West End stars Hadley Fraser and Caroline Sheen are to feature in the world premiere of Stuart Matthew Price and Timothy Knapman’s new romantic musical, Before After, at St. James Studio.
Everybody has one great lost love. They broke our hearts, they haunt our dreams and we will never, ever forget it. But what if fate gave you another chance? Do you think you’d get things right the second time around? In Before After, Ami (Caroline Sheen) meets Ben (Hadley Fraser) by a tree on a beautiful hillside. She reconises him instantly – he was once the love of her life. But Ben doesn’t recognise her. As we watch their love grow in both the past and the present, might they finally find their happy ever after after all? He’s the right man in the right place – but is this the right time?
Supported by the Arts Council, Before After will be work-shopped for two weeks then will be performed to the paying public on Sunday 28 September at 3.00pm at St. James Studio, 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA. Box Office: 0844 264 2140. Tickets are £15 Studio Gallery and £12.50 Studio Floor. Industry insiders will be invited to see the show on Friday 26 September at 2.30pm.
Composer Stuart Matthew Price said: “We are thrilled with the stunning West End cast we’ve assembled and with the generous support of the Arts Council, excited to give Musical Theatre fans the opportunity to be in at the very beginning of the journey for this new British musical. We want their feedback as we look to mount a fully staged production later in 2014 or early 2015.”
Hadley Fraser, soon to star as Stine in the sold-out Donmar Warehouse production of City of Angels, made his professional debut in Les Misérables and returned to West End production as Javert in 2011. His other West End roles include: The Far Pavilions (Shaftesbury), Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance (Savoy), Peter Pan (Savoy), El Gallo in The Fantasticks (Duchess). He played Raoul in the 25th Anniversary staging of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. As a vocalist he can be heard on Scott Alan’s releases Keys and Scott Alan LIVE.
Caroline Sheen played the title role in the musical Mary Poppins in the UK then in the US, where she won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Non-Resident Production. She appeared in the West End as Fantine in Les Misérables alongside Hadley Fraser, and appears in the film version as well. She made her West End debut as Marty in Grease at the Cambridge Theatre and later starred as Sandy at the Victorial Palace. She played Florinda in Into the Woods at the Donmar Warehouse and was the original cast of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, understudying the lead role of Sophie. She created the role of Jennifer Gabriel in the world premiere production of The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She was Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
Stuart Matthew Price made his debut as as perfomer in the critically acclaimed Parade at the Donmar Warehouse. Other theatre credits include Mack and Mabel at Southwark Playhouse, The Sound Of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Dear World at Charing Cross Theatre, Shrek The Musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (original West End cast); Sweet Smell of Success at Arcola Theatre and Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show. In 1999, Stuart’s first musical, Searching, won him the Stoll Moss Theatre’s Award for Most Promising Under 18 Musical Writer. Since then Stuart has worked on a number of new musicals including The Diary of Me, which premiered at the Harlow Playhouse in 2006, followed by a short run as part of the Perfect Pitch Showcase Season in 2008 at Trafalgar Studios. Stuart’s individual songs have received much acclaim too and his song Stories of Heroes, won him the 4th Annual Tim William’s Award in 2012.
Timothy Knapman is a playwright, lyricist and children’s writer. He co-wrote Hamlet! The Musical (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Royal and Derngate Northampton, Richmond Theatre), wrote book and lyrics for a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol (Creation TC) and works frequently as a librettist for singing group I Fagiolini (work performed at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, BBC Proms, on CD and DVD). Plays include: Gilbert and Sullivan: All At Sixes and Sevens (King’s Head), The Stag King (Edinburgh Fringe), The Smallest Person (Trestle TC, Edinburgh and national tour). Books include: the best-selling Mungo and the Picture Book Pirates (and its sequels), Dinosaurs in the Supermarket and Eleanor’s Eyebrows.
The workshop will be directed by Simon Greiff, with orchestration and musical direction by Colin Billing.Produced by United Theatrical with the assistance of the Arts Council of England.