The full cast has been announced for the Southwark Playhouse transfer of Through the Mill, Ray Rackham’s play about the tempestuous life of the legendary Judy Garland.
The show, which was given its world premiere at the London Theatre Workshop in December last year, will play the Southwark Playhouse from 6 to 30 July.
The three actresses from the show’s original run will once again portray Garland at different stages in her life – Helen Sheals (CBS Judy), Belinda Wollaston (Palace Judy) and Lucy Penrose (Young Judy).
Returning to the role of MGM studios mogul L.B. Mayer is Don Cotter (No Sex Please, We’re British). The West End veteran is one of six further members of the original cast returning to the show. Rob Carter (Channel 4’s Peep Show) will play Hunt Stromberg Jr; Amanda Bailey (Antigone) and Joe Shefer (Laramie Project) will play Garland’s parents Ethel and Frank Gumm; Tom Reade is Garland’s arranger and friend Roger Edens; and Harry Anton plays Garland’s husband Sidney Luft. The actor-musician company is completed by Carmella Brown, Chris McGuigan and Perry Meadowcroft.
Written by Rackham, the artistic director of London Theatre Workshop, the piece focuses on three significant periods in Garland’s career. Her early success as an MGM movie star, her turbulent touring years, and her short-lived career as a television personality provide the subject matter for a drama which features a selection of Garland’s most famous songs performed live by a 16-strong company of actor-musicians.
The Southwark Playhouse production will be directed by Rackham with a creative team that includes musical director Jordan Li Smith, musical supervisor and arranger Simon Holt, choreographer Chris Whittaker, with set design by Johnson Williams Design and sound by Ed Shaw. Costume design is by Evie Holdcroft and Millie Hobday and hair and make-up is by Leanne Steadman. Casting is by Samuel Julyan.