A classic Italian movie entitled “Nights of the Cabiria” forms the basis of the hit musical Sweet Charity, the latest Menier Chocolate Factory production to make the transfer to the West End. The show began life at the Southwark venue over the winter of 2009/10 and now arrives at the Haymarket Theatre, undoubtedly hoping to mirror the success of the previous Menier musical hit “La Cage Aux Folles”.
That show saw a host of big names take on the roles once it was at the Playhouse Theatre, including Graham Norton and John Barrowman, and with Sweet Charity there is already a star amongst the cast in the form of Tamzin Outhwaite. The former “EastEnders” (she played Melanie Owen until 2002) actress has appeared in a range of productions for the screen and for the stage since leaving the soap and arrives in the role of Charity Hope Valentine ready to portray a dancer down on her luck.
In the original Italian movie, the character took the form of a prostitute who is unlucky in love, but in Sweet Charity she is a dancer-for-hire working in New York’s Time Square Dance Hall. However, like many people in Manhattan she is not the best at handling relationships, suffering a range of misadventures due to her exploits. Charity is a guileless and gullible woman and is unfortunately prone to handing her heart over to the worst of men, suffering painful consequences as a result. As such, only time will tell if a change in her fortunes will ever come her way.
The story is amplified by the famous songs of Cy Coleman, including iconic hits such as “Hey, Big Spender”, as well as “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This”, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “Baby Dream Your Dream”, “I Love To Cry At Weddings” and “The Rhythm of Life”.
The first booking period the show has been awarded is well over six months, demonstrating the faith the producers have in the misadventures of Charity Hope Valentine. With the acting talent of Tamzin Outhwaite included it is certain to be a hit and will be talked about for some time.
Sweet Charity appears at the Haymarket Theatre from Tuesday 4th May 2010 (previews from Friday 23rd April 2010) until Saturday 8th January 2011.
||Thursday, 22nd April 2010
||Saturday, 6th November 2010
||Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm
||Monday to Saturday 7.30pm