After a smash hit UK tour last year, Miss Nightingale by Matthew Bugg will tour for a second time this Spring, from 27 March to 3 May. Miss Nightingale is unusual because not only is it an original British musical – not based on an existing film, book or collection of pop songs – but also because it is a mainstream musical with realistic gay characters right at the heart of the story. The production also aims to capture the authentic performance style of the 1940s by dispensing with radio mics, electronic instruments and recorded backing tracks that have become the norm in musical theatre.
The company behind the show, Mr Bugg Presents, are also in discussions about possible American and Australian productions of the hit musical next year.
Miss Nightingale tells the story of feisty northern singer Maggie and her refugee songwriter, George, as they struggle to find their big break in the big smoke. She longs for the bright lights. He’s hiding a dark secret in the shadows.
Everything changes when they are picked up by wealthy man-about-town Sir Frank. He needs a new act for his nightclub and with George’s help transforms Maggie into the satirical music hall star ‘Miss Nightingale’. Her outrageous costumes, saucy songs and scandalous love life make her the talk of the town.
But out of the spotlight the secret romance between the two men proves far more devastating than The Blitz, at a time when being gay was not just illegal but seen as dangerously unpatriotic.
Miss Nightingale is performed by a cast of actor-musicians including Tomm Coles (Sunset Boulevard, Fiddler on the Roof) as Sir Frank, Harry Waller (Sondheim’s Saturday Night, The History Boys) as George, and Jill Cardo (Carnaby Street) as ‘Miss Nightingale’. From hilarious tongue-in-cheek cabaret numbers to beautifully tender ballads, Bugg’s songs fully capture the ‘live today’ spirit of the 1940s.
It is written by leading British theatre composer Matthew Bugg. His work has been heard in theatres across the UK and in the West End. His recent touring and West End productions includes: Cirque Berserk, Black Coffee, Volcano, Barefoot in the Park, Go Back for Murder, Quartet, Some Like it Hotter, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, and Murder of the Nile.
Miss Nightingale is the official touring production celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the National Fairground Archive (NFA) at the University of Sheffield. The NFA is a unique collection of material covering the culture and history of popular entertainment from the 1800s to the present day. Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of National Fairground Archive is an expert in fairgrounds, circus, variety and music hall. She has acted as historical consultant for seven major television productions, including Who Do You Think You Are and The Reel History of Britain.
Miss Nightingale tours the UK from 27 March to 3 May 2014. It will be performed: The New Wolsey Theatre Thu 27 Mar – Sat 5 Apr, Ipswich Cast, Doncaster (Thu 10 Apr); MAC, Birmingham (Fri 11 & Sat 12 Apr); Clwyd Theatr, Cymru (Mon 14 – Sat 19 Apr); City Varieties, Leeds (Thu 24 – Sun 27 Apr); Library Theatre, Sheffield (Mon 28 Apr – Fri 2 May); Victoria Theatre, Halifax (Sat 3 May ).
Discover more about the show visit www.missnightingale.co.uk or @Nightingale1942
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Notes to Editors:
PRESS PHOTOS: available now from the official 2014 tour Flickr set
Press enquiries, interviews and images please contact: Toby Oliver, Marketing Director, 07816 133 151 / email@example.com / @Nightingale1942
Thu 27 Mar – Sat 5 Apr, The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich – 01473 295 900 / www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
Thu 10 Apr, Cast, Doncaster – 01302 303 959 / www.castindoncaster.com
Fri 11 & Sat 12 Apr, MAC, Birmingham – 0121 446 3232 / www.macarts.co.uk
Mon 14 – Sat 19 Apr, Clwyd Theatr, Cymru – 0845 330 3565 / www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk
Thu 24 – Sun 27 Apr, City Varieties, Leeds – 0113 243 0808 / www.cityvarieties.co.uk
Mon 28 Apr – Fri 2 May, Library Theatre, Sheffield – 0114 249 6000 / www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Sat 3 May, Victoria Theatre, Halifax – 01422 351 158 / www.victoriatheatre.co.uk
Book and lyrics and music by: Matthew Bugg
Director: Peter Rowe
Designer: Carla Goodman
Lighting Designer: David Phillips
Miss Nightingale – the musical is a Mr Bugg Presents and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich co-production in association with National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield and Cast, Doncaster and supported by Arts Council England.