Half A Sixpence Charlie Stemp is a Star Chichester Festival Theatre *****

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Half A Sixpence opens at the NOEL COWARD THEATRE, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4AU on 29th October 2016 and will run until February 2017.

Half A Sixpence Charlie Stemp is a Star Chichester Festival Theatre *****

A Star is Born – 22 year old Charlie Stemp – He can sing, he can dance, he can act: watch the birth of a super star of musical theatre in Half a Sixpence at Chichester Festival Theatre.

 

Charlie Stemp as Arthur in Half a Sixpence at Chichester Festival Theatre

Charlie Stemp as Arthur in Half a Sixpence at Chichester Festival Theatre

The Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh new production of Half a Sixpence gives us two, young, rising stars: Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps and Devon-Elise Johnson as Ann Pornick.

Arthur and Ann (played by Devon-Elise Johnson

Arthur and Ann (played by Devon-Elise Johnson)

A new musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s masked autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul. Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) scripted a new book. The successful and talented musical team comprised of composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, whose previous work includes the stage adaptation of Mary Poppins. Their fine musical score is inspired by and features several of the original songs from the 1950s show, including Flash Bang Wallop, Money To Burn and Half A Sixpence.

Arthur and his banjo.

Arthur with his banjo.

This faultless production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh; the magical choreography by Andrew Wright brings the show to life. The spectacular set was designed by Paul Brown at a cost of £350,000.

Arthur and the company.

Arthur and the company.

Ian Bartholomew plays the amusing Chitterlow and Emma Williams is in fine voice as Helen Walsingham, the middle-class sector of the love triangle.

Altogether a fine piece of work, entertaining and uplifting, it will no doubt continue onto the West End stage. Highly recommended.

 

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