Christopher Timothy and Louise English join David Essex in the cast of All the Fun of the Fair which previews from 20 April at London’s Garrick Theatre, with press night on 28 April and is running until 5 September 2010. David Essex plays Levi Lee, the owner of a fading fun fair, and the leading role of his son Jack, will be played by Michael Pickering.
All the Fun of the Fair features music from David Essex’s extensive catalogue, with book written by Jon Conway and is directed by David Gilmore. New set and costume designs are by Ian Westbrook with lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound by Steve Jonas. All the Fun of the Fair is produced in the West End by Alan Darlow, Jon Conway and Lee Dean, following a hugely successful nationwide tour.
The full cast is David Essex (Levi), Christopher Timothy (Harvey), Louise English (Rosa), Michael Pickering (Jack), Nicola Brazil (Alice), Cameron Jack (Druid), Susan Hallam-Wright (Mary), Chris Holland (Kipper), Kieran Jae (Scotty), Tom Kanavan (Spiv), Tim Newman (Slow Jonny), Robert Rees (Chris), Emily Tierney (Sally), Tricia Adele Turner (Laura), Shona White (Rita) and Danielle York (Maisy).
Inspired by one of his most successful albums, All the Fun of the Fair, David Essex plays Levi Lee, recently widowed and father of a rebellious teenage son. Danger and mysticism lurk in the future as predicted by the gypsy fortune teller who is in love with Levi. Dodgems and motorbikes, crafty cons and candy floss, fairground horses and fights, along with unrequited love, romance and rock and roll bring out the carnival atmosphere in this underbelly world of fairground life.
The musical drama features a soundtrack of Essex’s most well-known songs which he re-wrote and arranged specifically for this production. These include Winter’s Tale, Hold Me Close, Me And My Girl (Nightclubbing), Silver Dream Machine, Gonna Make You A Star, Rock On and the title track, All the Fun of the Fair. The sound track of All the Fun of the Fair will be re-released by Universal in April to coincide with the opening of the show.
Though best known as a recording artist, David Essex first came to prominence in musical theatre, starring as Jesus in the original West End production of Godspell in 1972 and Che in Evita in 1978. Since then Essex has combined stage work with his hugely successful recording career, making stage appearances over the years in Sir Peter Hall’s She Stoops To Conquer at the Queen’s Theatre, Footloose The Musical at the Novello Theatre and most recently a national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love. He also co-wrote and starred in the original musical Mutiny! which played at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1985.
Christopher Timothy is best known on television for playing James Herriot in the long running Series All Creatures Great And Small and more recently his performance as Mac McGuire in the BBC drama series Doctors. His extensive theatre credits include Pa Joad in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of The Grapes of Wrath, Sprule in Alan Ayckbourn’s Tons of Money, Henry Windscape in Simon Gray’s Quartermaine’s Terms, David Bliss in Sir Peter Hall’s production of Noel Coward’s Hayfever as well as guest appearances in The Play What I Wrote. In the West End his other credits include Underneath the Arches, Journey’s End, The Actor’s Nightmare, See How They Run and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Other more recent television appearances include Casualty, Holby City and The Bill. His film credits include Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, Othello, Eskimo Nell, Alfred the Great and The Virgin Soldiers. Christopher Timothy is currently recording a new series of the original James Herriot novels for CD Audio Book release.
Louise English’s many musical stage credits include roles in Hello Dolly!, Annie and Oliver. She played Sally in Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre. Her other credits include Absent Friends, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Fur Coat and No Knickers as well as Private Lives, An Ideal Husband, Gas Light and Tom Foolery. English has starred in many pantomimes throughout the UK and her television credits include Fresh Fields, Chance in a Million, Brush Strokes and being featured in many episodes of The Benny Hill Show. On film her credits include The Wicked Lady and Bugsy Malone.
Nicola Brazil made her West End debut in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and subsequently went on to play Amber in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre. She has recently filmed ITV’s Wire in the Blood and played Fran in Children’s Ward. Her debut album Cross the Battleline in Nashville won her the HMV Rising Star Award as well as being named Touring Artist of the Year.
Michael Pickering also made his West End debut in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre which he followed by playing the leading role of Ryan Evans in High School Musical at the Apollo Hammersmith. Subsequently he has performed in New Zealand, South East Asia and Europe in the world tour of Mamma Mia!
Jon Conway created and directed Boogie Nights, which was one of the first pop catalogue musicals in the West End and subsequently has played all over the world. He wrote the original stage musical production of the Paramount hit TV series Happy Days. Recently he created the world-wide hit show Simply Ballroom which premiered in Las Vegas, then toured the USA, Dubai, South Africa, Singapore and the UK including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane London. His varied career has seen him create shows for BBC TV in the 1990’s, direct two Royal Galas but most notably he is the most prolific writer of British pantomime, having producing and written over 400 to his credit. Conway’s next project is a family musical that will open in Beijing, China which he has written in Mandarin. Jon Conway was co founder and is a director of Qdos Entertainment plc and is also Managing Director of Qdos Productions.
David Gilmore’s directing credits include Grease in the West End and internationally, Daisy Pulls It Off and Lend Me A Tenor at The Globe, Noises Off which toured nationally, Defending The Caveman at the Apollo Theatre, Beyond Reasonable Doubt at the Queen’s Theatre, Chapter Two at the Gielgud Theatre and Annie Get Your Gun at the Aldwych Theatre.