Hackney Empire, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company present
Once On This Island
Book & lyrics by Lynn Ahrens Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy
Directed by Susie McKenna
Press Night: Hackney Empire – Tuesday 28 July 8.00pm
A major new production of the award-winning musical ONCE ON THIS ISLAND starring actress and singer Sharon D Clarke, opens at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 9 June (with previews from 5 June) and runs through to 20 June, before performing at Nottingham Playhouse (24 June to 11 July) and Hackney Empire (24 July to 16 August).
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is the highly acclaimed Broadway musical based on Rosa Guy’s My Love, My Love. Written by Tony-award winning authors Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens the musical received its European premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1994. It went on to win the Olivier Award for Best New Musical following a successful West End run.
This passionate and vibrant musical tale tells the tragic love story of Ti Moune, a beautiful peasant girl who devotes herself to a handsome and wealthy Creole planter whose life she has saved from an accident. The course of true love, however, is put to the test as Ti must prove to the island’s mythical gods that she is willing to give everything, even her life for the purest love she has ever known.
Sharon D Clarke has appeared in many West End musicals including Mama Morton in Chicago, Killer Queen in the Queen / Ben Elton spectacular We Will Rock You and Rafiki in The Lion King. She played Asaka (Mother Earth) in the 1994 European premiere / Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of Once On This Island, for which she received an Olivier nomination, and will be reprising the role for this new production. Last year Sharon was a judge on the BBC1 prime time show Last Choir Standing and for the last three and a half years played Dr Lola Griffin in the BBC’s Holby City.
Joining Sharon will be a company who have numerous West End credits between them, such as The Lion King, Hairspray, Mary Poppins and The Harder They Come; Johnny Amobi (Agwe), Shyko Amos (Ti Moune), Mensah Bediako (Ton Ton), Lorna Brown (Euzulie), Melanie La Barrie (Mama Euralie), Robert Grose (Armand), Wayne Perrey (Daniel), Jo Servi (Papa Ge) and Yaa (Andrea). The role of Ti Moune as a young girl will be shared between Sakia Hayman and Nicole Stoney.
Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty won the Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and received two Grammy nominations of their score of the Broadway musical Ragtime. They also garnered two Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for the songs and score of Twentieth Century Fox’s animated feature film, Anastasia (Gold Record and Number One Song).
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will be directed by Susie McKenna with musical direction by Orphy Robinson, choreography by Deidre Lovell, design by Lotte Collett, lighting by Philip Gladwell and sound by Paul Gavin.
Friday 24 July – Sunday 16 August
291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ
Performance Times: Tuesday to Thursday at 8.00pm, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees – Saturday’s at 2.30pm and Sunday’s at 5pm
BSL Interpreted Performance: Saturday 1 August at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50 – £19.50 (Family tickets available)
Box Office: 020 8985 2424 Book Online: www.hackneyempire.co.uk
For further information, interviews, images and photographs please contact:
Ewan Thomson at Ewan Thomson PR on 0208 743 6837 / 07917 167790 or firstname.lastname@example.org