Rehearsals start today as further casting has been announced for the British premiere of Jerry Herman's musical Dear World, starring Betty Buckley and Paul Nicholas and directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, from 4 February - 30 March 2013, with a press night on Wednesday 13 February.
Katy Treharne and Stuart Matthew Price will star as Nina' and 'Julian', the two young lovers. Peter Land, Robert Meadmore and Jack Rebaldi will star as the 'Presidents', Ayman Safia will play the 'Mute'. The cast also includes Anthony Barclay as the 'Prospector', Brett Brown as the 'Waiter', Paul Hawkyard as the 'Sargeant', Annabel Leventon as 'Constance', Rebecca Lock as 'Gabrielle', Joanna Loxton, and Craig Nicholls. The cast will be led by Tony Award-winning Betty Buckley as 'Countess Aurelia' and Paul Nicholas as 'Sewerman '.
DEAR WORLD premiered on Broadway in 1969 starring Angela Lansbury, who went on to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of the' Countess Aurelia', and Milo O'Shea as the 'Sewerman'.
Based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot, it centres around the Countess, living in the basement of a Parisian bistrot in 1945, driven mad by a lost lover and bemoaning her past. When oil is discovered under the streets of the city, she and her motley crew of acquaintances must band together to stop rapacious businessmen from destroying her home, and indeed all of Paris. This surreal musical fable of Good versus Evil (ahead of its time in 1969), with its themes of environmental degradation, corporate greed, evil and human folly, is a resonant and cautionary tale in a post-Enron world.
Jerry Herman is the multi award-winning composer and lyricist of the classic Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles, Mack & Mabel, The Grand Tour, Milk & Honey and many more, and in 2009 received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.
Betty Buckley is an American musical legend, described by New York Magazine as 'The Voice of Broadway'. She made her debut in 1969 as 'Martha Jefferson' in the musical 1776 and her many subsequent stage roles include 'Grizabella' in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, 'Catherine' in the Bob Fosse's Pippin (both on Broadway), and 'Norma Desmond' in Sunset Boulevard (West End). Her television roles include the HBO series Oz and The Pacific and film credits include Brian Depalma's Carrie, Roman Polanski's Frantic and Woody Allen's Another Woman. She has recorded 15 solo albums and gives concerts and solo appearances throughout the year.
DEAR WORLD will be directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne (Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), designed by Matt Kinley (The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary, Royal Albert Hall, Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Tour) , costumes by Tony Award-winner Ann Hould-Ward (Beauty & the Beast, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George on Broadway) and lighting by Olivier Award-winner Mike Robertson (Sunday in the Park with George, Chocolate Factory & West End). Orchestrations will be by Tony Award-winner Sarah Travis (Sweeney Todd, Watermill , West End and Broadway; Sunset Boulevard, Watermill & West End; Mack and Mabel, Watermill and West End) with Ian Townsend (London Road, Chicago, Jerry Springer the Opera) as the Musical Director.