St James Theatre’s spring season will include the world premiere of new musical Miss Atomic Bomb and the UK premiere of critically acclaimed play with music The Pianist of Willesden Lane.
James Albrecht, creative director of the St James Theatre, London, comments: “As we embark on our fourth year at the St James, it is a joy to be fulfilling our objective to present ambitious new plays, musical theatre and revivals of groundbreaking works, from both sides of the Atlantic. In our spring season we bring you absorbing and entertaining tales inspired by true stories and notable for their leading roles for women.
“Musical theatre has become a key part of the programme at the St James and in March we are thrilled to present the world premiere of our first new musical. Miss Atomic Bomb is a satirical tale with a warm glow, set in Nevada in 1952, and inspired by the unlikely confluence of tourism, the mob and the military at the time of the atomic bomb tests of the era.
“US hit The Pianist of Willesden Lane makes its UK premiere at the St James Theatre in January. Mona Golabek blends theatre and some of the world’s most beloved piano music played live, to tell her own family story of escape from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport and survival in London during the Blitz.”
Tanya Link Productions presents Miss Atomic Bomb (Monday 7 March to Saturday 9 April 2016, press night is Monday 14 March). This new musical is by Adam Long, Gabriel Vick and Alex Jackson-Long, co-directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer and co-directed by Adam Long.
Miss Atomic Bomb is inspired by the real life nuclear tests and beauty pageants of the era.
It’s Las Vegas in 1952, where every mushroom cloud has a silver lining and fallout is a friend. Tourists are going nuts for nuclear, sipping cocktails by hotel pools while watching atomic blasts ignite the desert sky.
But in the midst of this euphoria, heroine Candy’s sheep have mysteriously died, Joey has deserted the army, fashionista Myrna is designing clothes for pigs, and the hapless manager of the Golden Goose still needs an atomic gimmick… In a city controlled by the mob and the military, and with a spy in their midst, time is running out for the four characters.
Hershey Hey Felder with Samantha F Voxakis, Karen Racanelli and Tom Wirtshafter present The Pianist of Willesden Lane (Wednesday 20 January to Saturday 27 February 2016, press night is Friday 22 January).
The piece is adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, performed by Mona Golabek, designed by Hershey Felder and Trevor Hay, lighting is by Christopher Rynne and Jason Bieber, costume design is by Jaclyn Maduff, sound is by Erik Carstensen and projection design is by Andrew Wilder.
The Pianist of Willesden Lane is based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen.
Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitz, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who is dreaming about her concert debut at Vienna’s storied Musikverein concert hall. But with the issuing of new ordinances under the Nazi regime, everything for Lisa changes, except for her love of music and the pursuit of her dream – as she is torn from her family and set onto the Kindertransport to London.
Featuring some of the world’s most beloved piano music played live on a Steinway concert grand piano, The Pianist of Willesden Lane is performer Mona Golabek’s true family story. The production makes its UK premiere at the St James Theatre after critically sold-out runs in New York, Chicago, Boston, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
The season will also include the first London revival for more than 25 years of Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning debut play My Mother Said I Never Should (Wednesday 13 April to Saturday 21 May 2016, press night is Monday 18 April).
Following a successful launch period, the St James Theatre new writing initiative St. James RE:act will continue in 2016, with each production in the spring season being accompanied by a RE:act evening. RE:act gives emerging theatre makers the chance to create and stage response pieces to the main house show and aims to start creative conversations between participants, audiences and theatre professionals.
Tickets for all shows in the spring season go on sale to St James Theatre members on Thursday 22 October at 10am, St James Theatre friends on Friday 23 October at 10am and on general sale on Saturday 24 October at 10am.