Final casting and the full creative team have been revealed for the eagerly awaited European premiere of the Broadway musical Grey Gardens, based on an iconic 1975 documentary, telling the spectacular real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ aunt and cousin, Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale.
Joining the previously announced Olivier Award-winning West End stars Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell are:
Billy Boyle, who has just finished two years playing Grandpa George in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is a veteran of the West End stage, having played leading roles in more than 15 hit shows from his big break in Maggie May in 1964 to Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Maurice in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Dirty Dancing.
Aaron Sidwell joins the cast direct from starring as Johnny in Green Day’s American Idiot at the Arts Theatre. His other roles include the original West End cast of Loserville (Garrick) the lead in Cool Rider (Duchess Theatre) and Carl Bruner in Ghost the Musical. He played Steven Beale in over 100 episodes of EastEnders.
Jeremy Legat most recently played Camille in Thérèse Raquin at Finborough Theatre and Park Theatre.
Ako Mitchell’s West End roles include Mufasa in The Lion King, Sweaty Eddie in Sister Act, Gabriel in Fences and Mitch in Jamie Lloyd’s premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar Warehouse
Rachel Anne Rayham has just played Louisa in The Sound of Music. This is her London professional debut.
The rest of the cast are child actors Alana Hinge, Grace Jenkins, Rebecca Nardin and Eleanor Waldron.
The full creative team are: director Thom Southerland, musical supervisor Simon Lee, musical director Michael Bradley, choreographer Lee Proud, set designer Tom Rogers, lighting designer Howard Hudson, sound designer Andrew Johnson, costume designer Jonathan Lipman and producer/casting director Danielle Tarento.
Grey Gardens has a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie, and is produced by Danielle Tarento and directed by Thom Southerland, the award-winning team behind Grand Hotel, Titanic, Parade and Mack & Mabel.
It will open for a six-week season in The Large at Southwark Playhouse from Saturday 2 January, 2016 (press night is Thursday 7 January).
Starting in 1941 at an engagement party at Grey Gardens, the Bouvier’s mansion in East Hampton, Long Island, the musical tracks the progression of the two women’s lives from American aristocrats to reclusive social outcasts living in such squalid conditions, in a home overrun by cats, that the Health Department deemed the mansion ‘unfit for human habitation’.