Miracle on 34th Street - first UK tour
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
FOR THE first time, Miracle on 34th Street is touring the UK. Based on one of the most popular and best-loved Christmas films of all time, it opens at the Beck Theatre, Hayes on Monday, November 11, 2013.
Based on the 1947 motion picture, Miracle on 34th Street is the heart-warming story of Susan, a young girl who dreams of a father and brother to make her family whole, and Kris Kringle, a kindly old bearded man who claims he is the real Santa Claus. When employed as a Santa at a department store grotto, Kris quickly spreads a wave of love through New York City, but can he help make Susan’s wish come true?
This all-singing, all-dancing musical adaptation is an uplifting family tale of battling cynicism and learning what it truly means to believe.
The cast is led by Genevieve Nicole (as Doris), Dan Fletcher (Fred) and Poppy Carter (Susan) and introduces James Murphy as Kris Kringle.
They are joined by Caroline Bateson, David Kristopher Brown, Paul Cleveland, Lorraine Graham, Charlotte Jeffery, Inez Mackenzie, Stuart Matthews, Shaun McCourt, Gary Roe, Brett Shiels and Ellen Verenieks.
Genevieve Nicole, who most recently appeared in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, has also appeared on stage in the UK tour of Chicago (as Velma), Spamalot (Palace Theatre) and White Christmas (UK tour).
Dan Fletcher’s recent theatre credits include Dennis in Rock of Ages (Shaftsbury Theatre) and Cookson in Peter Pan a Musical (Curve Theatre Leicester).
Poppy Carter’s recent theatre work includes The Piper (Finborough Theatre) and The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre). She has also appeared in films such as St Trinians and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
James Murphy’s theatre credits include Martini in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Lost Theatre) and Jubilee Street (Theatre 503).
Miracle on 34th Street originated as a 1947 motion picture starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. The film became a perennial Christmas favourite, winning three Academy Awards and being nominated for Best Picture. The stage version, originally entitled Here’s Love, opened on Broadway in 1963. A hugely popular remake of the film was also released in 1994 starring Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle.
Miracle on 34th Street has a book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, who is best known for writing and composing The Music Man which premiered on Broadway in 1957 and was adapted twice for film – in 1962 and 2003. It won the 1958 Tony Award for Best Musical and the cast recording won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. He also composed the score for Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.
Produced by Kylie Vilcins for Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, Miracle on 34th Street is directed by Nicola Samer (Associate Director of The Ladykillers at the Vaudeville Theatre) and choreographed by Richard Jones (Stepping Out and Three Little Pigs, Greenwich Theatre), with musical direction by Tom Turner and design by David Shields.
The tour will continue to Fairfield Halls, Croydon (November 12 and 13); Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (November 14 -16); Billingham Forum Theatre (November 20 – 22); The Octagon, Yeovil (November 23 and 24); Theatre Royal Windsor (November 25 – 30); Marina Theatre, Lowestoft (December 2 – 4); New Alexandra Theatre (December 5 – 7); New Theatre Oxford (December 9 – 11); Norwich Playhouse (December 12 – 14) and Palace Theatre, Southend (December 20 – 22).