News: New musical Saving Grace to play at London’s Riverside Studios

Producers Barney Wragg, Liz Murdoch, Xavier Marchand, Mark Crowdy and Craig Ferguson are delighted to invite audiences to an intimate first run of the new musical Saving Grace which will have twelve performances only at the Riverside Studios from Tuesday 22 November – Sunday 4 December 2022. Tickets for the show are from £30 and are released for sale today, 4 October 2022.

With book by April De Angelis and music and lyrics by KT Tunstall, Saving Grace will be directed by Laurence Connor. Musical supervision and arrangements are by John Rigby with set and costume designs by Laura Hopkins, lighting by Bruno Poet, sound by Richard Brooker, orchestrations by KT Tunstall and John Rigby and casting by David Grindrod for Grindrod Burton Casting. Casting will be announced in due course. The production is based upon the original Sky film Saving Grace, written by Craig Ferguson and Mark Crowdy, based on a story by Mark Crowdy.

Grace’s new joint venture makes the most of her skills as a gardener but stepping into the underworld was never part of the bargain. The sudden death of her husband leaves Grace alone and on the verge of bankruptcy. But can an unlikely friendship and a surprising idea for a business save the day? Discover how Grace reaches new “highs” in this hilarious and heart-warming adventure.

Saving Grace was originally released in 2000 as the British comedy film starring Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson, was directed by Nigel Cole and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Audience Award. After the success of the film, two prequels were made which were eventually developed into the hit ITV series Doc Martin.

Barney Wragg said: “It’s great to be working with Laurence again, the last time we worked together was on School of Rock on Broadway. As part of the development for School of Rock, we presented an early version of the show to live audiences at the Gramercy Theatre. This allowed the creative team to see a real audience reaction to the piece and allowed us to tweak and improve the work before we began the formal previews and opening at the Winter Garden. We’re excited to present Saving Grace at Riverside this November in the same vein. We are inviting audiences to have a first look at what goes into the creation of a new musical. It is a chance for them not only to see and enjoy Saving Grace, but to respond to the show and help our team improve and develop the piece. We are very much looking forward to the run at the Riverside Studios and sharing the next stage of our Saving Grace journey.”

KT Tunstall burst onto the music scene with her 2004 multi-platinum debut Eye to the Telescope which spawned the global hits “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See” establishing her as a performer as well as a Songwriter, with an ability for balancing introspective folk and propulsive rock. In the last few years, the Grammy-nominated Scottish Musician has expanded on these musical selves by focusing on a trilogy of records, where each album zeroes in on a single concept: soul, body and mind. The first, 2016’s KIN, was the soul record, 2018’s WAX was the body record, and the new NUT is the mind record. Saving Grace will be Tunstall’s first project for the theatre.

April De Angelis is an acclaimed playwright who has worked in stage, radio and television. Her work includes My Brilliant Friend (Rose Theatre Kingston and National Theatre), The Village (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Frankenstein (Royal Exchange Theatre), Jumpy (starring Tamsin Greig, Royal Court and Duke of York’s Theatre, West End, Melbourne and Sydney), an adaptation of Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep), Wild East (Royal Court), A Laughing Matter (Out of Joint at National Theatre), A Warwickshire Testimony (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Positive Hour (Out of Joint at Hampstead Theatre), Playhouse Creatures (Sphinx Theatre Company at the Haymarket Theatre, at the Old Vic Theatre and at Chichester Festival Theatre), The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (The Old Fire Station Oxford and Bristol Old Vic). Other work includes the opera libretti Flight (Glyndebourne) and the Silent Twins (Almeida Theatre). Her television credits include Aristophanes (C4) and she has written extensively for radio including an acclaimed adaptation of Peyton Place (BBC Radio). Her original musical Gin Craze opened at Theatre Royal Northampton to rave reviews in July 2021 and will be revived in 2022/2023. She is currently under commission to Hampstead Theatre, Glyndebourne and Fiction House. Her new play Kerry Jackson will premiere at the National Theatre later this year.

Laurence Connor’s directing credits include Cinderella (Gillian Lynne Theatre); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (The London Palladium); Chess (English National Opera); Unmasked (The Other Palace); Miss Saigon (Broadway, West End, US tours, UK tours, Australia, Japan, Korea, Austria); School of Rock (Broadway, West End, US tour, UK tour, Australia, China and Korea); Les Misérables (West End, Broadway, US tours, UK tours, Australia, Japan, Korea and Spain); Jesus Christ Superstar (UK and Australian arena tour); The Phantom of the Opera (UK and US tours) and Oliver! (UK tour). He directed the 25th anniversary concert of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall and the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables at the O2 in London, both of which were simultaneously broadcast in cinemas worldwide and subsequently released on DVD. His other DVD credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (world arena tour) and Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre).

Saving Grace runs at the Riverside Studios from 22 November – 4 December 2022.

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