‘PIPPIN’

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Book by Roger O. Hirson

starring

Ryan Anderson Tsemaye Bob-Egbe Tanisha-Mae Brown Joanne Clifton Harry Francis Dan Krikler

Directed by Steven Dexter
Choreographer Nick Winston
Musical Director Michael Bradley Designer David Shields
Casting Anne Vosser
Produced by Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions

WhatsOnStage: *** “In a time when most venues are closed, lights are dimmed and artists are out of work – a chance to revisit where Schwartz’s musical first started before it became a big, bombastic spectacle is a nice tonic. Communal storytelling filtered and distilled down to its bare, wonderful elements.”

British Theatre.com: **** “he most visually stunning aspect of the show is its dance and movement, choreographed by Nick Winston. With playful references to popular dance styles of the 1960s, it is agile, subtly intricate and at times acrobatic, often threatening to burst out of the small performance space.”

LondonTheatre1: **** “I, therefore, would not recommend any production of Pippin as a manual for political engagement or the road to enlightenment. But who cares? This production is an expressway of musicality, physicality and up-close enchantment; in other words: it’s a great ride.”

The Guardian: *** “If Pippin’s long-running Broadway success still baffles some, Dexter’s production makes a case for this balmy, often barmy, tale in a time of crisis. Theatre is fighting to deliver its magical USP as we, like the wandering hero, attempt to live in the moment and revel in normal life when we can.”

Rewrite This Story: **** “Despite this, the terrific cast of triple threats make this bittersweet, upbeat and consistently enjoyable musical a must see (covid permitting, of course). There’s magic to do and the Garden Theatre are certainly doing the most they can in these crazy circumstances to do it.”

The Telegraph: **** “After such a stymying year, the evening offers a vital shot of life-affirming freshness, determination and energy (Nick Winston’s choreography is a minor miracle of compact writhing, springing and contorting with due nods to Bob Fosse’s original template of jerky-limbs and synchronised archness).”

Pocketsize Theatre: *** “The show as a whole was enjoyable, for me there were some problems with the concept and I wasn’t completely sold on it. This is also a show that I think would really benefit from having a larger cast, even though the production did well with staging I think just wanted something extra.”

The Reviews Hub:**** “Given the paucity of theatre in London at the moment, the Garden Theatre could have put on anything and secured the sort of sell-out audiences that Pippin has already achieved. That it does so with a production that invigorates a classic musical with such flair (and such flares) is a bonus.”

Theatre Weekly: **** “Staging something like Pippin, which is so often associated with spectacle, in a small garden theatre takes real nerve and artistic vision.  Here it pays off, as the intimacy draws the audience in to this misty other-worldliness and leaves us spell bound by the spectacle of storytelling. In this little corner of the sky, Pippin reminds us what theatre is really about.”

The Upcoming: ***** “The upbeat yet strangely deep feel of this musical is just what’s needed after the year we’ve had. If you can, go and see the show to support the industry. It’s productions like thiswhich demonstrate why it’s so important for the theatre to survive; there is nothing like being in a live audience watching the spit fly out of a singer’s mouth. The show must go on – please help make that happen.”

Upper Circle: **** “While one might miss the full orchestra and dramatic staging for this elaborate musical, which is played on a keyboard in this production, it’s an outstanding production with the facilities they have. They are transforming a small garden into a haven of theatre that is refreshing and thrilling to see.”

iNews: *** “The show is still a nonsense, as insubstantial as a puff of pink glittery smoke. Yet Dexter’s production sparkles with shoestring razzle dazzle, and while it won’t change your life, it’ll certainly make you smile.”

Broadway World: **** “Designer David Shields and director Steven Dexter have done a wonderful job of turning the Garden Theatre into a sort of hippie commune. The audience are seated in traverse, under a makeshift tent. The actors are dressed as bohemian flower children, which altogether creates an atmosphere of watching a travelling circus troupe put on a show.”

G Scene: “It can’t be stressed too strongly how marvellous the Eagle team are at keeping the audience and performers safe and secure. Theatre owners about to re-open could do worse than go check the Eagle’s safety procedures. They are amazing.”

