Olivier-Award winning stage legend Jenna Russell will play as ‘Ada Harris’ in the production which will be directed by Bronagh Lagan (Cruise – West End, Rags – Park Theatre, Little Women – Hope Mill Theatre).
The show plays a limited 9-week season at Riverside Studios from 30 September to 26 November, with a press night on 5 October.
Based on the novel by Paul Gallico and adapted for the stage by Richard Taylor (The Go-Between) and Rachel Wagstaff (The Mirror Crack’d), Flowers for Mrs Harris is a celebration of kindness, friendship and carrying on in the face of grief. This will be the first London production of the critically acclaimed musical since its premiere in Sheffield in 2016, which was followed by a highly successful run at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Jenna Russell’s extensive stage credits include: Piaf (Nottingham Playhouse), Celebrating Sondheim (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fun Home (Young Vic), Dr Faustus (The Duke of York’s Theatre) and Grey Gardens (Southwark Theatre). On TV Russell is know for playing Michelle Fowler in Eastenders, Debroarh in Born and Bred and Maggie in On The Up.
Producer Ollie Hancock said, “Never before have I seen something on stage which has moved me with such force and relentless power. Richard and Rachel’s beautiful writing had such a profound effect on me that I left the theatre tear-streaked, striving to be a better person and to produce work which was just as impactful. I’m delighted to be bringing this gorgeous musical about the power of kindness to London for the first time in the creative hub that is Riverside Studios, especially with theatrical royalty Jenna Russell, who has wowed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, in this extraordinary British musical!”
Jenna Russell said, “Ada Harris is a dream role in an exceptional piece by Rachel Wagstaff and Richard Taylor. I’m thrilled to be part of this amazing team, bringing “Flowers For Mrs Harris” to the Riverside Studios. Reading the play had a profound effect on me, and I can’t wait to see how that translates to a live experience, for the actors and audience alike.”
The creative team for the Riverside Studios run includes: Jason Carr (orchestrations), Jonathan Gill (musical director) and Jane Deitch (casting director). Further casting and creative team will be announced.