As Elliott & Harper Productions is about to begin performances of its first West End show, Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, Marianne Elliott announced today (Friday 22 September 2017) that she will be directing a new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Tony award-winning musical, Company. For the first time ever, the lead role of Bobby will be re-imagined as a woman. Company will run at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue from 26 September 2018 for a strictly limited season, with public booking opening today.
Star of the National Theatre’s The Light Princess, Rosalie Craig will play Bobbi and Tony and Olivier award-winning Patti LuPone will play Joanne.
At Bobbi’s 35th birthday party all her friends are wondering why she isn’t married; why she can’t find the right man and why she hasn’t settled down to have a family. The multi-award winning musical comedy about life, love and marriage includes Stephen Sondheim’s iconic songs, The Ladies who Lunch, Being Alive and Side by Side.
Marianne Elliott said: ‘I feel so lucky to be directing this wonderful musical. I’ve loved it for years. I really want to make this production contemporary, to explore what it feels like to be a 35 year old sexually confident woman managing friendships and searching for love. Stephen Sondheim and I have talked a great deal about how this new interpretation might best be executed and I can’t wait to share it with audiences. I also get to work with the beautiful and talented Rosalie Craig, as well as a hero of mine, Patti LuPone.’
Patti LuPone added: ‘I saw War Horse in New York and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in London. I came out of both productions blown away by Ms Elliott’s vision. So naturally I am thrilled beyond words that she wants me to be a part of Company. I’m a lucky girl. Marianne, Steve, London. I thought I’d sworn off musicals, but working with Marianne was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.’
Rosalie Craig’s extensive theatre credits include: Marianne Elliott’s production of The Light Princess, for which she won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for an Olivier Award, Rosalind in As You Like It, The Threepenny Opera and London Road – all for the National Theatre. Other theatre includes: City of Angels for the Donmar, Lady Macduff in Macbeth for Manchester International Festival, directed by Kenneth Branagh, Sylvia in the musical Finding Neverland and the title role in Miss Julie at Chichester Festival Theatre. Her film and TV credits include: London Road, Spooks, and Casanova.
Patti LuPone returns to London to make her first appearance in a West End musical for over 25 years. Patti is currently starring on Broadway in War Paint. Her previous London theatre credits include originating the role of Fantine in Les Misérables for the RSC and Cameron Mackintosh, an Olivier-award winning role in The Cradle will Rock and creating the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Her numerous Broadway credits include: originating the role of Eva Peron in Evita, Gypsy, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes, Noises Off, The Old Neighborhood and Master Class. Her many screen credits include: Cliffs of Freedom, The Comedian, Union Square, Parker, City by the Sea, Heist, State and Main; Just Looking, Summer of Sam, The 24 Hour Woman, Family Prayers, Driving Miss Daisy and Witness. Her television work includes: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Penny Dreadful, Girls, American Horror Story: Coven, Glee, 30 Rock, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Grammy Award), Ugly Betty, Will & Grace (as herself), Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination) and Law & Order. LuPone, who is a graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School and a founding member of John Houseman’s The Acting Company, is the author of the The New York Times bestseller Patti LuPone: A Memoir.
Marianne Elliott, is Artistic Director of Elliott & Harper Productions, a company she recently founded with producer Chris Harper. Elliott is the first woman in Broadway history to win two Tony Awards for Best Director. Marianne’s ground- breaking production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received 7 Olivier Awards in London, including Best New Play and Best Director and 5 Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Director for its run on Broadway. Her production of Saint Joan earned her the Olivier Award for Best Revival and Pillars of the Community earned her the Evening Standard Award for Best Director. War Horse, which she co-directed, and has been seen by over 7 million people world-wide, has just begun its second UK tour. Marianne’s recent highly acclaimed production of Angels in America at the National Theatre will transfer to Broadway in March 2018.
Elliott & Harper Productions will co-produce a new production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Catherine Schreiber and West Yorkshire Playhouse at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in November 2017 and will co-produce the 2018 Broadway transfer of Angels in America.
Joining Marianne Elliott on the creative team for Company are: designer Bunny Christie and musical director Joel Fram. Further casting will be announced.
Photo: Axel Dupeux