New British musical CRUSH – starring Rosemary Ashe, Sara Crowe and Kirsty Malpass – premieres tonight (8 September 2015) at Belgrade Theatre Coventry, where it runs until 19 September 2015, and then transfers to Theatre Royal Brighton (22-26 September) and Richmond Theatre (29 September-3 October).
The show is presented by a creative team whose hit stage and screen work includes Waterloo Road, Footballers’ Wives, Bad Girls: The Musical, The Sound of Music and La Cage Aux Folles.
It’s 1963 and Dame Dorothea Dosserdale School for Girls has a proud tradition of fostering free spirits from all walks of life – so it’s a crushing blow when the new Headmistress turns out to be a tyrant with strict Victorian values. Giving a new twist to the world of Mallory Towers and The Girl’s Own Annual, with lashings of charm and toe-tapping tunes, CRUSH is a coming-of-age romp that celebrates schoolgirl friendships and fighting for what you believe in!
Prepare for riotous routines and hockey sticks to the fore as our girls battle to save their school – and find true love – in this smashing musical comedy.
Rosemary Ashe plays ‘Miss Bleacher’, Sara Crowe plays ‘Miss Austin’ and Kirsty Malpass plays ‘Miss Givings’.
Rosemary Ashe has appeared in numerous West End productions including: ‘Carlotta’ the Prima Donna in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera, ‘Madame Thenardier’ in Les Misérables, ‘Widow Corney’ in Oliver!, ‘Felicia Gabriel’ in The Witches of Eastwick (for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical) and ‘Miss Andrew’, the nasty nanny in Mary Poppins. She recently played ‘Grandma Mole’ in a brand new musical version of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ at the Leicester Curve Theatre. She has also appeared with English National Opera, Opera North, Sadler’s Wells Opera and Carl Rosa, in many roles including ‘Musetta’ in La Bohème, ‘Frasquita’ in Carmen and ‘Despina’ in Cosi Fan Tutti.
Sara Crowe’s many West End appearances include ‘Sybil’ in Private Lives, for which she won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Hay Fever, for which she was Olivier nominated, Calendar Girls and Bedroom Farce and, on tour, Acorn Antiques the Musical and Absurd Person Singular. She became a household name in the 1990s appearing in the Philadelphia cheese TV adverts, playing a ditsy blonde secretary alongside her comedy partner Ann Bryson. Other film work includes Carry on Columbus and playing the ‘first bride’ Laura in the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral. She also appeared in the 2010 feature film of Tony Hawks’s bestselling book, Round Ireland with a Fridge. She is a regular voice on Nickelodeon’s Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom where she plays ‘Queen Thistle’ and ‘Mrs. Witch’ and she recently appeared in Eastenders as ‘Sheila Morris’. Her first novel, Campari for Breakfast, was published by Doubleday in April 2014.
Kirsty Malpass has most recently appeared in the West End in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Other London credits include Stroke of Luck (Park Theatre), Chariots of Fire (Gielgud Theatre) and Jerry Springer the Opera (Cambridge Theatre). National tours include The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life and Honk!
The cast also includes Eleanor Brown as ‘Judith’, Stephanie Clift as ‘Susan’, Emma Harrold as ‘Lavinia’, Catherine Hayworth as ‘Annabel’, James Meunier as ‘Dorian’, Brianna Ogunbawo as ‘Daimler’, Georgia Oldman as ‘Brenda’ and Charlotte Miranda-Smith as ‘Camilla’.
CRUSH is written by Maureen Chadwick (creator and writer of hit TV dramas Waterloo Road, Footballers’ Wives and Bad Girls, and stage musicals The Realness, Bad Girls The Musical and Joséphine), with music and lyrics by Kath Gotts (Bad Girls The Musical and The Realness), orchestrations and musical supervision by Steve Edis (The Philadelphia Story, Not About Nightingales) and directed by Anna Linstrum (High Society, The Sound of Music and Spend, Spend, Spend). The show is choreographed by Richard Roe (The Wizard of Oz, Urinetown, Ben Hur Live) and designed by David Farley (A Little Night Music, La Cage Aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors and Sunday in the Park with George) with lighting by Johanna Town (Betrayal, Speaking in Tongues and Beautiful Thing).
CRUSH is presented by Big Broad Productions, in co-production with Belgrade Theatre Coventry.