All-star cast lined for Christmas musical

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Sheffield Theatres has put together an exceptional ensemble of British actors for Company, their Christmas musical, which opens on the Crucible stage on Tuesday 29 November.

Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director, Daniel Evans takes the lead role of Robert, alongside some familiar faces to Sheffield audiences including Claire Price, who recently appeared in The Pride, Anna-Jane Casey (Piaf), Samantha Spiro (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It) and Damian Humbleby (Fiddler on the Roof).

New faces to the theatre include veteran of the stage and screen, Francesca Annis as Joanne, David Birrell (Peter Pan, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Midsomer Murders) to play David and Kelly Price (Zack, Royal Exchange Manchester, Waterloo Road and Accused – Helen’s Story) to play Kathy. The cast is completed with Rosalie Craig as Marta, Steven Cree as Peter, Ian Gelder as Larry, Lucy Montgomery as April, Alistair Robins as Paul and Samantha Seager as Susan.

Jonathan Munby also makes a welcome return to Sheffield Theatres to direct Stephen Sondheim’s brilliantly observed musical about love and marriage. His previous work includes A Number (also Menier Chocolate Factory), Bird Calls and The Comedy of Errors.

Robert, a commitment-phobic bachelor, is about to hit 35. His well-meaning married friends think it’s time he settled down.

This brilliantly observed musical about love and marriage is sophisticated, fast-paced and funny. Packed with sensational songs, including Getting Married Today, The Ladies Who Lunch and Being Alive, this production is sophisticated, fast-paced and funny.

Francesca Annis plays Joanne. Her theatre credits includes Time and The Conways (National Theatre), Afterplay (Sydney Festival), Under the Blue Sky (Duke of York’s), The Glass Menagerie (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Epitaph for George Dillon (Comedy Theatre), Henry IV and The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse), Blood (Royal Court), Hedda Gabler (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End) and Hamlet (Almeida and New York). Her television work includes Little House, Cranford, Jane Eyre, Jericho, Copenhagen, Deceit, Wives and Daughters and Reckless; and for film, Shifty, Revolver, The Libertine, Milk, The Debt Collector, Dune, Krull, Macbeth, The Eyes of Annie Jones, Saturday Night Out and Cleopatra.

David Birrell plays David. His theatre credits include Passion, Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse), Sweeney Todd (Dundee Rep), The Secret Garden, Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Real Thing (Salisbury Playhouse) and Spamalot (Palace Theatre). For television, his work includes Holy Flying Circus, Midsomer Murders and Buried.

Anna-Jane Casey plays Jenny. She returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously played the title role in Piaf. Her other theatre credits include Bells are Ringing (Union Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), Aladdin (Hackney Empire), Forbidden Broadway and Sunday in the Park With George (Menier Chocolate Factory). For television, her work includes EastEnders, The Bill and Heartbeat and for film, Beyond the Sea.

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Daniel Evans plays Robert. As an actor, his previous work for the company includes The Pride, Cloud Nine and The Tempest. As director, he previously directed An Enemy of the People – the opening production of his inaugural season, Racing Demon as part of The David Hare Season and currently Othello. An award-winning actor and director, Evans’ work includes Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory, Wyndham’s Theatre and Broadway) – a role for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical (his second Olivier Award, the first being for Merrily We Roll Along in 2001) and a Tony Award nomination. His extensive credits include work with the Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre. Evans is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Damian Humbley plays Harry. He previously appeared in Fiddler on the Roof at Sheffield Theatres (also Savoy Theatre). His other theatre work includes Lend me a Tenor (Gielgud Theatre and Plymouth Theatre Royal), Shoes (Sadlers Wells), Little Shop of Horrors and The Last Five Years (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Claire Price plays Sarah, which sees her return to Sheffield Theatres where she previously appeared in The Pride, Don Carlos, Much Ado About Nothing, Mean Tears – as part of The Peter Gill Season, Richard III and The Tempest. Her other theatre work includes Little Platoons (Bush Theatre), The Power of Yes (National Theatre), Mary Stuart (TMA Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Play - Clwyd Theatr), Private Lives (Hampstead Theatre) and The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory). For television, her work includes Apparitions, The White Lady, The Knock, Whistleblower and Rebus; and for film, Hereafter, Cuckoo and Solo Shuffle.

Kelly Price plays Kathy. Her theatre work includes Perchance to Dream (Finborough Theatre), Zack (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Misanthrope (Comedy Theatre), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick Theatre), Desperately Seeking Susan (Novello), Guys & Dolls (Donmar West End); and for television, Waterloo Road and Accused – Helen’s Story.

Samantha Spiro returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Amy. She previously appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. Other theatre credits include Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court), Hello Dolly – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, Much Ado About Nothing (both Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Family Plays (Royal Court), Two Thousand Years (National Theatre), A Little Night Music (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical). For television her credits include Rock and Chips, Grandma’s House, After You’ve Gone, Coupling, M.I.T., Cold Feet, Cleo Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick; and for film, Tomorrow La Scala! and From Hell.

Stephen Sondheim (b1930) is one of the world’s greatest living composers and lyricists. His major works include Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George (Pulitzer Prize), Into the Woods, Assassins and Bounce (re-titled Road Show). Sondheim also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? He is the recipient of multiple awards, including 8 Tony Awards - one of which was a Lifetime Achievement Award, 7 Grammys and an Academy Award for Best Song for Dick Tracy, and was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters (1983).

George Furth (1932 – 2008) is an American librettist, playwright and actor. As well as Company for which he won a Drama Desk Award, his other collaborations with Sondheim include Merrily We Roll Along and Getting Away with Murder. He also wrote the book for the Kander and Ebb musical The Act.

Jonathan Munby returns to Sheffield Theatres to direct. His previous work includes A Number (also Menier Chocolate Factory), Bird Calls and The Comedy of Errors. His other work includes ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Prince of Homburg, Life is a Dream (Donmar Warehouse), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), The Dog in the Manger (Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company), The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory), Henry V, Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Gilgamesh, Firebrand (National Theatre Studio), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Don Giovanni (English Touring Opera) and Nakamitsu (The Gate).

Tickets for Company are on sale from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office, priced from £12.00 - £25.00. Call 0114 249 6000 or visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk to book.