Leslie Bricusse musical revue Pure Imagination opens at St James in September

PURE IMAGINATIONPure Imagination – The Songs of Leslie Bricusse celebrates the songs of the most prolific and well-loved film and musical theatre songwriters of our time.

Whether writing alone or forming partnerships – including Anthony Newley, Henry Mancini, John Williams and John Barry – double Oscar and Grammy Award winner Leslie Bricusse’s music has touched us all. He has composed more than 1,000 songs and written the book, music and/or lyrics for over 40 musical films and plays during a 60-year career.

This show includes such favourites as ‘What Kind of Fool Am I’, ‘If I Ruled the World’, ‘Talk to the Animals’, ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Goldfinger’ and many, many more.

Pure Imagination, directed by Tony-nominated Christopher Renshaw (Taboo, The King and I, We Will Rock You) and produced by Danielle Tarento, will get its world premiere in the main house at St James Theatre, in a four-week season from Thursday 24 September to Saturday 17 October (press night is 29 September).

Cast to be announced.

Bricusse has been nominated for ten Oscars, nine Grammys and four Tonys and won eight Ivor Novello Awards in an illustrious career. His composing started as a student at Cambridge, where he co-authored, directed and performed in his first two musical shows, Out of the Blue and Lady At the Wheel, both of which transferred to London’s West End. He spent the first year of his professional life writing another musical, The Boy On the Corner and the screenplay and score of his first motion picture, Charley Moon, which won him his first Ivor Novello Award.

His later stage musicals include Stop the World – I Want to Get Off; The Roar of the Greasepaint ­– The Smell of the Crowd; Pickwick; Harvey; The Good Old Bad Old Days; Goodbye Mr Chips; Henry’s Wives; Scrooge; Sherlock Holmes; Jekyll and Hyde; Noah’s ArkSammy; Victor/Victoria and It’s a Dog’s Life!

Christopher Renshaw (director) began his career in the 1970s directing opera at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House. His acclaimed production of The King and I began in Australia, was mounted on Broadway and in the West End. We Will Rock You ran at the Dominion Theatre for 12 years. Another production of The King and I opened on Broadway starring Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips to rave reviews. He received the 1996 Drama Desk Award as well as Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his direction, and the revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival. In 2002 he directed the world premiere of Taboo, using the music of Boy George in London. It later transferred to Broadway and was revived back in London in 2012, co-produced by Danielle Tarento. His production of The Gipsy King’s Zorro has been seen in London, Amsterdam, Moscow, Tokyo and Paris. After opening at The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta last year, it is now on its way to Broadway.

Danielle Tarento (producer and casting director) was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and nominated Producer of the Year at the 2015 Stage awards. Her production of Titanic at Southwark Playhouse won Best Off West End Production at the 2014 Whatsonstage Awards and Best Musical Production at the 2014 Off West End Awards. She has also produced Gods and Monsters, Dogfight, Victor/Victoria, Mack and Mabel, Parade, Company and Three Sisters at Southwark Playhouse; The Grand Tour (Finborough); 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.

www.stjamestheatre.co.uk

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