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All the Fun of the Fair - David Essex back in the W/E

David Essex in All the Fun of the Fair

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIS year, David Essex returns to the West End – to the Garrick Theatre – with his new musical All the Fun of the Fair, which has already toured extensively. It opens in the West End on April 28 (previews from April 17) and is initially booking until September 5, 2010.

In All the Fun of the Fair, Essex plays Levi Lee, recently widowed and father of a rebellious teenage son. Moreover, danger and mysticism lurk in a future predicted by the gypsy fortune teller who is in love with Levi.

Evoking the carnival atmosphere of fairground life are dodgems and motorbikes, crafty cons and candy floss, fairground horses and fights, along with unrequited love, romance and rock and roll.

All the Fun of the Fair features a soundtrack of Essex’ most well-known songs which he re-wrote and arranged specifically for this production. They include Winter’s Tale, Hold Me Close, Me And My Girl Nightclubbing, Silver Dream Machine, Gonna Make You A Star, Rock On and the title track, All The Fun of the Fair.

Essex has enjoyed a remarkable career; one that has combined records, theatre, composing, film and television – all with amazing success.

Yet it was on stage that he shot to fame – playing Jesus in the original London production of the musical Godspell. He subsequently starred as Che in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original cast of Evita.

Other notable roles include Tony Lumpkin in Sir Peter Hall’s 1993 production of She Stoops to Conquer (opposite Miriam Margolyes and Donald Sinden) both on tour and for seven months at the Queen’s Theatre; and Fletcher Christian in his own musical Mutiny! (co-written with Richard Crane) which played at the Piccadilly Theatre for 16 months.

He was last seen in the West End in 2006 playing the Reverend Shaw Moore in the hit musical Footloose; and in 2007, starred in a touring production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love.

His film credits include That’ll Be the Day with Ringo Starr, the sequel Stardust with Larry Hagman and Adam Faith, and Silver Dream Racer alongside Beau Bridges.

In 1999, Essex was awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to charity, especially to VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas).

All the Fun of the Fair is directed by David Gilmore, whose credits include Grease (West End and internationally); Daisy Pulls It Off and Lend Me A Tenor (The Globe); Noises Off (international tour); Defending The Caveman (Apollo Theatre); Beyond Reasonable Doubt (Queen’s Theatre); Chapter Two (Gielgud Theatre) and Annie Get Your Gun (Aldwych Theatre).

Written by David Essex, All the Fun of the Fair has a book by Jon Conway. The production, which is produced in the West End by Alan Darlow, Jon Conway and Lee Dean, is designed by Colin Richmond, with lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound by Steve Jonas. Further casting will be announced shortly.

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Prior to All the Fun of the Fair, the UK premiere of Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony Award-winning comedy The Little Dog Laughed runs from January 8 to April 10, 2010, at the Garrick Theatre.
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