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European Premiere of Harvey Fierstein’s CASA VALENTINA

Casa Valentina Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd and Amy Anzel Productions Ltd present The European première of CASA VALENTINA by Harvey Fierstein. Director: Luke Sheppard; Costume Designer: Andrew Riley; Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson

At Southwark Playhouse from 10th September to 10th October, 2015.

Sheppard directs Tamsin Carroll (Rita), Ben Deery (Jonathan/Miranda), Charlie Hayes (Eleanor), Bruce Montague (Theodore/ Terry), Robert Morgan (The Judge/Amy), Matt Rixon (Albert/Bessie), Ashley Robinson (Michael/Gloria), Gareth Snook (Charlotte/Isadore) and Edward Wolstenholme George/Valentina). The production opens on 16 September, with previews from 10 September, and runs until 10th October.

The European première of Casa Valentina opens at the Southwark Playhouse as his Broadway hit Kinky Boots, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, opens at the Adelphi Theatre. Casa Valentina re-unites producer, Paul Taylor-Mills, and director, Luke Sheppard: the producer and director team behind the smash hit In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse).  Taylor-Mills is also reuniting with producer Amy Anzel for the first time since their critically acclaimed 50th Anniversary production of One Flew OverThe Cuckoo’s Nest.

Set in 1962, in the picturesque Catskills mountains of New York, a group of heterosexual men escape from the City to spend their weekend dressed as women. In this cross dressing colony they leave their families, friends and city jobs behind to safely inhabit their female alter egos and release their inner woman. However when given the choice to share their secret lives with the world, the group have to decide whether the freedom gained by the openness is worth the personal risk.

Based on real–life events, this delightfully insightful and hilariously entertaining piece gives us a glimpse in to the life of these “self-made women” as they search for acceptance and happiness in a high heel.

Harvey Fierstein is a four time Tony Award winner, playwright and actor. As a writer, he is best known for the libretto of La Cage Aux Folles and the book for Kinky Boots and Newsies. His plays include Torch Song Trilogy, A Catered Affair, Safe Sex, Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush Tosca and Common Ground. As an actor, Fierstein won a Tony as Edna in the musical Hairspray making him the first person in history to win Tonys as an actor, as well as a writer, on both the dramatic and musical sides of the theatre world. His acting credits include Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway and North American Tour) and Albin in La Cage Aux Folles (Broadway). For television, his acting credits include On Tidy Endings, Common Ground, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Cheers. His film credits include Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Death to Smoochy, Bullets Over Broadway and The Times of Harvey Milk. He has been the recipient of three Drama Desk Awards, an Obie and a Dramatist Guild Award. In 2008, Fierstein was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

Tamsin Carroll plays Rita. Her theatre credits include Ellen in Miss Saigon, Nancy in Oliver! (West End), Barnum (Chichester Festival Theatre), Titania in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Ragtime (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Magistrate (National Theatre), Dusty in Dusty – The Original Pop Diva (Australian Tour) and Measure for Measure (Australia). Film credits include Goddess and Holy Smoke.

Ben Deery plays Jonathan/ Miranda. His theatre credits include A Mad World My Masters, (RSC/ETT), Private Lives (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Titus Andronicus, King Lear (RSC), Anne Boleyn, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry VIII (The Globe), The Woman In Black (Fortune Theatre) and La Cage Aux Folles (West End). For television his credits include And Then There Were None, Call The Midwife, Father Brown and Our World War.

Charlie Hayes plays Eleanor. Her theatre credits include My Sister Sadie, A Listening Heaven, The Jollies, Hobson’s Choice, The Boy Who Fell Into A Book (Stephen Joseph Theatre) The Arbour, Bluebird (Royal Court), A Small Family Business, Wizard of Oz, Johnson Over Jordan (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Women (The Old Vic). For television, her credits include Looking For Victoria and Wycliffe (series regular).

Bruce Montague plays Theodore/Terry. His theatre credits include Mr. Brownlow in Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom Of The Opera (West End), Bedroom Farce (West End/UK Tour) and Hobson’s Choice (Derby Playhouse). His television credits include New Tricks, Double Act, The Good Citizen, The Vision, Shah Of Iran and Butterflies.

Robert Morgan plays The Judge/Amy. His theatre credits include Richard II, Lancelot & Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Merchant Of Venice (Young Vic), Oedipus (Hackney Empire), Secret Rapture (Chichester Festival Theatre). His television credits include The Scandalous Lady W, Vera, Spooks and Waking The Dead. His film credits include Let Him Have It, Black Carrion and David Rose.

Matt Rixon plays Albert/Bessie. His theatre credits include The Producers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West End) The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe (Royal Shakespeare Company, Sadlers Wells), Dr. Seuss – The Musical (Old Vic), Around The World In 80 Days, (New Vic/Royal Exchange), Aladdin (Wimbledon Theatre), King Arthur, To Kill A Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal) and Buried Child (Leicester Curve).

Ashley Robinson plays Michael/Gloria. His theatre credits include How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying – Concert (Royal Festival Hall), Steve Martin’s Bright Star, Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory (Off-Broadway), Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory). His film credits include The Villain, Fallen Souls, Knight Phoenix and The Accident.

Gareth Snook plays Charlotte/Isadore. His theatre credits include Made In Dagenham, Phantom of the Opera My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, Aspects Of Love, Guys and Dolls, Sunset Boulevard (West End) Assassins, Company (Donmar Warehouse). For television his credits include French and Saunders, Pulaski and That Uncertain Feeling.

Edward Wolstenholme plays George/Valentina. His theatre credits include American Buffalo (West End), Pericles (RSC), Unidentified Item In The Bagging Area (Old Red Lion), How To Find Us (Soho Theatre). His film credits include The Receptionist.

Luke Sheppard directs.

The transformation – Casa Valentina @ Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse
77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD
Box Office: 020 7407 0234
Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
10th September to 10th October, 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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