Alastair Brookshaw, Nic Kyle and Zoë Doano are to head the cast for the European premiere of Jerry Herman’s 1979 Broadway musical The Grand Tour, directed by Thom Southerland at the Finborough Theatre as part of the 20 Premieres Season.
Produced by Danielle Tarento, The Grand Tour will run for an eight-week strictly limited season from Thursday 1 January to Saturday 21 February 2015 (press nights are 6 and 7 January).
France, 1940. Jacobowsky, a Polish Jewish intellectual, has been one step ahead of the Nazis for years. Stjerbinsky, an aristocrat, anti semitic Polish colonel is desperately trying to get to England. Jacobowsky has purchased a car he doesn’t know how to drive. The Colonel knows how to drive, but has no car. When the two meet at a Paris hotel, they agree to join forces in order to escape the approaching Nazis. Together with the Colonel’s girlfriend, Marianne, they begin their perilous journey on the road to freedom. Featuring one of Jerry Herman’s most engrossing and heartfelt scores, The Grand Tour finds beauty, light and humour in one of history’s darkest hours.
Alastair Brookshaw (Jacobowsky) received rave reviews for his starring role as Leo Frank in Thom Southerland’s critically acclaimed production of Parade at Southwark Playhouse. His West End shows include Cabaret and Blood Brothers, with him understudying Eddie. He was in Craig Revel Horwood’s revival of Hot Mikado at the Watermill Theatre, and was a vocalist in the dance musical Shoes at Sadler’s Wells. He recently premiered the one-man Oscar Wilde musical, De Profundis, winner of Leicester Square Theatre’s The New Musical Project.
Nic Kyle (The Colonel) hails from New Zealand, where he starred as Chris in the NZ premiere of Miss Saigon. His other musicals include Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Anthony in Sweeney Todd, Emcee in Cabaret and Assassins.
Zoë Doano (Marianne) was in the musicals Sweet Smell of Success (Arcola), High Society (UK tour) and Les Misérables (West End).
The rest of the cast are: Michael Cotton (Parade, Victor/Victoria, The Tailor Made Man, Martin Guerre, My Fair Lady, Oliver!), Laurel Dougall, Elizabeth Graham (Alvaro’s Balcony, Candide, Salad Days, Cabaret), Natasha Karp, Vincent Pirillo (Sweeney Todd, Chichester, The Phantom of the Opera, The Woman in White, Ragtime, Fiddler On the Roof), Blair Robertson, Samuel J Weir (Dogfight, Monkee Business, Parade, Spring Awakening) and Lizzie Wofford.
The creative team will consist of director Thom Southerland, choreographer Cressida Carré, musical director Joanna Cichonska, set designer Philip Lindley, costume designer Sophia Simensky and sound designer Max Pappenheim.
Jerry Herman (music and lyrics) is one of Broadway’s most prolific composers, whose best known works include Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles and Mack & Mabel. He has been nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
Michael Stewart (book) made his Broadway debut with Bye Bye Birdie in 1960. He won two Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical for Hello, Dolly! and was further nominated for Mack & Mabel, Carnival!, I Love My Wife, Barnum, 42nd Street and Harrigan ‘n’ Hart.
Mark Bramble (book) has been nominated for the Tony Award three times: for Best Book of a Musical for Barnum and 42nd Street and Best Direction of a Musical for 42nd Street.
Thom Southerland (director) was named Best Director at the 2011 The Offies – Off West End Theatre Awards – for Me and Juliet at the Finborough. He directed Titanic, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel and Parade (Southwark Playhouse); Daisy Pulls It Off, Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam! (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); the European premiere of I Sing!, Divorce Me, Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game and sold-out all-male adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (Union); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit); the European premiere of The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor); and the European première of State Fair (Finborough and transfer to Trafalgar Studios).
Danielle Tarento (producer and casting director) was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and recently won Best Off West End Production at the 2014 Whatsonstage Awards and Best Musical Production at the 2014 Off West End Awards for Titanic at Southwark Playhouse. She has also produced Dogfight, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Parade, Company and Three Sisters at Southwark Playhouse; Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola); Burlesque, Drowning on Dry Land (Jermyn Street); Noël and Gertie (Cockpit). She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows 2004–2006, including Sunday in the Park With George, which received a West End transfer and five Olivier Awards.