Full casting is announced today for the UK premiere of the hit Off Broadway musical Adding Machine: A Musical, composed by Joshua Schmidt, with libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, and based on the classic play by Elmer Rice. Josh Seymour directs Joseph Alessi (Mr Zero), Kate Milner-Evans (Mrs Zero), Joanna Kirkland (Daisy Dorothea Devore) and Edd Campbell Bird (Shrdlu), with James Dinsmore (Mr One and as cast), Helen Walsh (Mrs One and as cast), George Rae (Mr Two and as cast), and Sue Appleby (Mrs Two and as cast). The production opens at the Finborough Theatre on Wednesday 28th September 2016 (Press Nights: Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October 2016 at 7.30pm).
Ever feel like killing your boss?
After 25 long years spent adding figures in the same soul-crushing job, Mr Zero suddenly finds himself replaced by a machine. For the first time in his life, Zero takes his destiny into his own hands. The consequences set him on a path through this world and beyond, offering him one last chance for love, life and redemption.
Take an extraordinary journey with Mr Zero in this stirring and hilariously dark anti-musical as it asks us to consider the true price of a human soul, told through Joshua Schmidt’s haunting score, inspired by gospel, opera, jazz and rock and roll.
The UK premiere of Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt’s multi-award winning musical adaptation of Elmer Rice’s groundbreaking 1923 play is directed by Josh Seymour, named Best Director at the 2016 Off West End Theatre Awards for One Arm at Southwark Playhouse.
Adding Machine: A Musical won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score.
Joshua Schmidt and Jason Loweith said, “Astonishingly, the themes of Elmer Rice’s 1922 play seem never more relevant than the time we find ourselves living in now, especially with the recent events in the UK. In adapting his provocative play, we set out to unearth the siren songs of the disenfranchised. This is not music of “simple” folk; rather it is a rich tapestry of love, dark humour, complexity, heartfelt earnestness, insecurity and anger. Whether it’s technological innovation or globalisation that leaves generations of people in the dust, we find it amazing how little those siren songs have changed in almost a century, how frequently they turn into the shrill cries of the racist and the nativist, and how their emotional reach spans so many borders. Diving into this material has made us both much more empathetic to the plight of those kicked to the curb, and more aware of the warning signs in their anger. And it has ultimately reinforced our belief that in the end, we are all individually responsible for our ability to overcome adversity in this ever-changing, constantly evolving world. It seems now is a fascinating moment for the musical to make its premiere in London.”
Playwright Elmer Rice (1892-1967) was noted for his innovative and polemical plays, best known for Street Scene (1929), a starkly realistic tragedy set outside a New York City slum tenement building, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a highly popular musical with lyrics by Langston Hughes and music by Kurt Weill. His other plays include On Trial (1914), The Adding Machine (1923), Counsellor-at-Law (1931), We, the People (1933) and Judgment Day (1934). Rice was active in the WPA Federal Theatre Project in the mid-1930s, also championed the American Civil Liberties Union and the cause of free speech and in the 1950s he was an opponent of U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Rice also wrote several novels and an autobiography, Minority Report (1963).
Joseph Alessi plays Mr Zero. Theatre includes Older Male in Monster Raving Loony (Drum Theatre Plymouth and Soho Theatre), Duchotel in The One That Got Away (Ustinov Theatre, Bath), Louis in The Hook (Royal and Derngate Theatres Northampton and Everyman Theatre, Liverpool), Albert in Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter (International Tour and Studio 54, Broadway), Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton), Orgon in Tartuffe (Liverpool Playhouse and National Tour), Sidney in Absurd Person Singular (The Curve, Leicester), Acting Captain Terri Dennis in Privates on Parade (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep), Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone (Novello Theatre), Philo, Ventidius and Scarus in Antony and Cleopatra, Casca in Julius Caeser and Stephano in The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Novello Theatre and International Tour), Nick and Katz in The Postman Always Rings Twice (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Playhouse
Joanna Kirkland plays Daisy Dorothea Devore. Theatre includes Shutters (Park Theatre), Pattie in Season’s Greetings and Hortense in The Baker’s Wife (Union Theatre), A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter Theatre), Iola Stover in Parade (Donmar Warehouse), Dottie in Show Boat (Royal Albert Hall), and the original cast of The Woman in White (Palace Theatre). Television includes Elaine Gere in Suspicion, Georgina Jones in Martin Chuzzlewit, Nicola Fallon in Casualty and Holby City and Alice Beverley in Children of the New Forest.
Edd Campbell Bird plays Shrdlu. Theatre includes Prouvaire and Marius in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), Ensemble in Sweeney Todd (English National Opera), Ensemble in Sweeney Todd and Harry in The Hired Man (National Youth Music Theatre). Concerts include Friday Night is Music Night and The Olivier Awards.
James Dinsmore plays Mr One and as cast. Theatre includes Tony Blair in Corbyn the Musical (Waterloo East Theatre), Mr Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors (Webster Theatre, Glasgow), Captain Hook/Mr Darling in Peter Pan (Capitol Theatre), Priam Farll in Darling of the Day (Union Theatre) and Molokov in Chess (Aberystwyth Arts Centre).
Helen Walsh plays Mrs One and as cast. Theatre includes Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables (International Tour), Ensemble and cover Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), Baroness in Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory), Sister Margaretta and cover Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Mrs Fox in Fantastic Mr Fox (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Ensemble in Sister Act, Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz and Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music (London Palladium), Shawntel and Eve in Jerry Springer the Opera (National Tour) and Cats, Mamma Mia! and Soloist and Ensemble in Masterpiece: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (International Tour).
George Rae plays Mr Two and as cast. Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Wallace. Theatre includes Otto Kringelein in Grand Hotel (Southwark Playhouse) for which he was nominated for an OffWestEnd Award for Best Male Performance and a Broadway World UK Award for Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Musical, Timon and Zazu in The Lion King (National Tour), Benjamin in Joseph (Adelphi Theatre and National Tour), Schlomo in Fame, Rick in A Slice of Saturday Night and Ko-Ko in The Mikado (International Tour).
Sue Appleby plays Mrs Two and as cast. Theatre includes 1927’s The Animals and Children Took to the Streets (National Theatre and International Tour), South Pacific (National Tour), Cinderella in Into the Woods (Landor Theatre), Pianist and Musical Directorin Three Men in a Boat (National Tour), Mme Simone and MS in John Godber’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Hull Truck), Belle Moffat in Little Women (Duchess Theatre) and Bobbie Ellis in Losing Louis (Trafalgar Studios). She has worked with renowned conductor John Wilson and his Orchestra in The Good Companions and performed in several Proms for the BBC and at Abbey Road Studios. In 2009, she founded Christmas for Kids, a charity taking shows of storytelling, song and puppetry to children’s hospices at Christmas.
Libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt
Based on the play The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice
Directed by Josh Seymour. Set and Costume Design by Frankie Bradshaw
Lighting Design by Neill Brinkworth. Sound Design by Philip Matejtschuk
Musical Direction by Ben Ferguson. Movement Direction by Chi-San Howard
Casting by Leon Kay
Presented by Alex Turner Productions in association with SDWC Productions
In numbers the mysteries of life can be revealed…
Adding Machine: A Musical is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD.
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Wednesday, 28th September – Saturday, 22nd October 2016
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from Saturday, 8 October 2016).
Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.
Previews (Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th September) tickets £16 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for the first week until Sunday 2 October when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Sunday 2 October when booked online only.
Group bookings: one free ticket in every 10 tickets booked.
Performance Length: Approximately 95 minutes with no interval.