Elton John’s new musical Tammy Faye is rumoured to arrive at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2021.
It’s a long way off casting but we thought we’d give rumoured director Rupert Gould a hand by suggesting Sheridan Smith for the title role and Alex Gaumond as her sweet-talking philandering husband, Jim Bakker.
Most UK audiences wouldn’t have clue who Tammy Faye Messner was, but for a generation of Americans in the late 70s, 80s and 90s she was for Christians what Dolly Parton was to country – pure catnip.
Glitzy on the side of gaudy, Tammy Faye and her husband Jim were the most successful televangelists of their time. Beamed straight into American homes, they lived the high life on donations from their massive flock of devotees.
That is until it all came crashing down when revelations of Jim’s affairs and subsequent hush-money deals led to divorce and Bakker going to jail on fraud charges.
As with all great stories Faye rose like a phoenix from the ashes of this national scandal promoting a message of love and acceptance most notably one that included the LGBT community.
Smith, most recently seen crushing it on stage in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would be perfect to portray Tammy – just look her body of work from comedic performances playing Americans in Funny Girl and Legally Blonde to her award winning dramatic performance in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic.
Gaumond’s extensive theatre credits include Marianne Elliot’s production of Company (Gielgud), A Christmas Carol (Old Vic), Caroline, Or Change (CFT), Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Regents Park), Sweeney Todd (ENO), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy), We Will Rock You (Dominion),and Legally Blonde (Savoy).
Penned by James Graham (Ink, This House, Quizz, Labour of Love) with lyrics by Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters and a score by Elton John Tammy Faye is bound to be a camp old affair.