Newcomer Charlie Stemp is now officially a West End star after rave reviews for the London transfer of HALF A SIXPENCE this past week. And the show - reworked by Cameron Mackintosh, book writer Julian Fellowes, and Stiles and Drewe - is officially a mega hit, with booking now extended at the Noel Coward Theatre until April...
Following rave reviews for both the show and its leading man Charlie Stemp, Cameron Mackintosh announced today that booking for the Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre production of HALF A SIXPENCE at the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre has been extended to 22 April 2017.
The entire Chichester cast have transferred to the West End, starring newcomers Charlie Stemp as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Devon-Elise Johnson as ‘Ann Pornick’ – alongside three times Olivier-nominated actor Ian Bartholomew as ‘Chitterlow’ and three times Olivier-nominated actress Emma Williams as ‘Helen Walsingham’.
This new stage version of HALF A SIXPENCE, the musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s semi- autobiographical novel ‘Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul’, is a completely fresh adaptation which reunites book-writer Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of “Mary Poppins” with Disney. The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s exhilarating songs from the original production, including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Money To Burn’ and ‘Half A Sixpence’.
Arthur Kipps, an orphan and over-worked draper’s assistant at the turn of the last century, unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society. His childhood companion, Ann Pornick, watches with dismay as Arthur is made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. Both young women undoubtedly love Arthur – but which of them should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.
HALF A SIXPENCE is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh who recently directed the Olivier nominated Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Open Air Theatre. The production is designed by Paul Brown, with choreography by Andrew Wright (Chichester/West End production of Guys and Dolls, the UK Tour of Barnum and forthcoming Moby Dick at the Union Theatre) with orchestrations by William David Brohn. The musical supervisors will be Stephen Brooker and Graham Hurman, who will also conduct; with lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and video design by Luke Halls. The original 1963 musical was written by Beverley Cross and David Heneker.