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Urinetown The Musical - St James Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

JAMIE Lloyd will direct the UK premiere of Tony Award-winning Urinetown The Musical, which runs at St James Theatre from March 11 (previews from February 22) to May 3, 2014.

With music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, Urinetown The Musical is set in a city of the future that has been inflicted with a terrible drought.

Business tycoon Caldwell B. Cladwell has made his fortune through bribery and the monopolisation of all public toilets. With a brutal police force maintaining law and order, it’s not a place to get caught short! Risk it and you will be sent off to a place no one returns from – the infamous Urinetown.

The city needs a revolution and every revolution needs a hero… however unlikely.

Urinetown The Musical ran on Broadway to great acclaim from 2001 until 2004 and was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning three – for Best Book, Best Score and Best Direction. It also won three Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

David Gilmore, Artistic Director of St James Theatre, said: “On taking up the reins of the still to be built St James Theatre two years ago I made a wish list of shows which I hoped to bring to its stage. At the very top of that list was Urinetown The Musical. I am thrilled that it will now form the centrepiece of our second season.”

And Jamie Lloyd, Director, said: “I have wanted to direct Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann’s idiosyncratic musical for many years. Whilst sounding like a contemporary Kurt Weill score, Urinetown takes a hilarious, off-kilter look at a dystopian future that chimes with our times, exposing the reality that our way of life is no longer sustainable. It engages in a highly pertinent, political conversation, whilst keeping its tongue in its cheek and a beating heart at its centre. I am thrilled that we are introducing this unique piece of musical theatre to a UK audience for the very first time”.

Jamie Lloyd recently created Jamie Lloyd Productions, a production venture with Ambassador Theatre Group. With this company, he is presenting a season of work as Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed at Trafalgar Studios: The Pride, The Hothouse and Macbeth, which received an Olivier nomination for Best Revival.

His other theatre credits include The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic); She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre); The Faith Machine and The Pride (Royal Court Theatre), which received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre; and Inadmissible Evidence, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Passion, which received an Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, and Polar Bears (Donmar Warehouse).

He also directed Piaf (Donmar Warehouse/Vaudeville Theatre/Teatro Liceo, Buenos Aires/Nuevo Teatro Alcala, Madrid); The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Apollo Theatre); The Lover and The Collection (Comedy Theatre); Elegies: a Song Cycle (Arts Theatre); The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal, Bath); Salome (Headlong); and The Caretaker (Sheffield Crucible and Tricycle Theatre).

Produced by Julian Stoneman Associates and The Araca Group, Urinetown The Musical will be designed by Soutra Gilmour, with choreography by Ann Yee, lighting by Adam Silverman, sound by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and musical supervision by Alan Williams.

Casting has yet to be announced.

Tickets: £27.50 – £49.50 – available from the box office on 0844 264 2140 or online at www.urinetown.co.uk/ or www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Scenes from a Marriage, directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Olivia Williams, runs at St James Theatre until November 9, 2013.