Manilla Street Productions has announced the complete cast of 24 actors who have been chosen for the Australian premiere production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s award winning musical, The Beautiful Game, at Chapel off Chapel from 13 – 29 September 2019.
The principal cast will be headed up by Stephen Mahy as John and Stephanie Wall as Mary. Joining them will be Nicola Bowman, Des Flanagan, Nigel Huckle, David Meadows, Ellie Nunan, Samuel Skuthorp and Sam Ward.
The ensemble will feature Finn Alexander, Robbie Breugelmans, Rebecca Cullinan, Liam Dodds, Emma Drysdale, Jake Gardner, Mikey Halcrow, Lachlan Hamill, Quin Kelly, Sophie Loughran, Jessica Mills, Fletcher O’Leary, Bronson Pfeiler, Matthew Prime and Caitlin Spears.
The creative team will comprise of direction by Karen Jemison, musical direction by Daniele Buatti conducting an orchestra of nine, choreography by Sue-Ellen Shook, lighting design by Jason Bovaird and sound design by Marcello Lo Ricco.
Set in Northern Ireland in the troubled 1970’s, The Beautiful Game tells the story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. The story is centered on a local football (soccer) team, who attempt to overcome the emerging political and religious violence that has engulfed their community.
Within this are John and Mary who fall in love, but find themselves caught in the middle of a ‘war’ that neither of them wants.
Ben Elton’s book is told with humour and compassion, while his lyrics are both funny and heartbreaking. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s evocative score combines heart-searing ballads and stirring anthems with the sounds of Ireland.
The Beautiful Game originally opened at the Cambridge Theatre in London in September 2000. Although created almost 20 years ago, “this piece isn’t really about the Irish problem but about the futility of these conflicts the world over and how they keep repeating themselves,” says Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Although this is an Irish story, the themes and sentiments of The Beautiful Game are universal. All over the world communities are challenged by violence and hatred.
According to producer/director Karen Jemison, “what drew me to this show is the powerful story. What these characters go through as teenagers is both shocking and heart breaking and because the show plays out against the real struggles of Northern Ireland at that time, it makes the story even more poignant.”
“I enjoy producing musicals that audiences haven’t seen before and The Beautiful Game is a real treat. If you combine a powerful story with a beautiful Andrew Lloyd Webber score, you’ve got a fabulous show!”
The Beautiful Game is an intelligent, touching and thought provoking musical that will have you leaving the theatre with much to talk about and reflect on. It has been described as Northern Irish West Side Story.
The Australian premiere season of The Beautiful Game runs for a strictly limited season from 13-29 September 2019 at Chapel off Chapel. For more information, visit: www.thebeautifulgameaustralia.com.au or www.chapeloffchapel.com.au for details.
Image: Stephen Mahy stars in The Beautiful Game (supplied)