Full casting is announced today for Broadway musical Side Show, which will receive its UK premiere in a brand new production at Southwark Playhouse, opening on Wednesday 26 October with previews from Friday 21 October.
Joining the previously announced Louise Dearman and Laura Pitt-Pulford as conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, are Haydn Oakley (ahead of him joining the West End premiere of An American in Paris in the new year) as Terry Connor, Jay Marsh as Jake, Dominic Hodson as Buddy Foster, Christopher Howell as The Boss/Sir, Lala Barlow as Bearded Lady, Oliver Marshall as Dog, David Muscat as Human Pin Cushion, Nuwan Hugh Perera as Sheik Fakir, Agnes Pure as Snake Lady, Nuno Queimado as Reptile Man, Kirstie Skivington as Half Man Half Woman and Genevieve Taylor as Dolly Dimples.
Inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about love, acceptance and embracing the unique.
We meet the Hilton Sisters as the headline act at a seedy side show, languishing under the rule of an oppressive ringmaster. But when spotted by a talent agent, they are thrust into the spotlight of the famed 1920’s Orpheum Circuit. They soon become the highest paid vaudeville stars of their time, but whilst Daisy relishes the spotlight, Violet wishes for a quiet life with a man she loves, and who loves her. Can they balance their individual dreams with their inescapable physical connection? Side Show is a heartwarming musical about the search for love and acceptance amidst the spectacle of fame.
Side Show first opened on Broadway in 1997, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards; Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, the only time a nomination has been shared by two actresses; Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner.
Side Show features a score by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger, with both shows making their London debuts a month apart from each other when Dreamgirls opens in the West End in November. Krieger was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Score for Side Show and Dreamgirls, won a Grammy Award for the cast album of Dreamgirls, and received three Academy Award nominations for the additional songs he wrote for the 2006 film.
It has a Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, who received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book, and shared the nomination for Best Score with Krieger. Russell’s other musicals include Elegies for Angels and Punks and Raging Queens. Additional Book material is by Bill Condon, who reworked Side Show for its 2014 Broadway revival. Condon is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, best known for writing the screenplay for the 2002 film Chicago, and directing and writing the critically acclaimed films Gods and Monsters and Dreamgirls, for which he won a Golden Globe.
Side Show is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills, who returns to Southwark Playhouse following his acclaimed productions of In The Heights and Carrie: The Musical. In The Heights won three 2016 Olivier Awards for its transfer to King’s Cross Theatre, whilst Carrie: The Musical won the 2016 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production.
Side Show will be directed by Hannah Chissick (Down the Dock Road, Royal Court Liverpool, Brass, NYMT, Marry Me a Little, St. James Studio), with choreography by Matthew Cole (Footloose and Little Shop of Horrors UK Tours), design by takis (In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse/King’s Cross Theatre), musical direction by Jo Cichonska, musical supervision and additional orchestrations by Simon Hale and sound design by Dan Simpson. Casting is by Will Burton. Side Show has music by Henry Krieger and Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, with additional Book material by Bill Condon.
Haydn Oakley will star as Henri Baurel in An American in Paris when it opens in the West End in March. Previous credits include English National Opera’s production of Sunset Boulevard (London Coliseum), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre) and The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre). Jay Marsh’s recent credits include Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre) and Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Dominic Hodson’s recent roles include Captain Nicholls in War Horse (New London Theatre) and Tony in West Side Story (UK Tour).
Christopher Howell’s recent credits include Guys and Dolls (UK Tour), Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre). Lala Barlow’s credits include Hair (Australian Tour) and Legally Blonde (Ballarat Lyric). Oliver Marshall recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where credits include Company and The Happy Prince. David Muscat’s recent credits include Mr Braithwaite in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre) and Miracle on 34th Street (UK Tour). Nuwan Hugh Perera recently graduated from Guildford School of Acting, where credits include Our House and Ghost. Agnes Pure’s credits include Sinatra and Friends (German and Swiss Tour) and Beauty and the Beast (Eastbourne Theatres). Nuno Queimado’s stage credits include The Little Match Girl (UK Tour), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre) and From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre). TV work includes Cold Feet (ITV). Kirstie Skivington’s recent credits include Anybody’s in West Side Story (Salzburg), Viva Forever (Piccadilly Theatre) and Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre). Genevieve Taylor recently graduated from the Musical Theatre Academy. Professional credits include West End Women (UK Tour) and Cool Rider (Lyric Theatre).
Louise Dearman (Daisy) is best known for being the first actress to star as both Glinda and Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked, playing both roles to great acclaim in the West End. Her many other theatre credits include Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (UK Tour), Bianca in Kiss Me Kate (Royal Albert Hall), Mrs D in The Water Babies (Leicester Curve), Eva Peron in Evita (UK Tour) and Jan in Grease (West End).
Laura Pitt-Pulford (Violet) received a 2016 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Other recent credits include Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Nancy in Oliver! (Leicester Curve), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK Tour), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Maria in The Sound of Music (Leicester Curve) and The Light Princess (National Theatre).