Time for a royal declaration: Musical fairy tale Once Upon a Mattress gets a Christmas run

20 Aug
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Staff

The team behind the well-received, sold-out UK premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s The Frogs, adapted by Nathan Lane at Jermyn Street Theatre, is to present a new production of the modern-day family musical retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. And this Princess isn’t taking any prisoners…

Once Upon a Mattress, with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Barer, will open at The Playground Theatre from 18 December 2018 to 19 January 2019 (press night is 20 December). The production will be directed by Alex Pearson and Grace Wessels.

Winnifred, better known as Fred, is not your average princess – she’s loud, independent and knows her own mind. But for her to marry Prince Dauntless, she must prove to his overprotective mother, Queen Aggravain, that she is indeed a true princess in an impossible test.

Once Upon A Mattress marked the Broadway debut in 1959 of stage and TV personality Carol Burnett, who originated the role of Princess Winnifred. A later US tour starred Buster Keaton as the King. The West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in 1960 featured Max Wall as the Jester, while a 1996 Broadway revival starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Winnifred and Jane Krakowski as Lady Larken was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. A 2005 Disney TV movie version featured Tracey Ullman as Princess Winnifred and Glee star Matthew Morrison.

Once Upon a Mattress is produced by House on the Hill Productions and presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.