The Other Palace, formerly St. James Theatre and now the newest addition to The Really Useful Theatre Group, has today announced its inaugural production, Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party. Directed and choreographed by 2016 Olivier Award-winner Drew McOnie and starring Tony Award-winner Frances Ruffelle, The Wild Party will receive it first major London production when the theatre reopens in February 2017.
Set against a backdrop of Manhattan decadence and 1920’s excess, The Wild Party tells the story of Queenie and Burrs, a Vaudeville showgirl and a Vaudeville clown whose relationship is marked by vicious behaviour and recklessness. In an attempt to salvage their toxic union, they decide to throw a party to end all parties. The guests are a vivid collection of the unruly and the undone: a cocaine-sniffing bisexual playboy; a washed-up boxer; a diva of indeterminate age; a fresh-faced ingénue; and a handsome Valentino who catches Queenie’s roving eye. The jazz and gin soaked party rages to a mounting sense of threat, as artifice and illusion are stripped away. But when midnight debauchery turns into tragedy, the revellers must sober up and face reality. After all, no party lasts forever.
Frances, who will play Queenie, is perhaps best known for originating the role of Éponine in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for her performance.
Frances said: “I discovered the amazingly edgy, jazz-infused score to The Wild Party about 10 years ago. Many West End producers have tried to get the rights with no success, but luckily for me, the composer Michael John LaChuisa was in the audience when I was performing my solo show in New York. We were introduced after the show and I asked him why the show hadn’t been seen in London. He just said: “You are my Queenie, it’s yours”. It really is a dream come true, and I’m now working hard preparing for a role that I know will be demanding but hugely rewarding. See you at the party!”
For more information about The Other Palace and to book tickets to The Wild Party, visit the venues official website.