversity and heritage of the show’s characters. We can’t wait transform the theatre and the grounds of the Watermill and immerse the audience in the world of P.T. Barnum!”
Joint CEOs Claire Murray and Paul Hart said, "We're so excited to welcome this talented company of actors, musicians and acrobats and an extraordinary creative team to The Watermill for this new production of Barnum. We've been working closely with National Centre for Circus Arts to realise all the thrills and spectacle of the circus and it's brilliant to have Oti Mabuse back with us to create breath-taking movement and dance. This summer is going to be something special for all the family!" 


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