Following its long awaited UK debut 20 years after it opened on Broadway, audiences have under two weeks left to catch the hugely successful UK premiere of Cy Coleman’s Tony Award winning musical The Life, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore.
The Life, which has enjoyed a triumphant run at Southwark Playhouse this spring, and gained and impressive 5 Off West End Theatre Award nominations (The OFFIES), must end on 29 April 2017.
The full list of The OFFIES Award nominations includes:
Best Supporting Female In A Musical – Sharon D. Clarke
Best Supporting Female In A Musical – Joanna Woodward
Best Supporting Male In A Musical – Cornell S. John
Best New Musical – The Life at Southwark Playhouse
Best Musical Production – The Life at Southwark Playhouse
The Life features a rarely heard score by celebrated composer Cy Coleman (City of Angels, Sweet Charity, Barnum) and is based on an original idea by lyricist Ira Gasman. The Life, features a book by Coleman, Gasman and David Newman with book revisions for this production by Michael Blakemore.
The full cast of The Life includes John Addison (Jojo), David Albury (Fleetwood), Jalisa Andrews (Chichi), Matthew Caputo (Oddjob), Lawrence Carmichael (Snickers), stars Sharon D. Clarke MBE (Sonja), Omari Douglas (Slick), Aisha Jawando (Carmen), Cornell S. John (Memphis), Thomas-Lee Kidd (Bobby), Charlotte Reavey (April), Jo Servi (Lacy), Lucinda Shaw (Tracy), Johnathan Tweedie (Theodore), T’Shan Williams(Queen) and Joanna Woodward (Mary).
A thrilling exposé of the darker side of 1980’s New York, The Life is a defiant and heartfelt musical about Times Square before it was cleaned up. A world of pimps and prostitutes, innocents and opportunists, it’s a gutsy and gritty joyride filled with both pathos and fun.
Queen (T’Shan Williams), a young girl from Savannah, and Fleetwood (David Albury), a Vietnam vet with a drug habit, are trying to make it in a merciless New York. Queen is forced into part-time prostitution and ‘The Life’ describes how these two lovers move through this dark world until Queen is helped by her one true friend, an older more experienced hooker, Sonja (Sharon D. Clarke), to make her escape.
On this journey, we meet Memphis (Cornell S. John), the all-powerful king pimp, the girls he controls, Jojo (John Addison), the hustler, who makes it all happen, and the fresh-faced Mary (Joanna Woodward), straight off the bus from small town Minnesota, only too eager to embrace ‘The Life’.
The original critically acclaimed Broadway production of The Life, opened on 26 April 1997 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It received 12 Tony Award nominations, winning Best Featured Actress and Actor in a Musical for cast members Lillias White and Chuck Cooper. The Life was also nominated for 9 Drama Desk Awards, winning three, including Best Musical.
20 years after Michael Blakemore originally directed this musical gem, the new production of The Life is produced by Amy Anzel, Matt Chisling, Catherine Schreiber, Bruno Wang, LWL Entertainment, Carlos Arana and Jim Kierstead. Jenny Eastop is associate director, set and costume designs are by Justin Nardella, choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves, projection designs by Nina Dunn, lighting by David Howe, sound design by Sebastian Frost, musical direction by Tamara Saringer and casting by Anne Vosser.
UNTIL SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017
Performances: Mondays – Saturdays: 7.30pm
Tuesdays & Saturdays: 3.00pm
Ticket Prices: £25 for all tickets (concessions available)
Address: Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD
Box Office: 020 7407 0234