Spelling Bee - Darren Day and Niki Evans star
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
DARREN Day and Niki Evans star in the first UK tour of William Finn’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which plays at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon on October 8 and 9, 2013.
Spelling Bee is a musical comedy that centres on the lives of six quirky adolescents who have entered into the ‘Bee’, a competition that asks the contestants to spell a variety of words, usually with a broad degree of difficulty. The competition is run by three equally quirky grown-ups.
Darren Day, who is best known for his leading roles in West End and touring productions of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Summer Holiday and We Will Rock You and as Danny Houston in TV’s Hollyoaks, will play Vice Principal Panch.
Panch is a senior member of the judging panel, who has recently returned to the competition after five years with a fresh outlook on life, all thanks to his high-fibre diet and his unrequited love of fellow judge and previous ‘Bee’ Champion, Rona Lisa Peretti played by Niki Evans.
Niki Evans found fame on ITV’s X Factor and went on to star as Mrs Johnstone in the West End and touring productions of Blood Brothers and Paulette in Legally Blonde.
The cast also includes Rhys Owen (as Mitch Mahoney), Ellie Mason (Olive Ovstrokvsky), Thomas Mackley (William Barfee), Janette McManus (Logainne Schwartz and Grubenierre), Arina II (Marcy Park), Ross Cobbald (Leaf Coneybear) and Joshua Dowen (Chip Tolentino).
Spelling Bee was conceived by Rebecca Fieldman, with music and lyrics by William Finn (Falsettos), a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss. It premiered on Broadway in 2005 and won two of its six Tony Award Nominations, including Best Book. Since then, there have been various productions including a US National Tour and a production in Australia. London’s Donmar Warehouse gave the musical its UK premiere in 2011.
To book, call the box office on 020 8688 9291 or visit www.fairfield.co.uk/.
The tour will also visit Harlow, Croydon, Barnstaple, Birmingham, Kettering, Blackpool, High Wycombe, Jersey, Worthing, Liverpool, Crawley and Eastbourne.