National Theatre’s Pinocchio – casting details

Directed by John Tiffany at the National Theatre, the world premiere of Pinocchio by Dennis Kelly stars Joe Idris-Roberts in the title role with Audrey Brisson (Jiminy Cricket), Annette McLaughlin (Blue Lady), David Langham (The Fox), David Kirkbride (Coachman), Dawn Sievewright (Lampy) and Chris Jarman (Stromboli).

The cast also includes: Stuart Angell, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, Stephanie Bron, James Charlton, Rebecca Jayne-Davies, Sarah Kameela Impey, Anabel Kutay, Michael Lin, Jack North, Clemmie Sveaas, Michael Taibi, Scarlet Wilderink and Jack Wolfe.

Plans for the NT’s new stage musical version of Carlo Collodi’s much-loved story of the puppet who dream of becoming a ‘real-life boy’ were first unveiled two years ago.

Presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the show will finally receive its world premiere at the Lyttelton this December. Written by Kelly, the co-writer of the smash hit Matilda The Musical, Pinocchio will feature the songs and score from the much-loved 1940 Disney classic by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J. Smith, newly adapted by Martin Lowe.

With design and puppet co-design by Bob Crowley, lighting design by Paule Constable, music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe, choreography by Steven Hoggett, puppetry and puppet co-design by Toby Olié, sound design by Simon Baker and illusions by Jamie Harrison, the new production takes Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket on an event-packed journey away from Geppetto’s workshop.

Part of the venue’s packed 2017 season, Pinocchio is due to play the Lyttleton Theatre from 1 December with a press night on 13 December. Tickets are on sale for performances until 7 April 2018.

Full casting details have also been revealed for the National Theatre’s much-anticipated production of the 1970s Broadway musical Follies which is due to begin previewing in August.

Starring the multi-award winning trio of Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton, Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies will play the Olivier Theatre from 22 August until 4 November with a press night on 6 September. Additional performances will be announced at a later date.

Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the major new production will be directed by NT associate director Dominic Cooke with choreography by Bill Deamer.

The cast includes Julie Armstrong (Sandra Crane), Norma Attallah (Emily Whitman), Josephine Barstow (Heidi Schiller), Jeremy Batt (Chorus Boy), Tracie Bennett (Carlotta Campion), Di Botcher (Hattie Walker), Billy Boyle (Theodore Whitman), Janie Dee (Phyllis Rogers Stone), Anouska Eaton (Young Emily), Liz Ewing (Company), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Solange Lafitte), Peter Forbes (Buddy Plummer), Emily Goodenough (Showgirl), Bruce Graham (Roscoe), Adrian Grove (Sam Deems), Fred Haig (Young Buddy), Aimee Hodnett (Young Hattie), Dawn Hope (Stella Deems), Liz Izen (Deedee West), Alison Langer (Young Heidi), Emily Langham (Young Carlotta), Sarah-Marie Maxwell (Young Solange), Ian McLarnon (Company), Leisha Mollyneux (Young Stella), Gemma Page (Christine Donovan), Kate Parr (Young Sandra), Philip Quast (Ben Stone), Edwin Ray (Chorus Boy), Gary Raymond (Dimitri Weismann), Adam Rhys-Charles (Young Ben), Jordan Shaw (Chorus Boy), Imelda Staunton (Sally Durrant Plummer), Zizi Strallen (Young Phyllis), Barnaby Thompson (Chorus Boy), Christine Tucker (Young Deedee), Michael Vinsen (Chorus Boy) and Alex Young (Young Sally).

The creative team will feature music supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck, music director Nigel Lilley, lighting designer Paule Constable, sound designer Paul Groothuis and associate choreographer Kylie Cruikshanks.

Follies debuted on Broadway in 1971 in a production directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett who also provided the choreography. The musical won seven of the 11 Tony awards it was nominated for and includes the standards ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’, ‘Too Many Mornings’, ‘Could I Leave You?’, and ‘Losing My Mind’.

The show debuted in the West End in 1987 and there have been a number of successful revival productions including two on Broadway in 2001 and 2011 and one in the West End in 2002.

The show will mark a return to the National for Staunton. Her performance at the venue in The Beggar’s Opera in 1982 earned her Olivier Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical and Most Promising Newcomer of the Year in Theatre. She has also appeared in two NT productions of Guys and Dolls (in 1982 and in 1996).

Angela Thomas

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