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Jacob Maynard in On The Town at the Open Air Theatre

Friday, 2nd Jun 2017  

On the Town - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

One might not have expected any big casting announcements for the ongoing season of shows at the Open Air Theatre, with proceedings already under way, but news coming from the seasonal venue this week points to a change in actors for On the Town, with Jacob Maynard set to take on the role of Chip permanently for the rest of the run.

The news comes as Fred Haig steps down from the role, having injured his foot whilst performing, leaving the door open for his understudy to rise up to the part full time. It is the second time that an understudy/standby has been promoted to a role full time this month as Alice Fearn was recently announced as the new Elphaba in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, having previously been a standby under Willemijn Verkaik.

On The Town is, of course, the famous musical from Leonard Bernstein and Betty Comden & Adolph Green that was first seen by audiences on the other side of the Atlantic in the 1940s. It went from Broadway hit to film and West End production (the London version opened in 1963) and has thus enjoyed a long life in the spotlight.

The story follows three sailors from the United States – Chip (Maynard), Ozzie (Jeremy Taylor) and Gabey (Danny Mac) – as they land in New York on shore leave during the Second World War. Gabey becomes enamoured with the lovely Ivy, whilst the others form relationships of their own in a memorable and exciting time.

Musical numbers include New York, New York, Carried Away, I Understand and Ya Got Me, amongst various others.

But when audiences see these songs performed they will also witness Jacob Maynard onstage and they might wonder where they recognise him from. Prior to working as an understudy in On The Town he had roles in shows like Guys and Dolls at the Savoy Theatre, Love Me Tender on a UK tour, Crime Of The Century, also on tour, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and Five Guys Named Moe in Edinburgh, amongst various others (including Britain’s Next Top Model).

So whilst it is sad news that Fred Haig has been forced to withdraw from the role, audiences are clearly in safe hands with Jacob Marley as previews for On The Town continue at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. It is booking there to Saturday 1st July 2017.

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.

Article filed under: Theatre News | New Productions |