Royal & Derngate, Northampton, and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, have announced Tori Allen-Martin and Alex Cardall as the cast for their co-production of the new musical, The Season, by 2018 MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award winners, Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, playing in Northampton and Ipswich in November. The production will be directed by Tim Jackson and designed by Amy Jane Cook.
It’s Christmas Eve and Dougal has travelled from Northampton to New York for his father’s wedding. At JFK Airport he’s greeted by Robin. Tomorrow her sister becomes his stepmother and Robin’s dreading it. Dougal can’t wait.
Thrown together for a wild weekend in the city that never sleeps, their adventure becomes a musical whirlwind of confession, frustration and excess. Will these two endearing misfits provide the ultimate test for the theory that opposites always attract?
This brand new romantic comedy, filled with heart-warming songs from composer Jim Barne and local writer Kit Buchan, is the recipient of the 2018 MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award, celebrating the very best of emerging British song-writing talent.
The part of Robin will be played by Tori Allen-Martin, named as on the BBC’s New Talent Hotlist 2017. Her one-woman stage show The Hardest One played The Other Palace and the West End’s Criterion Theatre and she has recently been seen on BBC 1 in the series London Kills. Tori is currently playing the role of Dolly in the New Wolsey Theatre’s (in association with Nuffield Southampton Theatres) production of One Man, Two Guvnors. Alex Cardall’s recent theatre credits include Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre and Evita at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
The Season is directed by Tim Jackson (The Astonishing Return of the Protagonists, The Other Palace), whose credits also include choreography for Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory/Harold Pinter Theatre) and Stepping Out (Vaudeville Theatre). The production will be designed by Amy Jane Cook whose credits include Jellyfish (National Theatre/Bush Theatre) and The Funeral Director (Southwark Playhouse and tour). Cressida Carré (Titanic, Charing Cross Theate/Southwark Playhouse) is Movement Director. Musical Supervisor will be Mark Crossland who recent credits include 9 to 5 in the West End and national tours of Avenue Q and Fame. Lighting design is by Simon Wilkinson (The Magic Flute, Quebec City Opera Festival; Interference, National Theatre of Scotland) and sound design is by Andy Graham (The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, Park Theatre; In the Willows (tour, Metta Theatre).
Jim Barne and Kit Buchan said: “We are proud and happy that The Season, the first full-length Buchan Barne musical, will be having its debut run at Royal & Derngate and New Wolsey theatres this autumn. Both theatres have been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic throughout the development process. We’ve spent the last year workshopping The Season with Royal & Derngate and New Wolsey Ipswich, under the wing of the Stiles + Drewe mentorship programme, and we can’t wait to see Dougal and Robin up on such well respected stages this November.”
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe added: “We are both delighted that The Season, which was the winning musical in the 3rd year of our MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award, has been selected for a full scale production in Northampton and Ipswich later this year. Over the past year we have thoroughly enjoyed working with Kit and Jim on honing their story, and it is particularly gratifying when our belief in both the writers and their musical is endorsed by two of our great regional theatres.”
James Dacre, Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate commented: “Since first seeing Kit and Jim’s work at BEAM 2018, it has been thrilling to collaborate with New Wolsey to develop these remarkable artists’ first full scale musical, which has so benefited from the mentorship of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and the collaboration of an exceptional creative team led by Tim Jackson.”
The Season is a co-production in association with Glass Half Full Productions and Tim Johanson Productions, and is part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season, which is sponsored locally by Michael Jones Jeweller.