For the latest show headed to the Noël Coward Theatre we cast our attentions to a story that has its origins in the early 20th century and was later adapted into an international musical in the 1960s. It is a journey that has been in the making for more than a century and in 2016 audiences were given a new chance to experience it when it landed at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
The story is H. G. Wells’ Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul and the musical adaptation is Half A Sixpence, the latter of which now transfers from Chichester to the Noël Coward Theatre, where it will undoubtedly attract a new generation of theatregoers.
The musical, co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh, starring Charlie Stemp and Devon-Elise Johnson and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, is from Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and focuses on the character of Arthur Kipps (Stemp).
It is one of many musicals opening in 2016 (alongside Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre and School of Rock at the New London theatre), but it is bound to make a big impression thanks to its tried and tested run in Chichester.
At the beginning of Half A Sixpence Arthur Kipps is an orphan who works a draining job and by the end of it he has been through many ups and downs as he is granted a major change that brings some big decisions.
An inheritance grants him a huge windfall and this new wealth brings him into contact with Helen Walsingham (Emma Williams), who is providing him with a new look, whilst someone from his old life, Anna Pornick (Johnson) looks on.
H. G. Well’s original novel emerged in 1905 and unlike his more famous sci-fi works it is a tale of rags to riches that is often described as semi-autobiographical. Many now hold it in high esteem, with the musical adaptation one of many ways in which the story gained new life across the 20th century.
For this 2016 version, which is described as a ‘completely fresh adaptation’, a lot of attention has been cast upon star Charlie Stemp, who reprises his role as Kipps for the Noël Coward Theatre production. This is undoubtedly a big break for the actor who has previously appeared in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and taken Mamma Mia! on tour.
Half A Sixpence, also starring Ian Bartholomew, opens at the Noël Coward Theatre on Thursday 17th November 2016 (previews from Saturday 29th October 2016).
|Booking From:||Thursday, 16th February 2017|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 2nd September 2017|
|Wed:||2.30pm and 7.30pm|
|Sat:||2.30pm and 7.30pm|
|Monday, 20 Feb, 2017||Noel Coward Theatre, London||Half a Sixpence|
|Tuesday, 21 Feb, 2017||Noel Coward Theatre, London||Half a Sixpence|
|Wednesday, 22 Feb, 2017||Noel Coward Theatre, London||Half a Sixpence|
|Thursday, 23 Feb, 2017||Noel Coward Theatre, London||Half a Sixpence|
|Friday, 24 Feb, 2017||Noel Coward Theatre, London||Half a Sixpence|
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