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Mrs Henderson Presents in West End Transfer

Mrs Henderson PresentsNorma Heyman, John Reid, Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Michael Harrison have announced that following a sell-out season at the Theatre Royal Bath this summer, Mrs Henderson Presents will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 9th February 2016, for a strictly limited season, with press night on Tuesday 16th February 2016.

Mrs Henderson Presents will star Tracie Bennett as Laura Henderson, Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams as Maureen who all reprise the roles they played in Bath. Full casting is to be announced shortly.

Based on the 2005 British comedy film Mrs Henderson Presents, written by American playwright Martin Sherman and directed by Stephen Frears. It starred Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Kelly Reilly, and Pop Idol winner Will Young in his acting debut.

The Book is by multi-award winning Terry Johnson, who is also the Director. Lyrics by the Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winning Don Black with music by Oscar nominated George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain, who both collaborated on the original film. It is choreographed by Andrew Wright, has set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Paul Wills and lighting design by Ben Ormerod. Wig, hair and make-up design is by Richard Mawbey, orchestrations are by Larry Blank with musical supervision by Mike Dixon.

It’s London, 1937, and recently-widowed eccentric, Laura Henderson, is looking for a way of spending her time and money when her attention falls on a run-down former cinema in Great Windmill Street. Hiring feisty impresario Vivian Van Damm to look after the newly renovated Windmill Theatre, the improbable duo present a bill of non-stop variety acts. But as war looms something more is required to boost morale and box office… When Mrs Henderson comes up with the idea of The Windmill Girls – glamorous young women posing as nude statues – audiences flock. And as the Blitz hits London, The Windmill provides a refuge for all, boasting the spirit-raising slogan “We Never Close“.

Tracie Bennett is a double Olivier Award-winner for her performances in the musicals She Loves Me and Hairspray. She received huge acclaim around the world for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End Of The Rainbow, and was Tony Award nominated for her lead role in the production, also directed by Terry Johnson. Her West End credits also include the musicals La Cage Aux Folles and Les Miserables. Her many popular television roles include playing Sharon Gaskell in Coronation Street and Sharon in Scott and Bailey. Ian Bartholomew was Olivier Award-nominated for the West End musicals Into the Woods and Radio Times. His many theatre credits include performing extensively at the National Theatre, most recently in The Power of Yes. His many West End credits include Shakespeare in Love, Tommy and Terry Johnson’s Dead Funny. Emma Williams played Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. She was Olivier-nominated for her roles in the West End musicals Zorro and Love Story.

Terry Johnson’s work has been seen around the world. He is the recipient of a dozen major theatre awards including: the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical 2010, the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Critics’ Circle Best Musical 2009 for La Cage Aux Folles. He won the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy of 1994 and of 1999, Playwright of the Year 1995, Critics’ Circle Best New Play 1995, two Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Writers’ Guild Best Play in 1995 and 1996. His most recent West End productions have included End of the Rainbow, Whipping It Up, Dead Funny, Hysteria, The Graduate and Entertaining Mr Sloane as well as Rain Man, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, La Cage Aux Folles, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Memory Of Water, Elton John’s Glasses and Hitchcock Blonde. In Chicago, he directed John Malkovich in The Libertine, which was nominated for five Jeff Awards. For the National Theatre, he wrote and directed Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and The London Cuckolds.

Don Black’s stage musicals include Billy, Tell Me On A Sunday, Aspects Of Love, and Sunset Boulevard, for which he won two Tony Awards. His film lyrics include The Italian Job and Born Free and his popular hit songs include Michael Jackson’s Ben and Lulu’s To Sir With Love. He has written a several James Bond theme songs: Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Surrender from Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. He has won a many of Awards including an Oscar, six Ivor Novello Awards and a Golden Globe. George Fenton’s many film scores include the original film of Mrs Henderson Presents, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Dangerous Liaisons and The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and his music for television includes the series The Jewel In The Crown, The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. Simon Chamberlain was the original Music Director on the film Mrs Henderson Presents.

Mrs Henderson Presents
Noel Coward Theatre
85-88 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4AU
Evenings: Monday, Wednesday to saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm


  • 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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