The Old Laundry Theatre are delighted to announce the full cast, led by Bill Champion and Nadim Naaman, of the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s light-hearted, fun musical BY JEEVES, opening on Friday 6 October – Saturday 4 November 2017 and directed by Alan Ayckbourn.
Andrew Lloyd Webber says: “I confess that this is the musical that I privately look forward most to seeing.”
Currently starring as Raoul in Lloyd Webber‘s 30th Anniversary cast of The Phantom of The Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Nadim Naaman will play loveable chump and bachelor Bertie Wooster (Anthony in Sweeney Todd – Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop, Shaftesbury Avenue, One Man, Two Guvnors – NT at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket, The Sound of Music – The Palladium, Titanic – Princess of Wales, Toronto and Southwark Playhouse, Chess – Union. Nadim has recorded two studio albums; most recently Sides (2016), which topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart.)
And long term Ayckbourn collaborator actor Bill Champion will pay the titular role of the faithful and longsuffering manservant, Jeeves (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Broadway and West End including: Henceforward, A Chorus of Disapproval, Arrivals and Departures, Woman in Mind, Damsels in Distress Trilogy, Absurd Person Singular, Comic Potential; also Calendar Girls, Sunset Boulevard, Fame.)
Bill and Nadim are joined by a cast of iconic Wodehouse characters in BY JEEVES with:
Jamie Baughan – as clergyman Stinker Pinker (Kinky Boots – West End, Chicago – Amos Hart, UK tour);
Katie Birtill – as the cute and spoiled Madelaine Bassett (Monique in The Boy Who Fell Into A Book written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Dreamboats and Petticoats – UK tours.)
Howard Chadwick – as Madelaine’s controlling father Judge Watkyn Bassett (Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Brassed Off – Oldham Coliseum);
Joshua Manning – as villain and jelly tycoon Cyrus Budge (The End Of Something – Old Vic, title role in Roald Dahl’s The BFG – Birmingham Rep);
Oliver Mawdsley – as reclusive scientist Gussie Fink-Nottle (Where Is Peter Rabbit? – Old Laundry Theatre, Godspell – Jesus, Frinton Summer Theatre);
Naomi Petersen – Bassett’s sweet ward Stiffy Bing (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – West End, The Witches Of Eastwick – Watermill);
Nigel Richards – as nerdy friend Bingo Little (The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Martin Guerre, Les Miserables – all West End) and
Melle Stewart – as hedgehog lover Honoria Glossop (Goodnight Mr Tom – West End, Assassins – Menier Chocolate Factory).
A rare opportunity to see Alan Ayckbourn’s first revival in over 20 years of this jocular musical – from Broadway to Bowness!
BY JEEVES will bring back together the original creative team from 1996 including: Olivier and Tony winning Alan Ayckbourn who will direct; set designer Roger Glossop (also owner of the Old Laundry Theatre), designs a new set for the intimate 200 seat theatre and choreographer Sheila Carter. Joining the production team is musical director Steven Edis, costumes Caroline Hughes and lighting Jason Taylor.
The Old Laundry Theatre’s Directors, Roger and his theatre producer wife Charlotte Scott say: “We are really delighted to be putting on this revival of By Jeeves to be directed by Alan Ayckbourn. The original show, which re-opened the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1996, transferred to the West End and moved across the waters to Washington, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Broadway was such a fulfilling theatrical enterprise for all the creative team, cast and crew that the idea we can re-visit this piece, with its wit, pace and beautiful songs and present a large scale production at the Old Laundry Theatre (10 in the cast + a six- piece live band) is a fitting celebration for our 25th.”
Set in the 1920s and keeping the dottiness of the original PJ Wodehouse stories, BY JEEVES brings to life a cast of colourful characters, who include Bertie Wooster with his unquenchable optimism and his wonderfully supercilious butler Jeeves, renowned for his deadpan digs. The colourful characters continually and hilariously swap identities as they battle to salvage love and cover up embarrassing errors, causing confusion and mayhem galore!
Alan Ayckbourn, a man of, literally, many words with 81 plays and musicals to his name says: “By Jeeves is a party. It’s a celebration of theatre. I was always attracted by the innocence in Wodehouse and love the simplicity and characters, which I still find so refreshing.”