Jonathan D Ellis cast in Damn Yankees at Landor Theatre

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Jonathan D Ellis, Alex Lodge and Polly Tierney in Damn Yankees at the Landor Theatre, London. Picture: Roy Tan

Jonathan D Ellis (Les Misérables, Blood Brothers) will star in the Landor Theatre’s revival of Adler and Ross’ Damn Yankees as the Mephistophelean Applegate, the role popularised by Jerry Lewis in the 1990s Broadway and West End productions. The production runs from 1 October to 8 November (press night is 7 October).

He will be joined by Poppy Tierney (The Witches of Eastwick, Watermill Theatre, and Batman Live UK tour) as Lola – ‘the best homewrecker on the devil’s staff’, Alex Lodge (Saturday Night Fever UK tour) as Joe Hardy – a crack baseball player who isn’t all he seems, and Tony Stansfield as Van Buren, the role he first played in the 1990s West End run!

The remaining cast will also include Nova Skipp, Gary Bland, Douglas Fanning, Barnaby Hughes, Joel Burman, Sam Stone, Kiel Payton, Ben Sell, Sam Lathwood, Emily Wigley, Kayleigh Thadani, Christopher Tendai and recent graduates Elizabeth Futter, Sophie May Whitfield, Samson Ajewole and Leah Pinney.

The Landor Theatre’s Robert McWhir directs the production alongside musical director Michael Webborn, choreographer Robbie O’Reilly, lighting designer Richard Lambert and costume designer Richard Lambert.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the retirement of Lou Gehrig – the famous Yankees player who was forced to retire after being diagnosed with ALS disorder (Motor Neurone Disease), which has been a frequent topic in the news recently due to the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. Damn Yankees at the Landor is staged in recognition of Gehrig’s bravery and achievements. In light of this, 50% of the box office profits on 2 October 2014 will be donated to the MND Association and there will be collection buckets (rather than ice buckets) at the theatre.

From the composing and writing talent behind The Pajama Game, and with eight Tony Awards including Best Musical under its cap, Damn Yankees is a musical with enduring heart. With much-loved classics such as ‘Whatever Lola Wants’ and ‘You’ve Gotta Have Heart’, the musical ran for 1,019 performances in its original 1955 Broadway production.


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