Casting announced for THE TOXIC AVENGER

Casting announced for THE TOXIC AVENGER

The European premiere of the smash-hit off-Broadway rock musical, based on the 1984 classic cult film opens at Southwark Playhouse on 26 April, with previews from 22 April

Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment in association with the King’s Head Theatre, Guy James and Szpiezak Productions presents the European premiere of


Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro. Music and Lyrics by David Bryan.

Directed by Benji Sperring. Musical direction by Alex Beetschen.

Set and Costume design by Mike Lees. Casting by Jane Deitch.

Lighting design by Nic Farman. Sound design by Andy Johnson. Choreography by Lucie Pankhurst.

Cast: Mark Anderson. Hannah Grover. Lizzii Hills. Marc Pickering. Ashley Samuels.

Press night: Tuesday 26 April at 7.30pm

Run: Friday 22 April – Saturday 21 May 2016

Mark Anderson stars as ‘Toxie’, The Toxic Avenger. Mark played Elder Thomas in the original West End cast of The Book of Mormon for two years from 2013 – 2015. Other credits include Legally Blonde, Love Me Tender, Mary Poppins, Stiles and Drewe’s 3 Little Pigs (International Tour), Once Upon A Mattress (Union Theatre), Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin (Salisbury Playhouse) and Hello Dolly (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

Hannah Grover plays Sarah. Most recently she played the role of Molly in Ghost the Musical (English Theatre, Frankfurt). Other leading credits include Evita, Legally Blonde, and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat (UK Tours) and Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre).

Lizzii Hills plays Ma Ferd, Mayor and Nun. Her credits include The Wizard of Oz, Chicago (West End), Karen in Eastenders (BBC), Vanessa in Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures), Guys and Dolls, Crazy For You (Kilworth House Theatre), High Society and The Ratpack (Adelphi, UK Tour).

Marc Pickering plays White Dude. When he was 12, he was put forward for and won the role of Young Masbeth in Tim Burton’s film of Sleepy Hollow. He went on to appear in other high-profile films including Calendar Girls and Les Miserables. Theatre credits include The Elephant Man, An Incident at the Border (Trafalgar Studios), The Merchant of Venice (Arcola), Honeymoon Suite (Hull Truck), The Glee Club (UK Tour), The Wizard of Oz (Royal and Derngate) and The Long and the Short and the Tall (Pleasance). Television includes Boardwalk Empire and Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor.

Ashley Samuels plays Black Dude. He played The Doctor in The Book of Mormon (West End) from 2014-2016.

This run at Southwark Playhouse marks the first time The Toxic Avenger has been performed anywhere in Europe. Praise for the New York off-Broadway run included:

“Hysterically funny!” The New York Post

“Exuberantly silly!” The New York Times

“A Rock & Roll Romp! Infectious. The Toxic Avenger is hard to resist” Time Out NY

“Hilarious.” The New Yorker

The citizens of Tromaville are crying out for a hero – enter Melvin Ferd the Third, an aspiring earth scientist determined to clean up the toxic waste problem. But when a corrupt Mayor and her government goons try to stop this heroic feat, Melvin is tossed into a vat of toxic waste and transformed into The Toxic Avenger, New Jersey’s first superhero!

‘Toxie’ is a seven-foot mutant freak with superhuman strength and a supersized heart to match. He’s out to save New Jersey, end global warming, woo the prettiest (blindest) librarian in town and get home in time for dinner, in this toxic love story with an environmental twist. Prepare to laugh, scream and sing as ‘Toxie’ rocks the house and saves the day.

The European premiere of this monster of a rock ‘n’ roll musical comedy from the Tony Award-winning creative team behind Memphis, Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, is based on Lloyd Kauffman’s 1984 cult classic film from Troma Entertainment. It debuted off-Broadway on April 6, 2009, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. This production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York.

Writer Joe DiPietro says: “The Toxic Avenger is a modern, musical superher​​​​o and the w​​orld leader in the fight against pollution, corruption and evil politicians. So how brilliant that he’s finally going where he’s needed most: London.”

Please note: The Toxic Avenger marks the introduction of allocated seating to Southwark Playhouse in The Large space. Patrons can pick their seats online or will be given best available seats when booking over the phone. Seating in The Little space remains unreserved.

