Following rave reviews and a record-breaking run in Chichester, Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce the West End transfer of the critically acclaimed hit musical “HALF A SIXPENCE” – which he co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre – introducing the sensational new star Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps. Performances will commence at the Noël Coward Theatre from 29 October 2016, with press night on 17 November 2016. The first booking period is on sale until 11 February 2017.
The entire Chichester cast will transfer to the West End, starring newcomers Charlie Stemp as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Devon-Elise Johnson as ‘Ann Pornick’ – alongside three times Olivier-nominated actor Ian Bartholomew as ‘Chitterlow’ and three times Olivier-nominated actress Emma Williams as ‘Helen Walsingham’.
This new stage version of “HALF A SIXPENCE”, the musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s semi- autobiographical novel ‘Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul’, is a completely fresh adaptation which reunites book-writer Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of “Mary Poppins” with Disney. The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s exhilarating songs from the original production, including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Money To Burn’ and ‘Half A Sixpence’.
Arthur Kipps, an orphan and over-worked draper’s assistant at the turn of the last century, unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society. His childhood companion, Ann Pornick, watches with dismay as Arthur is made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. Both young women undoubtedly love Arthur – but which of them should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.
Charlie Stemp and Devon-Elise Johnson are both only two years out of drama school and both recently completed the international tour of “Mamma Mia!”.
Ian Bartholomew’s extensive West End credits include the recent “Mrs Henderson Presents”, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical; “Into The Woods” and “Radio Times” (for both of which he also received Olivier Award nominations), “Shakespeare in Love”, “Tommy”, “Dead Funny” and many roles for the National Theatre. The most recent of his many television appearances include “Maigret”, “New Blood”, “DCI Banks” and “South Riding”.
Emma Williams recently appeared as ‘Maureen’ in “Mrs Henderson Presents”, for which she received her third Olivier Award nomination. Her London theatre credits also include ‘Jenny’ in “Love Story” (which premiered at Chichester) and ‘Luisa’ in “Zorro”, both of which earned her Olivier Award nominations. She made her West End debut as ‘Truly Scrumptious’ in the original cast of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and went on to play leading roles in “Bat Boy: The Musical” and “Desperately Seeking Susan”. Emma’s screen credits include “The Parole Officer” with Steve Coogan, “Bleak House” with Gillian Anderson and, most recently, “Silent Witness” (both BBC).