Simon Webbe (Blue, Strictly Come Dancing, Sister Act), Gareth Gates (Pop Idol, Dancing On Ice, Les Misérables), Leanne Jones (Hairspray) and Taofique Folarin (The Lion King, Avenue Q) will star in The Three Little Pigs, the brand new family musical from multi-award winning songwriting duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Stiles (music) and Drewe (book and lyrics) put their own musical twist on the retelling of this classic fairy tale which will play at the Palace Theatre from Wednesday 5 August to Sunday 6 September 2015.
Discover how the three little porkers become world renowned celebrity superstars when forced to leave the warmth of their mother’s overcrowded sty. Will the Three Little Pigs cope without their adoring mother’s “hogs and kisses”? Will their DIY building skills cut the mustard? And will they be able to stand on their own four trotters and outwit the Big Bad Wolf?
Stiles and Drewe met at Exeter University where the former was studying music and the latter was reading Zoology – so it’s little wonder that animals tend to feature in their musicals, which include: Honk!, Betty Blue Eyes, Just So, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Soho Cinders.
Stiles and Drewe say: ‘‘Most children will know the story of The Three Little Pigs, so our job has been to reinvent it in a theatrical way, with hummable, memorable songs that will appeal to the whole family. Our Three Little Pigs – Bar who loves to exercise, Bee who is ‘green’ to the core, and Q the insatiable bookworm – learn to work together as a team to defeat the Big Bad (but possibly misunderstood) Wolf.
“We love surprising and bewitching our younger audiences, some of whom will be visiting the theatre for the first time. We take it as a great responsibility to encourage and nurture audiences of the future, so we try to ensure their first experience of a musical is a memorable one.”
The show is produced by Kenny Wax whose Laurence Olivier Awards include: The Play That Goes Wrong, Top Hat and Once On This Island. His Olivier-nominated shows for family audiences include: Hetty Feather, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Tall Stories’ production of Room On the Broom.
Wax adds: “I would like to extend my thanks to Nica Burns and Laurence Miller at Nimax Theatres for once again welcoming our family entertainment into their most prestigious Palace Theatre, and continuing our fantastically successful ten-year partnership encouraging the young kids of today to become our adult audiences of tomorrow.”
The piglets will start their journey at North Finchley artsdepot on 24 July with a pit-stop at Birmingham Town Hall from 28 July before the West End season.
The Three Little Pigs will be directed by Anthony Drewe with set and costumes designed by Jason Denvir, choreography by Ewan Jones and lighting designed by Oliver Fenwick.
Simon Webbe (Wolf). Best known as a member of the British boy band Blue, selling more than 15 million records and penning many of their hits, Webbe has also released solo albums and had five UK Top 40 Singles. Last year the actor/singer appeared on Strictly Come Dancing with dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff and went on appear in the Strictly Live Tour. He has previously appeared at the London Palladium in the West End production of Sister Act.
Gareth Gates (Q). Gates is the youngest ever male solo artist to debut at No. 1, with the million selling single ‘Unchained Melody’. Famously part of the inaugural Pop Idol Will vs Gareth final in 2002, Gates has gone on to sell more than five million records worldwide and star in Les Misérables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Legally Blonde, amongst others. Recently he has been seen in ITV1’s Dancing On Ice. He is currently on tour throughout the UK playing with his live band.
Leanne Jones (Bee). For her professional debut playing Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, Jones won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer and Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She has also appeared in Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory and on BBC1’s The Voice.
Taofique Folarin (Bar). Folarin has recently finished playing Banzai in the West End production of Disney’s The Lion King which he previously played in Germany. He has also appeared as Tyrone in Fame, Gary Coleman in Avenue Q, Eat Moe in Five Guys Named Moe and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.
The Commitments continues its successful run with an unaffected performance schedule at the Palace.
The performance running time is 55 minutes with no interval and children of all ages from 3+ are welcome. Tickets from £10.
* Gareth Gates will not perform at the following performances: 22 and 29 August 2015.