Joe DiPietro and David Bryan wrote the quadruple Tony award winning Broadway hit Memphis which subsequently opened in London’s West End in 2014 starring Beverley Knight. Joe DiPietro also wrote the book and lyrics to I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the longest running musical revue in New York history which has had hundreds of productions across the country and around the world. He wrote the book and lyrics to the Broadway musical All Shook Up, and the award-winning musical, The Thing About Men, which has played internationally. His plays include the Edgar Award-winning mystery, The Art of Murder, as well as the long-running hit comedy Over the River and through the Woods, which has had over a hundred productions around the world and is currently being developed into a feature film. David Bryan is a singer, songwriter, composer, lyricst and programmer who also dedicates his time to become a National Spokesperson for VH1’s Save The Music Program, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of music education in America’s schools.

Director Benji Sperring trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and The University of Manchester. Directing credits include Shock Treatment (King’s Head Theatre), The Immortal Hour, Valley of Song (Finborough Theatre), The Bald Prima Donna, The Blind, The Intruder (Old Red Lion Theatre), The Monk (Baron’s Court Theatre), The Wizard of Oz, Sweet Charity (Kings Theatre, Southsea) and Find Me (David Russell Theatre). He is Artistic Director of Tarquin Productions.

Musical director Alex Beetschen is a graduate of Jesus College Cambridge where he studied music and was a choral scholar. Recent theatre includes Jack and the Beanstalk (Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames) [MD/arranger], Shock Treatment (King’s Head Theatre) [MD/arranger], Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal; Exchange) [AMD], Once We Lived Here (King’s Head Theatre) [MD], A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep) [AMD], West Side Story (NYMT at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester) [AMD], Summertime (Arts Theatre, Leicester Square) [MD/arranger]. For OperaUpClose [as MD): Ulla’s Odyssey (King’s Place), The Marriage of Figaro (UK Tour) [also as arranger], La Traviata (Soho Theatre and Tricycle Theatre), Dido and Aeneas (King’s Head Theatre) [also as arranger]. Recent composition credits: Stranger Side (a short film with Max Clendaniel), At the Manger (a work for choir, solo tenor, string orchestra, organ and percussion). Alex is currently working on two pieces of musical theatre; A Bucket of Blood with Tom Crowley and Gamechanger with Nic Lamont and Adam Rhys-Davies, both due to premiere later this year.

Aria Entertainment was founded in 2012 by producer Katy Lipson. Recent productions include Seasons Of Larson (Lyric Theatre), See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Adventures of Pinocchio, Tommy (Greenwich Theatre), Miss-Leading Ladies (St. James Studio), Bette Midler And Me (Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Tour), The House of Mirrors & Hearts (Arcola Theatre), The Jewish Legends (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Portia Coughlan and The Verb, ‘To Love’ (Old Red Lion Theatre), Jerry’s Girls (St. James Studio and subsequent transfer to Jermyn Street Theatre), Marry Me A Little (St. James Studio), The Return Of The Soldier (Jermyn Street Theatre), RAGS The Musical – In Concert (Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue). Other productions include The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre) and The Secret Garden (UK Tour). Katy also launched the From Page to Stage season of new musicals. She has produced three seasons to date, each of which showcased 8 new musicals. The next season is planned for Autumn 2016. Current projects include the revival of Jule Styne, Don Black and Jack Rosenthal’s Bar Mitzvah Boy, The Great Jewish American Songbook (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) and Forever Plaid (St. James Theatre).

Listings Information


Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway

London SE1 6BD

Nearest Tube: Borough / Elephant and Castle



Friday 22 April – Saturday 21 May 2016

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm

Saturday matinees at 3pm

Tuesday matinees at 3pm

Box Office



By Telephone

020 7407 0234


Ticket Prices

Previews from 22 – 25 April: all tickets £14 (not Sunday)

From 26 April – 21 May: £25, £20 (conc.)


Students, Under 16’s, Unwaged, Registered disabled, Over 65’s

Registered disabled patrons can bring one companion free of charge.

Keep up to date on Twitter

@swkplay @ToxicAvengerUK #toxicavengermusical

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