The Drowsy Chaperone

Ovation in association with Alex Segal presentedLast-minute
The London Fringe Premiere

The Show
OVATION in association with ALEX SEGAL presented the London Fringe Premiere
of The Drowsy Chaperone from 23rd September – 31st October 2010

Music and Lyrics by
LISA LAMBERT & GREG MORRISON
Book by
BOB MARTIN & DON MCKELLAR

Presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED
on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of New York

Story
It all begins when a die-hard musical fan plays his favourite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called The Drowsy Chaperone and the show magically bursts to life. Audiences are instantly immersed in the glamorous tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day.

History
The Drowsy Chaperone started in 1997, when McKellar, Lambert, Morrison and several friends created a spoof of old musicals for the stag party of Bob Martin and Janet Van De Graaff.
In its first incarnation, there was no Man in Chair, the musical styles ranged from the 1920s to the 1940s, and the jokes were more risqué. When the show was reshaped for the Toronto Fringe Festival, Martin became a co-writer, creating Man in Chair to serve as a narrator/commentator for the piece.

Following the Fringe staging, Toronto commercial theatre producer David Mirvish financed an expanded production at Toronto’s 160-seat, non-profit Theatre Passe Muraille in 1999. Box office success and favourable notices led Mirvish in 2001 to finance further development and produce a full-scale version at Toronto’s 1000-seat Winter Garden Theatre. During that production, Linda Intaschi, Associate Producer of Mirvish Productions, invited New York producer Roy Miller to see the musical. Miller saw potential in the show and he optioned the rights.

With Canadian actor and fund-raiser Paul Mack, Miller produced a reading for the New York’s National Alliance for Musical Theatre on 5 October 2004 and invited Broadway producer Kevin McCollum. The reading captured McCollum’s interest and eventually resulted in Miller, McCollum and Bob Boyett, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman committing to producing the play. An out-of-town engagement followed at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles (2005), and after alterations, The Drowsy Chaperone opened on Broadway on 1 May 2006.

Nominations
BEST OFF WEST END PRODUCTION What’s On Stage Awards 2011
BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE (x2) Off West End Awards 2011
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE (x3) Off West End Awards 2011
BEST PRODUCTION Off West End Awards 2011
BEST DIRECTOR Off West End Awards 2011
BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR Off West End Awards 2011
BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Off West End Awards 2011
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN Off West End Awards 2011
BEST SOUND DESIGN Off West End Awards 2011
BEST SET DESIGN Off West End Awards 2011

CAST

Siobhan McCarthy – Drowsy Chaperone

SiobhanTheatre: Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre); received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for creating the lead role of Donna in the Original Cast of Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre); The Nurse in Medea with Fiona Shaw (West End & Broadway); Mistress in the Original Cast of Evita (Prince Edward Theatre), later taking over the lead role of Eva Peron; Svetlana & Florence in the Original Cast of Chess (Prince Edward Theatre); Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar (Palace Theatre); Mrs Darling in Peter Pan (Leicester Curve); Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre); Fantine in Les Miserables (Palace Theatre); Jeanne in Jeanne (Birmingham Rep); Angela in Wonderful Tennessee (Nottingham Playhouse); Frankie Frayne in the Original Cast of On Your Toes (Palace Theatre); Delores in Zorro: The Musical (Stratford Theatre Royal); Bloodbath: The Musical (Edinburgh Festival); One Glass Wall (Theatre 503); Betty in No Trams To Liverpool (Liverpool Playhouse); Maria in Howard Goodall’s Days of Hope (Kings Head); Chrissie in Dancing at Lughnasa (Phoenix Theatre) and the recent workshop of the new Cat Stevens musical Moonshadow.

Television: series regular Roisin Connor in Bad Girls (ITV); Jane O’Brien in Law & Order (ITV); Holby City; All In The Game; Lovejoy; Horse Opera; The Big Battalions and All or Nothing.

Film: Times Fool.

