Curve today announced casting for the theatre’s production of Lionel Bart’s classic musical, Oliver!
Marking the first Christmas under Curve’s new leadership team of chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster, the news comes at the end of Curve’s most successful year to date, which saw the theatre’s turnover reach £7.8 million, their highest since opening in 2008.
Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster said: “It is with great pride we present two British classics on our stages this winter. We are thrilled to welcome these incredibly talented acting companies and creative teams to our city and, in a first for Curve, The Witches will open in Hong Kong while Oliver! premieres in our home town.”
Peter Polycarpou plays the role of Fagin. Cat Simmons plays the role of Nancy (27 November to 2 January), then Laura Pitt-Pulford, takes on the role (4 to 16 January). Oliver Boot will play Bill Sikes. They are joined by Jenna Boyd (Widow Corney), James Gant (Mr Bumble), John Griffiths (Mr Brownlow), Natalie Moore-Williams (Mrs Sowerberry and Mrs Bedwin), Lucy Thomas (Bet) and Jez Unwin (Mr Sowerberry and Grimwig). The cast also includes: Cassie Clare, Jaye Elster, Ross Lee Fowkes, Ryan Gover, Ian Gareth-Jones, Emma Harrold, Tim Hodges, Bethany Linsdell, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Louis Stockil and Dickie Wood.
The role of Oliver will be shared by Liam Carr and Albert Hart. The role of Artful Dodger will be shared by Joel Fossard-Jones and Kwame Kandekore, who were recently seen at Curve in Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical.
Joining Kerryson on the creative team will be choreographer Andrew Wright, musical director Ben Atkinson, set designer Matt Kinley, costume designer takis, lighting designer Bruno Poet, sound designer Avgoustos Psillas and children’s casting director Jo Hawes.
Peter Polycarpou (Fagin) has theatre credits including The Choir (Glasgow Citizens Theatre), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre and the Shaftesbury Theatre), The Magistrate (National), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre and Adelphi Theatre), Love Story (West End and Chichester Festival Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Last Easter (Birmingham Rep), Imagine This (Plymouth Theatre Royal and New London Theatre), Artefacts (Brits Off Broadway NYC and Bush Theatre), Silver Birch House (Arcola Theatre), Gizmo Love (Actors Touring Company, Edinburgh Festival), All the Ordinary Angels (Manchester Royal Exchange), Anna in the Tropics and Follow My Leader (Hampstead Theatre), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bridewell Theatre), The Odd Couple and Angels in America (Manchester Library Theatre). Title role in The Phantom of the Opera (Really Useful Group), Titus Andronicus, The Secret Garden and Les Misérables (RSC and Palace Theatre original company), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Oklahoma! (National Theatre and Lyceum). Polycarpou also created the role of John in Miss Saigon (original company, Drury Lane) an featured in the last ever cast of Cats at the New London Theatre.
Cat Simmons plays Nancy. For theatre, her credits include Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre), Fame! (Cambridge Theatre), Simply Heavenly and Been So Long (Young Vic), Aladdin (Old Vic) and Coming Home (Arcola).
Laura Pitt-Pulford plays Nancy. For Curve, her credits include The Sound of Music, Piaf and Hello, Dolly! She is currently on tour playing the lead role of Jean Spenser in Irving Berlin’s The Smallest Show on Earth. Her other theatre credits include Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), A Little Night Music – in Concert (Palace Theatre), The Return of the Soldier (Jermyn Street Theatre), Marry Me a Little (St James Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse), Shakers (Queens Theatre), Mack & Mabel (Southwark Playhouse), Sweet Charity (Belfast MAC), The Little Prince (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Guys and Dolls (Theatre Clwyd, Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Salisbury), Copacabana (Watermill Theatre), The World Goes Round (Wellingborough Castle), Jack & Jill (Oxford Playhouse), Little Fish (Finborough Theatre), Sunset Boulevard (Comedy Theatre, West End and Watermill Theatre), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Follies (Royal and Derngate), Closer Than Ever (Edinburgh Festival) and Edward II (Edinburgh Festival).
Oliver Boot plays Bill Sikes. His credits for Curve include Piaf. His other theatre work includes Othello (Cheek by Jowl), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe) and The Lady From the Sea (Birmingham Rep).
Paul Kerryson is the former artistic director of Curve. He is currently directing the national tour of Curve’s production of Hairspray. For the company, his work also includes The Sound of Music, Chicago, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Piaf, Hello, Dolly!, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Buried Child, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. For the Haymarket Theatre Leicester, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Playboy of the Western World, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Plough and the Star, Dolly West’s Kitchen, Richard III, Breaking the Code, East, Edward II and Single Spies.
Curve and Rose Theatre Kingston are also present Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted by David Wood and directed by Nikolai Foster, in the Studio (9 December 2015 to 10 January 2016, press night is16 December).
The Witches features Sarah Ingram (Grand High Witch), Fox Jackson-Keen (Boy), Karen Mann (Grandma), Sioned Saunders (Witch), Kieran Urquhart (Bruno), Elexi Walker (Mrs Jenkins) and Justin Wilman (Mr Jenkins). The production marks the first time that Curve has produced a Christmas show for young people and their families in the Studio. A co-production with The Rose Theatre Kingston, The Witches will play at Curve after opening in Hong Kong. It will then go on national tour in spring 2016.
Joining Foster will be designer Isla Shaw, composer Dougal Irvine, magic consultant Neil Henry, lighting designer David Phillips, sound Ddesigner Sebastian Frost, movement director Mel Knott and casting director Kay Magson.