First images are released today of End of the Rainbow, which opens at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester this Thursday ahead of a 5-month UK Tour. The production features Lisa Maxwell as Judy Garland, Gary Wilmot as Anthony and Sam Attwater as Mickey.
It’s 1968 and Judy Garland, a once-glittering star, is in London to make her explosive comeback. But off stage, holed up in her hotel room, Judy is battling with her young new fiancé, her devoted accompanist, and her destructive addictions. Will she be able to conquer her demons and reclaim her crown as one of history’s great musical icons? Featuring Garland’s most memorable songs The Man That Got Away, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and of course Somewhere Over The Rainbow, End of the Rainbow is a fiercely funny and emotionally charged musical play filled with Garland’s legendary tenacity, razor-sharp wit and once-in-a-generation voice.
Lisa Maxwell will play Judy Garland. Lisa is an actress, best known for her role as DCI Sam Nixon in ITV’s Bafta-winning The Bill from 2002 and 2009, and as a panelist on ITV’s Loose Women from 2009 – 2014. Other television credits include partnering Les Dennis on BBC1’s The Les Dennis Laughter Show, regular appearances on BBC’s The Russ Abbot Show, and her own BBC sketch series The Lisa Maxwell Show. On stage, Lisa’s credits include Grease and Boogie Nights in the West End.
Gary Wilmot will play Anthony. Gary’s musical theatre stardom began when he played Bill Snibson in the hit production of Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre. His many theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (West End and Tour), Oklahoma! (UK Tour), The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory), Chicago (UK Tour), Half a Sixpence (UK Tour), HMS Pinafore and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Carmen Jones (Old Vic) and Copacabana (World Premiere, Prince of Wales Theatre).
Sam Attwater will play Mickey. Sam made his TV acting debut in 2009, playing Ricky in Hollyoaks. The following year he joined EastEnders and its online spinoff EastEnders: E20, as Leon Small. Stage credits include Brad in the 40th Anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Dreamboats and Petticoats in the West End, and the 2014 UK Tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Sam won the sixth series of ITV’s Dancing on Ice in 2011, and returned for the ‘All Stars’ series in 2014.
At certain performances the role of Judy Garland will be played by Ellen Verenieks.
End of the Rainbow first premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, before playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006. It returned to the UK in 2010 in a new production at Northampton Royal & Derngate, transferring to the West End the same year where it ran for 6 months and received four Olivier Award nominations. A Broadway run followed in 2012, where it received three Tony Award nominations. It is written by Peter Quilter, whose plays have been presented in over 40 countries around the world and translated into 30 languages. For End of the Rainbow, Peter received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play. Other plays include Glorious!, which opened at the West End’s Duchess Theatre in 2005 starring Maureen Lipman, where it was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
End of the Rainbow will be directed by Daniel Buckroyd. Daniel has been Artistic Director of the Mercury Theatre, Colchester since July 2012, where credits include Aladdin, Noises Off, Cinderella, Macbeth, Betty Blue Eyes, The Opinion Makers, The Butterfly Lion, The History Boys, The Hired Man and Michael Morpurgo’s Friend Or Foe. It is designed by David Shields.
Churchill Theatre Bomley
Tuesday 8th – Saturday 13th March 2016 (Tue – Sat 7.30pm Thu & Sat mat 2.30pm)
Other Selected Tour Dates
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th March 2016
Princess Theatre Torquay, Torquay
Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th March 2016
Theatre Royal Brighton, Brighton
Tuesday 29th March to Saturday 2nd April 2016
King’s Theatre Glasgow, Glasgow
Tuesday 26th April to Saturday 30th April 2016
Opera House Manchester, Manchester
Tuesday 3rd May to Saturday 7th May 2016
Richmond Theatre, Richmond
Tuesday 24th May to Saturday 28th May 2016
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Tuesday 7th June to Saturday 11th june 2016
New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Birmingham
Tuesday 21st June to Saturday 25th June 2016