Michael Howe – Adolpho

Michael-HoweMichael recently played Howard Mansfield (lead) in the stage thriller Fatal Encounter. Michael had the pleasure of going to India for the Goa and Hyderabad film festival premiering Full Circle, a drama/comedy set in Italy where he takes the co-lead Lord Philip Brockenhurst, due for release. He took the role of Jonathan Abbott’s celebrity chef in the psychological thriller The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, released last year.

Michael has worked extensively in film, TV and theatre and is best known as Sebastian in the hit TV series Solo, opposite Felicity Kendall, and for playing Mr Wilson (barrister) in Hollyoaks, which was voted Best Courtroom Scene in the awards for TV Soap Drama for that year. Other TV series include: Aiden Trigg in Life Begins, Mark Seroyan in New Tricks; Clive Harrison in Hollyoaks Let Loose; King Stephen in Kings and Queens; Terry Burton in Casualty; Jake the Snake in The Upper Hand; Romeo in Studio; McCuffin in South by South East; Alex in Roys Raiders; Jimmy Barlow in Cats Eyes; Fox McTrot in The Various Ends of Mrs F’s Friends; Alex in The Look of Love; the title role in Tom Grattan’s War (long-running series); Rupert Crow-Finch in Where There’s a Will, opposite Patrick McNee; Gustav in These Foolish Things.

In theatre: Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, directed by Michael Bogdanov in Aberystwyth, Wales; Henry II in The Lion in Winter; Buddy in the UK premiere of l Remember You, dir Alvin Rakoff (Mill at Sonning); Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton); Dean Martin in The Rat Pack (original production, tour); The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance inaugural production at Kilworth House Theatre; and, recently, Bela Zangler in Crazy for You, directed by Mitch Sebastian. In London: Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Casslo in Othello; Reverend Shaw More in Footloose; Alfred Jingle in Pickwick (Chichester and Sadler’s Wells); Freddie Trumper (chess champion) in Chess (dir Trevor Nunn at the Prince Edward); Rosco the Drag Queen in Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (King’s Head); Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street (Drury Lane); Mordred in Camelot, opposite the late and great Richard Harris (Apollo Theatre); Danny Zuko in Grease; Mike Costa in A Chorus Line (dir Michael Bennett, Drury Lane); title role in The Fly (Garrick); Milkman’s Son in The Fighting Cock. Other theatre: Sandy Clairbourne in A Touch of Spring; George Butler in Alone Together Again (both at the Mill at Sonning); Rudd in Murder With Love by Francis Durbridge (world premiere, Theatre Royal, Windsor); Vernon Gersh in They’re Playing My Song (Far East tour); and the Rum Turn Tugger in the German speaking version of Cats (dir Gilly Lynne. at the Theatre an der Wien in Vienna, Austria and multi­platinum CD).

Film: Kilroy presenter in Fatslags; Doctor in The Hunger; Unman in Unman, Wittering and Zigo; Richie the Psycho in Blind Date, title role in Gunner and Number One in Number One Gun and the yet to be released television film Wedding Without Love, taking the role of Dr Samuel Maddison.

Last year Michael released a C.D. (on sale at Dress Circle). www.michaelhoweuk.com

Ashley Day – Robert Martin

Ashley-DayTheatre: Troy Bolton in the global hit High School Musical (UK Tour); The World Goes Round (The Castle, Wellingborough); the title role in Aladdin (New Wimbledon Theatre); Irving Stone in Babes in Arms (Chichester Festival Theatre); Dream Gabey in On The Town (English National Opera); Ensemble in Original Revival Cast of Evita (Adelphi Theatre); Ensemble in Original London Cast of Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre) and Liquorice Man in Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker (UK Tour).

Amy Diamond – Janet Van De Graaf

Amy-DiamondTraining: The Hammond School of Dance and Drama.

Amy came 10th out of thousands in Over The Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webbers BBC1 talent search for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Theatre: Alice Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington (Regents Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent); Lead Vocalist for Dancing Queen (International Tour); Lead Vocalist for Spirit of Broadway (Scandinavian Tour); Lead Vocalist for Christmas with the Osmonds (US Tour) and Vocalist for P&O Cruises The Oceana (Stadium Theatre Company).

