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Musical Show Boat sails into London

Published 12 February 2016

Sheffield Theatres’ hit production of Show Boat will make its musical way to the West End’s New London Theatre later this spring.

The classic Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II musical, which sold out its run at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre last Christmas, will begin its run in the capital on 9 April. It is currently booking to 7 January.

Featuring timeless songs including Ol’ Man River and Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, Show Boat spans 40 years of American history. Set in the deep south of the US at the turn of the 20th century, it’s a story of freedom, loyalty and love, following three generations aboard the Cotton Blossom, the Mississippi River-travelling vessel of the title.

Speaking about the transfer, director Daniel Evans said: “Show Boat is often thought to be the mother of all musicals. Hammerstein and Kern’s score continues to blow audiences away, almost 90 years later. As well as being a riveting story, the piece’s themes of family and freedom still speak to us today in a profound way. I feel proud that the production we made in Sheffield will now get to travel further afield and be experienced by yet more audiences in the capital.” 

No casting has yet been confirmed for the show’s London run, though in Sheffield the production featured former West End Wicked star Gina Beck, Dogfight’s Rebecca Trehearn and Hairspray’s Sandra Marvin.

Fellow Sheffield cast member Michael Xavier looks unlikely to join the transfer as he is already confirmed to star alongside Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard, which is being staged at the London Coliseum from 1 April.

Show Boat opens at the New London Theatre following the end of War Horse’s West End run. The National Theatre’s acclaimed production about a boy who heads into the fighting of the First World War to save his horse closes on 12 March.

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