Following the departure of a number of cast members and a change around of creative staff, Alison Arnopp will take over the title role in the world premiere of Dusty, a new British musical about the rise to fame of 1960s superstar Dusty Springfield, currently previewing at London’s Charing Cross Theatre.
When previews began on 25 May 2015, Ellie Ann Lowe was playing Dusty/Mary O’Brien, but she will not be continuing in the role. After a prolonged period of previews, press are being invited to review Dusty on Monday 7 September. The show is booking to 21 November 2015.
The cast includes: Alison Arnopp (Dusty/Mary O’Brien), Francesca Jackson (Nancy Jones), Graham Kent (Gerrard ‘OB’ O’Brien), Leo Elso (Dion O’Brien/Tom Springfield), Sienna Sebek (Norma), Harvey Robinson (Dave Dean), Witney White (Martha Reeves), Luke Thornton (Douggie Reece), Matt Blaker (Johnny Franz), Oliver Lynes (Vic Billing), Ellen Verenieks (Kay O’Brien), and ensemble members Jemma Geanaus (Maddie), Nikkola Burnhope, Amanda Digón Mata, Megan Makin andJonathan de Mallet Morgan.
Dusty is written by Chris Cowey, Madpan Entertainments Ltd and Kim Weild with dramaturg Jack Bradley. Original director is Chris Cowey, alongside co-director and choreographer Joey McKneely. Additional direction is now by Christian Durham. Set designs are by Phil Lindley, lighting design by Richard Williamson and sound by Paul Gavin and James Nicholson. The musical supervisor is Dean Austin. Orchestrations and additional arrangements are by Noam Galperin. Costume design is by Jason Kealer, wig design is by Darren Evans.
The show puts Dusty herself and her amazing voice in the heart of the action. It tells the story of how Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien became Dusty Springfield, one of the biggest selling female artists and an icon of the 1960s, as seen through the eyes of Nancy Jones, one of her childhood friends.
Throughout her career, Dusty, a musical perfectionist, chases her own unique sound. She turns music studios upside down, records in toilets and corridors to get just the sound she wants – and produces some of the most unforgettable songs ever. At the same time she embraces the outsider in society, breaks rules, introduces England to Tamla Motown, ‘The Sound Of Black America’, beats a path to America as part of the British Invasion and gets deported from South Africa for allowing blacks to attend her whites only concerts in the Apartheid era.
Dusty’s solo career began in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit, ‘I Only Want to Be with You’, and was followed by many hit songs including ‘Wishin’ and Hopin’’, ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself’, ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ and ‘Son of a Preacher Man’.
With her distinctive, sensual sound Dusty becomes the best-selling female singer in the world with six Top 20 singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 and 16 on the UK Singles Chart from 1963 to 1989.
Dusty is produced in the West End by Freddie Madden, Duncan Sibbald and Patrice Wilson for Five Foot 2 Blonde Ltd and Darren P. DeVerna. Andrew Green and Ben White are executive producers. Paul Howes is associate producer.