Stage Taylor in Association with Neil Mcpherson for the Finborough Theatre Presents

Stage Taylor in Association with Neil Mcpherson for the Finborough Theatre Presents

Press Information finboroughtheatre

Stage Taylor in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre presents

The European Premiere

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Book by Tom Briggs and Louis Mattioli. Based on the novel by Phil Stong and the screenplay by Oscar Hammerstein II

Presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of R & H THEATRICALS OF NEW YORK.
Directed by Thom Southerland. Musical Direction by Magnus Gilljam. Choreography by Sally Brooks. Designed by Wai Yin Kwok. Costume Design by Martha Palmer. Produced by Nick Robinson for Stage Taylor

Cast: David Botham. Robine Landi. Siôn Lloyd. Laura Main. Martin McCarthy. Gareth Nash. Helen Philips. Robert Rees. Philip Rham. Kellie Shirley. Susan Travers. Sarah Waddell. Anthony Wise.

Acclaimed young musical theatre director Thom Southerland makes his Finborough Theatre debut with the long-awaited Europeanprofessional premiere ofthe classic film and Broadway musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair, opening for a limited four week season fromTuesday, 4 August 2009(Press Night: Thursday, 6 August).

Set against the colourful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, State Fair travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the 1946 annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on winning blue ribbons for best boar and best homemade mincemeat, whilst their daughter and son find both love and heartbreak in the romance of the busy fairground. The Academy Award winning score including such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as It Might as Well Be Springand It's a Grand Night for Singing.

Based on the 1945 and 1962 films with additional songs that were either featured in, or cut from, other Rodgers and Hammerstein shows including Oklahoma!, Pipe Dream, Allegro and Me and Juliet, the stage version opened on Broadway in 1996 where it received four Tony nominations (including Best Original Score).

Director Thom Southerland has won much acclaim for his productions of music theatre.Hisproductions include –as Resident Director of the Union Theatre – the European premiere of I Sing!, Divorce Me Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun (Time Out Critics’ Choice), The Pajama Game (Time Out and Evening Standard Critics’ Choice) and all-male productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and The Mikado; and – as Resident Director at the Catford Broadway Theatre, Bent by Martin Sherman, Rodgers and Hammerstein’sOklahoma!, The UK Premiere of The Diary of Anne Frank, Rent and Mack and Mabel. He has also assisted John Doyle on Man of La Mancha (BAC), Sweeney Todd and Mack and Mabel (Watermill Theatre, National Tour and West End).

David Botham’s credits include Saturday Night (Arts Theatre). Robine Landi’s credits include Dust (Tricycle Theatre) and television credits include Hope and Glory (BBC). Kellie Shirley is best known for playing Carly Wicks in EastEnders,while her many other credits include Rookery Nook (Menier Chocolate Factory) and The Miracle (National Theatre).Siôn Lloyd’s credits include Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre), The Full Monty (Prince of Wales Theatre and National Tour) and Debbie Does Dallas – The Musical (National Tour). Laura Main’s credits include Tea and Sympathy and Young Woodley (Finborough Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park). Martin McCarthyappeared recently in Evita (National Tour). Susan Travers’televisioncredits include The Avengers, The Saint and Van Der Valk. Gareth Nash recently appearedin Les Miserables (Queens Theatre). Helen Phillips has recently graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama. Robert Rees has recently graduated from Arts Educational Schools. Philip Rham’s recent theatre credits includeDr Korczak's Example (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Sweeney Todd (Derby Playhouse), Amadeus (York Theatre Royal), Candide (Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman Theatres), and Deep Blue Sea (Watford Palace Theatre). Sarah Waddell’s recent credits include Divorce Me Darling (Union Theatre)and Hannah’s Aura (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton).Anthony Wise’s recent credits includeThePajama Game, The Prince Among Men, Dealers Choice (Union Theatre), and Carmen (Welsh National Opera).

Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) was one of America’s most prolific composers. Best known for his partnerships with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, he composed forty Broadway scores. He was one of only two people to win an Oscar, Grammy, an Emmy a Tony Award and the coveted Pulitzer Prize award. His collaboration with Hart produced shows such as Dearest Enemy, A Conneticut Yankee, On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, Pal Joey and By Jupiter. Their songs included hits like My Funny Valentine, The Lady is a Tramp, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered and Blue Moon.Rodgers began his collaboration with Hammerstein in 1943, the same year as Hart’s death, and composed the hit show Oklahoma! together, beginning arguably the most successful writing partnership in musical theatre history.

Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II(1895-1960) won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for his writing, and was also a celebrated producer and director of musicals for almost forty years. His credits include Always You with music byOtto Harbach; the masterpiece of American musical theatre Show Boat with Jerome Kern; and Book and Lyrics for Carmen Jones, an adaptation of Bizet's Carmen for an all-black cast.

Rodgers and Hammerstein went on to produce such classic Broadway musicals as Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Allegro, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music as well as the musical film State Fairand the television musical Cinderella.

The book was the second collaboration of Tom Briggs and Louis Mattioli, following a revised version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro.

The Press on State Fair

"A sparklingly witty book and lush R&H songs – [its] crowd-pleasing charms are considerable and compelling."Variety

"A toe-tappable, knee-slappable package that carries a wealth of charm"Hollywood Reporter

"Deliciously charged Americana...One of the most magical theatrical experiences I have had in years!"American Theatre

"Perfection...Just pin that blue ribbon on the theater marquee."Chicago Sun Times

"This may be what the golden age of Broadway was really about."USA Today

"A pure delight...Sweeter and more fun than cotton candy."Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Press on Thom Southerland

One to Watch… Thom Southerland

“Thom Southerland, the new doyen of musical theatre directors.”Classical on Mack and Mabel

“The best reviver of musicals around.”Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard onThe Pajama Game

“This is great fun delivered quite, quite brilliantly.”Andrew Haydon,Time Out onThe Mikado

“The envy of most West End shows...Thom Southerand is doing a whole lot right” Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard onThe Mikado
“You won't go wrong by treating loved ones to what will be the best show in town - Mack and Mabel. And how do I know that? Thom Southerland is directing and nobody directs musicals like Thom Southerland.” Southwark News

“If money and space are always going to be a tight squeeze, there are no limits to the use of Southerland's imagination... (he is) the very top of the musical theatre tree for resourcefulness over resources and inventiveness over spatial limitations.”Mark Shenton, The Stage onAnnie Get Your Gun



Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at

Tuesday, 4 August – Saturday, 29 August 2009

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday Matinees at 3.00pm(from 15 August).

Tickets £13, £9 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £9 all seats, and Saturday evenings £13 all seats.

Previews (4 and 5 August) £9 all seats. £5 tickets for under 30’s for the first week of this production when booked online.

Performance Length: Approximately 2 ½ hours.

For more information, interviews and images, please contact

Neil McPherson on e-mail or07977 173135

Press releases and images are available to download from
(Go to ‘Contact’ in the top right hand corner of the home page and follow the links)

118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED Telephone +44 (0)20 7244 7439 Fax +44 (0)20 7835 1853

e-mail Artistic Director Neil McPherson

The Finborough Theatre is managed by The Steam Industry. Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 3448268.

Registered Charity no. 1071304. Registered address: 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED. A member of the Independent Theatre Council.