From page to screen to stage: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button goes Celtic in Southwark

18 Apr
Posted in: Theatre News Videos
Author: Staff
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button gets a Celtic musical makeover

F Scott Fitzgerald's original 1922 short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, set in Baltimore, was made into a 2008 Hollywood film starring Brad Pitt, set in New Orleans. Now this epic, reverse-ageing fantasy gets a British stage musical makeover set in Cornwall with an original Celtic score. It's performed by a five-strong ensemble cast...

Following in the footsteps of Brad Pitt, James Marlowe takes the title, youthening role in the new musical version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which runs at London's Southwark Playhouse from 15 May to 8 June 2019, with a press night on 17 May. He's joined in the world premiere cast by Matt Burns, Rosalind Ford, Joey Hickman and Philippa Hogg.

Discover a sleepy fishing harbour at the end of the First World War - home to a most curious story of one man, and the timeless tale of a love that defies all odds.

Born in unusual circumstances, Benjamin Button is an old man, not at the end of his life, but at the beginning. Trapped in a body where he doesn’t belong, locked away from the world and branded a monster, Benjamin dreams of freedom and adventure. And more than anything, he dreams of love. Just as he gives up hope, resigning himself to a life of solitude, a miracle occurs – a local girl, by the name of Elowen Keene. But, as we all know, time and tide wait for no man, and as the decades pass, their lives begin to move in reverse. When war calls Benjamin across the seas, time is not their only enemy.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has book and lyrics by Jethro Compton, who also directs, and music and lyrics by Darren Clark. Movement direction is by Chi-San Howard, stage and lighting design by Schönlatern, costume design by Cecilia Trono, sound design by Juan Coolio, puppetry design by In The Bellows. The associate director is Ellie Gauge.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button runs from 15 May to 8 June 2019 at Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 8pm, matinees Tuesdays and Saturdays at 3.30pm. Tickets are priced £14-22. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

Remember the film?

The Oscar-winning 2008 film of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and was directed by David Fincher.

Creative bios 

Jethro Compton is a Cornish writer, director and theatre producer. His most notable production to date is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which premiered at Park Theatre in 2014. It has since been licensed to over fifty productions worldwide. Jethro primarily works overseas, especially in Vienna where he has directed four German-language productions over the last two years including his adaptations of A Little Princess for the 700 seat Renaissance Theater, Oliver Twist, and Schlamm, and his original play Blutrache, which also transferred to Bolzano, Italy in Spring. He returns to Vienna after Benjamin Button to direct a further three productions throughout 2019 and 2020. In London, Jethro’s most recent work includes The Bunker Trilogy (Southwark Playhouse) and White Fang (Park Theatre), which has recently been published by Samuel French under the new title, Wolf’s Blood. At the Edinburgh Fringe, his work includes The Capone Trilogy, The Frontier Trilogy, Sirenia, and with Belt Up Theatre on all their productions between 2008 and 2012 including, The Tartuffe, The Trial, Outland, Macbeth and The Boy James. In 2016 Jethro became an associate artist of Hall for Cornwall. 

Darren Clark is a composer and lyricist. His musical and lyrical commissions have included: Scarecrows Wedding (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour, West End), The Little Gardener (National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith) and the critically acclaimed political cabaret These Trees Are Made of Blood (Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse). Darren is an associate artist with children’s theatre company Paper Balloon, writing music & lyrics for all their shows including national tours of The Grumpiest Boy in the World. Current musicals include The Wicker Husband with Rhys Jennings which won the Music Theatre International Stiles & Drewe Mentorship Award in 2016 and was selected for the 2018 NAMT Festival in New York. His work has been presented at BEAM 2016 and 2018 and is a regular feature at SIGNAL, a new writing night promoting some of the most exciting British musical theatre writing. Darren’s songs have been finalists in the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Award for 3 years running, winning Runner up in 2015. Since 2015, Darren has been a finalist for numerous prizes including the Cameron Mackintosh Composer in Residence and the Old Vic 12. Over the last three years Darren’s songs have won the Audience Award (with lyricist Richy Hughes in 2016), the Audience Runner Up Award (2015 & 2014) and the Iris Theatre Panel Award (2014) at the Xmas Factor in Covent Garden. Darren is the recipient of the Dunedin Operatic Executive Trust Award to support his musical theatre work and recently, Darren was selected as one of seven finalists for the Fred Ebb Musical Theatre award, one of the most prestigious musical theatre writing prizes in the world. Darren is a member of the BML Advanced Composer & Lyricist Workshop and the MMD Advanced Writers Lab.