Full casting is today announced for the world premiere of the new musical Groundhog Day, which previews from Monday 11 July 2016 with a press night on Tuesday 16 August 2016.
Carlyss Peer will play Rita Hanson alongside the previously announced Andy Karl in the role of Phil Connors. They are joined by an ensemble cast including Leo Andrew, David Birch, Ste Clough, Roger Dipper, Georgina Hagen, Kieran Jae, Julie Jupp, Andrew Langtree, Vicki Lee Taylor, Emma Lindars, Antonio Magro, Carolyn Maitland, Kirsty Malpass, Lisa Mathieson, Eugene McCoy, Jenny O’Leary, Leanne Pinder, Mark Pollard, Damien Poole, Jack Shalloo, Andrew Spillett and Spencer Stafford.
Artistic Director of The Old Vic Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell, four of the creators of the international musical sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to collaborate on a new musical based on his 1993 hit film Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is the story of Phil Connors (Andy Karl), a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in the isolated small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, when he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. As each day plays out exactly the same as before, Phil becomes increasingly despondent, but is there a lesson to be learnt through his experiences, will he ever unlock the secret and break the cycle?
The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic, Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.
Andy Karl, who plays Phil Connors, can currently be seen on the NBC series Law & Order: SVU as Sergeant Mike Dodds. Karl won the Outer Critics Circle Award and has been nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League awards for his starring role opposite Kristin Chenoweth in the Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century. For his critically acclaimed performance as Rocky Balboa in the Broadway musical Rocky, Karl was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards.
Previous Broadway credits include the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jersey Boys, Wicked, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde (ACCA Award), The Wedding Singer and Saturday Night Fever. Off-Broadway credits include Altar Boyz (OCC Award), Slut and Saturday Night. Andy’s other credits include Romeo and Bernadette (Carbonell Award nomination), Cats, Disney’s On the Record and Tommy. His film and television credits include Forever, And So It Goes, Joyful Noise, Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods, On the One and New York, I Love You.
Carlyss Peer, who plays Rita Hanson, has performed on stage and screen. Since graduating from RADA her theatre credits have included Ophelia in Hamlet and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Jefferson’s Garden (Watford Palace), But I Made You a Mix Tape (Etcetera Theatre), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Bath and Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Salisbury Playhouse).
On television, Carlyss played Bonnie Wallis in Holby City and has also appeared in Doctors, The Secret Agent, Silent Witness, Peter Pan and Eternal Law. She has recently completed filming for the new ITV drama Brief Encounters which will air later in 2016.
Matthew Warchus is a director of theatre, opera and film who has directed award-winning productions for many of the major British theatre companies. He was an Associate Director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and was an Artistic Associate at The Old Vic before being appointed in 2014 to succeed Kevin Spacey as Artistic Director of the theatre.
Matthew’s extensive theatre credits include The Caretaker, The Master Builder and Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Matilda The Musical (RSC, West End and Broadway, 7 Olivier Awards, including Best Director and Best New Musical, and 4 Tony Awards), Ghost: The Musical and La Bête (West End and Broadway), Deathtrap (West End), The Norman Conquests (West End and Broadway, Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), God of Carnage (West End and Broadway, Tony Award for Best Play and Best Direction of a Play), Boeing-Boeing (West End, Broadway and UK tour, Tony Award for Best Revival of a play and Olivier nomination for Best Revival of a Play), Speed-the-Plow (The Old Vic), the theatrical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (also co-writer, West End), Buried Child (National Theatre), Endgame (Albery Theatre), Our House (Cambridge Theatre, Olivier Award for Best Musical), Follies (Broadway), Life x 3 (National Theatre, The Old Vic and Broadway), True West (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway, Tony nominations for Best Director and Best Play), The Unexpected Man (RSC, West End and Broadway), Art (Broadway, West End and Los Angeles, Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Play), Hamlet and Henry V (RSC), Volpone (National Theatre, Evening Standard Award for Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing (West End) and Betrayal, Death of a Salesman, The Plough and the Stars, Fiddler on the Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (West Yorkshire Playhouse). Opera credits include Falstaff and Così Fan Tutte (ENO) and The Rake’s Progress (ROH and WNO). Matthew directed feature films Pride (2014, BIFA Best British Independent Film, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations) and Simpatico (1999).
Tim Minchin is a musician, actor, comedian and writer. As a musical satirist, Tim has toured in the UK, the US and Australia and released 5 DVDs. He is the composer/lyricist of Matilda The Musical (book by Dennis Kelly) and is currently directing and writing music and lyrics for forthcoming DreamWorks Animation feature film Larrikins. Acting credits include Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company), Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar (arena tour of UK and Australia) and, for television, Atticus Fetch in Californication (Showtime) and Smasher Sullivan in Secret River (ABC).
Peter Darling is an award-winning choreographer. His work for theatre in the UK includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Billy Elliott (Victoria Palace Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse), Candide and Oh! What a Lovely War (National Theatre), Sunset Boulevard (Really Useful Group), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Edward II, The Country Wife, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, all for Michael Grandage . He choreographed Matilda The Musical, Our House and The Lord of the Rings for Matthew Warchus. His film work includes Billy Elliott and The Phantom of the Opera.
Rob Howell is an award-winning designer who has designed sets and costumes extensively for theatre and opera in the UK and abroad. His work has been recognised with numerous nominations and two Drama Desk Awards, a Tony Award and three Olivier Awards, including for his work on Matilda The Musical. Rob has worked at the Royal Court, the Donmar Warehouse, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera. Work at The Old Vic includes The Master Builder, Dr Seuss’s The Lorax, Future Conditional, A Flea in Her Ear, Inherit the Wind, Complicit, The Norman Conquests (also on Broadway) and Speed-the-Plow. He is an Associate Artist of The Old Vic.
Danny Rubin is an award-winning screenwriter and lecturer. His screen credits include Hear No Evil, S.F.W. and Groundhog Day, for which he received the BAFTA for Best Screenplay and the Critics’ Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year, as well as honours from the Writers Guild of America and the American Film Institute.
Rubin has taught screenwriting in Chicago at the University of Illinois, Columbia College and the National High School Institute; at the Sundance Institute in Utah; the PAL Screenwriting Lab in England; the Chautauqua Institution in New York; at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and at Harvard University as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer on Screenwriting from 2008-2013.