Peter Polycarpou, Laura Pitt-Pulford to Lead OLIVER!, Sarah Ingram Set for THE WITCHES at the Curve; Casting Announced!
Marking the first Christmas under Curve's new leadership team of Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster, this announcement comes at the end of Curve's most successful year to date, which saw the theatre's turnover reach £7.8m, their highest since opening in 2008.
Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster said: "It is with great pride we present two British classics on our stages this winter. We are thrilled to welcome these incredibly talented acting companies and creative teams to our city and, in a first for Curve, THE WITCHES will open in Hong Kong whilst OLIVER! premieres in our home town."
Curve and Rose Theatre Kingston present
Roald Dahl's THE WITCHES
Adapted by David Wood
9 Dec 2015 - 10 January 2016
Press Night: Wednesday 16 December, 7pm
In the Studio, Nikolai Foster directs David Wood's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic THE WITCHES featuring Sarah Ingram (Grand High Witch), Fox Jackson-Keen (Boy) Karen Mann (Grandma), Sioned Saunders (Witch), Kieran Urquhart (Bruno), Elexi Walker (Mrs Jenkins) and Justin Wilman (Mr Jenkins). THE WITCHES marks the first time that Curve has produced a Christmas show for young people and their families in the Studio. A co-production with The Rose Theatre Kingston, THE WITCHES will play at Curve after opening in Hong Kong. It will then go on national tour in Spring 2016.
Joining Foster will be Designer Isla Shaw, Composer Dougal Irvine, Magic Consultant Neil Henry, Lighting Designer David Phillips, Sound Designer Sebastian Frost, Movement Director Mel Knott and Casting Director Kay Magson.
Sarah Ingram plays Grand High Witch. Her theatre credits include See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal and Tour), Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory), Flashdance (West End), Inherit The Wind (Old Vic Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Promises Promises (Sheffield Crucible), Murderous Instincts (Savoy Theatre), South Pacific (National Theatre), Napoleon (Shaftesbury Theatre), her own one woman show Portrait of a Lady (New End Theatre, Hampstead), Oklahoma! (National Theatre and Lyceum Theatre), Martin Guerre (Prince Edward Theatre), Chicago (Leicester Haymarket) and Cabaret (Sheffield Crucible).
Fox Jackson-Keen plays Boy. His theatre credits include Billy Elliot (West End), I Was a Rat (UK Tour) and Pinocchio (Point Theatre, Eastleigh). For television, his credits include My Phone Genie (CITV), Sadie J (CITV), New Tricks (BBC), Casualty (BBC) and Doctors (BBC).
Karen Mann plays Grandma. Her many theatre credits include I Dreamed a Dream (UK tour), Sleeping Beauty (New Wolsey Ipswich), Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Animal Farm (all for the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep), extensive work for The Watermill Theatre including Tuxedo Junction, Copacabana, Martin Guerre, Hot Mikado, Spend, Spend, Spend, Moonlight & Magnolias, Gondoliers (which transferred to the Apollo Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof, Carmen and Sweeney Todd (which transferred to Trafalgar Studios and the New Ambassadors Theatre), Return to the Forbidden Planet (West End, Japan, national tour), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (Glasgow Citizens Theatre), Happy End and The Threepenny Opera (Theatr Clwyd). Her television work includes Doctor Who, My Family and Episodes.
Sioned Saunders plays Witch. Her theatre credits include Calamity Jane (Watermill Theatre and UK tour), James & the Giant Peach (Birmingham Old Rep & UK tour), Robin Hood and The Babes in The Wood (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), Chess (Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto & UK tour), Jungle Book (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), The Poor Soldier (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Robin Hood & The Babes in The Wood (Clwyd Theatre Cymru), Sunset Boulevard (West End), Animal Farm (West Yorkshire Playhouse), HONK! (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall).
Kieran Urquhart plays Bruno. His theatre credits include Adrift (Action Transport/Unity Theatre), Scuttlers (Manchester Royal Exchange), Bright Phoenix (Liverpool Everyman), Jason and the Argonauts (Off the Ground Theatre) and The Grid (Young Everyman Playhouse Company, Liverpool Everyman).
