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 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.
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.
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.
For more information, visit www.thesmallestshowonearth.co.uk.
25th September – 10th October Colchester 01206 573948
Mercury Theatre www.mercurytheatre.co.uk
13th – 17th October Coventry 024 7655 3055
Belgrade Theatre www.belgrade.co.uk
19th – 24th October High Wycombe 01494 512 000
Wycombe Swan www.wycombeswan.co.uk
26th – 31st October Glasgow 0844 871 7647
Theatre Royal www.atgtickets.com/glasgow
3rd – 7th November Plymouth 01752 267222
Theatre Royal www.theatreroyal.com
9th – 14th November Crewe 01270 368 242
16th – 21st November Swansea 01792 475715
Grand Theatre www.swansea.gov.uk/swanseagrandtheatre
23rd – 28th November Malvern 01684 892277
Malvern Theatres www.malvern-theatres.co.uk
Images: Alastair Muir