Akina Edmonds joins the cast of Barnum

Barnum Akina EdmondsOne of Broadway’s most treasured musicals, BARNUM, returns to Melbourne in an all-new spectacular production, will play an exclusive engagement at the Comedy Theatre for a strictly limited season from April 2019.

Starring in the new Australian production as America’s legendary circus impresario and unparalleled showman, P.T. Barnum will be none other than Australia’s own greatest showman Todd McKenney. Star of Australian stage and screen, Rachael Beck will play the devoted wife of P.T. Barnum, Charity and joining the cast playing Joice Heth, is musical theatre star Akina Edmonds (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical).

Based on the life of P.T. Barnum, BARNUM is a colourful, dynamic spectacle with heart, where audiences shall witness the wonders of the world including Jumbo – the largest elephant; Joice Heth – the oldest woman to ever live; a great white whale from Labrador; General Tom Thumb – who is only twenty-five inches from toe to crown; and the rarest and most beautiful bird in captivity the Swedish nightingale, Jenny Lind.

Plus, a cast of hundreds, no thousands including marching bands, tumbling bands, flying bands, bands of every size shape and description! This heart-warming and uplifting musical is a theatrical event for all generations, full of great music, circus, magic and comedy; not to mention Barnum’s magnificent tightrope scene.

In collaboration with the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), this brand new Australian production is produced by StoreyBoard Entertainment bringing together some of the creative team from its critically acclaimed production Follies, In Concert.

BARNUM debuted on Broadway in 1980, starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close, where it played for almost 900 performances. A West End production premiered in 1981 at the London Palladium, starring the legendary Michael Crawford, before a successful UK tour in 1985-1986. The first Australian production premiered in 1982 starring Reg Livermore.

With a book by Mark Bramble (42nd Street), lyrics by Michael Stewart (42nd Street), and music by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity). BARNUM covers the period from 1835 through 1880 in America and major cities of the world where Barnum took his performing companies.

This reimagined Australian production of BARNUM will be directed by Tyran Parke, with an all Australian creative team including Choreographer Kelly Aykers, Musical Director Stephen Gray, Set Design by Dann Barber, and Circus Direction by Zebastian Hunter.

BARNUM plays Exclusively at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from April 2019. Tickets on sale Monday 2 October 2018. For more information, visit: www.barnumthemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Akina Edmonds (supplied)