Television: Hustle (BBC).

Modelling: Lynx; Ann Summers and Toni & Guy.

Matthew Lloyd Davies – Man in Chair

Matthew-Lloyd-DaviesTraining: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Theatre: Amos Hart in Chicago (Cambridge Theatre); Narrator in Grapes of Wrath; Kenny in Man of the Moment; Herbert Banks in Chimneys; Max in Lend Me A Tenor, Mishka in The Government Inspector; Elliot in Shop At Sly Corner (all Pitlochry Festival Theatre); Max in The Real Thing (Northampton Theatre Royal); Ed in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Jack in Nosferatu: The Visitor (Red Shift Theatre Company); Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatr Clwyd, Birmingham & Toronto); Nick/Cohn in Blue Murder (UK Tour); Roy in Black Chiffon (UK Tour); David in A Going Concern (Nuffield Theatre); John Darling in Peter Pan; Young Laurie in Cider With Rosie (both Birmingham Rep); Papendiek in The Madness of George III (Royal National Theatre); Jazza in The Midnight Hour (York); Ralph in The Accrington Pals (New Vic – Stoke), Rupert/Mrs Sly in The Taming of the Shrew (RSC); Young Frank in Forget Me Not Lane (Greenwich Theatre) and Major Domo in Les Liasons Dangereuses (Ambassadors Theatre).

Television: Wives & Daughters; Playing The Field; A Rather English Marriage; Over Here; Inspector Alleyn Mysteries; Shrinks (all BBC) and My Good Friend (Channel 4).

Film: Papandiek in The Madness of King George and Joshua in Catching The Stars.

Matthew is currently directing The Eight: Reindeer Monologues at Above The Stag. www.the8.co.uk

Gavin Keenan – George

Gavin-KeenanTraining: London Studio Centre

Theatre: Pepperpot, Dance Captain, Swing & understudy Monsieur DArque and Lumiere in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (two year International Tour); Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat in Cats (UK Tour); Ensemble in Aladdin starring Sir Ian McKellen (Old Vic); Ensemble & understudy Mary Sunshine and Amos Hart in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre); Understudy Lumiere in Beauty and The Beast (Malta); Crazy For You (Kilworth House) and Saturday Night Live (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).

Television: The IT Crowd and Family Affairs.

Demo recordings: Little Women.

Graham Lappin – Feldzieg

Graham-LappinGraham was born in Stockport and trained at Rose Bruford College, graduating in 2001. His theatrical credits include: Farmer Joe in The Great British Country Fete (Bush Theatre); King Rat in Dick Whittington (Theatre Royal, Wakefield); Roberts in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor); Kemp in Auntie & Me (Turnmills); John in A Life in the Theatre; as well as the UK tours of Jesus Christ Superstar; The Billie Holliday Story; Buddy (also European Tour) and Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Television credits include Jonathan Harvey’s Von Trapped for Granada TV and numerous commercials. www.grahamlappin.com

Ted Merwood – Underling

Ted's-photo2Theatre includes: Oh! Calcutta!; Hullaballoo; The Four Musketeers; Mr. Stanley in Ann Veronica; The Water Babies; Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof; Scranton Slim in Guys and Dolls; Wonderful Town; Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music; Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods and Hannibal Jackson in Happy End. Regional work includes G.F.Watts in Virginia Woolf’s Freshwater; Charles Ryder in The Cat and the Canary; Cowardy Custard and Out of Bounds (both at Bristol Old Vic); Madame in Genet’s The Maids; Tony in The Boyfriend; Freddy Eyensford-Hill in My Fair Lady; Starveling and Philostrate in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Horseman and Nugget in Equus; Gremio in Kiss Me Kate; Fortinbras in Hamlet; Sam in Wait Until Dark; Dick in Dames at Sea; Great Expectations; Oh What a Lovely War; Harry in Company; Franz in The Sound of Music; Luka in Chekov’s The Bear; Drake in Annie; Sir John in Me and My Girl; Nicholas Kendall in My Cousin Rachel and The Narrator in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Work abroad includes: Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap in Hamburg; the film Gods of Olympus in Greece; and Scrooge in A Christmas Carol in Stockholm, where he returns this year to play Jacob Marley.

