A cast boasting a wealth of West End musical talent has been announced for The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp, an entirely original musical about the legendary English comedian Dan Leno written by actor, singer-writer and voiceover artist, Jonathan Kydd and Andy Street, one of the leading figures in British and American television music.
Dan Leno will be played by musical star John Barr, who has just completed filming opposite Russell Crowe in the highly anticipated film version of Les Misérables. In a career spanning decades, Barr has starred in countless West End productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Les Miserables, Aspects of Love and as Tateh in the Broadway Musical Ragtime in its West End Premiere and more recently in its run at the Landor Theatre.
The remainder of the illustrious cast have scores of West End credits between them.Royal Court actor Richard Albrecht will play The Chairman (Television credits include Midsomer Murders, Law and Order, Holby City and Eastenders). Bradley Clarkson, a finalist in ITV’s Grease is the Word and ‘Norman’ in the West End production of Dreams and Petticoats, takes on the role of George Robey. Michael Chadwick (West End production and tour of Yes, Prime Minster), Callum Coates (39 Steps), Sarah Earnshaw (Wicked), Philip Herbert, best known as Hugh Jelly in the Julian Clary’s Series Sticky Moments, Claire Marlowe (Whistle Down the Wind), and Alwyne Taylor(Annie, West Yorkshire Playhouse) complete the line up.
Street and Kydd have also assembled a house band of fine musicians - John Knight, MD of The Alberni Quartet on violin, Geoffrey Grey on piano, Myrtle Bruce-Mitford on cello and the Spanish classical tenor and percussionist, Jose Maria Guerrero.
Dan Leno (20 December 1860 – 31 October 1904), was the greatest comedian of the English music hall. From 1886 to his death in 1904 he was immensely popular, pioneering the style of stand-up comedy which held sway until the gag-men of the 1930s took over. The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp is set in1904. Dan Leno has been confined to a lunatic asylum by his wife. Fellow inmates include Queen Victoria, Napoleon, Catherine the Great and two men who think they’re Jesus. Even music hall legend George Robey makes an appearance as a young rival. Dan Leno faces life-threatening surgery to cure him of his appalling headaches but maybe he’s not mad; maybe he’s just no longer funny.
Television programmes featuring the music of Andy Street are watched in over 100 countries throughout our world. His compositions, arrangements and musical direction have won many major industry awards in England, Europe and the United States. Jonathan Kydd is the son of well loved actor, Sam Kydd. He is a top voice over artist and has voiced over 6,000 radio and TV commercials, documentaries, CD Rom games, corporates, cartoons and promos.
Kydd and Street met on the Brian Conley Show in the 90s when Jonathan found himself writing all Conley’s comedy songs, including one for the Royal Variety Show. Recent song-writing includes an album of straight songs ‘Eggshell Heart,’ which he also performed as ‘Jonny Kydd’, and a comedy act ‘The Bay Citee Molars’which last year sold out the Henley Festival performing songs from their album, ‘Dentura Highway’. Jonathan’s previous musical, which was on in Dublin, was ‘Hey Get a Life’.
Design is by Alison Cartledge. Lighting design by Phil Hunter. Assistant director is Jon Glover.
The show will be presented by The Giant Olive Theatre at The Lion & Unicorn, located at 42-44 Gaisford Street, London NE5 2ED, Tues 22nd May - Sunday 10th June. Tues - Sat 7.30pm and Sun 3.30pm. Tickets are £15/£12. Visit the box office online at www.ticketweb.co.uk or call 08444 771 000, visit www.hmvtickets.co.uk or www.lastminute.com