The Cats and Phantom of the Opera composer said that “I’ve just had the most exciting night in a theatre for years”, and that The Little Big Things is “an all British musical and it’s a total triumph.”
He went on to say that ” this tale of conquering disability is funny, moving, uplifting, wonderfully performed and brilliantly crafted” and predicted that the show would go on to be “an international smash”.
The Little Big Things is the life-affirming true story of Henry Fraser, an avid sportsman and academy player with a premiership Rugby club whose life changed forever in 2009 when he had a diving accident and was paralysed from the shoulders down.
Henry is now an accomplished mouth artist, motivational speaker and author, with his memoir The Little Big Things proving a best-seller.
In The Times today, journalist Julia Llewellyn-Smith also said of the show, which she saw in rehearsals, that “There’s nothing worthy or box-ticking about the show, which has real pizzazz. At its heart is an amazing, joyous story about how a family of four sports-mad brothers rallied after a life-changing moment was thrust on them.”
Nimax theatre group head Nica Burns, said: “It’s a first to have a musical by unknowns open in the West End. To do that is to take a massive risk. So this is brave, not to say insane and scary, even for someone as experienced as me.”
The cast of The Little Big Things includes Ed Larkin (Doctors, Love and Information) as adult Henry, Jonny Amies (Grantchester, From Here to Eternity) as the boy Henry, Linzi Hateley (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Mamma Mia! ) as Fran, and Alasdair Harvey (Come From Away, We Will Rock You) as Andrew, alongside Jordan Benjamin (Dom), Rebecca Bowden (Surgeon), Jamie Chatterton (Tom), Tom Oliver (Marco), Malinda Parris (Dr Graham), Cleve September (Will) and Amy Trigg (Agnes) with Stephen John Davis, Elena Pitsiaeli, George Salmon, Amy West and Joseph Wolff.
The show is directed by Luke Sheppard (In Dreams, & Juliet, My Son’s a Queer), and written by Nick Butcher (music and lyrics), Tom Ling (lyrics), and Joe White (book).
Lloyd Webber will see his own musical Sunset Boulevard return to the West End this month, with Nicole Scherzinger starring as Norma Desmond, directed by Jamie Lloyd, at the Savoy Theatre from 21 September 2023.
The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of his musical Jesus Christ Superstar is also heading out on the road this year for a UK tour; and The Phantom of the Opera continues to pack in audiences at His Majesty’s Theatre in London.
Producer of the show Cameron Mackintosh said in an interview today, also in The Times, that Phantom “last week played to 100 per cent capacity and broke every box office record in their 38-year history”.
The Little Big Things is playing at @sohoplace to 25 November 2023.