Bed and Sofa, a ‘silent movie musical', is to receive its European Première at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, with a cast led by Kaisa Hammurland and featuring the voice of Penelope Keith. With music by Polly Pen and libretto by Laurence Klavan, it will play from 29 th March - 23rd April as part of "In Their Place", a three month season of work by women playwrights and composers.
Nikolai lives with Ludmilla, a housewife who stays at home dreaming of romance. Moscow has a housing shortage, so when Volodya arrives with nowhere to live he is invited to share the couple's cramped quarters with surprising results. This enchanting and comedic chamber musical is based on Abram Room's scandalous 1926 Russian film comedy and brings to life a raunchy ménage-a-trois with a twist.
Kaisa Hammarlund plays Ludmilla. Kaisa recently starred in The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre) and is a familiar face both in the West End and at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Her credits include A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory/Garrick Theatre), Desperately Seeking Susan (Novello Theatre), Cabaret (Lyric Theatre), Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory/Wyndham's Theatre), and Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre).
Alastair Parker plays Kolya. Alastair was recently seen in the award wining new musical Matilda with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC Proms - Sondheim at 80 celebration. He has worked many times with the National Theatre - including the original cast of Jerry Springer - The Opera, and his many other credits include Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and the West End. Alastair Brookshaw plays Vololdya and his recent credits include the original company of Shoes (Sadler's Wells), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre) and Cabaret (Lyric Theatre). He is also featured on the West Side Story 50th Anniversary Recording.
Penelope Keith who has just completed a run in The Rivals in the West End, lends her distinctive voice to the role of the Announcer and guides us through the proceedings. While she will not appear in person in the production, her pre-recorded contribution lends a characteristically British tone to this Finborough première.
Bed and Sofa originally premièred at the Vineyard Theatre in New York, where it garnered two Obie Awards (including Distinguished Music) and seven Drama Desk nominations (including Best Musical). It has since been revived several times off-Broadway and across America. This production is directed by Luke Sheppard, the inaugural recipient of the Noël Coward Director Bursary. He was recently assistant director on Matilda (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Into The Woods (Regents Park), and directed the premières of Jet Set Go (Theatre503 and Jermyn Street Theatre) and The Great British Soap Opera (Jermyn Street Theatre and Edinburgh).
Musical direction is by Candida Caldicot who leads an on-stage live quartet, and movement is by Lucy Cullingford. Set design is by David Woodhead with costumes by Simon Wells, and lighting Designer Howard Hudson has just won an Off West End Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on Me and Juliet at the Finborough Theatre. The production is produced by Take Note Theatre and Claire Evans, in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.