Southwark Playhouse presents a major revival of the Jerry Herman/Michael Stewart Hollywood musical, Mack and Mabel, starring Norman Bowman as Mack and Laura Pitt-Pulford (who received rave reviews as Lucille Frank in Parade) as Mabel, directed by Thom Southerland and produced by Danielle Tarento. The show will run for an 8-week season at The Vault at Southwark Playhouse, now through Saturday, August 25. Press night is tomorrow, July 11 at 7.30pm. Get a first look at the revival in the production photos below!
The show features book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, and was revised by Francine Pascal, based on an idea by Leonard Spigelgass. Mack and Mabel is directed by Thom Southerland with musical director Michael Bradley, choreographer Lee Proud, set and costume Designer Jason Denvir, lighting designer Howard Hudson, sound designer Andrew Johnson and producer and casting director Danielle Tarento.
Mack and Mabel is set in the early days of motion pictures and follows the tumultuous, real-life romantic relationship between movie director Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, who became one of the biggest screen stars in the world. Told in a series of flashbacks, Sennett relates the glory days of the Keystone Studios from 1911, when he discovered Normand and cast her in dozens of his early "two-reelers", through his creation of Sennett's Bathing Beauties and the Keystone Cops to Mabel's death from TB in 1930.
Norman Bowman (Mack) was Micky Deans in the UK tour of Over the Rainbow. His major musical roles include Sky Masterson in Michael Grandage’s West End production of Guys and Dolls, Tom Watson in the Donmar's Parade, Marius in Les Miserables, Sam in Mamma Mia!, Jack in George and Ira Gershwin's Lady Be Good at the Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, and Danny Zuko in Grease.
Laura Pitt-Pulford (Mabel) is currently starring as Charity in Sweet Charity (MAC, Belfast). Her other major roles include Snake in Nick Lloyd Webber's The Little Prince (Lyric, Belfast), Lucille Frank in Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls (Theatre Clwyd), Lola in Copacabana (Watermill) and Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard (Watermill and West End).
Jessica Martin, who starred as Mabel in the 1996 West End production of Mack and Mabel will play Lottie Ames. Jessica’s recent roles include The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the Comedy Theatre.
Stuart Matthew Price (Frank) was Stix in the original West End cast of Shrek, and Scotty in Merrily We Roll Along and Frankie Epps in Parade, both at the Donmar Warehouse.
The rest of the company are: Richard J Hunt (Fatty Arbuckle), Jody Ellen Robinson (Ella), Steven Serlin (Mr Kessel), Peter Kenworthy (William Desmond Taylor), and Jessica Buckby, Natalie Kent, Nikki Schofield, Ryan Gover, Paul Hutton, Jonathan Norman.
Photo credit: Annabel Vere