Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s light-hearted, fun musical By Jeeves will be the highlight of the Old Laundry Theatre’s 25th anniversary season 2017, opening at the venue in Bowness-on-Windermere on 6 October and running until to 4 November (press night is 9 October).
By Jeeves will bring back together the original creative team from the 1996 production including: Olivier and Tony-winning Alan Ayckbourn, who will direct; set designer Roger Glossop (also owner of the Old Laundry Theatre) who is designing a new set for the intimate 200-seat theatre; and choreographer Sheila Carter.
Joining the production team is musical director Steven Edis, costume designer Caroline Hughes and lighting designer Jason Taylor.
The Old Laundry Theatre’s directors, Roger and his theatre producer wife Charlotte Scott said: “We are really delighted to be putting on this revival of By Jeeves to be directed by Alan Ayckbourn. The original show, which reopened the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1996, transferred to the West End and moved across the waters to Washington, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Broadway, was such a fulfilling theatrical enterprise for all the creative team, cast and crew.
“The idea we can revisit this piece, with its wit, pace and beautiful songs, and present a large-scale production at the Old Laundry Theatre (10 in the cast and a six-piece live band), is a fitting celebration for our 25th.”
Set in the 1920s and keeping the dottiness of the original PG Wodehouse stories, By Jeeves brings to life a cast of colourful characters who continually and hilariously swap identities as they battle to salvage love and cover up embarrassing errors, causing confusion and mayhem galore.
The iconic Wodehouse characters include loveable chump Bertie Wooster with his unquenchable optimism and his wonderfully supercilious butler Jeeves, renowned for his deadpan digs.
Alan Ayckbourn, a man of, literally, many words with 81 plays and musicals to his name added:“By Jeeves is a party. It’s a celebration of theatre, so is perfect for the Old Laundry’s 25th. I was always attracted by the innocence in Wodehouse and love the simplicity and characters, which I still find so refreshing.”
Another highlight of the Old Laundry Theatre’s 2017 season is the return of its highly-acclaimed classical family musical adventure Where is Peter Rabbit? This production opens on 10 June and runs until 3 September.
This is the first year that the Old Laundry Theatre will be continually open with a full and varied season of theatre and concerts from 10 March through to 31 December 2017.