Casting has been announced for the concert production of Howard Goodall and Melvyn Bragg’s rousing 1984 musical The Hired Man, which will play London’s Cadogan Hall on September 22nd.
West End stars Jenna Russell (Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday In The Park With George) and John Owen-Jones (Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera) will lead the cast in the roles of John and Emily. Owen-Jones is currently performing as Jean Valjean on Broadway, while Russell was most recently seen in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Doctor Faustus at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Matthew Seadon-Young (Billy Elliot, Urinetown) will appear in the role of Jackson, while John’s brothers Isaac and Seth will be played by Nigel Richards (Phantom of the Opera) and Stewart Clarke (Assassins) respectively. Clarke’s parents, actors Paul Clarkson and Julia Hills, created the roles of John and Emily in the original production of The Hired Man. Completing the front line as May is Evelyn Hoskins, currently appearing in Alan Ayckbourn’s Hero’s Welcome in New York and recently seen in Carrie at Southwark Playhouse and Wonder.land at the National Theatre.
As previously announced, the concert is to be narrated by Lord Melvyn Bragg himself, upon whose novel the musical was based. Bragg is perhaps best known to London audiences as the face of The Southbank Show for over three decades on BBC and ITV.
Set in the agricultural and industrial heartlands of Cumbria at the turn of the 20th century, The Hired Man tells the tale of John and Emily Tallentire as they go from two young lovers setting off in married life together to parents struggling to eke out an existence for their family as war looms across the continent. As the 100th anniversary of the first world war is commemorated and with communities in industrial towns across the country struggling to hold onto their way of life, this powerful tale of labour and love is more poignant now than ever.
The ensemble and live orchestra bringing this timeless score to life will be under the baton of conductor Andrew Linnie (The Commitments). The production will also feature evocative projections by designer Barret Hodgson and direction by Samuel Hopkins.
The original West End production in 1984 earned four Olivier nominations, and was proclaimed ‘Best New Musical’ by the Ivor Novello awards, The Guardian, The Stage and Time Out.
Tickets are now on sale through Cadogan Hall’s Box Office on 020 7730 4500, or at www.cadoganhall.com. Twitter @hiredmanconcert