After a hugely successful off Broadway run last year, Make Me A Song is set to make its London premiere at the New Players theatre in March. The production features songs from acclaimed composer-lyricist William Finn, most recently noted for his Tony-nominated production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and features the impressive cast of Louise Dearman, Frances Ruffelle, Gareth Snook, Simon Thomas and Ian H Watkins.
Conceived by director Rob Ruggiero, the show is a revue of both Finn’s well-loved songs and those less familiar from his 30 year career, taken from shows such as Romance In Hard Times, Elegies and the yet to be produced The Royal Family. The production also includes songs from the musical Falsettos, for which Finn won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score. Finn’s mainly auto-biographical work covers subjects from love and family, to near death experiences, so the show promises to take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions.
Dearman’s West End credits include her recent star role as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Lucy in Jekyll And Hyde and parts in Grease and Whistle Down The Wind.
Ruffelle’s impressive repertoire includes her performance as Eponine in both Broadway and West End productions of Les Misérables for which she won a Tony Award for Best Actress. She is currently in her third season playing the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Snook played Lee Harvey Oswald in Assassins, and Peter in Company, both of which were under the direction of Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse.
Thomas has previously appeared in productions including the RSC’s Merry Wives Of Windsor and Bad Girls The Musical. He is soon to star with Ruthie Henshall in the new musical Marguerite, set to open in May at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
Watkins is best known for being a member of the hugely successful pop group Steps, which sold 15 million records. He later trained at The Royal Academy of Music and has starred in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Fame.
Make Me A Song is directed by Andrew McBean, who recently directed the 50th anniversary production of West Side Story after working as Trevor Nunn’s associate director on Aspects Of Love, Sunset Boulevard and Anything Goes.
Make Me A Song plays at the New Players Theatre from 3 March until 6 April.