The Lyric Hammersmith production of Spring Awakening will transfer to the Novello Theatre on Saturday 21 March 2009. The ongoing record-breaking run at the Lyric Hammersmith, a raft of five star reviews, and the overwhelming response from sell-out audiences are propelling the European premiere production of the Tony Award-winning musical to London’s West End.
The opening night at the Lyric Hammersmith on 3 February 2009 was the culmination of a nationwide search and an extended period of workshops and rehearsals for the young British cast members who, under the direction of Michael Mayer, have made Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s award-winning musical their own. The Lyric Hammersmith, alongside the original American creative team, including choreographer Bill T Jones, has produced a must-see contemporary musical which is both ambitious and daring, and a long-awaited addition to the landscape of the West End.
Frank Wedekind’s groundbreaking 1890s play was a daring exploration of teenage sexual awakening set against a backdrop of religious and parental repression. Writer Steven Sater and songwriter Duncan Sheik’s new musical version retains the period setting of the original and introduces a superb collection of contemporary songs that serve to express the private anguish and ecstasy of the young characters. Stunning 21st century design and superb performances by the predominantly young cast combine to create an exhilarating energy that drives a remarkably compelling and timeless story.
On transferring from the off-Broadway Atlantic Theater, the original US production of Spring Awakening became an overnight sensation. It grossed over $50million during its two year run at the Eugene O’Neill Theater and a US tour is booked through to 2010. By the end of 2009, productions will have opened in Japanese in Tokyo, Korean in Seoul and German in Vienna. 18 foreign productions are in preparation around the world.
The British cast, all but three of whom are making their professional debut, range in age from 16 to 24: Aneurin Barnard (Melchior), Lucy Barker (Ilse), Natasha Barnes (Anna), Chris Barton (Swing), Jamie Blackley (Hanschen), Hayley Gallivan (Martha), Natalie Garner (swing), Mona Goodwin (swing), Evelyn Hoskins (Thea), Edd Judge (Otto), Harry McEntire (Ernst), Jamie Muscato (swing), Gemma O’Duffy (swing), Iwan Rheon (Moritz), Jos Slovick (Georg), Richard Southgate (swing) and Charlotte Wakefield (Wendla).
All of the adult roles are played by the acclaimed actors Sian Thomas and Richard Cordery. Andrew McDonald and Yvonne O’Grady understudy.
Spring Awakening is booking at the Novello Theatre until Saturday 31 October 2009.