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Sweet Smell of Success - Arcola Theatre

David Bamber

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OLIVIER Award winner David Bamber will star in the UK premiere of the 7-times Tony-nominated Broadway musical, Sweet Smell of Success, which runs at the Arcola Theatre from Friday, November 9 to Saturday, December 22, 2012.

Sweet Smell of Success is set in New York in 1952, a time when Broadway was the glamour capital of the universe. Hunsecker rules it all with his daily gossip column in the New York Globe, syndicated to 60 million readers across America.

JJ has the goods on everyone, from the President to the latest starlet. And everyone feeds JJ scandal, from FBI boss J Edgar Hoover and Senator Joe McCarthy down to a battalion of hungry press agents who attach their news to a client that JJ might plug.

You’re no one if you’re not in with JJ. You can become no one if JJ turns on you. But things take a highly personal turn when JJ uses his connections to ruin his own sister Susan’s relationship with a man he thinks is inappropriate.

Joining Bamber (as JJ Hunsecker) will be Adrian der Gregorian (Sidney Falcone), Caroline Keiff (Susan), Stuart Matthew Price (Dallas), Celia Graham (Rita), Claire Doyle, Russell Morton, Tosh Wanogho-Maud, Brenan Davies, Zoe Doano, Claudia Kariuki, Morgan Deare and Michael Chadwick.

David Bamber, who won the Best Actor Olivier Award for My Night With Reg, has also appeared on stage in Betty Blue Eyes, Absurd Person Singular, The Glee Club and Otherwise Engaged, all in the West End. His screen credits include Psychoville, Rome and The Borgias (TV); Adolf Hitler in the Tom Cruise action thriller Valkyrie (film).

Adrian der Gregorian appeared in the West End in The Woman in White and La Cage Aux Folles. Caroline Keiff was in the original West End casts of Wicked and Legally Blonde, in which she played Vivienne Kensington. Stuart Matthew Price was in the critically acclaimed Parade at the Donmar Warehouse and the original West End cast of Shrek The Musical. And Celia Graham starred as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (2008) and Love Never Dies (2011).

John Lithgow starred in the Broadway premiere of Sweet Smell of Success in 2002, when it was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Based on the 1957 Hollywood film of the same name, which starred Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, Sweet Smell of Success has a book by John Guare, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Craig Carnelia.

Hamlisch, who died earlier this year, was a prolific composer for stage and film. His other stage musicals include A Chorus Line, due to be revived at the London Palladium in 2013, They’re Playing Our Song and The Goodbye Girl.

Sweet Smell of Success will be directed by Mehmet Ergen, with musical direction by Bob Broad and choreography by Nathan M. Wright. The production will be designed by Mark Bailey, with lighting by David Howe and sound by Ed Borgnis.

Tickets: Evenings £25 (£18 concessions), Matinees £22 (£15 concessions), Preview performances (November 9, 10, 12 and 13) all tickets £18 – available from the box office on 020 7503 1646 or online at

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.