Half a Sixpence – West End production closes in September

9. HALF A SIXPENCE Charlie Stemp 'Arthur Kipps'. Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench

Charlie Stemp in Half a Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre, London. Picture: Michael Le Poer Trench

First presented at Chichester’s Festival Theatre, Half a Sixpence will play its final performance in London on Saturday 2 September, having extended its limited season twice.

This popular reinvention of the musical has now well and truly launched the career of newcomer Charlie Stemp with his award-winning performance in the lead role of role of Arthur Kipps.

When the show ends its run at the Noël Coward Theatre it will be the longest-running West End transfer from the Chichester Festival Theatre since Singin’ in the Rain.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “I’m delighted that this new Half a Sixpence has been greeted so rapturously by audiences and critics and discovered a new star in Charlie Stemp. It is most gratifying that this long neglected David Heneker and Beverley Cross musical, brilliantly re-written by Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, now has a new lease of life with interest for several other productions in discussion.”

Half a Sixpence stars Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps, Devon-Elise Johnson as Ann Pornick, Ian Bartholomew as Chitterlow and Emma Williams as Helen Walsingham.

This new stage version of Half a Sixpence, the musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’ semi-autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul, is a fresh adaptation which reunites book writer Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with Stiles and Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of Mary Poppins with Disney. The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s songs from the original production, including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Money to Burn’ and ‘Half a Sixpence’.

Half a Sixpence is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh who recently directed The Wind in the Willows, as well as the Olivier-nominated Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at the Open Air Theatre.

The production is designed by Paul Brown, with choreography by Andrew Wright (Chichester/West End production of Guys and Dolls, the UK tour of Barnum and Moby Dick at the Union Theatre) with orchestrations by William David Brohn.

The musical supervisors are Stephen Brooker and Graham Hurman, who also conducts; with lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and video design by Luke Halls. The original 1963 musical was written by Beverley Cross and David Heneker.

Readers may also be interested in:

Half a Sixpence – Noel Coward Theatre, London – Review.

Tickets for Half a Sixpence are available HERE.

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