Mack and Mabel, the musical story of the tumultuous relationship between Keystone Cops director Mack Sennett and actress Mabel Normand, one of Sennett’s Bathing Beauties, is set to run at the Chichester Festival Theatre from 13 July–5 September. The pair had a rocky relationship however the tale is lifted by the wonderful score including numbers ‘I Won’t Send Roses’, ‘Wherever He Ain’t’ and ‘Tap Your Troubles Away’.
Michael Ball will star in the musical, written by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart. Following its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre the show will go on a national tour at the end of the year, followed by a possible West End transfer to the delight of fans. The Chichester Festival Theatre production will be directed Jonathan Church, with choreography by Stephen Mear and design by Robert Jones.
The classic show was first produced in the UK in 1981 at the Nottingham Playhouse, starring Denis Quilley as Mack and Imelda Staunton as Mabel. Despite a successful run the show failed to transfer to the West End, however there are high hopes for the 2015 production. Soon afterwards, champion ice dancers Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean used the Mack & Mabel overture for one of their routines and consequently won the gold medal in the 1982 World Figure Skating Championships. In February 1988, a one-off charity concert featuring George Hearn, Georgia Brown, Denis Quilley and Tommy Tune was staged at the Theatre Royal in London’s West End. The show was also revived at the Leicester Haymarket theatre in 1995, and at the Piccadilly Theatre with Caroline O’Connor starring as Mabel. A recently revival at the Southwark Playhouse saw Laura Pitt-Pulford play Mabel
Dates so far released:
- Plymouth Theatre Royal 1–10 October
- Manchester Opera House 12–24 October
- Dublin Bord Gais 27 October–7 November
- Edinburgh Playhouse 10–21 November
- Nottingham Theatre Royal 23–28 November
- Cardiff Millennium Centre 1–6 December