Actress and comedian Isy Suttie, best known for playing Peep Show’s Dobby, will make her musical theatre debut in a brand new show about the woman who created the London A-Z.
The A-Z Of Mrs P, which tells the story of the eccentric Phyllis Pearsall, will premiere at the Southwark Playhouse in February 2014. Musical theatre regulars Frances Ruffelle and Michael Matus will co-star.
Written by Kindertransport playwright Diane Samuels with music and lyrics by singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert, The A-Z Of Mrs P is set in the 1930s, when Pearson, an artist, spent five years walking the London streets to create the now iconic and indispensible resource.
Suttie, who won a Sony Gold Award for radio show Pearl And Dave, is best known for her TV appearances in series including Shameless, Whites and Skins. She could not have better colleagues for her first stage musical, then, than the experienced Ruffelle, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Eponine in Les Misérables, and Matus, whose credits include Martin Guerre, Lend Me A Tenor The Musical and the Olivier Award winning Royal Shakespeare Company Jacobean season.
The trio are joined in the cast by Stuart Matthew Price, Turlough Convery, Dawn Sievewright and Sidney Livingstone.
Speaking about the production, playwright Samuels said: “One of the joys in my life is walking around London as Phyllis did. The link seemed pretty straightforward. Then behind a simple series of very handy maps, I found out about her emotionally complex family story, particularly the relationship between Phyllis and her father Sandor Gross. I’d always wanted to write a father/daughter play and here, unexpectedly, it was.”
Opening the new musical at the Southwark Playhouse brings Pearson’s story in a neatly walked circle taking in the whole of the capital; she lived in Southwark, where her former home now bears a blue plaque of commemoration.