Handcuffs and swag bags were given out to invited attendees at the press launch of Bad Girls The Musical earlier today. The new show comes to the West End’s Garrick theatre on 12 September (previews from 16 August, with a gala night on 13 September) after originating at West Yorkshire Playhouse last year.
Written by the creators of the popular television series, which ran for eight seasons on ITV1, Bad Girls The Musical is based on the core characters from the first three series of the programme and stars two of its cast members – Nicole Faraday, who played Snowball Merriman on screen but takes the role of inmate Shell Dockley on stage, and Helen Fraser who recreates the character of Sylvia Hollamby – joined by West End regulars Sally Dexter and David Burt.
Set in the fictional prison HMP Larkhall, Bad Girls The Musical tells the story of idealistic Wing Governor Helen Stewart and her battles with the entrenched old guard Officer Jim Fenner (Burt) and his sidekick Hollamby. Among the inmates featured in the show are Dockley and her runner Denny Blood, the Governor’s love-interest Nikki Wade, old-timer Noreen Biggs, the two Julies and gangland boss’s missus Yvonne Atkins (Dexter).
The musical is written by Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus, the pairing behind Footballer’s Wives as well as Bad Girls, with an original musical score and lyrics by Kath Gotts, who wrote the theme tune to the television series. It is directed by Maggie Norris.
In addition to her role on Bad Girls, Faraday played Dr Heather Lincoln in hospital soap Casualty. Fraser’s other television work includes Rising Damp, One Foot In The Grave, and The Dick Emery Show. Burt’s numerous London stage credits include The Woman In White, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess and Les Misérables; while Dexter has appeared in the West End in Oliver, Closer, The Theatre Of Blood and Billy Elliot, in which she played Mrs Wilkinson.
The rest of the cast comprises Maria Charles, Chris Grierson, Caroline Head, Julie Jupp, Amanda Posener, Laura Rogers, Rebecca Wheatley, Emily Aston, Phil Barley, Zita Frith, Lisa Marie Graham, Michael Harbour, Gillian Hardie and Natalie Tapper.