Russell Grant, star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and one the country’s best loved celebrities, is to star as the mysterious and sinister Mrs Meers in the UK fringe premiere of the six-time Tony Award-winning tap dancing musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, based on the 1967 film of the same name, starring Julie Andrews, will play at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 from 1st to 29th October.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, set in the Roaring twenties flapper era, tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce. Millie soon begins to take delight in the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by Mrs Meers, the leader of a white slavery ring in China. On its Broadway premiere in 202, it won six Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards, including the win for Best Musical at both award ceremonies.
Russell Grant says: “Once in a while a role comes along that you have secretly coveted. I started performing in theatre around 50 years ago and this is one of those roles – Mrs Meers! Amongst other recent offers on both stage and screen it was this role I had to get my hands on. Beatrice Lillie made the role so fabulous in the film and from the moment I saw her it was on my wish list of roles I always wanted to perform but was never likely to be offered – until now!”
Russell Grant found international fame through becoming the Astrologer Royal but before Her Majesty, the late Queen Mother patronised him he had a very successful career in theatre, TV and film. His first role was for the very successful BBC TV’s Wednesday Play – he played a Welsh boy intent on arson! From here on to On The Buses, Please Sir!, The Fenn Street Gang, all the Doctor series starring both Barry Evans and Robin Nedwell. For over 10 years he appeared in classics such as Canterbury Tales for BBC TV starring Joss Ackland and Barbara Jefford and was in the first ever colour TV production the BBC’s Gazette. His first stage appearance was at the New Theatre Cardiff. He then appeared in stage tours of Ivor Novello’s King’s Rhapsody and Rodger and Hammerstein’s The King and I. He headed into the West End playing Slogger Williams with Chris Guard, Simon Le Bon and Keith Chegwin – at the time all unknowns – in the musical Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Other West End and National tour propductions included Camille (Arts Theatre); Hans Andersen (London Palladium); and Iolanthe. He was also one of the stars in the revival of Lupino Lane’s Me And My Gal at the Forum Theatre in Billingham before it transferred to the West End. During the period of astrological fame – nine years on BBC Breakfast Time and TV-AM – Russell appeared as Dame in many theatres, including the New Cardiff with Ruth Madoc, John Nettles and Andrew O’Connor, the Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, and Blackpool Grand.
Further casting to be announced.
Entourage Productions was founded in 2014 by CJ de Mooi and Drew Baker to bring exciting and engaging theatre to stages in London and beyond. Their most recent production was the acclaimed musical Zanna Don’t! at the Landor Theatre. Entourage Productions is proud to present the UK fringe premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Entourage Productions presents: THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, Music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan,Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan. Based on the 1967 film, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of New York
Director Drew Baker, Costume Designer Andrew Cox, Musical Director Benjamin Holder, Set Designer Ben M Rogers, Executive Producer CJ de Mooi
Thoroughly Modern Mille
Music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan.
Based on the 1967 film, Thoroughly Modern Millie
26 Crowndale Road
London, NW1 1TT
Wednesday 1 – Wednesday 29 October
Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Tickets: £15.00 £10.00 concessions
(plus booking fee with discounts available)
Wednesday 25th June 2014