Producers today announce lead casting for the world premiere stage production of Michel Hazanavicius’ multi–Academy Award-winning film The Artist. Multi award-winning international dancer and actor Robbie Fairchild returns to the UK stage for the first time since his acclaimed leading performance in An American In Paris to play silent movie icon George Valentin, with West End favourite Gary Wilmot as Al Zimmer, and introducing Briana Craig (42nd Street tour) as Peppy Miller.
Tickets are now on sale for The Artist at Theatre Royal Plymouth, where the production begins its journey with a strictly limited run from Saturday 11 May until Saturday 25 May 2024.
Drew McOnie, Artistic Director of The McOnie Company, said: “It is such an honour to be collaborating with these exceptional artists on this brand new production. The commitment and talent that pours from them is palpable and I’m so excited for audiences to fall head over heels in love with each of them for their bravery, honesty and heart.”
Robbie Fairchild (George Valentin) said: “There are few moments in the life of a performer when you are given the opportunity to play a character that you instantly feel so connected to… that in the process of diving into them, you begin to understand yourself and your own life experiences more. The Artist is one of those moments for me, and my gratitude is very, very abundant.”
Gary Wilmot (Al Zimmer) said: “It’s a great privilege to be a part of The Artist next year, I loved the film when I saw it in the packed cinema, and now that Drew McOnie’s got his hands on it, it’s going to go stratospheric. Truly honoured to be in the company of such talented people – the audiences are going to get a first-class show!”
Briana Craig (Peppy Miller) said: “Working with Drew, this creative team and these artists, is such an honour. I’ve never experienced anything so collaborative or such genius in one space. As a child, I dreamed of doing work as special as this and now it’s a reality I feel incredibly lucky. Every day in the room I’m amazed at how we’re using theatre as a medium to create this innovative piece of art. Expect the unexpected!”
The Artist is co-adapted for the stage by Lindsey Ferrentino and Drew McOnie and directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. The multi award-winning creative team includes set and costume designs by Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts I & II, Red, Disney’s Frozen), music by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Hale (Girl From The North Country, Get Up Stand Up!) lighting by Zoe Spurr (Good, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World), sound by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Baker (Matilda The Musical, A Christmas Carol), video by Ash J Woodward (The 47th, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), puppetry by Maia Kirkman-Richards (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and casting by Will Burton. The Associate Director/Choreographer is Ebony Molina and the Musical Director is Chris Poon.
The Artist is a McOnie Company production produced by Theatre Royal Plymouth, The McOnie Company, Playful Productions, Bill Damaschke and Underbelly in association with Stephen and Nancy Gabriel.
In 1920s Hollywood the business of making dreams come true is in full swing.
Silent movie icon George Valentin has long been the darling of the silver screen when he falls for aspiring actress Peppy Miller.
But while her star is about to rise, his might soon flicker out: amidst all the glamour, laughter and romance, the silent movie industry is on the brink of a revolution.
With the Talkies on their way, George must either find his voice in a brave new world or lose everything he holds dear to a bygone era.
The Artist has mesmerised film audiences across the world for over a decade, winning five Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globe Awards. Now the beguiling love story is reinvented for the stage in a dazzling celebration of silent cinema that blends cutting-edge theatre-making with iconic music of the period.