Grey Gardens’ stars Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell
Grey Gardens' stars Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell

Russell & Hancock lead Grey Gardens

Published October 7, 2015

Olivier Award-winning actors Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell will star in the European premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Grey Gardens at Southwark Playhouse next January.

Audiences will have the rare chance to catch the hugely acclaimed theatre performers in the intimate Off West End venue from 2 January for a limited six-week season.

Based on the legendary 1975 documentary, the musical brings to life the now famous tale of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ aunt and cousin as their dramatic lives journey from the height of 1940s aristocratic society to becoming reclusive outcasts living in squalid conditions.

Under the direction of Thom Southerland, whose previous hits at Southwark Playhouse have included Grand Hotel, Titanic, Mack & Mabel and Parade, Hancock will be the “Big Edie” to Russell’s “Little Edie”, with further casting to be announced.

Both actors are firm favourites on the stage, with Hancock one of the UK’s best-loved performers. Her long career has spanned theatre, radio, television and film, and seen her lead numerous West End productions including Cabaret, Sister Act, Annie and Sweeney Todd.

Russell is fast becoming musical theatre’s most in demand star, with her numerous musical credits including Merrily We Roll Along, Urinetown The Musical and Sunday In The Park With George, the latter of which earned her both an Olivier Award in the West End and a Tony Award nomination for its subsequent Broadway transfer.

The pair will no doubt have been in part drawn to Grey Gardens for its illustrious awards history, with the show having won three Tony Awards and earning a staggering 12 Drama Desk Award nominations for its hugely successful Broadway run.

Featuring a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie, the musical features songs including The Girl Who Has Everything, Marry Well, Choose To Be Happy and Another Winter In A Summer Town.

Grey Gardens will run at Southwark Playhouse until 6 February.