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Mack and Mabel - first picture released

Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford as Mack Sennett and Mabel Norman

Casting news

THE FIRST photo has been released of Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford as legendary Hollywood movie director Mack Sennett and Mabel Norman for the major London revival of Mack and Mabel, which runs at Southwark Playhouse from July 11 (previews from July 5) to August 25, 2012.

And director Thom Southerland has revealed the extensive changes he has been allowed to make to the eight-times Tony-nominated musical.

“We have been granted permission to alter the script for the show. This has included cutting characters, removing songs and changing the dramatic ‘device’ in which the story is told. Most importantly, we have been allowed to rewrite the ending.

“The heart of Mack and Mabel lies in the turbulent love story between the two characters and has previously been hidden behind the glamour of Hollywood and a lavish Broadway musical. By turning Mack’s camera around, we are asking the audience to look past the lens and beyond the films he made and focus on the world behind the camera, which shows us the truth, not the musical fantasy, that their tragic story deserves.”

Previously Posted: Joining Norman Bowman (as Mack) and Laura Pitt-Pulford (Mabel) in the Jerry Herman/Michael Stewart Hollywood musical, Mack and Mabel, will be Jessica Martin and Stuart Matthew Price.

Directed by Thom Southerland, this major London revival runs at Southwark Playhouse from July 5 to August 25, 2012.

Mack and Mabel is set in the early days of motion pictures and follows the tumultuous, real-life romantic relationship between movie director Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, who became one of the biggest screen stars in the world.

Jessica Martin

Told in a series of flashbacks, Sennett relates the glory days of the Keystone Studios from 1911, when he discovered Normand and cast her in dozens of his early “two-reelers”, through his creation of Sennett’s Bathing Beauties and the Keystone Cops to Mabel’s death from TB in 1930.

Jessica Martin, who starred as Mabel in the 1996 West End production of Mack and Mabel, will play Lottie Ames. Martin’s recent roles include The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (Comedy Theatre).

Stuart Matthew Price (Frank) played Stix in the original West End cast of Shrek, as well as Scotty in Merrily We Roll Along and Frankie Epps in Parade, both at the Donmar Warehouse.

Completing the cast of Mack and Mabel are Richard J Hunt (Fatty Arbuckle), Jody Ellen Robinson (Ella), Steven Serlin (Mr Kessel), Peter Kenworthy (William Desmond Taylor), Anthony Wise (Eddie), Jessica Buckby, Natalie Kent, Nikki Schofield, Ryan Gover, Paul Hutton and Jonathan Norman.

Read more about Mack and Mabel.