Multi-award winning actress Jenna Russell will play the role of Enid. Jenna won an Olivier Award and Theatre World Award for her performance as Dot/Marie in Sunday In The Park With George in the West End and on Broadway. She was nominated for a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for the same performance. Most recently she appeared in Aykbourn's Season's Greetings at the National Theatre, and prior to that in the award winning Into the Woods at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.
Vincent Franklin will play the role of Tubby. Vincent has appeared in all three series of The Thick Of It on the BBC, and has also recently appeared in the TV series Doc Martin and Being Human. Vincent has also appeared in numerous stage productions and is one half of the comedy duo ‘John and Vince'.
The full cast includes Lorraine Bruce, Jemma Drake, Gerard Horan, Ian Marr and Martin Savage.
It's the summer of 1969 and Tubby, an overweight insurance man, and Enid, a buttoned up secretary, are back on the stage of the Free Trade Hall forty years after they first stood there as children, singing their hearts out with Hallé orchestra. It's the anniversary of the Manchester School Children's Choir recording of Nymphs and Shepherds.
But Tubby and Enid don't sing any more - they're just doing a little interview for local television. And they are not children with everything ahead of them, they are two middle aged people who have left a lot of chances pass them by.
Two stories unfold in Victoria Wood's new play: the children of 1929 are eagerly gearing up for the big day of the recording and in 1969, Tubby and Enid are trying to reconnect with who they were then, and who they could be now.
Alongside the professional company That Day We Sang will feature a new Manchester Children's Choir, formed especially by MIF Creative for this major new production. The show will also feature members of the Hallé Youth Orchestra.
Victoria Wood will both write and direct; set and costume designs come from multi-award winner Lez Brotherston, whose recent work includes Matthew Bourne's Cinderella, West End musical Sister Act and the forthcoming Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Nigel Lilley is Musical Director; recent credits include Piaf, La Cage aux Folles and Spring Awakening. Both Nigel and Lez also worked on Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques.
'Victoria Wood is a true original and a local hero. It's a huge pleasure to be welcoming her to the Festival, to write and direct this major new production that revisits a remarkable episode from our city's musical history.' Alex Poots, Festival Director
Commissioned by MIF Creative. Produced by Manchester International Festival. With support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
30 June - 17 July 2011
Tickets £15 - £35 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction charge applies)
Concessions available Box Office: www.mif.co.uk / Ticketmaster +44 844 847 2484