Irish actress and singer Lucy O’Byrne will star as Sheryl, the matriarch of the eccentric Hoover family. Lucy shot to fame on The Voice (BBC) in 2015 and was the runner-up that year. Her theatre credits include Eva Peron in Evita (UK, Ireland & Germany Tour), Fantine in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre – West End), Maria in The Sound of Music (UK and Ireland Tour), River Woman in Therese Raquin (Park Theatre) and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (Gaiety Theatre-Dublin). She has appeared on Friday Night is Music Night-Live from the London Palladium (BBC Radio 2), BBC Proms in the Park (BBC) and as Sam & Jessica in Ballybraddan (RTÉ/Monster Animation). Lucy appears on The Sound of Music (EP), NOW That’s What I Call Classical and Therese Raquin (Original Cast Recording) Her album ‘Debut’ is available now.
Mark Moraghan will be Grandpa (the role that won Alan Arkin an Academy award). Mark recently appeared as Tim Richards in Emmerdale and is perhaps best known for his roles as Adrian Mortimer in Coronation Street, Owen Davis in Holby City, Ray Wyatt in Dream Team, Greg Shadwick in Brookside and Eddie Quinn in London’s Burning. His theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre, London), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Bolton Octagon) By The Waters Of Liverpool (Empire Theatre Liverpool) Royal Court 80 (Royal Court Liverpool), You’ll Never Walk Alone (Royal Court Liverpool, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta), One Night in Istanbul (Liverpool Echo, Gaiety Theatre Dublin and GOH Belfast), Peter Pan (Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells), Franklyn J Hart in 9 to 5 (National Tour), Nightmare on Lime Street, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Our Day Out and Funny Money (all for Royal Court, Liverpool), My Fair Lady (Liverpool Philharmonic); Come Fly With Me (Millennium Centre Cardiff); Twopence to Cross the Mersey (Liverpool Empire); Strictly Murder (UK Tour); Eric’s (Liverpool Everyman); Bad Blood (Key Theatre); Bouncers, Little Match Girl, Barbarians, and Arabian Nights (Unity Theatre); Macbeth (Art Theatre Company); Fears and Miseries of the Third Reich (Liverpool Playhouse and Young Vic); The Beaux Stratagem (Liverpool Playhouse); The Jungle Book (Cleveland Theatre Company); and High Rise Dreamer (Liverpool Lunchtime Theatre Company) and most recently Jack and the Beanstalk, Floral Theatre New Brighton. Mark is the narrator of the popular children’s TV show Thomas the Tank Engine. He follows fellow Liverpudlian’s Ringo Starr & Michael Angelis and is the voice of the programme in all English language territories including the US.
The rest of the Hoover family remain unchanged from the Arcola Theatre’s run with Gabriel Vick as Sheryl’s husband Richard, two-time Olivier nominee Paul Keating as Sheryl’s brother Frank and Sev Keoshgerian as Sheryl’s son Dwayne. The role of Olive will again be shared by Evie Gibson, Sophie Hartley Booth and Lily Mae Denman.
Ian Carlyle (Larry/Buddy), Imelda Warren-Green (Linda/Miss California) and Matthew McDonald (Joshua Rose/Kirby) also continue in their roles. Joining the cast are Jaimie Pruden and Jacob Jackson.
Completing the cast are the ‘Mean Girls’ who will be performed by Alicia Belgarde, Scarlet Roche and Elena Christie.
Based on the Academy Award-winning film by Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine is the off-beat musical comedy created by the Tony Award-winning team of James Lapine (who collaborated with Stephen Sondheim on Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George) and William Finn (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Falsettos). This new production is directed by Arcola’s Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen with design by David Woodhead, musical direction by Arlene McNaught, musical supervision by Mark Crossland, lighting design by Richard Williamson, sound design by Olly Steel, and choreography by Anthony Whiteman.
The Hoover family has more than a few troubles, but young Olive has her heart set on winning the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. When an invitation to compete comes out of the blue, the Hoovers must pile into their rickety, yellow VW camper van. Can it survive the 800-mile trip from New Mexico to California – and more importantly, can they? This inventive and uplifting musical celebrates the quirks of every family, the potholes in every road, and the power of overcoming our differences.
The show runs from 16 May until 12 October 2019.