As the third show in its season of celebrating British musical theatre (the previous ones being Whistle Down the Wind and Loserville), the Union Theatre presents Spend, Spend, Spend, running at the venue from 25 March to 18 April 2015 (press night is 28 March).
With music by Steve Brown and book and lyrics by Brown and Justin Greene, Spend, Spend, Spend is based on the book by Viv Nicholson and Stephen Smith.
In 1961, Yorkshire housewife Viv Nicholson won £152,319 in the football pools. When a reporter asked her what she planned to do with her new fortune, she replied: “I’m going to spend, spend, spend!” which is exactly what she did. Her rags-to-riches-to-rags-again story takes her through five husbands, expensive sports cars, fur coats, and jewelry, a battle with alcohol, and bankruptcy as, unable to cope with her newfound wealth and fame, she rapidly spirals downward.
The cast includes Julie Armstrong (Old Viv), Katy Dean (Young Viv), David Haydn (George), Kerry Whiteside (Mother), James Lyne (Keith) and Tom Brandon (Matt). The ensemble features: Charlie Johnson, Jayne Ashley, Christina Meehan, April Sullivan, Sally Frith, Xandy Champken, Adam Colbeck-Dunn, Stuart Simons and Oliver Jacobson.
The production will be directed by Christian Durham, who is joined in the creative team by choreographer Heather Douglas, musical director Inga Davis-Rutter, designer Olivia Ward and lighting designer Tim Deiling.
Christian Durham’s most recent work includes Just So at the Bridewell Theatre. He is currently the associate director of Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Europe and Japan. His Russian production of the show won the Golden Mask Award for Best Musical.
Further credits include directing Debbie Does Dallas, a musical based on the ‘popular’ adult film (Oxford Firestation and Edinburgh Festival), the critically acclaimed national tour of Boy George’s Taboo, a new musical of Peter Pan at the Lyric Theatre, Kander and Ebb’s Curtains (Arts Ed) and Pieces of String (Waterloo East).
Associate work has included Zorro (Garrick Theatre and UK tour) and the Donmar Warehouse’s Guys and Dolls (UK tour). Resident director work includes Chicago (West End) and The King and I (UK tour).