First there was a mystery musical announced at the swish new St James Theatre in Victoria, known only as ‘UGC London’. Then there was the announcement that hotshot rising star Jamie Lloyd would direct it. Finally, after several months, we finally found out what the show was: the UK premiere of Mark Hollmann and Greg Hollis’s hit Broadway musical ‘Urinetown’, a dark, sinister and by all accounts very funny satire on cheesy musical convention. That only leaves one more element… the cast!
We can exclusively reveal them to be: ‘Ghost the Musical’ heartthrob Richard Fleeshman, who’ll play the show’s antihero, Assistant Urinal Custodian Bobby Strong; Olivier-winning musical theatre star Jenna Russell – most recently seen in the Menier’s superb revival of Sondheim’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ – as the authoritarian Penelope Pennywise; Broadway veteran Cory English as Bobby’s dad; and in the most usual turn up for the books, RSC heavyweight Jonathan Slinger will be waving farewell to Stratford-upon-Avon and tuning up his lungs to take on the role of Officer Lockstock, the show’s grim narrator.
It’s a very classy gathering of West End and Broadway talent in a modestly sized off-West End theatre, so if you want to catch it at St James Theatre advanced booking is advised. That said, we’re willing to bet a West End transfer is being planned.
‘Urinetown’ is at St James Theatre, Feb 21 2014-May 3 2014.