After five UK tours, the original British musical MISS NIGHTINGALE finally enjoys an extended London run six years after a small-scale production of the show was first seen in the capital. Matthew Bugg‘s musical transfers to The Vaults for an eight-week residency from 30 March to 20 May 2017.
MISS NIGHTINGALE is that rare thing: a genuinely new and successful British musical that is neither a juke-box show nor one based on an existing play, book, or film. Since it was first staged in 2011, the musical has completed five national tours, playing more than 300 performances to 50,000 people at 30 theatres across the UK.
Last year, MISS NIGHTINGALE was named in the Guardian Readers’ Top 50 Shows of 2016. It was also voted into the Top 100 Greatest Musicals of All Time. The poll organised by BritishTheatre.com invited the public to nominate their five favourite musicals from both stage and screen. The final count saw MISS NIGHTINGALE placed at number 80 beating musical theatre classics such as Sweet Charity, Hello Dolly!, Top Hat, Show Boat, Sister Act, and even The Wizard of Oz.
MISS NIGHTINGALE is set in London during 1942. A smoky, underground cabaret club opens in the heart of a war-torn city. As a saucy new singer is thrust into the spotlight, two men struggle to bring their love out of the shadows.
A deeply touching and raucously funny tale of prejudice, passion and debauchery during the dark days of World War Two. MISS NIGHTINGALE brings the scandals, satire, and spunky spirit of the Forties sensationally to life.
The story reclaims the forgotten fate of gay men castigated as ‘the enemy within’ during the Second World War. Set against ‘Miss Nightingale’s’ dramatic rise to stardom is the romance between two of the men in her life – George, a Jewish composer, and Sir Frank, an upper-class impresario – at a time when society refuses to recognise their love and violently rejects their right to be together.
2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. As parts of the ‘Free World’ seem to be turning their backs on homosexuality, MISS NIGHTINGALE is a timely – yet disarmingly entertaining – reminder of the progress we’ve made but the steps we have still to travel.
The show features 20 original songs by Matthew Bugg, from innuendo-laden Music Hall style numbers to tender ballads and complex trios and quartets, which wonderfully capture the soaring spirit and biting wit of the 1940s.
It’s performed by a cast of actor-musicians. The title role of ‘Maggie/Miss Nightingale’ is played by Tamar Broadbent. Tamar is an award-winning performer and songwriter. She has recently been nominated for the Fringe World Comedy Award 2017 at the Perth Festival and was a 2015 finalist in the Amused Moose Laugh Off and Funny Women awards. She is joined by Nick Coutu-Langmead as Sir Frank; Conor O’Kane as George; Niall Kerrigan as Tom; Matthew Bugg as Harry; and, Tobias Oliver as Clifford.
MISS NIGHTINGALE is written and directed by Matthew Bugg. His West End, touring and international work includes: Dracula, Cirque Bezerk, Dear Lupin, Murder in the Cathedral, Kindertransport, Volcano, Barefoot in the Park, Quartet, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Polygraph, The Father, League of Youth, and The Handyman. Matthew also created and directed Jack and the Beanstalk, the world’s first fully BSL integrated Pantomime for Cast, Doncaster last Christmas.
Joe Harmston is creative consultant for the show, the designer is Carla Goodman, lighting designer David Phillips, and sound designer Drew Baumohl. MISS NIGHTINGALE is produced by Mr Bugg Presents, an artisan theatre company based in Sheffield, which specialises in new and original British musical theatre.