Double Olivier Award winner, four-time Olivier Award nominee and Tony Award nominee Tracie Bennett will star in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Southwark Playhouse, playing the big boss J.B.Biggley.
Last seen in London as Carlotta in the National Theatre production of ‘Follies’, Tracie Bennett recently played Alice in ‘Hangmen’ on Broadway and starred as Mame in ‘Mame’ at Hope Mill Theatre.
She is also well known for playing the role of Sharon Gaskell in ‘Coronation Street’ from 1982 to 1984, returning to the role in 1999 and again in 2021.
Among her many musical theatre starring roles, she received two Olivier Awards for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for her performances in the musicals ‘She Loves Me’ and ‘Hairspray’ with additional nominations for her work in ‘High Society’ and ‘Follies’. She was also nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical as Mrs Henderson in ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’, while her performance as Judy Garland in ‘End of the Rainbow’ earned her an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Play and a Tony Award nomination in the same category when the production transferred to Broadway.
Director Georgie Rankcom said: “Our approach to this wonderful show is to trust the brilliant original and let the satire shine. To find the best possible company to tell this story, we expanded our ideas of who can play and embody these roles. When you’re looking for someone with the charisma and power to be the high powered boss with a flare for the occasional musical number, Tracie Bennett quickly becomes the top choice. I’m honoured and excited to be working with her on bringing this new version of ‘How to Succeed’ to the stage.”
‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ is a comic gem that took Broadway by storm in 1961, winning both the Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize. It was revived twice on Broadway in acclaimed productions starring Matthew Broderick and Daniel Radcliffe.
A satire of big business and all it holds sacred, it follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (voiced in the Southwark production by Michelle Visage of ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ fame) to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant “company man”, the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love.
‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ boasts an exhilarating score by Frank Loesser – one of America’s great composer/lyricists, also responsible for ‘Guys & Dolls’ (currently a massive hit at the Bridge Theatre) – including ‘I Believe in You’, ‘Brotherhood of Man’ and ‘The Company Way’.