Jenna Russell will lead the company for the UK premiere of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of Robert James Waller’s bestselling novel The Bridges of Madison County in a new staging by Trevor Nunn at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The production opens on 23 July 2019, with previews from 13 July, and runs until 14 September.
Russell returns to the Menier to play Francesca, an Italian immigrant housewife living a happy existence on a farm in the American Midwest. However, when her family go off to the Iowa State Fair, she meets Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer on assignment filming bridges in the area. Their initial friendship develops into a brief but passionate affair which has devastating consequences on all of their lives.
Winner of the Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, this is one of Jason Robert Brown’s most ravishing and unforgettable shows.
The production sees Nunn renew his collaboration with the Menier – he previously directed Fiddler on the Roof (currently running at the Playhouse Theatre), Lettice and Lovage, Love in Idleness (also West End), A Little Night Music (also West End and Broadway) and Aspects of Love for the company.
Also in the creative team are designer Jon Bausor, lighting designer Tim Lutkin, sound designer Gregory Clarke and musical supervisor/director Tom Murray.
Jenna Russell returns to the Menier to play Francesca – she previously appeared in Merrily We Roll Along (also Harold Pinter Theatre – Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical) and Sunday in the Park With George (Wyndham’s Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical; and Studio 54, Roundabout Theater Company – Drama League Award, and Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for Leading Actress in a Musical). Other theatre work includes Fun Home (Young Vic), Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s Theatre), Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse), Peter Pan the Musical (Royal Festival Hall), Songs for a New World (St James’ Theatre), Di and Viv and Rose (Vaudeville Theatre), Urinetown (St James’ Theatre and Apollo Theatre), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), That Day We Sang (MIF), Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), Amy’s View (Garrick Theatre), and Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre – Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical). For television, her work includes as series regular Michelle Fowler in EastEnders, Call the Midwife, The Ladies Paradise, Better Class of Person and Born and Bred; and for film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Mortdecai, Scared Hearts and The Fear.