Elexi Walker plays Mrs Jenkins. Her theatre credits include The Libertine (Citizens Theatre), The Jungle Book (Citizens Theatre), You Can Still Make a Killing (Southwark Playhouse); DNA (Hull Truck Theatre & UK Tour), The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse), To Kill A Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal), The Vagina Monologues, Desert Boy (Nitro Theatre), The Laramie Project: Ten Years On (Hope Theatre Co.), These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep) and Transmissions (Birmingham Rep).
Justin Wilman plays Mr Jenkins. He is a musician and actor. His theatre work includes The Kreutzer Sonata (Chipping Norton Theatre), Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak (Bristol), Calamity Jane (UK Tour) and Midnight at the Boar's Head (Fine Chisel Theatre). He performed in Cirque du Soleil's production ZAiA, the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Pageant and has toured the UK with Bollywood stars Salim and Sulieman.
Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of Curve, directs. For the company his work includes Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing, Shakespeare's Richard III, Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. He was an Associate Director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, where his work included Amanda Whittington's Bollywood Jane, Louise Paige's Salonika, Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Bryony Lavery & Jason Carr, Orwell's Animal Farm, and Sherlock Holmes - The Best Kept Secret. His other work includes Calamity Jane (Watermill Theatre & National Tour), Shelagh Stephenson's The Memory of Water (New Vic, Stoke & Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Brecht's The Good Person of Sichuan (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal & The Touring Consortium), Shakespeare's As You Like It (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester), and Macbeth (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Dickens' Great Expectations, adapted by Tanika Gupta (Palace Theatre Watford & English Touring Theatre), Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre), Coward's Hay Fever (Chichester Festival Theatre), Barry Hines' Kes (Liverpool Playhouse and The Touring Consortium), Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black's Aspects of Love (UK tour and South Africa), Bouciccault's London Assurance (Watermill Theatre), and for Sheffield Theatres, Shaffer's Amadeus, Sondheim's Assassins and A Chorus Line. Nikolai's production of Annie is currently on tour in the UK.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Orchestral Arrangements by William David Brohn
27 November 2015 - 16 January 2016
Press night: Wednesday 2 December, 7pm
Paul Kerryson directs this new production of Lionel Bart's multi award-winning musical. Peter Polycarpou plays the role of Fagin. Cat Simmons plays the role of Nancy (Fri 27 Nov - Sat 2 Jan), then Laura Pitt-Pulford, who played Maria in Curve's 2014 Christmas production of The Sound of Music, plays the role of Nancy (Mon 4 Jan - Sat 16 Jan). Oliver Boot will play Bill Sikes. They are joined by Jenna Boyd (Widow Corney), James Gant (Mr Bumble), John Griffiths (Mr Brownlow), Natalie Moore-Williams (Mrs Sowerberry & Mrs Bedwin), Lucy Thomas (Bet) and Jez Unwin (Mr Sowerberry & Grimwig. The cast also includes Cassie Clare, Jaye Elster, Ross Lee Fowkes, Ryan Gover, Ian Gareth-Jones, Emma Harrold, Tim Hodges, Bethany Linsdell, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Louis Stockil and Dickie Wood.
The role of Oliver will be shared by Liam Carr and Albert Hart. The role of Artful Dodger will be shared by Joel Fossard-Jones and Kwame Kandekore, who were recently seen at Curve in Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical.
Joining Kerryson on the creative team will be Choreographer Andrew Wright, Musical Director Ben Atkinson, Set Designer Matt Kinley, Costume Designer takis, Lighting Designer Bruno Poet, Sound Designer Avgoustos Psillas, and Children's Casting Director Jo Hawes.