Ursula Mohan – Mrs Tottendale

Training: Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre: Mrs. Fox in Dads Army Marches On (UK Tour); Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (Little Theatre, Sheringham); Nurse in Medea; Story Teller in Jason and The Argonauts; Mother in Blood Wedding; Grandmere in Petite Rouge (all at The Scoop); Paulina in The Winters Tale; Birdie in Homestead (both Courtyard Theatre), Tatiana in The Lower Depths; Trafalgar in Trelawney of The Wells (both Finborough Theatre); Gertrude in Hamlet; Nurse in Romeo & Juliet (both Cannizaro Open Air Theatre); Mrs Fairweather in Bob Scallion (Brockley Jack Theatre); Joy in Shadowlands (Westcliff Palace Theatre); Auntie in Whistle Down The Wind (Bromley Theatre); Ala in Trevor Nunn & Peter Brook’s Tango (RSC); Sandy Beige in Alan Ayckbourn’s Making Tracks (Stephen Joseph Theatre); title role in Antigone; Tweenie in Admirable Crighton; Maria in Twelfth Night (both Greenwich Theatre); Mitzi in A Murder Is Announced (Vaudeville Theatre); title role in The Good Woman of Setzuan (Hampstead Theatre); Liz in Revenge (Royal Court); Emilia in Othello; Rosalind in Love’s Labour’s Lost (both Regent’s Park), Lucretia in The Cenci (Almeida); Dolores in Bloody Mary (Stratford East); Zerbinetta in Scapino (Young Vic) and many seasons performing in Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Scarborough & Windsor.
Television: Joyce in the hit show On The Buses; series regular Anne in London’s Burning; EastEnders; Doctors; In Defence; Holby City and Bliss.
Film: Edith in The Bank Job and Lady Elgar in Friends Pictured Within.

Jo Parsons – Gangster #1

Jo-ParsonsJo graduated from the Guildford School of Acting this year where he was awarded the Prinicpals Performance Award.
Roles whilst training include Starbuck in Rainmaker; 110 In The Shade; Shatelia in Transvestite; The Life; Hermann in Marguerite; Action in West Side Story and Leo Frank in Jason Robert Brown’s Parade. Jo played the role of Riff in Mary King’s West Side Story Experience (Royal Festival Hall) and was Dance Captain for Phyllida Crowley-Smith’s The Life and West Side Story.

William Stokes – Gangster #2

Will's-picTV credits include: Fun Song Factory (CITV)

Tanya Robb – Kitty

TanyaTraining: Bird College of Performing Arts

Theatre: Alice in David Essex’s All The Fun of The Fair (UK Tour); Becky in All Bobs Women (Arts Theatre); Lisa in Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre); Swing in Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre); Dinah and understudy Pearl in Starlight Express (UK Tour); Mother in Aspire (Doha, Qatar); Loretta and understudy Mary in Tonights The Night (Victoria Palace Theatre); Swing in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); Ensemble & understudy Linda & Maddy in Peggy Sue Got Married (Shaftesbury Theatre); Ensemble & understudy Sally Smith in Me & My Girl (Alexandra Theatre); Lorraine & Anytime Annie in 42nd Street (UK Tour) and featured in Fred Astaire, His Daughters Tribute (London Palladium).
In 2011 Tanya will be appearing as Wendy Jo in the UK Tour of Footloose.

Sophie Nomvete – Trix

SophiaTraining: Arts Educational

Sophia has just finished a successful run playing Charmian in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.

Other theatre credits include: Grimm Tales at the Library Theatre and the role of Anika in Sir Nicholas Hytners Production of England People Very Nice at the National Theatre.

Musical theatre credits include: Angie Morton Our House UK tour, Mabel Fame UK Tour, Urleen Footloose Westend.

