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ONCE ON THIS ISLAND & DOGFIGHT Lead British Theatre Academy's 2019 Summer Season

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND & DOGFIGHT Lead British Theatre Academy's 2019 Summer Season

The British Theatre Academy is to return to Southwark Playhouse for a second summer season of shows.

Headlining the 2019 season in The Large will be a youth production of the multi award-winning Broadway hit, Once On This Island, from the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anstasia, Seussical, Ragtime).

There will also be a youth production of Dogfight by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and Peter Duchan, directed and choreographed by Dean Johnson.

Two more exciting productions in the season will be announced soon.

During last year's Southwark Playhouse season, Lin-Manuel Miranda surprised the cast of the British Theatre Academy's critically acclaimed production of his early musical Bring It On telling them: "You did an amazing job, I'm so proud and this was so wonderful. You made my wife cry!"

Once On This Island, with a poignant story and catchy Caribbean-flavoured score, received eight Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Book and Score. Its UK premiere, starring Sharon D Clarke, won the 1995 Best New Musical Olivier Award, and a critically acclaimed revival, starring Lea Salonga, has just completed a year-long Broadway run, where it was nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning Best Revival of a Musical.

This full-hearted musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When Daniel is returned to his people, the fantastical gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest that will test the strength of her love gainst the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and even death.

Once On This Island will be directed and choreographed by multi award-winning Lee Proud - Offie Award winner Best Choreographer for Grand Hotel (2016) and Allegro (2017), both staged at Southwark Playhouse.

Once On This Island will run from Friday August 9 - Saturday August 31.

Once On This Island Press night: Wednesday 14 August at 7.30pm.

Dogfight, directed and choreographed by Dean Johnson, will run in The Little from Wednesday 28 -
Saturday 31 August.

Dogfight Press Night: Thursday 29 August at 7.00pm

On November 21, 1963, a group of young marines are gathered in San Fransisco the night before they ship off to Vietnam. They decide to celebrate their last night of freedom with a cruel game they call a 'dogfight' where every man sets out to find the ugliest girl he can and brings her to a party. Everyone puts in money, and the man with the ugliest date wins the pot. One of the young men Eddie Birdlace, is running out of time to find a date when he meets idealistic waitress Rose Fenny in a diner. He invites her to the party - her very first party -and she accepts. She leaves angrily when she finds out about the bet and Eddie, feeling bad, comes to find her. After an inauspicious beginning, an awkward love story begins to unfold.

The British Theatre Academy was set up to give talented young people the opportunity to perform in top venues nationwide for free. Previous acclaimed productions include The Secret Garden, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and 13 the Musical (staged in West End seasons at the Ambassadors Theatre), last year's sell-out production of Bring It On and Goodnight Mr Tom (a finalist at this Sunday's Offies as Best Production for Young People 8+) at Southwark Playhouse, and Annie Jr and Spring Awakening.


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