Award-winning actress Tracie Bennett returns to the West End in a new musical about the final days of Judy Garland.
In another success for the Royal & Derngate in Northampton, the regional theatre’s sell-out production of End of the Rainbow is to transfer to the West End.
The show will open at the Trafalgar Studios in London on 22 November 2010, with previews from 16 November.
Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett stars as Judy Garland in the show, which combines humour and heartbreak to follow Garland’s final performances in London – and her last days alive.
The show is directed by Terry Johnson, who directed Bennett in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre and recently directed a new production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville.
Peter Quilter’s touching play is set in London in 1968 and features some of Garland’s most memorable songs including The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Tracie Bennett stars alongside Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland’s devoted pianist and musical director and Stephen Hagan as soon-to-be husband number five Mickey Deanes.
Tracie Bennett gives a career-defining performance in the show, and is tipped to win a number of high profile awards with her sensitive and powerful portrayal of Garland, in a role that showcases her acting and singing ability with an uncanny physical and vocal resemblance to the star.
Multi award-winning Tracie Bennett’s extensive theatre credits include Jacqueline in Terry Johnson’s production of La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre, and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical. Her other theatre credits include Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre, Sex Chips and Rock n Roll for the Royal Exchange Manchester, High Society at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita and Spring Awakening all for Sheffield Crucible and a national tour of Billy Liar. On television she is best known for her role as Sharon Gaskell in Coronation Street. Her other television credits include Dalziel and Pascoe, Casualty, Vincent and The Royal. On film she played Millandra in Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine.
Hilton McRae has most recently been seen Channel 4’s feature length television drama playing the title role in The Execution of Gary Glitter. In the theatre his credits include The Kreutzer Sonata for the Gate Theatre, Dublin, Experimentum Mundi at the Edinburgh International Festival, Rock ‘n’ Roll for Manchester Library Theatre, The Wizard of Oz at the Royal Festival Hall, Weapons of Happiness for the Finborough Theatre and Caroline, Or Change for the National Theatre. He played Claudius in Rupert Goold’s production Hamlet at the Royal Theatre Northampton. McRae has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions including Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Troilus and Cressida and As You Like It. His other television his credits include Doctors, Silent Witness and Monarch of the Glen for the BBC and Lewis, Frances Tuesday and Midsommer Murders for ITV. His film credits include The Power of Three, Red Riding Trilogy, Mansfield Park, Secret Rapture and The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
Stephen Hagan’s theatre credits include The York Realist at Riverside Studios, Cyrano De Bergerac at the Chichester Festival Theatre, The Real Thing for Salisbury Playhouse, The Giant for Hampstead Theatre and Troilus and Cressida for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On television his credits include Ryan in the BBC series The Cut, as well as Best: His Mother’s Son , Clapham Junction and Mistresses. On film he has been seen in Against The Dark.