The Southwark Playhouse has announced the full cast for its forthcoming new production of musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Georgie Rankcom is re-imagining the classic Broadway show, which runs at Southwark Playhouse Borough from 12 May to 17 June 2023.
Already announced in the cast is Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett (Hangmen, Follies, Coronation Street), who plays big boss J B Biggley, a role usually played by a man in the show.
Also gendered swapped will be the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch, who will be played by Gabrielle Friedman (she/they). Gabrielle’s previous credits include Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends and Maria & Friends: Legacy.
Tracie and Gabrielle are joined by Annie Aitken (she/her) as Hedy LaRue; Taylor Bradshaw (he/him) as Mr Bert Bratt; Allie Daniel (she/her) as Rosemary Pilkington; Elliot Gooch (he/him) as Bud Frump; Grace Kanyamibwa (she/her) as Miss Jones; Danny Lane (he/him) as Mr Twimble/Mr Wally Womper; Milo McCarthy (they/them) as Mr Milton Gatch; and Verity Power (she/her) as Smitty.
The show also features the voice of Ru Paul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage as ‘The Book’.
This revival of Frank Loesser (Guys & Dolls) and Abe Burrows’ Broadway musical is helmed by director Georgie Rankcom (they/them), alongside Choreographer Alexzandra Sarmiento (she/her), Musical Director Natalie Pound (she/her), Set and Costume Designer Sophia Pardon (she/her) Lighting Designer Lucía Sánchez Roldán (she/her), Sound Designer Joshua Robins (he/him), Orchestrator Stuart Morley (he/him), Stage Manager Waverley Moran (she/they), Production Manager Misha Mah (they/them), Casting Director Peter Noden (he/him), and Producer / General Manager Jodee Conrad (she/her).
The satirical musical follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant “company man”, the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love.
Book tickets for How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Southwark Playhouse Borough
More about the cast
Annie Aitken (she/her) as Hedy LaRue.
An Australian music theatre leading lady, Annie’s many leading roles include Millie Dumont in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ opposite Marina Prior, and Cunégonde in ‘Candide’ at the Sydney Opera House opposite Caroline O’Connor, Paulette in ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’, Nellie Melba (lead role) in ‘Melba: A New Musical’ and the original cast of ‘Muriel’s Wedding the Musical’. In the UK she was Madame in ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ at Hope Mill Theatre.
Taylor Bradshaw (he/him) as Mr Bert Bratt.
Taylor was in the recent acclaimed production of ‘Spring Awakening’ at Almeida Theatre and ‘42nd Street’ at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris. He will be seen in the upcoming ‘Barbie’ feature film.
Allie Daniel (she/her) as Rosemary Pilkington.
Allie’s recent credits include ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’, directed by Lucy Moss at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, ‘Happy Meal’ (Theatre Royal Plymouth), ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’ (UK tour), and ‘Rent’ (Hope Mill Theatre).
Gabrielle Friedman (she/they) as J. Pierrepont Finch.
A recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Gabrielle was in the ‘Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends’ West End gala and ‘Maria & Friends: Legacy’ (Menier Chocolate Factory). While training she played Mary Flynn in Sondheim’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’.
Elliot Gooch (he/him) as Bud Frump.
Elliot’s recent credits include Dorian Gray in ‘Dorian: A Rock Musical’ (The Other Palace), 1st Cover Danny & Kenickie in ‘Grease’ (UK tour), ‘Once On This Island’ (Southwark Playhouse). He can be see in the film ‘All Those Things’.
Grace Kanyamibwa (she/her) as Miss Jones.
A recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Grace’s credits include ‘The Book of Mormon’ (UK tour). While training she played The Player in ‘Pippin‘ and Rose in ‘Gypsy’.
Danny Lane (he/him) as Mr Twimble/Mr Wally Womper.
Danny recently appeared in the West End as Dating Agency Agent in ‘Only Fools and Horses the Musical’. He was Comptroller Schub in ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ (Southwark Playhouse), ‘Soho Cinders’ (Charing Cross Theatre) and Kris Kringle in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (UK tour).
Milo McCarthy (they/them) as Mr Milton Gatch.
A recent graduate of Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Milo recently toured the UK as Billy in ‘Birds and the Bees’, and was in ‘Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ (Hope Mill Theatre). While training they played the title role in ‘Pippin’.
Verity Power (she/her) as Smitty.
Verity’s recent credits include ‘Trump L’Oeil’ (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’ and ‘Zombies: The Musical’ (The Other Palace)
Tracie Bennett (she/her) as J.B. Biggley
Last seen in London as Carlotta in the National Theatre production of ‘Follies’, Tracie recently played Alice in ‘Hangmen’ on Broadway and starred as Mame in ‘Mame’ at Hope Mill Theatre. She is also well known for playing the role of Sharon Gaskell in ‘Coronation Street’ from 1982 to 1984, returning to the role in 1999 and again in 2021. Among her many musical theatre starring roles, she received two Olivier Awards for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for her performances in the musicals ‘She Loves Me’ and ‘Hairspray’ with additional nominations for her work in ‘High Society’ and ‘Follies’. She was also nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical as Mrs Henderson in ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’, while her performance as Judy Garland in ‘End of the Rainbow’ earned her an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Play and a Tony Award nomination in the same category when the production transferred to Broadway.
Southwark Playhouse Borough, London