Got your tickets yet for Oranges & Elephants, the brilliant new musical set in and premiering at London’s Grade II -listed Victorian music hall gem, Hoxton Hall, this month? Catch up on casting news – and a fascinating interview with author Lil Warren – and then get booking!
Oranges & Elephants – which runs from 23 January to 10 February 2018, with a press night on 25 January – centres on two rival female gangs in Victorian London and blends Music Hall, Fairground and Musical Theatre into spellbinding storytelling.
“Same ol gravy, different flavour.”
When Mary arrives in London, she is quickly introduced to gang life. How will she make her life expectancy of twenty-five when the two gangs are after owning her? Mary wants to be a Music Hall star. Nellie of The Elephants falls in love with Mary, and they try to escape from thievery to the bright lights of Piccadilly.
This is a story of how important your wits are to survive if you are a poor woman in Victorian London. How you play the fame game set against a backdrop of a West End pickpocket turf war and an enormous divide between the rich and poor.
Sinead Long stars as Mary with Christina Tedders as Nellie and an all-female cast of actor-musicians that also features Kate Adams (Flo), Rebecca Bainbridge (Ada), Susannah van den Berg (Chair), Rosalind Ford (Nora), Liz Kitchen (Annie), Natasha Lewis (Violet), Kate Marlais (Maggie) and Sarah J Warren (Minnie).
Oranges & Elephants has book and lyrics by Lil Warren. The premiere production is directed by former Hackney Empire creative director Susie McKenna, with musical direction by movement by Abigail Rosser, design by Sara Perks, sound by Yvonne Gilbert, lighting by Johanna Town and costumes by Sarah Mercade.
Oranges & Elephants is the first production in Hoxton Hall’s all-female spring season Female Parts, under artistic director Karena Johnson.
Oranges & Elephants runs 23 January to 10 February 2018 at Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH, with performances Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £18 (concessions £15). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Lil Warren interview
Lil Warren has been creating for live performance for over twenty years. Her credits include Nine Lives, Ten Tales, Blackout (Soho Theatre), Lost Souls and Lunatics, Strange The Road (The Hope Theatre) and a promenade play The Changeling through Abney Park. She is currently working on a new play about the Miss World Competition. There is also a forthcoming film adaptation of Strange The Road.
Kate Adams plays Flo. Previous credits include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (York Theatre Royal), Thieves’ Carnival (The Watermill Theatre), Cider With Rosie (New Vic Theatre), A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, Stamping, Shouting and Singing Home (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Salty Socks of Dunkirk and Alice in Wonderland (Royal & Derngate Northampton), James and the Giant Peach and The Wind in the Willows (Mercury Theatre Colchester).
Rebecca Bainbridge plays Ada. Her theatre credits include The Terrible Infants (Wilton’s Music Hall), Grimm Tales for Young and Old (The Ditch), Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales, Novello Theatre), Partners in Crime (Queen’s Theatre), Alice’s Adventures Underground (The Vaults), The Vaudevillians (The Lowry, Charing Cross Theatre), The Goodbye Girl (Gatehouse), Our House (New Wolsey Theatre, UK tour), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Curve), Cabaret (Lyric Theatre), Hi De Hi!, Tonight’s the Night (UK tour), Jailhouse Rock (Piccadilly Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (European tour) and Buddy (UK and European tour).
Susannah van den Berg plays Chair. Theatre credit includes Alice in Winterland (Rose Theatre Kingston), Sister Act (UK and international tour), Diana of Dobson’s (New Vic Theatre), I Love Paris (Orange Tree Theatre), Can’t Buy Me Love, A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse), Business as Usual (Everyman Theatre), Sweeney Todd (English National Opera), The Sound of Music (Curve) and Man of La Mancha (Royal Lyceum Theatre).
Rosalind Ford plays Nora. Theatre credits include Mother Courage and Her Children (Southwark Playhouse), These Trees are Made of Blood (Arcola Theatre), Vampire Hospital Waiting Room, Apocalypse Cruise Ship Love Affair (Gilded Balloon, Above The Arts), Sard Traven and Boostak are Dead, The Fear (Theatre N16), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh), Rent (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), The Drowsy Chaperone and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).
