Sandy Wilson’s all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies returns for the first major London revival in over 10 years. Set in Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.
The Boy Friend opened in London in 1953, before a West End run in 1954, and ran for more than 5 years. The subsequent Broadway run in 1954 made a star of the then-unknown Julie Andrews. Ken Russell adapted it into a 1971 film with Twiggy who won two Golden Globes for her performance.
Initial casting for the major revival of The Boy Friend running at the theatre over Christmas. Matthew White directs a cast including Jack Butterworth (Bobby van Husen), Janie Dee (Mme Dubonnet), Adrian Edmondson (Lord Brockhurst), Tiffany Graves (Hortense), Dylan Mason (Tony), Amara Okereke (Polly) and Issy van Randwyck (Lady Brockhurst). The production opens on 3rd December, with previews from 22nd November, and runs until 7th March 2020.
Our Q&A with Issy van Randwyck
What attracted you to be a part of this production?
Issy: It’s a blissful antidote to the stresses and pressures of life.
Can you tell us about Lady Brockhurst and how she fits into the storyline?
Issy: Lady Brockhurst belongs to the Edwardian era and finds it hard to enjoy herself. She is mother of Tony (boyfriend of Polly) who, as far as she knows, has disappeared from Oxford and gone missing.
Do you have a favourite song or dance routine in the show?
Issy: Ade Edmondson and I have an opportunity to spread our wings a little on the dance floor in the song Never Too Late To Fall in Love.
What is at the heart of the show?
Issy: Love is at the heart of the show.
This ‘all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies’ had its London premiere in 1953 and this is the first run for 10 years – what is there to enjoy for contemporary theatregoers?
Issy: The show has been slightly tweaked for contemporary audiences. Apart from the glorious singing and dancing, Paul Farnsworth’s stunning set will bring warmth and happiness to any cold winter day.
Issy van Randwyck plays Lady Brockhurst. Her theatre work include Rough Crossing (UK tour), Anything That Flies, Closer Than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), A Further Education, Raving (Hampstead Theatre), The American Clock (Finborough Theatre), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre), Once in a Lifetime (National Theatre), Calico (Duke of York’s Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). She received Olivier nominations for her roles in Fascinating Aida and Kiss Me Kate. For television, her work includes Action Team, Partners in Crime, Downton Abbey, Christopher and His Kind, Spooks, Kingdom and Trial and Retribution; and for film, The Hippopotamus, The Danish Girl, Splinter and First Impressions.
The Menier Chocolate Factory presents
THE BOY FRIEND
Book, Music and Lyrics by Sandy Wilson
Director: Matthew White; Choreographer & Associate Director: Bill Deamer
Designer: Paul Farnsworth; Lighting Designer: Paul Anderson; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke
Hair & Wig Designer: Richard Mawbey; Musical Supervisor & Director: Simon Beck
Orchestrator: David Cullen
22 November 2019 – 7 March 2020