Casting has been announced for The Buskers Opera, a brand new musical from the pen of Dougal Irvine (Departure Lounge, The Snow Queen, Britain’s Got Bhangra), which will open at Park Theatre on 28 April and play until 4 June, with a press night on 5 May.
Directed by Lotte Wakeham (Matilda, Sweet Charity, The Other School by Dougal Irvine), with musical direction by Sean Green, lighting design is by Christopher Nairne and sound design by Andy Graham, musical staging and choreography by Lucie Pankhurst, The Buskers Opera will star Olivier Award-winning George Maguire (Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Award for Sunny Afternoon) as ‘Macheath’, and Lauren Samuels (Bend it Like Beckham, Grease, We Will Rock You) as ‘Polly Peachum’. Other cast members include Natasha Cottriall (Into The Woods, Future Conditional) as ‘Lucy Lockitt’, John McCrea as ‘Filtch’, Maimuna Memon as ‘Jenny Diver / Dissenter / Beggar’, and Giovanna Ryan as ‘Susan / Beggar / Dissenter’.
Elements of the piece have been workshopped with Cardboard Citizens, who have been making life-changing theatre with people who have experienced homelessness, or are at risk of homelessness, for nearly 25 years. It was in such a session that the creative team discovered actor and songwriter Ishmael Gander who also will be part of the company, playing ‘Matt / Dissenter / Beggar’.
London 2012. The world is watching. Can the city deliver the greatest Olympics ever? Pulling the strings is media mogul, broadcaster and puppet master, Jeremiah Peachum. Together with his star of the show, Lockitt, the Mayor of London, they are perfectly placed to capitalise on Team GB’s gold and drive their political agenda across the finish line. Enter satirical street busker Macheath and his gang of dissenters ‘The Ninety Nine Percenters’. They’re the talk of the town – out to take the fat cats down – and it’s working! This time, Mac may have bitten off more than he can chew. But it’s the twenty first century – you can’t kill a man for singing a few songs, drinking a few beers, inciting political activism in hundreds of thousands of people and sleeping with your daughter. Or can you? With the ever-influential media operating twenty-four-seven, capital punishment needs to find a new method of delivery…
The Beggars Opera plays at the Park Theatre 28 April – 4 June 2016