Nottingham Playhouse has announced the full cast of the much-anticipated Piaf.
Pam Gems’ Piaf – a Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse co-production – tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational, world-renowned singer Edith Piaf. Her most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien, though the international star began her life singing on the streets of Paris.
Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell (EastEnders, BBC, Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s Theatre) has already been confirmed to take the title role. Now Sally Ann Triplett (Last Ship on Broadway, Anything Goes at the National Theatre) will be joining her in the role of Toine – Edith Piaf’s best friend and confidante. Russell and Triplett are friends themselves, but this will be the first time they have performed together since the original West End production of Sondheim’s Follies 30 years ago. This is also a return to the Playhouse for Triplett, as she played Judy Garland in My Judy Garland Life in 2014.
Olivier Award-nominated actress Laura Pitt-Pulford (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Little Miss Sunshine, Arcola Theatre) will play Marlene Dietrich. Garry Robson (Reasons to be Cheerful, Graeae, Blanche and Butch, BoP) will be taking the role of Louis Leplee – the nightclub owner who discovered Piaf. Robson previously performed at Nottingham Playhouse in Our Country’s Good in 2018, produced by Nottingham Playhouse as part of the Ramps on the Moon Consortium. Louis Gaunt (Grease, UK and Ireland tour), who is originally from Nottingham, will play Piaf’s husband Theo, having previously performed at Nottingham Playhouse in 2018’s Sweet Charity.
Samuel James (James Graham’s Sketching, Wilton’s Music Hall, Monster Raving Loony, Theatre Royal Plymouth & Soho Theatre) will play Bruno, owner and manager of the Paris Olympia. Matthew Woodyatt (The Invisible Man, Queen’s, Hornchurch, Fiddler on the Roof, CFT) will play Raymond and Joseph Prowen (Father Brown, BBC, A Christmas Carol, RSC) will play Louis. Zheng Xi Yong, who was last at Nottingham Playhouse in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins will take the role of Lucien.
Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “We are thrilled to announce that Piaf will finally be performed this summer. Edith Piaf’s life was shocking, hilarious and heart-breaking, she lived life to the full. The life-affirming story, combined with those iconic songs, makes for an unforgettable, celebratory night of theatre – which is exactly what we want to give people on their first visit following the pandemic.”
Piaf will be directed by Adam Penford (Holes, An Enemy of the People, The Madness of George III). Frankie Bradshaw is the Designer, Jack Knowles is confirmed as Lighting Designer, Ella Wahlström is confirmed as Sound Designer, Gareth Valentine will be MD on keys, Arranger and Orchestrator, Georgina Lamb is the Movement Director, Félicité du Jeu will be Dialect Coach, and Will Burton is the Casting Director.
Piaf opens at Nottingham Playhouse Friday 2 July and plays to Saturday 17 July 2021 with a press night on Tuesday 6 July 2021. It will then transfer to Leeds Playhouse where it will run in the Courtyard Theatre from Friday 23 July to Saturday 7 August.