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Joanna Riding high at Gielgud

Published 6 May 2011

Joanna Riding, currently appearing in The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, is to stay on at the Gielgud theatre when the production closes to star in new musical Lend Me A Tenor from 2 June.

Riding, who won Olivier Awards for her performances in musicals My Fair Lady and Carousel, will play Maria Marelli in Ian Talbot’s production of Lend Me A Tenor The Musical, joining a cast that already includes Matthew Kelly, Damian Humbley and Michael Matus.

In addition to her Olivier-winning performances, Riding’s stage work includes Billy Elliot The Musical, The Witches Of Eastwick and Guys And Dolls. She is currently playing Madame Emery in Kneehigh theatre’s stage adaptation of 1964 French film The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, which closes at the Gielgud theatre on 21 May.

Written by Peter Sham and Brad Carroll, Lend Me A Tenor The Musical is based on the 1986 Olivier-nominated comedy play by Ken Ludwig. Set in 1934, the story centres on the world’s greatest tenor, Tito Merelli (Matus), who is visiting Cleveland, Ohio, to save its Grand Opera Company. But when he is unexpectedly incapacitated, meek director’s assistant Max (Humbley) is charged with the task of finding a replacement.

Also joining the cast is former Avenue Q star Cassidy Janson as the daughter of Grand Opera director Henry Saunders (Kelly), along with West End regular Gay Soper as one of the Ladies of the Opera Guild.

Lend Me A Tenor The Musical faces the press on 15 June and is booking at the Gielgud theatre to 19 November.

CB

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