Urinetown to Receive U.K. Premiere in New Production by Jamie Lloyd at London's St. James Theatre
By Mark Shenton
Urinetown, which transferred to Broadway in 2001 after debuting at the New York International Fringe Festival and a subsequent staging at Off-Broadway's American Theatre for Actors, is to receive its U.K. premiere in a new production being staged by British director Jamie Lloyd at London's St. James Theatre.
It will begin performances Feb. 22, 2014, prior to an official opening March 11, for a run that is booking through May 3, 2014.
The show, which was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won three for Best Book, Score and Direction, has music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis.
According to a press statement, the show is "set in a city of the future that has been inflicted with a terrible drought, where business tycoon Caldwell B. Cladwell has made his fortune through bribery and the monopolization of all public toilets. With a brutal police force maintaining law and order, it's not a place to get caught short! Risk it and you will be sent off to a place no one returns from - the infamous Urinetown. The city needs a revolution and every revolution needs a hero... however unlikely."
Director Lloyd, who is currently represented in the West End by his production of The Pride for his own Jamie Lloyd Productions at the Trafalgar Studios, is also directing The Commitments that begins performances Sept. 21 at the Palace Theatre. Previous productions at the Trafalgar Studios include Macbeth and The Hothouse, and at the Donmar Warehouse, where he was associate director from 2008-2011, his credits include Inadmissible Evidence, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Passion, Polar Bears and Piaf (subsequently West End, Buenos Aires and Madrid). At the Royal Court, he has directed the original production of The Pride and The Faith Machine. In the West End, he has directed The Little Dog Laughed, Three Days of Rain and The Lover and The Collection; at the National he has directed She Stoops to Conquer; and at the Old Vic he has directed The Duchess of Malfi. On Broadway he has directed Cyrano de Bergerac for the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre.
In a press statement, Lloyd commented, "I have wanted to direct Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann's idiosyncratic musical for many years. Whilst sounding like a contemporary Kurt Weill score, Urinetown takes a hilarious, off-kilter look at a dystopian future that chimes with our times, exposing the reality that our way of life is no longer sustainable. It engages in a highly pertinent, political conversation, whilst keeping its tongue in its cheek and a beating heart at its centre. I am thrilled that we are introducing this unique piece of musical theatre to a UK audience for the very first time."
It is being produced by Julian Stoneman Associates and The Araca Group with production design by Soutra Gilmour, choreography by Ann Yee, lighting design by Adam Silverman, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster and musical supervision by Alan Williams. Casting is still to be announced.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 264 2140 or visit www.urinetown.co.uk for more details.
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