CASTING NEWS: THE WHITE FEATHER – Union Theatre 16th September – 18th October
This September, Arion Productions presents the world premiere of new British musical The White Feather at the Union Theatre. It tells the story of Georgina Briggs whose brother was one of over 300 allied soldiers executed for cowardice during the First World War. She won’t accept the shame and she won’t let it lie. But as she fights for justice a shocking discovery awaits her.
Abigail Matthews (War Horse with National Theatre Productions, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the 360 Degrees Theatre, and the UK and European tours of Evita with Bill Kenwright Ltd) stars as Georgina Briggs while Adam Pettigrew will play her heroic brother Harry (Wicked at the Victoria Apollo, the UK tour of Avenue Q, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Ye Olde Rose and Crown).
Fresh from the stage as Jean Prouvaire in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre) Lee Dillon Stuart (UK tour of Oliver! and Carousel (Landor Theatre)) will join the cast as Peter Arthurs, David Flynn (Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre), Bent (Tabard Theatre) and Never Forget (Savoy Theatre)) will play Adam Davey, Cameron Leigh (Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), Charlotte’s Webb (Gordon Craig Theatre) and Calamity Jane (Shaftsbury Theatre)) will play Emma, Christopher Blades (The Sound of Music (London Palladium), the original cast of Phantom of the Opera, and UK tour of Jekyll & Hyde) will play Willows, Katie Brennan (The Spitfire Grill (Union Theatre), Seasonal Sauce (The Watermill Theatre, Newbury) and Bernstein’s Mass (Southbank Centre)) will play Edith, Kathryn Rutherford (Grim (The Rose Theatre, Kingston and Charing Cross Theatre), Departure Lounge (Belfast Grand Opera House) and Honk (Tabard Theatre)) will play Hannah, and Zac Hamilton (The Mikado (Charing Cross Theatre), Princess Ida (Finborough Theatre), and Bye Bye Birdy (Rose & Crown Theatre)) will play Brown and Edward.
The White Feather tells the story of one soldier and his suffering and his sister’s lifelong fight for a posthumous pardon. It also encounters the issue of homosexuality in the trenches and the potential shame which faced gay soldiers. With powerful songs and a storyline with a twist, this production has a sharp emotional intensity generated by words and music. The production will feature several wrap-around activities including historical educational talks and discussions about mental health, PTSD and surrounding issues.
Memorials to the soldiers who fought and died in the Great War grace almost every town and village but 306 names are conspicuous by their absence – the men who were executed by their own side. Some were deserters and others were condemned for putting down their weapons in the course of battle but many were suffering from what we know now as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Title The White Feather
Performance Dates Wednesday 16th September – Saturday 17th October 2015 Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm Saturday and Sunday matinees, 2.30pm
Running time Approximately 2 hours plus interval
Location Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, London SE1 0LX www.uniontheatre.biz
How to get there The nearest underground stations are Southwark (on the Jubilee line) or London Bridge (on the Jubilee line and Northern line). The nearest rail station is Waterloo or London Bridge. Parking is available on Union Street after 6.30pm on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Twitter @WFeatherMusical, @ArionProds, @TheUnionTheatre, #TheWhiteFeather
Box Office Tickets are available starting at £15 from the Union Theatre Box Office and www.uniontheatre.biz, 020 7261 9876
Book – Ross Clark and Andrew Keates
Music – Ross Clark, Martin Costlett, Dustin Conrad and Matthew Strachan
Lyrics – Ross Clark and Matthew Strachan
Choreographer – Anthony Whiteman
Costume Designer – Natasha Prynne
Designer – Tim McQuillen-Wright
Director – Andrew Keates
Dramaturgist – Jennifer Bakst
Musical Director – Dustin Conrad
Producer – Arion Productions Ltd
Sound Designer – James Nicholson
Stage Manager – Chuck Deer
Voice Coach – Sarah Stephenson
Willows – Christopher Blades
Edith – Katie Brennan
Adam Davey – David Flynn
Brown/Edward – Zac Hamilton
Emma Cardinall – Cameron Leigh
Georgina Briggs – Abigail Matthews
Harry Briggs – Adam Pettigrew
Hannah Fisher – Kathryn Rutherford
Peter Arthurs – Lee Dillon Stuart
Ross Clark is an award-winning journalist who writes for the Times, the Spectator and several other British national newspapers. For five years he was the main leader writer under Boris Johnson on the Spectator. He is the author of several books including How to Label a Goat: the silly rules and regulations that are strangling Britain, and The Great Before, a satirical novel set in a post-industrial future. Ross is a member of Mercury Musical Developments.
Multi-award-winning director Andrew Keates most recent productions include the hugely successful As Is and critically acclaimed Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Charing Cross Theatre), Passing By (Tristan Bates), the first London revival of As Is by William M. Hoffman and the European premiere of ROOMS – A Rock Romance (Finborough Theatre). Other productions include directing and developing the award winning professional premier of A Winter’s Tale, written by Howard Goodall, Nick Stimson and himself, The Thing About Man and The Hired Man. Awards include winning Best New Musical for A Winter’s Tale and Best Musical Production for The Hired Man in the OffWestEnd Awards. Andrew is the founder and artistic director of Arion Productions Ltd and formerly co-ran the Landor Theatre.