Home » London Theatre News » The hunt is on for Identical Twins to star in the next big musical!

The hunt is on for Identical Twins to star in the next big musical!

IdenticalIdentical, the world premiere of a ‘Twin-sational’ new musical, destined for London’s West End, is based on the novel The Parent Trap by Erich Kästner, which inspired Disney films featuring Hayley Mills in 1961 and Lindsay Lohan in 1998. It tells the story of twin girls separated at birth, reunited by chance at a summer camp 10 years later. In an attempt to re-join their divorced parents, they decide to exchange identities.

It has Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, (the multi award-winning writers of the Olivier award-winning National Theatre hit Honk!, who also created a new score for the international smash-hit Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of Mary Poppins) with a book by Stuart Paterson.

Identical will be co-produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Kenny Wax Ltd (producer of the ‘Goes Wrong’ shows and the new musical phenomenon SIX) and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winning Sir Trevor Nunn (responsible for some of the greatest hits in the world, including Les Miserables, Starlight Express, Cats and Sunset Boulevard). It will premiere at Nottingham Playhouse from July 31 2020 to be followed by a three week run at Theatre Royal Bath in September.

Producer Kenny Wax says: “It’s a wildly ambitious project which will stand or fall on whether we can cast identical twins who the audience cannot tell apart. Without that, there will be no show. So our challenge over the next nine months is to scour the country and leave no stone unturned until we find our Lottie and Lisa.

The first round of auditions for identical twin girls will take place in London on Saturday October 5th and in Nottingham on Saturday October 26th. Girls should be 9 -12 years old and under 4 foot 10. Twins must be able to sing well but no previous acting experience is required.

All twin casting enquiries should be sent to Children’s Casting Director Jo Hawes CDG (jo.hawes@icloud.com).

Audition details for local ‘Summer camp kids’ will be announced nearer the time and will be cast from the local drama groups in Nottingham and Bath.

Nottingham Playhouse’s Executive Director Stephanie Sirr commented “We can’t wait to create this show. It’s particularly exciting to give kids from our community the chance to work alongside world class professionals and to take part in the premiere of a newly commissioned musical.

Stiles and Drewe said: “It’s been a delight to adapt Erich Kästner’s hauntingly beautiful and timeless tale of two identical twins separated as babies, and their wily determination to stitch their family back together. It’s a story packed with wonderful humour and characters which makes it a great canvas to become a musical and retell for a 21st-century audience.

STILES AND DREWE are a multi award-winning musical theatre writing partnership. Their scores include the international smash-hit Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of MARY POPPINS, the Olivier Award-winning HONK!, and the recent West End productions of HALF A SIXPENCE and THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Their other shows are SOHO CINDERS, BETTY BLUE EYES, TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, PETER PAN – A MUSICAL ADVENTURE, GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, JUST SO and TUTANKHAMEN. Current projects include BECOMING NANCY, which premieres this autumn at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta ahead of Broadway. They recognise new musical theatre writing via the annual Stiles and Drewe Prize for Best New Song, now in its 13th year, and their Mentorship Award supported by Music Theatre International (Europe).

STUART PATERSON is a Scottish playwright with a significant and wide-ranging body of work. He has had particular success as a family theatre writer with titles including THE JUNGLE BOOK, CINDERELLA, PETER PAN and MERLIN THE MAGNIFICENT which were first produced at The Glasgow Citizens Theatre, The Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre and have since been staged throughout the UK and worldwide, most recently in the USA, Finland, Holland, Sweden and by Den Nationale Scene in Norway, and by Theater Der Jugend in Vienna. His versions of HANSEL & GRETEL and Michael Morpurgo’s KENSUKE’S KINGDOM were both nominated for the TMA Best Children’s Production of the Year Award.

SIR TREVOR NUNN was the Artistic Director of the RSC for eighteen years, directing much of the Shakespeare canon, and new works including NICHOLAS NICKELBY and LES MISERABLES, now the longest running musical in the world. He was later Director of the National Theatre, where award-winning productions included THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, SUMMERFOLK, OKLAHOMA!,and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. He has directed the world premieres of Tom Stoppard’s EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR, ARCADIA, THE COAST OF UTOPIA Trilogy AND ROCK AND ROLL; and of CATS, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, ASPECTS OF LOVE, SUNSET BOULEVARD and THE WOMAN IN WHITE – all by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other West End theatre includes HAMLET, RICHARD II, INHERIT THE WIND and KISS ME KATE (Old Vic), A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, FLARE PATH, THE TEMPEST and most recently FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Playhouse Theatre. With his 2016 production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, he has now directed all thirty-seven of Shakespeare’s plays.

KENNY WAX is the Producer of the celebrated new British musical SIX – the historemix pop concert retelling of the story of the wives of Henry VIII playing at the Arts Theatre in London and about to launch a UK tour, playing at the A.R.T. Theatre in Boston and opening on Broadway in March 2020. He also produces the Mischief shows THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY and PETER PAN GOES WRONG. He is producing a year-long Mischief Season at the Vaudeville Theatre opening with GROAN UPS and continuing in December with MAGIC GOES WRONG, co-written with Penn & Teller. His previous award-winning productions include TOP HAT (Best New Musical Laurence Olivier Awards 2015) and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND (Best New  Musical Laurence Olivier Awards 1995). Work for children includes stage adaptations of Jilly Murphy’s THE WORST WITCH and Jacqueline Wilson’s HETTY FEATHER. He is currently serving a three year term as the President of the Society of London Theatre.


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