First casting is announced today for Broadway musical Side Show, which will receive its UK Premiere in a brand new production at Southwark Playhouse, opening on Wednesday 26 October with previews from Friday 21 October.
Conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton will be played by Louise Dearman and Laura Pitt-Pulford.
Louise Dearman (Daisy) is best known for being the first actress to star as both Glinda and Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked, playing both roles to great acclaim in the West End. Her many other theatre credits include Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (UK Tour), Bianca in Kiss Me Kate (Royal Albert Hall), Mrs D in The Water Babies (Leicester Curve), Eva Peron in Evita (UK Tour) and Jan in Grease (West End).
Laura Pitt-Pulford (Violet) received a 2016 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Other recent credits include Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Nancy in Oliver! (Leicester Curve), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK Tour), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Maria in The Sound of Music (Leicester Curve) and The Light Princess (National Theatre).
Further casting is to be announced.
Inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about love, acceptance and embracing the unique.
We meet the Hilton Sisters as the headline act at a seedy side show, languishing under the rule of an oppressive ringmaster. But when spotted by a talent agent, they are thrust into the spotlight of the famed 1920’s Orpheum Circuit. They soon become the highest paid vaudeville stars of their time, but whilst Daisy relishes the spotlight, Violet wishes for a quiet life with a man she loves, and who loves her. Can they balance their individual dreams with their inescapable physical connection? Side Show is a heartwarming musical about the search for love and acceptance amidst the spectacle of fame.
Side Show first opened on Broadway in 1997, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards; Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, the only time a nomination has been shared by two actresses; Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner.
Side Show features a score by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger, with both shows making their London debuts a month apart from each other when Dreamgirls opens in the West End in November. Krieger was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Score for Side Show and Dreamgirls, won a Grammy Award for the cast album of Dreamgirls, and received three Academy Award nominations for the additional songs he wrote for the 2006 film.
It has a Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, who received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book, and shared the nomination for Best Score with Krieger. Russell’s other musicals include Elegies for Angels and Punks and Raging Queens. Additional Book material is by Bill Condon, who reworked Side Show for its 2014 Broadway revival. Condon is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, best known for writing the screenplay for the 2002 film Chicago, and directing and writing the critically acclaimed films Gods and Monsters and Dreamgirls, for which he won a Golden Globe.
Side Show is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills, who returns to Southwark Playhouse following his acclaimed productions of In The Heights and Carrie: The Musical. In The Heights won three 2016 Olivier Awards for its transfer to King’s Cross Theatre, whilst Carrie: The Musical won the 2016 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production.
Side Show will be directed by Hannah Chissick (Down the Dock Road, Royal Court Liverpool, Brass, NYMT, Marry Me a Little, St. James Studio), with choreography by Matthew Cole (Footloose, UK Tour), design by takis (In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse/King’s Cross Theatre) and sound design by Dan Simpson. Casting is by Will Burton. Side Show has music by Henry Krieger and Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, with additional Book material by Bill Condon.