Music & Lyrics Productions has announced that its touring production of Doctor Dolittle, starring Mark Williams, will close at the end of its run at the New Theatre, Oxford, on Saturday 26 January 2019. It had been planned to tour the UK and Ireland until November 2019. The company has cited lower than anticipated advance ticket sales for the reason to cancel the tour.
Over 50 years since the release of the original 1967 film starring Rex Harrison, Leslie Bricusse’s Doctor Dolittle The Musical receives a major new revival stage revival.
Doctor Dolittle follows the “impossible” man who understands animals better than people so with the help of his parrot Polynesia, learns their languages to help cure all their ailments.
Mark Williams, star of The Fast Show, Father Brown, 101 Dalmatians, The Borrowers, Shakespeare in Love and seven of the Harry Potter films, will star as Doctor Dolittle at the first ten venues of the new UK and Ireland tour of Doctor Dolittle, with book, music and lyrics by double Academy Award-winner Leslie Bricusse.
It all makes for classic festive fayre with Leslie Bricusse’s original work, last seen some 15 years ago, being subtly re-engineered for this revival. Jasper Britton heads the cast in the title role, convincing us throughout of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.
I began a busy week in New York and then was in England, Wales and Scotland – only Ireland eluded me.
This week the London theatre bloggers discuss Mr Foote’s Other Leg, starring Simon Russell Beale and now transferring to the West End following a sell-out at Hampstead Theatre, Leslie Bricusse musical tribute Pure Imagination and Tamsin Oglesby’s Future Conditional at the Old Vic.
How well do you know the work of composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse? How many songs can you name by this living legend… apart from “Pure Imagination” (and the “Oompa Loompa” theme) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How about, for starters, Bond classics “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice”, “If I Ruled the World”, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, “The Candy Man”, “This Is the Moment”, “Can You Read My Mind?” (from Superman), “My Old Man’s a Dustman”, “The Pink Panther” and “Talk to the Animals” (from Doctor Doolittle)? And that really is, only for starters.
This was a glamorous night (yes, I know that’s by Ivor Novello): Joan Collins, Petula Clark, Richard Fleeshman, Michael Feinstein, Gloria Hunniford, Nanette Newman, Hayley Mills and Una Stubbs. And that was just the audience – plus Carol Thatcher and Jeffrey Archer for some hideous reason, although it was a great pleasure to see Gyles Brandreth buying their interval drinks because they weren’t on the guest list.
Who can take a set list? Sprinkle it with class……
… as through two hours a delicious cast of 5 chart a course through nigh on 60 of the songs of lyricist Leslie Bricusse. Unashamedly a ‘juke-box musical’, the show marks producer Danielle Tarento’s first foray into that genre, with a combination of both song snatches and entire numbers as Bricusse’s remarkable body of work is referenced and respected.
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