Musical Theatre Review: **** “For many at The Garden Theatre, the character of Pippin could be more relatable than ever before. Between the sparkling humour, spectacular dancing, and impressive engagement with Pippin’s darker themes, director Steven Dexter has put together a compelling and entertaining evening of theatre. Whatever it loses in spectacle and running time, it more than makes up for in timeliness, hope, and unifying joy.”

After launching as an exciting new outdoor London theatre venue with the sold-out, critically acclaimed musical ‘Fanny and Stella’, which just extended its run due to overwhelming public demand, The Garden Theatre will next present a new production of the Broadway musical ‘Pippin’, featuring an exceptional cast of West End performers.

There’s magic to do when a prince learns the true meaning of glory, love and war…‘Pippin’ is an iconic and unforgettable musical masterpiece.

‘Pippin’ features an infectiously unforgettable score, including ‘Magic to Do’ and ’Corner of the Sky’, from four-time Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz, who has given his blessing to perform the show for the first time ever with an ensemble cast of six.

‘Pippin’ will play The Garden Theatre at The Eagle, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London, SE11 5QY from Tuesday 8 September.

Director Steven Dexter said: “‘Pippin’ originally opened on Broadway in October 1972, however Stephen Schwartz started writing an early version of the show while a student at Carnegie Mellon University in 1967. Flower power was at its peak, war was raging in Vietnam and ‘Hair’ opened on Broadway. It was the year of the Summer of Love. My take on the show is told by a group of hippie travellers. A huge thank you to Stephen Schwartz and David Hirson, (son of book writer Roger O. Hirson) for embracing this approach and granting us the rights for a new version of ‘Pippin’.”

Photo Credit: PND Photography

Cast:

Ryan Anderson (Pippin) was recently A-Rab in ‘West Side Story’ (Curve Theatre) and Roger in the UK tour of ‘Grease’. In the West End he played Blake in ‘Bat Out Of Hell’.

Tsemaye Bob-Egbe (Leading Player) comes direct from starring as alternate Tina in ’Tina: The Tina Turner Story’ in the West End. Her other West End roles include Janelle Woods in ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’.

Tanisha-Mae Brown (Catherine) is a 2020 graduate of ArtsEd making her professional debut.

Joanne Clifton (Fastrada/Bertha) is the 2016 Winner of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and World Professional Ballroom Champion. Her recent stage starring roles include Janet in the 45th anniversary production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, Alex Owens in ‘Flashdance’ and Millie Dillmount in ’Thoroughly Modern Millie’.

Harry Francis (Lewis/Theo) was Mr Mistoffelees in the most recent ‘Cats’ international tour and he conceived and edited the ‘Cats in Quarantine’ Lockdown film featuring 333 cast members from productions of ‘Cats’ around the world. He was Elder Thomas in ‘The Book of Mormon’ in the West End and Tom Thumb in ‘Barnum’ at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Dan Krikler (Charles) made his West End debut in ‘Loserville’ and later starred in ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Jersey Boys’. He was recently seen in both ‘Present Laughter’ and ‘4000 Miles’, directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic.

‘Pippin’ has a first class creative team led by director Steven Dexter, with choreographer Nick Winston, musical director Michael Bradley, designer David Shields and casting by Anne Vosser.

It is produced by Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions.

Originally Produced on the Broadway stage by Stuart Ostrow Directed on the Broadway stage by Bob Fosse
2013 Broadway revival directed by Diane Paulus
Theo ending originally conceived in 1998 by Mitch Sebastian

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

Please note: face masks or coverings must be worn throughout the performance by socially-distanced audience members.

Stephen Schwartz (Music and Lyrics)

Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit WICKED, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER’S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, and CHILDREN OF EDEN. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s ENCHANTED as well as the animated features POCAHONTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and writing the songs for the Dream- Works animated feature THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. His first opera, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity,” has been released by Applause Books.

Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies. www.stephenschwartz.com

Roger O. Hirson (Book)

Roger O. Hirson – Writer. Father of David Hirson Awards and nominations: 1973 Tony Award® Best Book of a Musical ‘Pippin’ [nominee] 1967 Tony Award® Best Musical ‘Walking Happy’ [nominee] Productions: ‘Pippin’ Book [Original, Musical, Comedy] (Oct 23, 1972 – Jun 12, 1977). ‘Walking Happy’ Book [Original, Musical] (Nov 26, 1966 – Apr 22, 1967)

Steven Dexter – Director

Steven is an award-winning director who directs both in the UK and internationally. World premieres of the Olivier Award-winning ‘Honk!’ & Olivier-nominated ‘Loserville’. West End: ‘La Cava’, ‘Romance Romance’ & ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ in rep, Savoy Theatre, ‘Maddie’ (co Book). UK productions include: ‘Fanny and Stella’, ‘Closer to Heaven’, ‘Paperboy’ ‘Lucky Stiff’, ‘Altar Boyz, ‘Beautiful Thing’, ‘Stepping Out’, ‘Out There’, ‘Fagin’, ‘What I Go to School For’. Singa- pore: ‘Forbiden City’, ‘LKY’ winner of 3 Straits Times Life Awards including Best Production. ‘Fried Rice Paradise’, ‘A Twist of Fate’, ‘Sing to the Dawn’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors, ‘They’re Playing Our Song’. Germany: ‘Moby Dick’ for Cameron Macintosh. Malaysia: ‘The Secret Life of Nora’ (Best Musical Award) Israel: ‘Honk!’ (Best Director Award); ‘The Full Monty’, ‘Shirley Valentine’, ‘Mary-Lou’ (Best Director Award) ‘Song and Dance’.

Nick Winston – Choreographer

Nick is an award winning Director & Choreographer. Broadway: ’Waiting For Godot’. West End: ‘Fame’; ‘Annie’; ‘Loserville’ (Olivier Award nomination: Best New Musical). National Tours: ‘Mame’ (WhatsOnStage Award nomination: Best Choreographer; Best Revival); ‘Rock of Ages’; ‘The Wedding Singer’ (DIMF Award: Best Musical); ‘Calamity Jane’. TV/Film: Stage Director & Choreographer: The Royal Variety Performance (ITV); Choreographer: ‘Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration’ (BBC); ‘Shakespeare Live! From the RSC’ (BAFTA nomination: Live Entertainment, BBC) ‘Sondheim at 80’ (BBC); ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ (Opus Arte); ‘Bob the Builder’ (Universal). www.nickwinston.com

Michael Bradley – Musical Director

Training: Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)
As Musical Director: ‘School Of Rock ‘(Tour); ‘Fat Friends (UK Tour); The Bodyguard (China Tour); I’m a Cheerleader (The Other Palace); Good Vibrations (Lyric); Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse); Grand Hotel (Southwark Playhouse); The Lion King (UK & Ireland tour); Grand Hotel (ACT Theatre, Tokyo); Parade (Southwark Playhouse); Spring Awakening (UK tour); What I Go
To School For (Theatre Royal, Brighton); Lift (Soho Theatre); Godspell (Actors Church); Tell Me On A Sunday (Silverblue); The Inspiration Awards, London (Cadogan Hall) & Los Angeles (Royce Hall); Legacy Falls (Charing Cross); Assassins (Union); Who Ate All The Pies (Tristan Bates); Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi (Union). As Musical Supervisor: Good Vibrations (Lyric); Impossible (Noël Coward/Tour); Grand Hotel (ACT Theatre, Tokyo); What I Go To School For (Theatre Royal, Brighton); Mack & Mabel (Southwark Playhouse); The Fix (Union); Burlesque (Jermyn Street); Noël And Gertie (Cockpit); Teenage Opera (BYMT); Smokey Joes Café (Landor). As Composer/Orchestrator/Arranger: Good Vibrations (Lyric); Impossible (Noël Coward/Tour); Grand Hotel (ACT Theatre, Tokyo); What I Go To School For (Theatre Royal, Brighton); The Inspiration Awards, London (Cado- gan Hall) & Los Angeles (Royce Hall); Girlfriends (Mountview); Teenage Opera (BYMT); Six Ways (Jermyn Street)

