The West End is coming to Bridge House Theatre this Christmas with the UK premiere of the festive American musical Another Night Before Christmas. Olivier Award winner George Maguire (Dave Davies in Sunny Afternoon, Marc Bolan in 20th Century Boy) and West End star Rachael Wooding (Scaramouche in We Will Rock You, Eva Peron in Evita, and Britain’s Got Talent 2016), star in the show, which will run from Monday 28 November to Friday 23 December 2016, with press nights on 29 and 30 November.
Bridge House’s own co-founder and star of Wicked Rachel Tucker (Elphaba on Broadway and currently in the West End’s 10th anniversary cast), along with Oliver Tompsett (Wicked, We Will Rock You) will sprinkle additional West End star power magic on the show by providing voiceovers.
Another Night Before Christmas is directed by Guy Retallack and produced by Bridge House Productions SE20 and Climar Productions and follows their previous productions of It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol … More or Less and the award-winning Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story.
It’s Christmas Eve and for Karol, a 30-something, overworked and underpaid social worker, the Festive Season can’t be over soon enough! To her, this time of year is full of over-indulgence, over priced everything and unfulfilled hopes and wishes. Walking home from her office party she meets a scraggly-bearded ‘homeless’ man to whom she gives her bag of leftover office party food. Thinking nothing more of it, she settles in for her ‘non’ Christmas Eve for one – a truly peaceful and silent night. However like the best laid plans they are rudely interrupted when the man from earlier appears in her flat . But who is he, a half-crazed burglar as she believes? Or could Santa Claus really have come to town?
Another Night Before Christmas has book and lyrics by Sean Grennan and music by Leah Okimoto.
Sean Grennan (Book and Lyrics)
An actor in America for many years, Sean began writing for the theatre as co-librettist (with his wife, Kathy Santen) for the musical Phantom of the Country Palace which debuted at the Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire (MTI). His play LUCK! won an honorable mention from the National Writers Association’s Playwrighting Festival and was produced in NYC by the Epic Theatre Company. Working as librettist and lyricist with composer Leah Okimoto, his work includes the musicals Married Alive!, A Dog’s Life, and Another Night Before Christmas, all of which premiered at the American Heartland Theatre led by director Paul Hough. His comedies Beer for Breakfast and As Long As We Both Shall Live debuted at the American Heartland Theatre as well. His “dramadies” Making God Laugh and The Tin Woman first bowed at Peninsula Players Theatre. He is currently at work on three new shows, two TV pilots, and will soon be translating The Tin Woman into a musical. Combined, his plays and musicals have gone on to hundreds of productions around the world, including Canada, Russia, China, Latvia, Spain, England and the Middle East. Sean and Kathy live in New York City where they share office space with excellent dog, Hank. Kathy is currently appearing in Broadway’s Wicked where she serendipitously shared the stage with Rachel Tucker. Sean is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA, and The Dramatists Guild
Leah Okimoto (Music)
Leah has written three musical comedies: Married Alive!, A Dog’s Life and Another Night Before Christmas with NYC-based bookwriter/lyricist, Sean Grennan. All three premiered at the American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City, MO and have seen over 50 productions in the USA and Canada, including at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Barter Theatre, and Actors Playhouse. Her children’s musical, The Meanest Birthday Girl, written with bookwriter/lyricist Lauren Marcus, was produced in 2014 at the New York Children’s Musical Theatre Festival. In 2013, Leah founded Aaron’s Presents, a youth development grants program for children, and serves as its Executive Director. She currently lives on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA with her husband and two daughters..
Guy Retallack (Director)
Guy’s credits include the award-winning Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story (Tristan Bates Theatre & Charing Cross Theatre), Other work: It’s a Wonderful Life at Bridge House Theatre and UK Tour (Seabright Productions). A Christmas Carol: More or Less at Bridge House Theatre and upcoming Tour, Worlds End by Paul Sellar at Trafalgar Studios, Liberty by Glyn Maxwell at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Secret Rapture by David Hare at the Lyric Theatre for BKL, Future Me by Stephen Brown (Theatre503 & UK Tour), The Lifeblood by Glyn Maxwell (Wiltons Music Hall, Riverside Studios), Faster for Filter Theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith & subsequently at 59E59 Street Theater, New York, Tommy by Pete Townshend & The Who for BKL, and the Royal Academy of Music, Emma by Doon Mackican and Martin Miller and Richard III starring Eddie Marsan as Richard. Guy has taught at many leading drama schools, and is an acting coach.