REGENT’S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE CONFIRMS FULL CASTING FOR CAROUSEL

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have confirmed full casting for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which plays 31 July – 25 September. Joining the already announced Carly Bawden (Julie Jordan), Declan Bennett (Billy Bigelow), John Pfumojena (Enoch Snow), Joanna Riding (Nettie Fowler) and Natasha May Thomas (Louise Bigelow) are Brendan Charleson (Mr Bascombe), Jo Eaton-Kent (Mrs Mullin), Sam Mackay (Jigger Craigin), Ediz Mahmut (Young Enoch) and Christina Modestou (Carrie Pipperidge).

The ensemble includes: Chanelle Anthony, Craig Armstrong, William Atkinson, Shay Barclay, Sarah Benbelaid, Madeline Charlemagne, Freya Field, Sebastian Goffin, Amie Hibbert, Tim Hodges, Lukas Hunt, Tessa Kadler, Lindsay McAllister, Matthew McKenna, Jack Mitchell, Charlotte Riby, Lisa Ritchie and Daisy West.

Carousel is created by Joanna Bowman (associate director), Lucy Casson (casting director), Tom Deering (musical supervisor and orchestrator), Mark Dickman (associate musical director), Molly Einchcomb (co-costume designer), Annie May Fletcher* (sound associate), Barbara Houseman (season associate director/voice and text director),  Nick Lidster (sound designer), Simisola Majekodunmi* (lighting associate), Aideen Malone (lighting designer), Matthew Malone (Assistant Musical Director), Drew McOnie (choreographer), Ebony Molina (associate choreographer), Verity Naughton (children’s casting director), James Orange (casting director), Tom Scutt (set designer and co-costume designer), Timothy Sheader (director),  Jacob Sparrow (casting director), Kate Waters (fight director).

* The Open Air Theatre is proud to launch new, openly recruited Creative Team Associates opportunities providing jobs for freelance artists to collaborate on productions this season, broadening their experience of making large scale work, including support and mentoring by the season’s lead creatives.

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Carly Bawden (Julie Jordan) most recently played Angélique in Romantics Anonymous at Bristol Old Vic, having created the role at Shakespeare’s Globe. Other recent theatre credits include: Ghost Quartet (Boulevard), SylviaNatives (Old Vic), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe), Wonder.Land (National Theatre), McQueen (Haymarket), AssassinsPippin (Menier), Dead Dog in a Suitcase and Tristan & Yseult (Kneehigh). Recent television credits include: Call The Midwife and Close to the Enemy.

Declan Bennett (Billy Bigelow) returns to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre following his performance as Jesus in the multi award-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Recent theatre credits also include: Love Actually Live! for which he was nominated for an LA Stage Alliance Award as Featured Actor in a Musical (Los Angeles), The View Upstairs (Soho), Striking 12 (Union), Fatherland (Lyric Hammersmith/Frantic Assembly), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Donmar), Once (Phoenix) and, on Broadway, Rent and American Idiot. Declan is also known for playing Charlie Cotton in EastEnders.

Brendan Charleson’s (Mr Bascombe), theatre credits include: Uncle Vanya (Theatr Clwyd/Sheffield Crucible), Grapes of Wrath (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Birmingham Rep/West Yorkshire Playhouse). On television Brendan has appeared in CasualtyCoronation Street and Torchwood and, on film, The Killer Elite.

Jo Eaton-Kent (Mrs Mullin) appeared in Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse). Television credits include: The WatchDon’t Forget The Driver and The Romanoffs. Jo’s self-made short film LESSONS is available on YouTube.

 Sam Mackay (Jigger Craigin) was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the original UK cast of In The Heights. Other theatre credits include: Wonder.Land (National Theatre), 5,6,7,8 (Royal Court), Flashdance (Shaftesbury) and Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales). Television credits include: Medici: Masters of Florence (season 2, Netflix) and Game of Thrones (HBO).

John Pfumojena (Enoch Snow) recently appeared in Do You Love Me Yet? (Oxford Playhouse) and was Composer and Musical Director for Volpone (Tangle Theatre Company). He played the title role in Peter Pan (National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic/Troubadour), appeared in Bent (National Theatre) and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe). John won the Broadway World’s Regional Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and an OBIE (NYC) Special Citation Award for The Jungle (Young Vic/Playhouse/Good Chance Theatre, St Ann’s Warehouse NYC/San Francisco Curran Theatre).

Joanna Riding (Nettie Fowler) recently played as Sally in Follies (National) and Romantics Anonymous (Shakespeare’s Globe). Other credits include Blithe Spirit (Bath and Savoy), Mrs Cheveley in An Ideal HusbandMaggie in Hobson’s Choice (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Melissa in the TV series Stella (Sky). Joanna won Olivier Awards as Eliza in My Fair Lady (Drury Lane) and as Julie in Carousel (National and Shaftesbury).

Christina Modestou (Carrie Pipperidge) appeared as Ronnette in the Open Air Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Other theatre credits include: The Boy in the Dress (RSC), The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre), In the Heights (Southwark Playhouse) and Six (Arts Theatre).

Ediz Mahmut’s (Young Enoch) theatre credits include: West Side Story (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Fame (Troubadour, Wembley), Big the Musical (Dominion) and 42nd Street (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). Film credits include: The Courier (Ironbark) and Muppets Most Wanted; and, on television: Humans 2.0 and Bollywood Carmen Live.

Natasha May Thomas (Louise Bigelow) recently graduated from The Urdang Academy. Carousel marks her professional debut.

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The 2021 season, which will follow covid-secure procedures for as long as necessary – including an initial 50% reduction to seating capacity – also includes: Romeo and Juliet (17 June –  24 July) directed by Kimberley Sykes; a co-production with Unicorn Theatre of Anansi the Spider (7 – 24 July) directed by Justin Audibert for ages 3-7; and Dragons and Mythical Beasts directed by Derek Bond and Laura Cubitt for ages 3+ (13 August – 5 September).

A series of MOREoutdoor events includes comedy from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, Paul Chowdhry and Luisa Omielan, and Canned Laughter present a comedy fundraiser in support of The Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Kemah Bob, Jen Brister, Bridget Christie, Ed Gamble, Rosie Jones, Jamali Maddix, Rose Matafeo, Mawaan Rizwan, and Suzi Ruffell. The Luna Cinema also present a 20th anniversary screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and a screening of The Shining.

This summer, recognising the stories told in the productions of Romeo and Juliet and Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are highlighting the work of two charities: Papyrus which provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person, through their helpline HOPELINEUK; and Refuge, a charity that supports over 6,500 women, children and men on any given day who are affected by domestic abuse.

papyrus-uk.org | refuge.org.uk

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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