The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced initial casting for its major revival of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend running at the theatre from 22 November 2019 to 7 March 2020 (press night is on 3 December 2019). Full casting will be announced shortly.
Matthew White directs a cast including Jack Butterworth (Bobby van Husen), Janie Dee (Mme Dubonnet), Adrian Edmondson (Lord Brockhurst), Tiffany Graves (Hortense), Dylan Mason (Tony), Amara Okereke (Polly) and Issy van Randwyck (Lady Brockhurst).
The Boy Friend has book, music and lyrics by Sandy Wilson. Director Matthew White is joined by choreographer and associate director Bill Deamer, designer Paul Farnsworth, lighting designer Paul Anderson, sound designer Gregory Clarke, hair and wig designer Richard Mawbey, musical supervisor and director Simon Beck and orchestrator David Cullen.
Sandy Wilson’s all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies returns for the first major London revival in over 10 years. Set in Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.
The Boy Friend opened in London in 1953, before a West End run in 1954, and ran for more than five years. The subsequent Broadway run in 1954 made a star of the then-unknown Julie Andrews. Ken Russell adapted it into a 1971 film with Twiggy who won two Golden Globes for her performance.
Jack Butterworth plays Bobby van Husen. His theatre work includes Billy Elliot (UK tour), Cats (Blackpool Opera House and London Palladium), and Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre).
Janie Dee plays Mme Dubonnet. Her extensive stage work includes Follies (National Theatre), Pinter 4 – Moonlight/Night School (Pinter at the Pinter), Linda (Talent Works NY), Hand to God (Vaudeville Theatre), The Seagull (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Ah Wilderness (Young Vic), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), Putting It Together (St James Theatre), Hello Dolly!(Curve, Leicester), NSFW (Royal Court Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Month in the County (Chichester Festival Theatre), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre), Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Shadowlands (Wyndham’s Theatre), Mack and Mabel (Watermill Theatre national tour and West End), Donkey’s Years (Comedy Theatre), Divas at the Donmar – one woman show, Comic Potential (Lyric Theatre and Broadway), Paradise Moscow (Opera North) and Carousel (National Theatre). For Theatre Royal Bath, her many credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Apple Cart, Old Times (also national tour), Much Ado About Nothing, Betrayal (also West End) and Design for Living.
Adrian Edmondson plays Lord Brockhurst. His theatre credits include Twelfth Night (RSC), Vulcan 7 (Theatre Royal Bath), Bits of Me are Falling Apart (Soho Theatre) and Neville’s Island (Duke of York’s Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre).
Tiffany Graves returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to play Hortense – she previously appeared in Sweet Charity (also Theatre Royal Haymarket). Her other theatre credits include The Astonishing Return of The Protagonists, The Wild Party, Miss Madelaine True (The Other Palace), Love On The Link (Salisbury Playhouse), Meow Meow: Apocalypse Meow(Shakespeare’s Globe), Mack & Mabel in Concert (Hackney Empire), Kiss Me Kate (Opera North), The Producers, We Will Rock You (UK tours), Dick Whittington and His Cat (Lyric Hammersmith), The Witches of Eastwick (The Watermill Theatre), Piaf (Curve, Leicester), Wonderful Town (Royal Exchange Manchester) and Chicago (Cambridge Theatre).
Dylan Mason plays Tony. His theatre work includes The Mikvah Project (Orange Tree Theatre), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre), 42nd Street (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (Finborough Theatre),The Wind in the Willows (UK tour), wonder.land (Théâtre du Châtelet, National Theatre), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Anything Goes (Sheffield Theatres and UK tour).
Amara Okereke plays Polly. She graduated from Arts Educational Schools in 2018. Her theatre credits include Oklahoma!(Chichester Festival Theatre), Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre), and 13 The Musical (Apollo Theatre).
Issy van Randwyck plays Lady Brockhurst. Her theatre work include Rough Crossing (UK tour), Anything That Flies, Closer Than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), A Further Education, Raving (Hampstead Theatre),The American Clock (Finborough Theatre), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre), Once in a Lifetime (National Theatre), Calico(Duke of York’s Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).