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Director Maria Friedman takes to the stage to perform at The Oliviers In Concert (Photo: BBC/Mark Allan)

Director Maria Friedman takes to the stage to perform at The Oliviers In Concert (Photo: BBC/Mark Allan)

Dusty set for UK premiere

Published 27 January 2017

Dusty, the first authorised new musical charting the life of Dusty Springfield, is set to premiere in the UK in 2018. Details of dates, venue and casting are still to be announced.

Originating from the notes and memoirs of the late singer’s close friend and manager Vicki Wickham, Dusty is written by Jonathan Harvey who tells the story behind this iconic artist having interviewed key people from her life including Pat Rhodes, Dusty’s lifelong personal assistant, and friend and record company executive Tris Penna.

Dusty will be directed by the Olivier Award-winning Maria Friedman.

Dusty Springfield is one Britain’s most successful and enduringly popular singers, with hits spanning four decades. Born in London, she became known across the world for her soulful voice and iconic look. Her solo career began way back in 1963, and included the global hits “I Only Want To Be With You”, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and “What Have I Done To Deserve This?” with the Pet Shop Boys. Her 1969 masterpiece ”Dusty In Memphis” is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and Dusty has been inducted into both the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame.

Jonathan Harvey wrote his first play in 1987, and has since written over 15 more, including Babies, Boom Bang-A-Bang and Beautiful Thing, which was later made into an acclaimed film. He has been the recipient of the Evening Standard, George Devine and John Whiting Awards, and his work has been both Bafta- and Olivier-nominated. Jonathan’s extensive television writing includes Coronation Street, on which he has worked since 2004, Beautiful People and Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. He has also written for shows as diverse as Rev, Shameless, At Home With The Braithwaites, The Catherine Tate Show and Tracey Ullman’s Show. He has also published five novels and been hailed as ‘the new theatrical voice of his generation’.

Best known as a three-time Olivier Award winning star of the musical stage, director Maria Friedman made an astonishing directorial debut in 2012 with a hugely acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along which won the Olivier Award in 2014 (for which Maria was also nominated for Best Director of a Musical). She went on to direct High Society at The Old Vic in 2015 and is currently directing Stepping Out which will play the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre from March 2017.

Dusty is produced by Eleanor Lloyd Productions whose recent projects include Nell Gwynn with Gemma Arterton, Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (Apollo), 1984 (Playhouse, 2014, 2015 & 2016), My Night With Reg, Olivier Nomination for Best Revival (Apollo), and Handbagged, Olivier Nomination for Best New Comedy (Vaudeville and UK tour).

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