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Gerard McCarthy cast as George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life

Gerard McCarthy
Gerard McCarthy

Gerard McCarthy is cast as George Bailey in the UK premiere of a stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s 1946 film classic It’s A Wonderful Life.

Bailey was originally played by James Stewart who holds the No. 9 position on the American Film Institute’s list of the 50 greatest screen heroes of all time. It’s A Wonderful Life, performed as a live radio play in front of a studio audience, will run from 9th December – 4th January at South London’s newest fringe theatre, the Bridge House Theatre SE20, and is directed by the venue’s Artistic Director, Guy Retallack.

Belfast born Gerard McCarthy, seen on TV in The Fall, made his Shakespearean debut in 2010 as Fenton in The Merry Wives Of Windsor at Shakespeare’s Globe. He recently filmed the new BBC comedy Puppy Love, written by and starring Joanna Scanlan & Vicki Pepperdine.

The rest of the cast features Sophie Scott (Dusa in Dusa, Fish, Stas & Vi, Finborough Theatre); Kenneth Jay (Death of a Salesman, Cool Hand Luke, West End); Gillian Kirkpatrick (Mrs Bateman, American Psycho, Almeida, Beggar Woman, Sweeney Todd, Chichester & West End, Velma Von Tussle, Hairspray, West End); Daniel Hill (TV includes five series as Harvey Bains, the greedy, vain manager of Bayview in Waiting for God, 24 with Kiefer Sutherland, and the upcoming Broadchurch series 2); Danny Colligan (who played Nathan in the acclaimed, award-winning Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, directed by Guy Retallack, produced by Rob Harris both in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe).

It’s A Wonderful Life, by Tony Palermo, is a loving tribute to the golden era of radio and also beautifully captures the eternal comedy of Frank Capra’s iconic Hollywood feature film. It’s the story of a dreamer, the idealistic George Bailey from a small American town, Bedford Falls, just after the Great Depression of the 1930s; Standing alone on a bridge on Christmas Eve, George has decided, with all his dreams of escape and adventure quashed by his love of family and civic duty, that everyone would be better off without him… or would they? It falls to a guardian angel, Clarence, to try and save him, showing him what the world could have been like without him and how after all, it has been a wonderful life… Not only does the triumph of humanity come effortlessly across through this amazing story, but the unique setting of the recording of a radio play in the 1940s, adds another layer of drama to this immortal classic as the audience is transported to Bedford Falls.

It’s A Wonderful Life is produced by Bridge House Theatre Productions SE20 Ltd, and runs alongside the family panto show The Uglies Take Penge, featuring David Kent & Jonathan Barnes as Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters and follows what happened to them after the “Glass Slipper incident”.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Tuesday 9th December – Sunday 4th January
Press night is Thursday 11 December at 7.30pm
8.00pm Tue 9 Dec, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30, Fri 2 Jan, 3
4.30pm Sat 13 Dec, 14, 18, 20, 21
4.00pm Sat 27 Dec, 28, 29, 30, Sat 3 Jan, 4

Visit Bridge House Theatre Official Website at:

Wednesday 12th November 2014


  • 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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