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Pacific Overtures - Union Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PACIFIC Overtures, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, runs at the Union Theatre from July 4 (previews from July 2) to August 2, 2014.

There are few musicals as beautiful and unusual as Pacific Overtures and indeed there is nothing stranger than fact.

An isolated Japan, swathed in honour and protected by invincible gods, has a very rude awakening in 1853 by western war ships. A lowly fisherman is sent to insist they turn back only to kick start a chain of events that lead to drastic social change.

Pulling on Japanese art forms such as Kabuki and Butoh, Pacific Overtures is an epic tale of how the child becomes the master.

Pacific Overtures has a book by John Weidman and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. Original Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. The original Broadway Production was directed by Harold Prince and produced by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell.

Pacific Overtures is directed by Michael Strassen (Best Director Off-West End Award 2014 for Billy/Best Production Off-West End Award for Assassins), with musical direction by Richard Bates and lighting design by Tim Deiling – the team behind the award winning Billy at the Union Theatre last year.

The cast includes Ken Christiansen (as Reciter), Oli Reynolds (Kayama), Emanuel Alba (Manjiro/Dutch Admiral), Alex Mcmorran (Lord Abe), Marc Lee Joseph (Shogun’s Mother/French Admiral), Ian Mowat (Madam/Old Man/British Admiral), Joel Harper-Jackson (Geisha/American Admiral/Sailor), Lee Van-Geleen (Thief/Russian Admiral/Sailor), Matt Jolly (Fisherman/Geisha/Young Boy), Anthony Selywn (Tamate), Marios Nicolaides (Commodore Perry), Joel Baylis (Priest/Geisha/Sailor) and Josh Andrews (Priest/Geisha).

Pacific Overtures is produced by Sasha Regan and Paul Callen.

Tickets: £20, £18 concessions, July 2 to July 6 – all tickets £16. To book, call the box office on 020 7261 9876 or visit

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm.