AS WEST END HIT EXTENDS WEST END RUN FOR THE SECOND TIME
Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow starring Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland today extends its West End run again as Bennett is nominated for the 2011 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress. Peter Quilter also receives a nomination for Best New Play, Hilton McRae for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Gareth Owen for Best Sound Design. Bookings at the Trafalgar Studios are now being taken until 21 May 2011.
Terry Johnson’s production of End of the Rainbow which combines humour and heartbreak to capture both the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage, opened in Northampton in February 2010 and transferred to the West End in November where it has received 5 star reviews and standing ovations at every performance since opening night.
Set in London in 1968 and featuring her most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Tracie Bennett is joined by Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland’s devoted Scottish pianist and musical director, Stephen Hagan as about to be husband number five Mickey Deanes, Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager, plus a six piece on stage band.
End of the Rainbow is designed by William Dudley with sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Simon Corder and musical direction by Gareth Valentine and is presented in the West End by Lee Dean, Jenny Topper, Laurence Myers, Charles Diamond and Hilary Williams in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.
In her hotel room, with a new young fiancé at her side, Garland battles with drugs and alcohol as she undertakes an exhausting series of concerts at the Talk of the Town in a bid to reclaim her crown as the greatest talent of her generation. Despite a series of failed marriages and a ruined Hollywood career, she remains a tough and remarkable woman, armed with a legendary razor-sharp wit and a real understanding of the demons that possess her. Yet, within six months, she will be dead at the age of just 47, her body wrecked by the legendary amounts of drink & drugs she had been consuming since a teenager.
Multi award-winning Tracie Bennett’s extensive theatre credits include Jacqueline in Terry Johnson’s production of La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre, and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical. Her other theatre credits include Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre, Sex Chips and Rock n Roll for the Royal Exchange Manchester, Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita and Spring Awakening all for Sheffield Crucible and a national tour of Billy Liar. On television she is best known for her role as Sharon Gaskell in Coronation Street. Her other television credits include Dalziel and Pascoe, Casualty, Vincent and The Royal. On film she played Millandra in Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine.