Theatre Royal Haymarket

Sweet Charity 2010

Tamzin Outhwaite leads cast in West End transfer of Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sweet Charity

Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays the title role of Charity Hope Valentine, will lead the cast in the West End transfer of the Tony Award-winning musical, Sweet Charity. Matthew White’s production of Sweet Charity, which ends its sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 7 March 2010, will open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 23 April 2010 with press night on 4 May and is currently booking until 8 January 2011. Further casting will be announced shortly. With book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, choreography is by Stephen Mear, set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright, musical supervision and direction by Nigel Lilley, orchestrations by Chris Walker, lighting by David Howe and sound design by Gareth Owen. The Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sweet Charity is produced in the West End by David Babani for Chocolate Factory Productions, David Ian Productions, Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, David Mirvish and Michael Watt.

Sweet Charity follows the misadventures of love encountered by the gullible and guileless Charity Hope Valentine, a woman who always gives her heart and her dreams to the wrong man. Cy Coleman’s score features favourite hits such as Hey, Big Spender; If My Friends Could See Me Now and The Rhythm of Life.

Tamzin Outhwaite’s previous stage credits include Matthew Warchus’ critically acclaimed production of Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, Breathing Corpses and Flesh Wound for the Royal Court, Oliver at the London Palladium and Baby on Board, Absent Friends and They’re Playing Our Song, all for Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. She is known on television for her roles in Red Cap, Hustle, Frances Tuesday, Hotel Babylon and EastEnders. She can currently be seen in the ITV1 drama The Fixer and will also shortly be seen in the new BBC One drama Paradox. Her film work includes Cassandra’s Dream by Woody Allen co-starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell, Back Waters and the award-winning Out of Control.

Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, Sweet Charity premiered on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 1966, where it ran for over 600 performances. The production won the Tony Award for Best Choreography in the same year. In 1967 the production opened in London at Prince of Wales Theatre, starring Juliet Prowse. The 1969 film version also directed and choreographed by Fosse, starred Shirley MacLaine and John McMartin. In 1986 the production was revived on Broadway winning four Tony Awards, and again in 2005 starring Christina Applegate.

Playwright and screen writer Neil Simon’s career has spanned more than five decades during which he has written over 30 plays and 20 screen plays. His first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened in 1961. Shortly after, his second production, Little Me, earned him his first Tony Award nomination. In 1966 Simon had four shows running on Broadway at the same time – Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. He has won three Tony Awards – Best Author for The Odd Couple, Best Play for Biloxi Blues and Best Play for Lost in Yonkers – and been nominated for seventeen. Simon has also won an Evening Standard Award for Barefoot in the Park, the Golden Globe for Best Motion Screenplay for The Goodbye Girl and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Lost In Yonkers.

Cy Coleman (1929 – 2004) is the only composer to win consecutive Tony Awards for Best Score for musicals which also won for Best Musical: City of Angels (1990) and The Will Rogers Follies (1991). He also won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for On the Twentieth Century in 1978. He received two Emmy Awards for his work on Shirley MacLaine’s TV specials, If My Friends Could See Me Now (1974) and Gypsy in My Soul (1976). In 1992 he won two Grammy Awards for his score and for producing the original cast album of The Will Rogers Follies. Coleman was the last major contributor to the Great American Songbook.

Dorothy Fields (1905 – 1974) wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films. From 1928 to 1935 she worked with Jimmy McHugh producing songs such as I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby; Exactly Like You and On the Sunny Side of the Street. In the 1930’s she collaborated with Jerome Kern on the film Swing Time, winning the Academy Award for Best Song in 1936 for The Way You Look Tonight. In the 1940’s she teamed up with her brother Herbert Fields with whom she wrote books for three Cole Porter shows, as well as the book for Annie Get Your Gun. She collaborated with Cy Coleman on Sweet Charity and Seesaw.

Sweet Charity is based on the original screenplay for Nights of Cabiria by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano.

Most recently the Menier Chocolate Factory has transferred A Little Night Music and La Cage Aux Folles to the West End, the former is currently playing on Broadway with Catherine Zeta Jones, Angela Lansbury and Alexander Hanson, the latter will open at the Longacre Theatre in April with Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge in the leading roles.

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