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Thursday, 28 July 2016

The World Goes Round and then stops at Scarborough

Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
A rehearsal shot from the 25th anniversary production of Kander and Ebb's The World Goes Round which runs at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre from today (28 July) until 3 September.

Showstoppers such as New York, New York, All That Jazz, Maybe This Time and Money, Money will be performed alongside lesser-known numbers such as Mr Cellophane, Arthur in the Afternoon and Coffee in a Cardboard Cup by a cast comprising some of the best of the UK’s musical theatre performers: Phoebe Fildes, Laura Jane Matthewson, Nigel Richards, Ashley Samuels and Shona White.

The show was originally seen at Manhattan’s off-Broadway Westside Theatre in 1991, when the legendary New York Times critic Frank Rich called it 'a handsome, tasteful, snazzily staged outpouring of song and dance that celebrates all the virtues of the Kander-Ebb catalogue,’

With a glamorous, New York-inspired set, the show will set pulses racing among fans of Kander and Ebb and of musicals generally.

Phoebe Fildes has just completed a two-year tour, playing Ophelia, Gertrude, Horatio and Rosencrantz in the Globe Theatre’s production of Hamlet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, which visited 197 countries, travelling over 310,000km. She was also in the West End musical Once.

Laura Jane Matthewson won the 2014 Evening Standard award for best emerging talent for her performance in the critically acclaimed musical Dogfight, set during the Vietnam War. Last year, The Stage’s lead critic Mark Shenton named her as one of his top ten musical theatre actresses in a list which also included Imelda Staunton and Beverley Knight.

Nigel Richards is familiar to musicals aficionados from his roles as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s, Les Miserables, Martin Guerre, and as Dan in Kurt Weill’s Songs From A Hotel Bedroom at the Royal Opera House. As a result of his work with Tom Waits on The Black Rider, Nigel headlined with Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn in Drifting and Tilting: The Songs of Scott Walker at the Barbican.

Ashley Samuels was in the huge West End hit The Book of Mormon, and was recently in the rock ‘n’ roll musical comedy, The Toxic Avenger.

Shona White has been seen as Florence Vassy in Craig Revel-Horwood’s production of Chess and as Alternate Donna in Phyllida Lloyds’s Mamma Mia, as well as Les Miserables, Shout, Wicked and The Rocky Horror Show.

The World Goes Round is directed by Lotte Wakeham, whose other productions include Jon Brittain’s The Happiest Days of Your Life in New York and the 2014 London revival of The Beautiful Game by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton. Lotte was associate director of Matilda for the RSC (West End and Broadway), a show which won seven Olivier Awards, four Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards.

Kander and Ebb were one of the most successful songwriting teams ever: composer John Kander is now 89, while Fred Ebb died in 2004. Their stage musicals included Cabaret and Chicago, while their most famous song, New York, New York, was scored for the Martin Scorsese movie of the same name and became a signature song for Frank Sinatra. They also wrote much material for the stage, concerts and TV for actresses and singers Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera.

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