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Dogfight - Southwark Playhouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE award-winning musical Dogfight will receive its European premiere at Southwark Playhouse (The Large), where it runs from August 13 (previews from August 8) to September 13, 2014.

November 21, 1963. On the night before their deployment to Vietnam, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, the unassuming and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet, she rewrites the rules of the game and opens his eyes to what really matters in life.

Dogfight, a new book musical based on the 1991 movie of the same name starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor, premièred Off-Broadway in 2012, winning the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. It was also nominated for five Outer Critics’ Circle and two Drama Desk Awards.

Dogfight is produced by Danielle Tarento, who was named Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and recently won Best Off West End Production at the 2014 Whatsonstage Awards and Best Musical Production at the 2014 Off West End Awards for Titanic at Southwark Playhouse.

She has also produced Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Parade, Company and Three Sisters at Southwark Playhouse; Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola Theatre); Burlesque, Drowning on Dry Land (Jermyn Street); and Noël and Gertie (The Cockpit).

She is co-founder of the Menier Chocolate Factory and co-produced all in-house shows from 2004 to 2006, including Sunday In The Park With George, which received a West End transfer and five Olivier Awards.

Dogfight is directed by Matt Ryan, who began his career as an associate to Trevor Nunn and John Caird on Cameron Mackintosh’s original production of Les Misérables. He then staged productions of the show in Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and on tour in the UK. He was associate director of Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and directed the show’s Australian première in Sydney as well as the original British touring production.

His other theatre credits include Howard Goodall’s The Winter’s Tale, Sweeney Todd, Company, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Carousel, Oklahoma!, Nine, Grand Hotel, Merrily We Roll Along, The Rink, The Wiremen, Michael John La Chuisa’s The Wild Party, Rent, Carnival, Assassins, William Finn’s Elegies, A Doll’s Life, Promises Promises and the London premières of Violet, Jane Eyre, A Man Of No Importance, Bernarda Alba, A Catered Affair and Is There Life After High School?

With music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Edges, James and the Giant Peach) and book by Peter Duchan, Dogfight has choreography by Lucie Pankhurst, musical direction by George Dyer, set and costume design by Lee Newby, lighting by Howard Hudson and sound by Andrew Johnson. Casting has yet to be announced.

Tickets: £22, £18 concessions, all previews £12 (August 8 -12). To book, call the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday matinee at 3pm.

Also at Southwark Playhouse: the London premiere of Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In The Heights (May 9 to June 7, 2014).