Following its acclaimed premiere at London Theatre Workshop in December last year, the musical play Through the Mill transfers to the Large at Southwark Playhouse this summer, running from 6 to 30 July 2016, with a press night on Friday 8 July.
Set primarily during the filming of ‘The Judy Garland Show’ in 1963, Through the Mill chronicles the production difficulties behind the scenes, intercut with the young Judy Garland’s rise to fame through MGM in the 1930s, and her triumphant sell-out concert engagement at the Palace Theatre in the early 1950s.
Illustrating why Judy Garland was, and continues to be, one of the great legends of show business history, Through the Mill goes beyond the rainbow, and explores the life of a woman destined for greatness; as loved today as she was when she first made her way along the yellow brick road. For both audiences new to Garland’s extensive back catalogue in the world of film and music, as well as the true Judy aficionado, here is an honest, entertaining and moving portrait of a legend; as courageous, determined, sincere and funny as she was memorably tragic.
The show features a hit list of Judy Garland favourites, including The Trolley Song, The Man That Got Away and Over the Rainbow, with a 16-strong company of actor-musicians, and a cast headed by three actresses playing the legend herself. The three actresses from the original run will reprise their roles at Southwark Playhouse.
Helen Sheals (Downton Abbey) plays CBS Judy, native Australian Belinda Wollaston plays Palace Judy, and newcomer Lucy Penrose plays Young Judy. Penrose was nominated for London Newcomer of the Year in this year’s #AlsoRecognised Awards, run by My Theatre Mates, as well as the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Actress.
Through the Mill is written and directed by Ray Rackham, who is Artistic Director of London Theatre Workshop, BroadwayWorld Award nominated librettist/lyricist of the acclaimed Apartment 40C (St James Studio, 2015) and director of Ordinary Days (2014). Other credits include the UK Premiere of Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino’s A Catered Affair, the 40th Anniversary Productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and Company (Pleasance), the 2012 Pleasance revival of Assassins, and acclaimed Broadway Soprano Barbara Cook’s return to London in Happily Ever After (Fortune). Rackham also devised the Sondheim revue Just Another Love Story, which has toured the UK.
Musical supervision and arrangement by Simon Holt. Musical direction by Jordan Li Smith. Choreography by Chris Whittaker. Set Design by Johnson Williams Design. Sound by Ed Shaw.Costume design is by Evie Holdcroft and Millie Hobday and hair and make-up is by Leanne Steadman. Casting is by Samuel Julyan. It is presented by Skye Crawford.