Homegrown musical MISS NIGHTINGALE, set in London during the Second World War, finally gets an extended London season after five successful UK tours. Matthew Bugg‘s musical transfers to The Vaults for an eight-week residency from 30 March to 20 May 2017.
MISS NIGHTINGALE is that rare thing: a genuinely new and successful British musical that is neither a juke-box show nor one based on an existing play, book, or film. Since it was first staged in 2011, the musical has completed five national tours, playing more than 300 performances to 50,000 people at 30 theatres across the UK.
MISS NIGHTINGALE is set in London during 1942. A smoky, underground cabaret club opens in the heart of a war-torn city. As a saucy new singer is thrust into the spotlight, two men struggle to bring their love out of the shadows.
A deeply touching and raucously funny tale of prejudice, passion and debauchery during the dark days of World War Two. MISS NIGHTINGALE brings the scandals, satire, and spunky spirit of the Forties sensationally to life.
The story reclaims the forgotten fate of gay men castigated as ‘the enemy within’ during the Second World War. Set against ‘Miss Nightingale’s’ dramatic rise to stardom is the romance between two of the men in her life – George, a Jewish composer, and Sir Frank, an upper-class impresario – at a time when society refuses to recognise their love and violently rejects their right to be together.
2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. As parts of the ‘Free World’ seem to be turning their backs on homosexuality, MISS NIGHTINGALE is a timely – yet disarmingly entertaining – reminder of the progress we’ve made but the steps we have still to travel.
The show features 20 original songs by Matthew Bugg, from innuendo-laden Music Hall style numbers to tender ballads and complex trios and quartets, which wonderfully capture the soaring spirit and biting wit of the 1940s.
For the Q&A on Thursday 13 April 2017, I’ll be joined by writer and director Matthew Bugg, creative consultant Joe Harmston, and members of the company of actor-musicians: Tamar Broadbent in the title role, Nick Coutu-Langmead, Conor O’Kane, Niall Kerrigan and Tobias Oliver.