Tracie Bennett, Harriet Thorpe & Dancing On Ice's Jason Gardiner lead 'all-female' Ruthless

04 Feb
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Press Releases

Get ready to camp it up. The 'all-female' cast for the UK premiere of long-running Off-Broadway spoof RUTHLESS! includes Broadway's Judy Maresca (reprising her role from New York), West End legends Tracie Bennett and Harriet Thorpe and, um, Australian singer, choreographer and Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner...

Jason Gardiner, Lara Denning, Kim Maresca, Harriet Thorpe and Tracie Bennett join the company of Joel Paley and Marvin Laird’s award-winning all-female character camp killer cult classic Ruthless! The Musical for its 14-week run at the Arts Theatre. The children alternating the role of Tina Denmark will be announced shortly.

This brand new production, directed by Richard Fitch, opens on 27 March, with previews from 16 March, and runs until 23 June.

How far would you go to get what you want? Ruthless! The Musical tells the story of the beautiful and talented 8-year-old Tina Denmark who will do anything to play the lead in her school play… ANYTHING!

Ruthless! started Off-Broadway 25 years ago and discovered young performers including Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. The show famously spoofs Broadway musicals from Gypsy to Mame as well as iconic films including The Bad Seed and All About Eve.

Also in the creative team are choreographer Rebecca Howell, designer Morgan Large, lighting designer Tim Lutkin, sound designer Gregory Clarke and musical supervisor Gareth Valentine. The Menier Chocolate Factory will act as executive producer and general manager for the new production.


Jason Gardiner plays Sylvia St. Croix. Originally from Melbourne, he is a television broadcaster, performer and choreographer – he is currently a judge in the popular ITV series Dancing on Ice. He began his professional career in the original Australian cast of 42nd Street at the age of 16, and has since gone on to perform in over 20 award-winning musicals including West Side Story, Cats, Dames At Sea, Oklahoma, Anything Goes, Chicago, Pippin and My Fair Lady. As a choreographer he has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names including Pink, Dame Shirley Bassey, Kylie, Cher, Bjork, Roseanne Barr and Sir Elton John.

Tracie Bennett plays Lita. The Olivier Award winner’s theatre work includes Follies (National Theatre); and in the West End, Mrs Henderson Presents, End of the Rainbow, La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray, Les Misérables and She Loves Me. Other theatre work includes The Hypochondriac (Theatre Royal Bath), Sex, Chips & Rock ’n’ Roll (Royal Exchange Manchester), Carousel, Billy Liar (ATG), High Society (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita, Spring Awakening (Sheffield Theatre).

Lara Denning plays Louise Lerman/Eve. Her theatre work includes Scrooge the Musical (Curve), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical (Menier Chocolate Factory), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Matilda (Cambridge Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (European tour), Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, All The Fun of the Fair, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Dirty Dancing in Concert (UK tours) and Can Can (Sadlers Wells).

Kim Maresca plays Judy Denmark, reprising the role she played Off Broadway in the most recent run of Ruthless! The Musical. She recently played her fifth sold-out engagement of her one-woman show at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Regional: Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse), Biondella in The Taming of the Shrew (Saratoga Shakespeare Company) and Maureen in Rent (Thomaston Opera House).

Harriet Thorpe plays Myrna Thorn. She is perhaps best known for her role as Carole in the BBC’s popular Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous. Her West End credits include Great Britain (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Pravda, The Government Inspector, All My Sons, A Prayer for Owen Meany (National Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Theatre), Rufus Norris’ production of Cabaret (Lyric Theatre, UK tour and Savoy Theatre), Crazy for You (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Novello Theatre), Tanya in Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre), Madame Thenardier in Les MiserablesThe Vagina Monologues and Jackie O.