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Darren Day joins the cast of MAME at Royal & Derngate and Salisbury Playhouse

Darren Day

Casting news

DARREN Day (pictured) will star as Beauregard, alongside Tracie Bennett in the title role and Harriet Thorpe as Vera, in the critically acclaimed first professional UK revival of Jerry Herman’s much loved musical MAME.

The production opened at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester earlier this year to rave reviews, and will play Royal & Derngate, Northampton from January 7 to January 11 and Salisbury Playhouse from January 21 to January 25, 2020.

MAME recently received 7 WhatsOnStage Award nominations including Best Regional Production, Best Musical Revival and Best Actress in a Musical.

Darren Day was well known in the 90s for presenting several popular children’s TV shows, and since then has been a regular presenter on mainstream television, notably, as the host of You Bet!. He was in the very first series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2012 and was a finalist in the 2016 series of Celebrity Big Brother. As an actor, some of his television roles include Danny Houston in Hollyoaks and Stella alongside Ruth Jones .

Day’s first starring theatre role was as Joseph in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium and on tour internationally. Some of his other leading theatre credits include Don in Summer Holiday, Tony in Copacabana and Danny in Grease (all West End). On tour, he has played the title role in Alfie, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Pip in Great Expectations, Jesus in Godspell, FranknFurter in The Rocky Horror Show, Cornelius Hackle in Hello, Dolly! and Khashoggi in We Will Rock You.

Also in the cast are Chase Brown as Older Patrick, Grace Chapman as Gloria Upson, Lauren Chia as Pegeen Ryan, Soo Drouet as Mother Burnside/Madame Branislowski, Mark Faith as Mr Upson/Uncle Jeff, Jessie May as Agnes Gooch, Hugh Osborne as Dwight Babcock, Lewis Rae as M Lindsay Woolsey, Pippa Winslow as Mrs Upson/Sally Cato, Benjamin Wong as Ito and Liam Wrate as Junior Babcock.

Harry Cross, Isaac Lancel-Watkinson and Lochlan White will alternate the role of Young Patrick. Completing the cast are Jabari Braham, Aston Newman Hannington and India Thornton.

MAME, a classic 1960s musical, with book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, has not been seen in the UK since the original West End production in 1969 starring Ginger Rogers. Set in New York City and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, the musical focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis.

The madcap life of Mame Dennis and her intellectual, arty clique is disrupted when her deceased brother’s 10 year-old son Patrick is entrusted to her care. Rather than bow to convention, Mame introduces the boy to her free-wheeling lifestyle, instilling in him her favourite credo, “Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death.”

Mame loses her fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and tries her hand at a number of jobs with comically disastrous results, but perseveres with good humour and an irrepressible sense of style, before marrying the Southern aristocrat and plantation owner, Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside.

MAME is directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, assisted by Ben Stock, with musical direction by Alex Parker, set design by Philip Witcomb, lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Ben Harrison, orchestrations by Jason Carr, casting by Jane Deitch, children’s casting by Emily and LJ Keston and wigs by Richard Mawbey.

MAME is presented by arrangement with Tams Witmark and is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre and Ray Rackham Theatrical with associate producers Evan Sacks and Adam Mackie.