Chichester acting students take their show on the road

Experience the glamour of 1940s Hollywood as the University of Chichester takes to the road with a production of the rarely-seen, award-winning musical comedy by Cy Coleman, City Of Angels.

Hettie Heyward, Elliot Bevan, Glen Newham, Eve Hardman
Hettie Heyward, Elliot Bevan, Glen Newham, Eve Hardman

Associate lecturer Paul Ackerley said: “Part film-noir detective story and part fish-out-water romantic comedy, it’s loaded with acclaimed songs including Double Talk and You Can Always Count On Me and choreography set to a stunning jazz score played by a professional West End live band. It’s also notable for being performed in both colour and black and white! To find out just how it’s done, you’ll have to attend one of the five regional touring venues from Bognor Regis to Worthing to Crawley.

“You will enter the world of film studios and fatal attractions as a young novelist begins developing his first Hollywood screenplay. His pages, featuring a Raymond Chandler-esque investigative hero, start coming to life and are acted out on stage in glorious black and white! Our fictional hero risks his life to solve a mystery whilst in the real world his writer risks his marriage to maintain his integrity against the pressure of the studio producers.

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“The production is directed by Karen Howard, with choreography by Damien Delaney who have brought all previous six, triumphant touring productions to the stage including The Pajama Game and Anything Goes. They are joined this year by music directors Mark Crossland (War of the Worlds, West End) and Dustin Conrad (Little Shop of Horrors, UK tour), with design by Ryan Laight who created the magical worlds for the 2016 sell-out productions of Carousel and Cinderella.”

Actors Glen Newham and Jim Crawley are thrilled with their leading roles as Stone the detective and Buddy.

Glen said: “It’s our final year as students on Chichester’s flagship musical theatre course, and City of Angels is a dream production to showcase the talents of the cast, and the research into those classic Hollywood genres has been a joy. The creative team helping to bring it to life has so much industry experience, it’s a fully-scaled production and we are touring to some of the nicest theatres in the region. It’s an opportunity in a lifetime.”

Emma Shouksmith who plays Alaura Kingsley is also assistant choreographer and an assistant producer for the show: “I guess I like to work hard! The course gives us a chance to take on these additional roles but rather than diluting what we can achieve on stage, it just gives us a bigger stake in making the show a success!”

Tour dates are: Thursday, March 16, 7.30pm ,Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Friday, March 17, 7.30pm Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Sunday, March 19, 7.30pm Connaught Theatre, Worthing; Tuesday, March 21, 7.30pm New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth; and Wednesday, March 22, 7.30pm The Hawth, Crawley.

The show features Glen Newham as Stone; Elliot Bevan as Stine; Eve Hardman and Emma Shouksmith as Alaura Kingsley; Hettie Hayward as Gabby/Bobbi; Mary Lundie and Jessica Manns as Donna/Oolie.

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