Peter Polycarpou plays Fagin. His theatre credits include The Choir (Glasgow Citizens Theatre), Follies In Concert (Royal Albert Hall), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre & The Shaftesbury Theatre), The Magistrate (The National), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre & Adelphi Theatre), Love Story (West End & Chichester Festival Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Last Easter (Birmingham Rep), Imagine This (Plymouth Theatre Royal & New London Theatre), Artefacts (Brits Off Broadway NYC and Bush Theatre), Silver Birch House (Arcola Theatre), Gizmo Love (Actors Touring Company, Edinburgh Festival), All the Ordinary Angels (Manchester Royal Exchange), Anna in the Tropics and Follow My Leader (Hampstead Theatre), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bridewell Theatre), The Odd Couple (nominated best actor Manchester Evening News) and Angels in America (Manchester Library Theatre). Title role in The Phantom of the Opera (Really Useful Company), Titus Andronicus, The Secret Garden and LES MISERABLES (RSC and Palace Theatre Original Company), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Oklahoma! (National Theatre and Lyceum). Created the role of John in Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh - original company, Drury Lane), The Jew of Malta (RSC), A Question of Geography (RSC), Metropolis Kabarett - RNT, Cats (in the last ever cast at The New London Theatre). His television credits include Tyrant (series regular), The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries, Threesome, Hustle, The Last Days of Lehman Brothers, Holby City, Empathy, The Bill, EastEnders, Waking the Dead, Planespotting, Casualty, Noah: The Deluge and the Flood, Mile High, Birds of a Feather, Sunburn, Capitol City, American Voices, Black Carrion, The Professionals and Anything is Possible. His film credits include Oklahoma! and Evita.
Cat Simmons plays Nancy. For theatre, her credits include Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre), Fame! (Cambridge Theatre), Simply Heavenly and Been So Long (Young Vic), Aladdin (The Old Vic) and Coming Home (Arcola). Her television credits include Ordinary Lies (series regular), The Bill (series regular) and Family Affairs (series regular), That Day We Sang, Vera and No Angels. Her film credits include Life and Lyrics.
Laura Pitt-Pulford plays Nancy. For Curve, Laura's credits include The Sound of Music, Piaf and Hello, Dolly! She is currently on tour playing the lead role of Jean Spenser in Irving Berlin's The Smallest Show on Earth. Her other theatre credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), A Little Night Music - in Concert (Palace Theatre), The Return of the Soldier (Jermyn Street Theatre), Marry Me A Little (St James Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse), Shakers (Queens Theatre), Mack & Mabel (Southwark Playhouse), Sweet Charity (Belfast MAC), The Little Prince (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Guys & Dolls (Theatre Clwyd, Wolsey Theatre Ipswich & Salisbury), Copacabana (Watermill Theatre), The World Goes Round (Wellingborough Castle), Jack & Jill (Oxford Playhouse), Little Fish (Finborough Theatre), Sunset Boulevard (The Comedy Theatre, West End & Watermill Theatre), The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Follies (Royal and Derngate), Closer Than Ever (Edinburgh Festival) and Edward II (Edinburgh Festival).
Oliver Boot plays Bill Sikes. His credits for Curve include Piaf. His other theatre work includes Othello (Cheek by Jowl), A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Richard II (Shakespeare's Globe) and The Lady From The Sea (Birmingham Rep). For television his credits include Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (series regular), As If, The Time of Your Life, Hotel Babylon, Distant Shores, Garrow's Law and My Family. His film credits include Blooded and John Carter.
Paul Kerryson is the former Artistic Director of Curve. He is currently directing the national tour of Curve's production of Hairspray. For the company, his work also includes The Sound of Music, Chicago, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Piaf, Hello Dolly!, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Buried Child, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. For the Haymarket Theatre Leicester, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Playboy of the Western World, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Plough and the Star, Dolly West's Kitchen, Richard III, Breaking the Code, East, Edward II and Single Spies. Kerryson has directed works by the world's greatest composers including Rogers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Jerry Herman, William Finn, and has enjoyed a celebrated, close creative relationship with the works of Stephen Sondheim. He has directed for Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Manchester Library Theatre and the Dublin Gaiety.
For more information, visit www.curveonline.co.uk or follow on Twitter: @CurveLeicester.
Pictured: Peter Polycarpou. Photo by Roy Tan.