The Superintendent was played by the following guest actors:
Ralph Bogard, Benjamin Bond, Chris Carswell, Tim Frost, Reeda Harris, Nicholas Howe, Ben James-Ellis, James Kermack, Jeremy Legat, Lucas Rush, Jos Slovick, Charlie Swan

CREATIVES

Producer – Katie Plews for Ovation
Producer – Alex Segal
Director – Racky Plews
Musical Supervisor – Michael England
Choreographer – Fabian Aloise
Musical Director – Tim Whiting
Designer – Martin Thomas
Associate Costume Designer – Jean Gray
Lighting Designer – Howard Hudson

Casting Director – Ellie Collyer-Bristow
Dialect Coach – Marj McDaid

Asst. Director – Lucas Rush
Asst. Musical Director – Lee Freeman
Asst. Choreographer – Ashley Nottingham

Associate Lighting Designer – Simeon Miller
Sound Technician – Winston Gilbert
Lighting Technician – Gavin Maze

Props Supervisor – Philippa Mumford
Rehearsal Stage Manager – Rachael Tyagi
Stage Manager – Jeanette Klemeyer
Asst. Stage Managers – Saskia Wesley, Frankie Hollis

BAND
Keyboard – Tim Whiting
Flute/Clarinet/Saxophone – Hannah Lawrence
Trumpet/Flugelhorn – Karen Straw/Jamie Crook
Double Bass – Eric Ruperts
Drums – George English

PHOTOS

REVIEWS

View all Reviews and Quotes

“Siobhan McCarthy, best known for her leading roles in Mamma Mia, Evita and Hairspray, as well as and her role in ITV’s Bad Girls, stars as the alcohol-fuelled chaperone.”WhatsOnStage Pre Publicity

“Really rather good! Two *very* cute Show Off innovations.”West End Whingers Twitter

“What absolute fun the Drowsy Chaperone is. Racky Plews’ production fizzes with whacky characters and buckets of fun.”The Stage Twitter

“Amy Diamond, finalist in BBCs Over The Rainbow search for a Dorothy as the starlet-turned-bride Janet.”WhatsOnStage Interview

“Alex Segals The Drowsy Chaperone is a 5-star performance and makes you feel that life will turn out fine as long as you can hum a show tune.”Mr. West End

“Racky Plews’ direction is slick and seamlessly blends with Fabian Aloise’s choreography …”The Stage

“Siobhan McCarthy is a hoot as DS and Ashley Day & Amy Diamond are wonderful as the romantic leads.”The Stage Twitter

**** “Siobhan McCarthy, plays drunk with deceptive mastery in the show’s title role.”WhatsOnStage

“Under Racky Plews’ direction this spoof of a late 1920s musical is given a lively revival that does credit to this Highgate theatre.”The British Theatre Guide

“Martin Thomas’s design is a tour de force of ingenuity,”Camden New Journal

“That is quite simply perfect musical joy. The best show in town.”Reviews Gate

“This is a superb piece of musical theatre which uses a small budget and venue to motivate a sublime creativity. (In fact this is by far the most successful piece of theatre we have so far assessed – if there is any justice in the world it will to transfer to bigger and better things). It should win every Offie going!”Off West End

***** “Five Stars is just not enough. The Drowsy Chaperone is amazing… Everyone MUST see it”Ham & High

**** “Racky Plews’ production is unapologetic theatrical candyfloss.”The Public Reviews

“I loved it. At its heart, it is a beautifully eloquent defence of old-school musical theatre, wrapped up in a tap-dancing, vodka-soaked, tuneful ball of fun: affectionate, nostalgic and most importantly, so very funny. Book now.”There Ought To Be Clowns

“What I couldn’t have predicted however was the quality of the in-house company Ovation’s work.”Dickie and Butch

“Siobhan McCarthy makes a wonderful Chaperone, playing the humour beautifully and belting out her torch songs with aplomb.”Broadway World

“Who cares about The Donmar Warehouse: get thee to the Gatehouse for Drowsy Chaperone!”WebCowGirl