First look at brand new musical comedy The Smallest Show on Earth

Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, Brian Eastman and Christabel Albery present a new musical comedy based on the StudioCanal Peter Sellers/Margaret Rutherford film, The Smallest Show on Earth. The stage show, which has a book by Thom Southerland and Paul Alexander, contains some of Irving Berlin’s greatest songs, including Blue Skies, Shakin’ the Blues Away, Let Yourself Go, Steppin’ Out with my Baby and How Deep is the Ocean, as well as some rediscovered gems.

'The Smallest Show on Earth"Director Thom Southerland said: ‘Berlin’s music provides the perfect accompaniment to our 1950s story, not only in lyric, but in style and period too.’

The UK tour of The Smallest Show on Earth debuted at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester on Friday 25th September 2015, and will go on to play Coventry, High Wycombe, Glasgow, Plymouth, Crewe, Swansea and Malvern.

Laura Pitt-Pulford as Jean Spenser
Laura Pitt-Pulford as Jean Spenser

The show sees newlyweds Matt and Jean Spenser inherit a cinema and think their fortune is made. But, the Bijou, better known as the fleapit, is the victim of a dirty tricks campaign from its rival flashy neighbour, The Grand. The Bijou’s benevolent manageress Mrs Fazackalee and unreliable projectionist Mr Quill combine with Matt and Jean to outwit the opposition and restore the Bijou to its former glory.

StudioCanal’s The Smallest Show on Earth was a 1957 British Lion film written by William Rose (Genevieve, The Ladykillers) and directed by Basil Dearden (Blue Lamp, League of Gentlemen). It starred Peter Sellers as Mr Quill and Margaret Rutherford as Mrs Fazackalee, along with Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers as Matt and Jean.

Brian Capron (Mr Quill) and Liza Goddard (Mrs Fazackalee)
Brian Capron (Mr Quill) and Liza Goddard (Mrs Fazackalee)

The cast of the new musical comedy will be led by Liza Goddard (Take Three Girls, Bergerac, Grandpa in my Pocket) as Mrs Fazackalee and Brian Capron (Coronation Street, Where the Heart Is, Grange Hill) as Mr Quill. Also in the cast will be Haydn Oakley as Matthew Spenser, Laura Pitt-Pulford as Jean Spenser, Ricky Butt as Ethel Hardcastle, Philip Rham as Albert Hardcastle, Christina Bennington as Marlene Hardcastle, Sam O’Rourke as Tom Fazackalee and Matthew Crowe as Robin Carter, with Leo Andrew, Jacob Chapman, Matthew Dale, Nova Skipp and Leah West.

The UK tour of The Smallest Show on Earth – A new Irving Berlin Musical is produced by Brian Eastman, Christabel Albery and Mercury Theatre, Colchester, by special arrangement with StudioCanal.

For more information, visit

'The Smallest Show on Earth"

Tour schedule:

25th September – 10th October   Colchester                    01206 573948

Mercury Theatre 

13th – 17th October                     Coventry                       024 7655 3055

Belgrade Theatre

19th – 24th October                     High Wycombe              01494 512 000

Wycombe Swan 

26th – 31st October                      Glasgow                       0844 871 7647

Theatre Royal     

3rd – 7th November                      Plymouth                       01752 267222

Theatre Royal     

9th – 14th November                    Crewe                           01270 368 242


16th – 21st November                  Swansea                      01792 475715

Grand Theatre    

23rd – 28th November                  Malvern                         01684 892277

Malvern Theatres

Images: Alastair Muir


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