VICTOR/VICTORIA starring Anna Francolini as Victoria Grant/Count Victor Grazinski
Directed by Thom Southerland and produced by Danielle Tarento, it will run for an 8-week season in The Vault at Southwark Playhouse, from Thursday October 25 – Saturday December 15.
Press night is Thursday 1 November at 7.30pm.
The venue’s seating is being configured with cabaret-style tables placed near the stage. The price of these reserved cabaret seats will include a glass of champagne, and people sitting there will really feel part of the action in the night club Chez Lui where the the show is set.
Based on the 1982 Julie Andrews/Blake Edwards Hollywood movie, Victor/Victoria has a book by Blake Edwards, music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and additional musical material (music and lyrics) by Frank Wildhorn. Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli and Raquel Welch all starred as Victor/Victoria on Broadway, where the show ran for more than 700 performances.
Victor/Victoria is set in Paris in the 1930s. Victoria, a penniless, starving British soprano with an amazing vocal range, is rescued by Toddy, a performer at night club Chez Lui, who comes up with the crazy idea to disguise her as a man called Count Victor Grazinski and become the toast of Gay Paree as the world’s greatest female impersonator… But things get complicated when King Marchan, an American mobster from Chicago and very straight, sees the celebrated act and finds himself strangely attracted to Victor.
Victor/Victoria is not Anna Francolini’s first time on stage cross-dressing in a musical. In The Ballad of Little Jo, she starred in the title role as Jo Monaghan, a young woman who lived as a man in the silver mines of Idaho in the 1890s. Anna’s other stage credits include two acclaimed Stephen Sondheim productions at the Donmar Warehouse – Marta in Sam Mendes’ production of Company in 1995 and Gussie in Michael Grandage’s production of Merrily We Roll Along in 2000. She played the Baker’s Wife in the Royal Opera House production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods in 2007. She won the 2009 TMA Award for Best Performance in a Play with her portrayal of Jean Brodie in Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton. In 2010, she starred as Maria Callas in Martin Sherman’s West End play Onassis. She apeared in Mike Leigh’s film, Topsy-Turvy and the TV mini-series Rome.
More cast to be announced.
Director Thom Southerland was longlisted Best Newcomer in the 2011 Evening Standard Awards for Parade. He was named Best Director at the 2011 The Offies – Off West End Theatre Awards – for Me and Juliet at the Finborough. He directed the European premiere of I Sing!, Divorce Me, Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game and sold-out all-male adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (Union); Noel and Gertie (Cockpit), the European premiere of The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor), Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam! (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) and the European premiere of State Fair (Finbourough and transfer to Trafalgar Studios).
Victor/Victoria is produced by Danielle Tarento (winner Best Producer at the 2012 Offies). She also produced Mack & Mabel, Parade and Company at Southwark Playhouse; The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola Theatre), Burlesque (Jermyn Street), and Noel and Gertie (Cockpit). She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows 2004- 2006, including Sunday In The Park With George, which received a West End transfer and 5 Olivier awards. She is currently co-producing Taboo at Brixton Club House.
Book by Blake Edwards
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library Inc, New York
Director Thom Southerland
Choreographer Lee Proud
Musical Director Joe Atkins
Set and Costume Designer Martin Thomas
Lighting Designer Howard Hudson
Sound Designer Andrew Johnson
Producer and Casting Director Danielle Tarento
starring Anna Francolini as Victoria Grant/Count Victor Grazinski