Liz Kitchen plays Annie. As an actor her credits include Fiddler on the Roof and Sister Act (UK tour). As a Musician/Musical Director her credits include They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (Contact Theatre), M. Butterfly (West End), Blood Brothers (Liverpool Playhouse, Phoenix Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Liverpool Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Young Vic), Rocky Horror Show (German tour), The Hound of the Baskervilles (Battersea Arts Centre) and A Winter’s Tale (RSC).
Natasha Lewis plays Violet. Her credits include Peter Pan In Scarlet (New Vic Theatre, Oxford Playhouse), Corbyn The Musical: The Motorcycle Diaries (Waterloo East Theatre), The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion (National Theatre Wales), The Life of Galileo, Promises and Lies, The BFG (Birmingham Rep), Little Shop of Horrors, Rope and Dear Brutus (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Firework Maker’s Daughter (Bloomsbury Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre, UK tour), Tommy, Our House – The Madness Musical, The Jungle Book, Britain’s Got Bhangra, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, South Pacific (UK tour), The Vagina Monologues (Royal Festival Hall), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (New Wolsey Theatre), Charmin’ (Greenwich Theatre, Soho Theatre, National Theatre Studio), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Baiju Bawra (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Emancipation Day (Soho Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East). Film credits include Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Sinead Long plays Mary. Her theatre credits include Cinderella (Hackney Empire), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Peter Pan (Gordon Craig Theatre), Bad Girls (Union Theatre), Tonight’s The Night (UK tour) and Legally Blonde (UK tour).
Kate Marlais plays Maggie. Theatre credits include War Horse (New London Theatre), The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Stig of the Dump, As You Like It (Storyhouse Open Air Theatre, Chester), The Human Comedy (Young Vic), The Busy Body (Southwark Playhouse), The Immortal Hour (Finborough Theatre), In The Can (Theatre503), Extra Yarn, Unsung (Orange Tree Theatre), The Great Gatsby (Riverside Studios), Tactical Questioning (Tricycle Theatre), In Touch (Trafalgar Studios), My Fair Lady, Anything Goes (Cambridge Arts Theatre) and The Turn of the Screw (Royal & Derngate Northampton, UK tour). As a composer she won the S&S Award 2015 for Here created in conjunction with Curve and Mercury Musical Developments.
Christina Tedders plays Nellie. Her theatre credits include Once the Musical (Phoenix Theatre), A Little Night Music (The Watermill Theatre), The Commitments (UK tour), Calamity Jane (The Watermill Theatre, UK tour) and Putting It Together (Belfast Lyric Theatre).
Sarah J Warren returns to Hoxton Hall to play Minnie. Her credits for Hoxton Hall include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Restoration Wyfe and Round Our Way. Other acting credits include The Changeling, Pulse (New Wolsey Theatre), Blackout (Soho Theatre, Hoxton Hall), Woeful Puppet, Farewell To Horatio, The Good Person of Szechwan, Twelfth Night, (UK tour), and Romeo and Juliet (The Nave). Clowning and Puppeteering credits include C-C-Control (Almeida Theatre), Treasure Island (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Why? (Battersea Arts Centre) and Jack’s Story (UK tour). She is also Artistic Director of the inclusive arts company 09 Lives.
Susie McKenna directs. She is currently Creative Executive Producer at Hackney Empire with the remit to develop new musical theatre for the venue – having left her role as Creative Director in January 2017. Her credits for Hackney Empire include Cinderella, Rudy’s Rare Records, Blues in the Night, Beau Jest, Sit and Shiver, Kat and Tameka Show, La Variété, Sing Out , Alter Ego, Once on this Island and Ha Ha Hackney. Other credits include A Midsummer Night’s Madness (National Black Theatre of Harlem, Hackney Empire Edinburgh Festival), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre London) and The Silver Sword (Coventry Belgrade Theatre, UK tour). Acting credits for theatre include Cats (Ambassadors Theatre), Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar and In The Midnight Hour (UK tour). For film her credits include Jack and Sarah.