David Shields – Designer

David’s designs for Peter Bull include eight pantomimes including ‘Mother Goose Cracks One Out’ as well as ‘Fanny & Stella’, ‘Queereteria TV’, ‘Romance/Romance’, ‘Grindr: The Opera’, ‘Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club’, ‘Maurice’, ‘Beautiful Thing’, ‘He Shoots! He Scores!’, ‘When Harry Met Barry’, ‘Southern Baptist Sissies’, ‘The Sum of Us’, ‘Encounter’, ‘Torsten: The Beautiful Libertine’, ‘Haram Iran’, ‘The Sins of Jack Saul’. He recently designed ‘Heathers The Musical’ (The Other Palace & Theatre Royal Haymarket). Other credits: ‘Song & Dance’ and ‘Carmen Jones’ (European tours) ‘Oh! What a Night’ (Black- pool); ‘Chess’ 10th anniversary production (UK Tour); Arena productions of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Hair’, ‘Fame’, ‘Grease’, ‘Chess’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘Mannen fra La Mancha’ (Det Norske Teatret, Oslo); Saturday Night Fever’ (directed by Arlene Phillips, UK national tours, London, Johannesburg, Australia, Madrid, and Spanish Tour), ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’, ‘Sis- ter Act’ and ‘Legally Blonde’ (Aberystwyth), ‘Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals’ (UK tour), ‘Ice Age Live – A Mammoth Adventure’ (Arena World Tour), ‘Ice Age Live On Ice’ (Canadian Tour); the UK touring Production of ‘Robin Cousins’ ICE’; 13 world-touring arena productions for Holiday on Ice; ‘She Loves Me’ and ‘The Clockmaker’s Daughter’ (Landor Theatre), ‘The Beautiful Game’ and Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Closer to Heaven’ (Union Theatre); ‘Altar Boyz’ (Greenwich); ‘Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on Tour’; UK tours of ‘Our House’, ‘End of the Rainbow’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘The Last Five Years’ (St James’ Theatre London – Associate Designer), ‘Dick Whittington’, ‘Snow White’, and John Cleese’s adaptation of ‘Feydeau’s Bang Bang’ (Mercury Theatre Colchester).

Anne Vosser – casting director

Anne started casting in 1992 as in-house Casting Director for the Apollo Leisure Group. She has cast numerous West End and touring plays and musicals. Musical credits include: ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (UK Tour), ‘Bat Out of Hell’ (UK tour), ‘9 To 5: The Musical’ (West End & UK Tour); ‘The Grinning Man’ (West End). Play credits include: ‘Fatal Attraction’ (UK Tour), ‘Abigail’s Party’ (UK Tour), ‘Strangers On A Train’ (UK Tour) The Old Vic New Voices Festival (The Old Vic) ‘The Mentalists’ starring Stephen Merchant (West End), ‘Barking In Essex’ starring Lee Evans (West End), ‘Stones In His Pockets’(West End). TV credits: Casting team on ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’, ‘Any Dream Will Do’, ‘I’d Do Anything’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ (all BBC); ‘Superstar’ (ITV); Take That’s ‘Wonderland’ Special (ITV); and ‘I Dream’ starring Christopher Lloyd (BBC). Twitter: @AnneVosser

Peter Bull – producer

Peter is Artistic Associate at the King’s Head Theatre in London. He has produced over 100 Off West End plays, musicals and pantomimes as well as cabaret and stand up performances. Highlights include the 25th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing’, Pets Shop Boys’ musical ‘Closer to Heaven’ and ‘Silence! The Musical’. In addition he has directed in London, New York, Chicago and Milwaukee. He recently produced the original cast recording of his award-winning production of ‘Grindr The Opera’.

LAMBCO Productions

LAMBCO is an independent live entertainment production company based in London.

The company has produced 4 seasons of the LAMBCO Fringe Festival, which offered opportunities for emerging Production Companies and established Artistes, with 2 seasons at the Landor Theatre and 2 seasons at the Stockwell Playhouse.

LAMBCO has also produced Do You Have A Secret Crush? (Sleeping with Straight Men) (Lost Theatre); 5 Christmas Skating Events (Torquay); Bluebirds (Above The Stag); Sincerely Yours and was Associate Producer for Bewitchment on Black Ice (Landor), Boys in the Buff and Skin Deep both of which received 5 Star Reviews. SKIN DEEP then went on a National Tour and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival gaining another 5 Star Review and a Fringe Award from “Scots Gay”, The Crumple Zone, Margot, Dame, the Most Famous Ballerina in the World (King’s Head Theatre), Tickle the Musical (King’s Head Theatre).

Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions in association with the King’s Head Theatre: Naked Boys Singing (King’s Head Theatre).

lambcoproductions.co.uk
FB: @lambcoprods
Twitter: @LAMBCO_Prods


Richard Lambert – associate producer, lighting designer and company stage manager