A Spoonful of Sherman launches its first UK and Ireland tour from Bournemouth next week. As the rehearsal process drew to a close, a small group of invited guests had a sneak preview of what to expect. I was honoured to be included amongst them.
There is no doubt that the music of the Sherman Brothers is renowned, and transports you back to childhood when heard. Sons of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Al Sherman, Robert B and Richard M Sherman, wrote more motion picture scores than any team in film history.
Sherman Brothers credits include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Charlotte’s Web and The Aristocats. Their most well-known work, however, remains the Disney theme park song ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’. According to Time.com, this is the most performed song of all time.
In a celebration of a 100 years of ‘the Sherman dynasty’, A Spoonful of Sherman is now a full musical stage show and follows years of development on the part of Robert (‘Robbie’) J Sherman, son of Robert B.
This production is a fitting tribute to Robbie’s grandfather, uncle and father. It also proves the sentiment of ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ – some of Robbie’s own beautiful compositions are showcased and demonstrate that the third generation of songwriting continues the legacy.
I recently saw A Spoonful of Sherman in its most recent London season at Live at Zedel. I could wax lyrical about the show, but in visiting rehearsals, I also wanted to show you (check out pictures and video clips but note, these were taken with my iPhone so do forgive the quality).
Whilst at the rehearsal, I also had the opportunity to have a quick chat with new tour cast member Mark Read. I asked him what his favourite song is from the Sherman catalogue.
“Okay, so as I said there are about 50 songs in this show spanning 100 years and three generations of Shermans. From Al Sherman to the brothers and now son Robbie. There are medleys from different decades and individual films.
“Before I started rehearsals my favourite was ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ from The Jungle Book. Some trivia for you, the four main characters in Jungle Book were based on The Beatles. They really wanted them to do the voices and so did The Beatles, but unfortunately they just couldn’t coordinate their schedules. There is a beautiful barbershop quartet which we do in the show.
“But now having worked on the songs I’ve so many new favourites and my new favourite is probably a beautiful song called Mother Earth and Father Time. Another is Suddenly It Happens which is from The Slipper and The Rose. And another is What A Comforting Thing to Know again from the Slipper And The Rose.”
I’m sure you’ll agree when you’ve viewed the clips this is going to be an absolutely charming show. Check out the website or the listings below to pick your nearest venue and book tickets.
A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN Tour Dates
February 21st-23rd Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre www.bournemouthpavilion.co.uk
February 26th-28th St Helens Theatre Royal www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
March 5th-7th Aberdeen Tivoli Theatre www.thetivolitheatre.com
March 8th-10th Inverness Eden Court www.eden-court.co.uk
March 12th-14th Darlington Hippodrome www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk
March 16th-17th East Grinstead, Chequer Mead www.chequermead.org.uk
March 20th-21st Guildford, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk
March 22nd-24th Windsor Theatre Royal www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk
March 26th-30th London Greenwich Theatre www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk
April 2nd Buxton Opera House www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk
April 5th-7th Swansea Grand Theatre www.swansea.gov.uk/swanseagrandtheatre
April 10th-11th Harrogate Theatre www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk
April 12th-13th Southport Atkinson Theatre www.theatkinson.co.uk
April 15th-17th Hornchurch Essex, Queen’s Theatre www.queens-theatre.co.uk
April 18th-20th Isle of Wight, Shanklin Theatre www.shanklintheatre.com
April 23rd-24th Newport Riverfront Theatre https://tickets.newportlive.co.uk
April 25th-26th Yeovil Somerset, Octagon Theatre www.octagon-theatre.co.uk
April 30th-May 1st Swindon, Wyvern Theatre www.swindontheatres.co.uk
May 7th-9th Lincoln Theatre Royal www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk
May 14th-15th Weston Super Mare, Playhouse Theatre www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk
May 16th-18th Exeter Northcott Theatre www.exeternorthcott.co.uk
31 May— 1 June 2018 Everyman Theatre, Cork www.everymancork.com
2 — 3 June 2018 Pavillion Theatre, Dublin www.paviliontheatre.ie
Book, Music & Lyrics
Robert J Sherman
Music & Lyrics
Richard M Sherman & Robert B Sherman
Music & Lyrics
Direct & Choreographer
CAST OF ‘A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN’
Photo Credit Nick Rutter
The double Oscar-winning Sherman Brothers – Richard M Sherman & Robert B Sherman remain one of the most formidable songwriting teams in family entertainment history. From 1964 onwards their unparalleled partnership produced music, songs and scores for dozens of films, particularly many of Disney’s best loved titles including Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Charlotte’s Web, and The Aristocats. The highly prolific brothers were the sons of the great Al Sherman (1897-1973) who wrote songs for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and many singers of the golden American Songbook period of the 1930s-1950s.
Robert J Sherman
Son of Robert B. Sherman and a successful composer in his own right brings the compelling story of one family’s century-long, award-winning musical journey to UK audiences in 2018. Three generations of Sherman songwriters are brought to life in this delightful show which includes songs from Robert J. Sherman’s own charming musical, Love Birds, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015.
Sophie’s West End credits include: Celia in The Girls (2017 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical); Bend it Like Beckham and Made In Dagenham (West End); Lend Me a Tenor (2012 Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Role in a Musical), 42nd Street, and Jolson. Sophie recently played Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray, an acclaimed run in Forbidden Broadway and Dot in Sunday In The Park With George (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris). Sophie is a regular guest on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night.
Glen graduated from The Arts Educational School in 2015. Theatre credits include The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Crucible); Mary Poppins (Zurich & Dubai); Moby Dick! The Musical (New Union Theatre); Hairspray! (UK tour) The Olivier Awards (Royal Opera House) and Friday Night Is Music Night for BBC Radio 2. Credits whilst training include: Billy Smith in Defect, Rexford/Danny in Wonderful Town, Junior in Crazy For You and more.
Jenna has just graduated from The MTA London. Whilst training, she was nominated for Best Actress in a New Musical in Broadway World’s West End Awards 2016 for her portrayal of Charlotte Donne in Animus. She has also appeared in the title role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Waterside, Aylesbury), Young Molly in the London premiere of Some Lovers and An Evening of Webborn and Finn (both at The Other Palace).
Musician/songwriter Mark was a member of the smash hit boyband A1, who enjoyed two UK No. 1s, 8 Top Ten hits, 3 hit studio albums and the 2001 Brit Award for Best Newcomer. Mark was recently seen on ITV’s The Big Reunion as part of the show’s major concert tour. Mark has collaborated with Charlotte Church, Jarvis Cocker, Ronan Keating, and Michael Ball and his musical theatre credits include Guys and Dolls (Epsom Playhouse), and Seasons of Love (West End) with Claire Richards (Steps) and Chesney Hawkes.
Musical Director and performer. Ben’s many West End credits include Grease, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dame Edna: The Spectacle and many more. Ben’s MD credits include Caroline Sheen’s album Raise The Curtain (SimG Records), Stephen De Martin’s One Voice (SimG Records), Gay’s The Word (Finborough, Jermyn Street and TER Records), Salad Days (Tour), Hiss And Boo (Tour), Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! and many more.
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