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Mrs Henderson Presents (musical)

Mrs Henderson Presents is a musical comedy with music by George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain, with lyrics by Don Black and a book by Terry Johnson. Based on the 2005 film Mrs Henderson Presents, the musical received its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Bath in 2015 and transferred to the West End's Noel Coward Theatre in February 2016. The film was based on the true story of Laura Henderson and London's Windmill Theatre.

Mrs Henderson Presents
Mrs Henderson Presents musical.jpg
Theatre Royal, Bath promotional artwork
Music George Fenton
Simon Chamberlain
Lyrics Don Black
Book Terry Johnson
Setting 1937 to 1940 London
Basis 2005 film Mrs Henderson Presents
Premiere 26 August 2015 (2015-08-26): Theatre Royal, Bath
Productions 2015 Bath
2016 West End
2017 Toronto

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The musical is based on the 2005 film Mrs Henderson Presents.[1] The film was based on the true story of London's Windmill Theatre[2] and its owner Laura Henderson, who transformed the theatre and produced Revudeville shows featuring static naked tableaux girls, exploiting a loophole in the Lord Chamberlain's Lord Cromer censorship laws.[3][4]

In June 2014, it was first revealed by producer John Reid that an adaption was in the works,[5] with a workshop taking place the same year.[6] On 16 October 2014, the musical was officially confirmed and it was announced that the show would receive its world premiere in summer 2015, with a view to a West End transfer.[7] The musical is directed by[8] and has a book by Terry Johnson,[9] based on an original screenplay by Martin Sherman,[10] with choreography by Andrew Wright,[11] set design by Tim Shortall,[11] costume design by Paul Wills,[11] lighting by Ben Ormerod[11] and magic consultancy by Scott Penrose.[12]

Production historyEdit

The show's premiere production began previews at the Theatre Royal in Bath, on 15 August 2015, with its official opening night coming on 26 August, for a limited run until 25 September 2015.[13] Rehearsals began on 7 July 2015.[14] On 6 March 2015, initial casting was announced with the news that Janie Dee would play the role of Laura Henderson with Emma Williams playing Maureen.[15] Further notable casting included Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Mark Hadfield as Arthur.[16] On 7 July 2015, it was revealed that Janie Dee had withdrawn from the production prior to rehearsals due to personal reasons and that Tracie Bennett would replace her in the role of Laura Henderson.[17]

Following completion of the musicals tryout in Bath, it was announced that the show would transfer to the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End,[18] with an official opening night of 16 February 2016, following previews from 9 February.[19] The majority of the cast reprised their roles with the exceptions of Mark Hadfield, who was replaced in the role of Arthur by former EastEnders actor Jamie Foreman,[20] Graham Hoadly who (owing to a prior contractual commitment) was replaced in the role of Lord Cromer by Robert Hands and Jane Milligan who was replaced in the role of Lady Conway by Liz Ewing.[21]

The West End show garnered mixed reviews and closed after its initial four month run. No official reason was given for the close although it is not believed to have been a financial success. In her 2 star review for the Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford stated that the musical "shares with the film a desperate lack of momentum", and of the songs, "none are memorable".[22] In his 4 star review for The Stage, Mark Shenton stated that the show "doesn't shy from occasional hard edges. Instead, by concentrating on the backstage lives of the dancers and management of the Windmill, there's more of a jaunty, frequently patriotic, flavour to it – that both sings and occasionally stings.[23]

Prior to its opening in London it was announced that the production would transfer to Toronto in early 2017 and the production opened on March 15, 2017 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Canada where it played a limited engagement until April 23, 2017. The show was essentially recast although Tracie Bennett reprised the role of Mrs Henderson, with the cast also including Peter Polycarpou and Evelyn Hoskins as Maureen,[24]

The show is now listed as a "Past Production" by Michael Harrison Entertainment.

MusicEdit

The musical features an original score composed by George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain,[25] with lyrics by Don Black,[26][27] orchestrations by Larry Blank,[28] sound design by Gareth Owen[29] and musical direction by Mike Dixon.[30]

Musical numbersEdit

OrchestraEdit

The musical uses an eight-member orchestra consisting of Keyboard, Woodwind, Trumpet, Drum's, Percussion, Double Bass and Cello.[12]

Principal roles and original castEdit

Character Theatre Royal Bath performer West End performer
Laura Henderson Tracie Bennett
Vivian Van Damm Ian Bartholomew
Maureen Emma Williams
Arthur Mark Hadfield Jamie Foreman
Lord Cromer Graham Hoadly Robert Hands
Eddie Matthew Malthouse
Bertie Samuel Holmes
Peggy Katie Bernstein
Doris Lizzy Connolly
Vera Lauren Hood
Lady Conway Jane Milligan Liz Ewing
Suzanne Katrina Kleve
Frank Alexander Delamere
Cyril Dickie Wood
Spoons Sam O'Rourke
Aggie Julie Armstrong Tania Newton
Sid Andrew Bryant
Magician Neil Stewart
Nigel /
Lord Cromer's Secretary
Oliver Jackson
Windmill Girls Sarah Bakker
Rhiannon Chesterman
Victoria Hay

Awards and nominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stage Version of Mrs. Henderson Presents Will Premiere in Summer 2015". playbill.com. Playbill. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents heads for the West End". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Lavish furs and acidic put-downs". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Windmill: always nude but never rude". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents next in line for screen-to-stage treatment?". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Terry Johnson to direct premiere of Mrs Henderson Presents musical". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Stage Version of Mrs. Henderson Presents Will Premiere in Summer 2015". playbill.com. Playbill. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Phwoarsome! Witty gags and very risque girls make for a fun night of frolics at Mrs Henderson Presents". dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents musical confirms Bath premiere". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Mrs. Henderson Presents to transfer to the West End". thehollywoodnews.com. The Hollywood News. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d "Mrs Henderson Presents Cast and Creative". theatreroyal.org.uk. Theatre Royal, Bath. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Mrs Henderson Presents". Theatre Royal, Bath programme. August 2015.
  13. ^ "Mrs. Henderson's Presents, Musical Based on Film, Gets World Premiere Tonight". playbill.com. Playbill. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Tracie Bennett replaces Janie Dee in Mrs Henderson Presents". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Casting announced for Mrs Henderson Presents musical". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Full Cast Announced for MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS at Theatre Royal Bath". broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Tracie Bennett Replaces Janie Dee in World Premiere of Mrs. Henderson's Presents". playbill.com. Playbill. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents transfers to the West End". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Tracie Bennett To Star in New British Musical Based on "Mrs. Henderson's Presents"". playbill.com. Playbill. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Full Cast Announced for MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS". broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Full casting announced for West End transfer of Mrs Henderson Presents". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents: Windmill girls story leaves nasty taste". Evening Standard. February 17, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  23. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents review at Noel Coward Theatre". The Stage. February 17, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Desk, BWW News. "The Canadian Premiere of the West End Hit Musical MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS Begins 3/15". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  25. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents at Theatre Royal, Bath". thetimes.co.uk. The Times. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  26. ^ "'Mrs. Henderson Presents': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Review: Mrs Henderson Presents, Theatre Royal Bath". gazetteandherald.co.uk. Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Tracie Bennett, Ian Bartholomew & Emma Williams Set for West End's Mrs. Henderson Presents". broadway.com. Broadway Dot Com. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents Cast and Creatives". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Mrs Henderson Presents review: a shot in the arm for the British musical". theguardian.com. The Guardian. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Mrs Henderson Presents". Noel Coward Theatre programme. February 2016.

External linksEdit