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West End transfer announced for The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the BandProducers Tom O’Connell and James Seabright are thrilled to announce a West End transfer for their sell-out production of Mart Crowley’s ground-breaking play, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, opening at the Vaudeville Theatre on 7 February 2017, playing for a limited two-week season until 18 February, with a press night on Wednesday 8 February.

There’s a party about to commence when nine men gather in a New York apartment for a birthday celebration. Harold, a self-confessed ‘Jew fairy’, receives a surprise birthday gift – a beautiful male hustler dubbed Cowboy. Meanwhile, party host Michael gets an unwanted surprise of his own in the shape of a figure from his past. As the booze is drunk and the dope smoked, the mood swings from hilarity to heartbreak.

The Boys in the Band sold out its entire five-week run at Park Theatre, garnered critical and public acclaim, and subsequently enjoyed a brief UK tour to Salford, Brighton and Leeds. Directed by Adam Penford (A Small Family Business & One Man Two Guvnors’, and recently appointed Artistic Director of the Nottingham Playhouse), the production stars Olivier Award winner Mark Gatiss as ‘Harold’ alongside his husband Ian Hallard as ‘Michael’ – this will represent the first time in West End history that a male married couple will appear on stage together.

West End musical theatre star Daniel Boys plays alongside them as ‘Donald’, Jack Derges, recently seen as the mysterious ‘Andy Flynn’ in EastEnders, plays ‘Cowboy’, Miranda star James Holmes plays ‘Emory’, Midsomer Murders’ John Hopkins plays ‘Alan’, Greg Lockett plays ‘Bernard’, Primeval’s Ben Mansfield plays ‘Larry’, and Undercover’s Nathan Nolan plays ‘Hank’.

Well directed by Adam Penford, the play boasts a stellar cast; Ian Hallard gives an excellent performance as the uptight Michael; Hallard is well supported throughout the play by Daniel Boys (Donald) in particular. James Emory is brilliantly camp/waspish as Emory, whilst John Hopkins manages to convey Alan’s confusion/anger on entering the group very well. Jack Derges gives a fun performance as Harold’s “present” from Emory, (Cowboy). Ben Mansfield and Nathan Nolan (bickering couple, Larry and Hank) and Greg Lockett (Bernard) also give good performances and the cast complement each other very well. However, the stand-out performance was from Mark Gatiss (Harold). Gatiss times his delivery perfectly as the sneery/simpering Harold. Karen Pond review of The Boys in the Band for LondonTheatre1.com

Producer Tom O’Connell said, “James and I are thrilled that audiences have taken this show to their hearts in such a big way; with limited availability from our stellar cast I am pleased that we have found a suitable West End home for this fantastic production. We also have over 150 tickets available at every performance at £20, making it accessible for all to enjoy. With only 15 performances, this really is the last chance to catch the play which shook the LGBT world.”

Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard said, “We’ve had an amazing time bringing this great play to a whole new generation of theatre-goers. The response from audiences, young and old, gay and straight has proved that ‘Boys’ retains its power to move people to laughter and tears. It’s wonderful to say that we’ll be capping the experience with a West End transfer – so the party continues!

From the producers of the critically acclaimed revivals of Beautiful Thing, Our Boys and Another Country, and the forthcoming stage adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, comes this eagerly anticipated revival of Mart Crowley’s seminal piece, which premiered in 1968 just before the Stonewall riots. This witty, dark American play which changed the landscape of gay theatre was adapted into a film in 1970, becoming a cult hit. The play was last revived in New York in 2010, and this UK revival marks almost 20 years since the last West End production.

The production is produced by Tom O’Connell and James Seabright, in association with Kings Head Theatre, Jack Maple and Park Theatre. Design by Rebecca Brower, with Sound design by James Nicholson and Lighting design by Jack Weir; casting is by Stephen Moore CDG.

The production has partnered with Gay Times, Stonewall & Balans Soho Society, and has worked closely with Chester Barrie, Delicious Junction and Gabicci as fashion partners.

The Boys in the Band
Vaudeville Theatre
Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Age Restrictions: Recommended for age 14+.

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