Artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, Daniel Evans has revealed that he will direct the world premiere of a new British musical Flowers For Mrs Harris as part of the company’s new season (18 May to 4 June 2016, press night is 23 May).
The piece is written by Richard Taylor and Rachel Wagstaff, based on the novel by Paul Gallico, and will star Clare Burt (returning to Sheffield Theatres, where she appeared in the award-winning This is My Family, to play Mrs Harris).
Also in the creative team are designer Lez Brotherston, musical director Tom Brady and casting director Charlotte Sutton.
It’s London 1947. Mrs Harris spends every day cheerfully cleaning for her clients. She wants for nothing. Or so she thinks… One day, she happens upon something that takes her breath away – a Christian Dior dress. And something deep within her awakens. She sets out on an unthinkable quest to have a Dior dress of her own. On her incredible journey, Mrs Harris realises that she can finally let go of her past.
Artistic director Daniel Evans said: “This is, without doubt, our boldest season to date. As preparations begin for Christmas at Sheffield Theatres, I’m overjoyed that spring and summer hold so much in store for audiences in our city region.”
Sheffield Theatres’ Christmas production will be the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II musical Show Boat at the Crucible Theatre. The staging has been extended for an extra week in response to high demand for tickets (opening on 10 December and running until 23 January 2016).
Richard Taylor composed music and lyrics for The Go-Between (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Derby Live, Northampton Theatres). Other stage work includes the operas Ludd and Isis (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Confucius Says (Hackney Empire), The Jonah Boy (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough) and the original stage musical adaptation of Mary Hayley Bell’s Whistle Down the Wind. Taylor has composed the score for more than 60 plays, regionally and West End, including most recently Macbeth, The Sheffield Mysteries and Afterplay for Sheffield Theatres, King Lear and Lorca’s Yerma for the West Yorkshire Playhouse (where he has composed for over 20 productions, including two years as resident composer), as well as many productions for Manchester’s Library Theatre, notably TMA Best Children’s Production winner Tom’s Midnight Garden.
Rachel Wagstaff’s stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s bestselling novel, Birdsong, was staged at the Comedy Theatre, directed by Trevor Nunn. A new production of her adaptation successfully toured the UK regionally in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Her plays include The Soldier (Edinburgh Festival 2004, the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, RADA), Night Sky (Old Vic for Index on Censorship), That Girl (Soho Theatre), as well as one of the Old Vic New Voices Twenty Four Hour plays (2005). Moonshadow, the musical she co-wrote with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), was previewed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010, and then produced at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in June 2012.
Clare Burt returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Mrs Harris. She previously appeared in the award-winning This is My Family (also national tour). For theatre, her work includes A Streetcar Named Desire, Vernon God Little (Young Vic), London Road, The Miracle, DNA and Babygirl, Coram Boy and Sunday in the Park With George (National Theatre), Into the Woods, Company and Nine (Donmar Warehouse) and Now You Know (Metropolitan Room New York/Pizza on the Park).
Artistic director of Sheffield Theatres Daniel Evans – for the company, he previously directed The Effect, Anything Goes (also UK tour), The Sheffield Mysteries, Oliver!, This is My Family, The Full Monty, My Fair Lady, Macbeth, Othello, Racing Demon as part of The David Hare Season and An Enemy of the People – the opening production of his inaugural season, and the forthcoming Show Boat this Christmas. He also recently directed American Buffalo in the West End.
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Sheffield Crucible staging of Show Boat extended due to popular demand – News