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Russell Grant to star in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Posted on June 30, 2014

square millie poster

square-millie-posterStrictly Come Dancing celebrity Russell Grant is to star as the sinister Mrs Meers in the UK fringe premiere of the six-time Tony Award-winning tap dancing musical Thoroughly Modern Millie this October.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, based on the 1967 film of the same name, starring Julie Andrews, will play at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London (NW1) from October 1 to 29.

The production will be directed by Drew Baker, with costume designer Andrew Cox, musical director Benjamin Holder, set designer Ben M Rogers and executive producer CJ de Mooi.

“Once in a while a role comes along that you have secretly coveted,” said Russell Grant. “I started performing in theatre around 50 years ago and this is one of those roles – Mrs Meers! Amongst other recent offers on both stage and screen it was this role I had to get my hands on. Beatrice Lillie made the role so fabulous in the film and from the moment I saw her it was on my wish list of roles I always wanted to perform but was never likely to be offered – until now!”

Set in the flapper era of the Roaring Twenties, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce.

Millie soon begins to take delight in the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by Mrs Meers, the leader of a white slavery ring in China. On its Broadway premiere in 2002, it won six Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards, including the win for Best Musical at both award ceremonies.

See here for tickets. Further casting is to be announced.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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