Roll Up, Roll Up As Barnum Comes To Town

Brian Conley to star in Wimbledon show

Brian Conley will be coming to Wimbledon when the national tour of the Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival production of the musical Barnum starring Brian Conley comes to town in October.

Conley (right) will play P T Barnum and Linzi Hateley will be Chairy when the show comes to New Wimbledon Theatre for a week from Tuesday October 14.

He most recently scored a success as Fagin in the national tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oliver! His recent West End stage credits include Edna Turnblad in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. 

One of the highlights of his career was originating the role of another great iconic American showman Al Jolson in Jolson at the Victoria Palace for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. 

On television he is probably best known for playing Doug Digby in The Grimleys, his ITV1 show The Brian Conley Show, his hugely successful An Audience with Brian Conley and numerous Royal Variety Performances.

Linzi Hateley is an award-winning actress who has starred on Broadway, in the West End, with the RSC and at the National Theatre. She created the role of Mrs Banks in Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins and was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Her ther West End credits include Donna in Mamma Mia!, Roxie in Chicago, Rizzo in Grease and Eponine in Les Misérables. She most recently appeared in the National Theatre’s smash hit production of London Road.

This production of Barnum opened at Chichester Festival Theatre’s Theatre in the Park in July last year and became one of the most successful musicals in the 51-year history of Chichester Festival Theatre, with a record box office attendance of almost 70,000 people.

The musical follows the irrepressible imagination and dreams of Phineas T Barnum, America’s Greatest Showman. The story of his life and his marriage to Chairy reveals a couple who looked at the world from opposite sides of the spectrum, and also reveals that she was the practical one who made Barnum’s dreams come true. The production follows the legendary showman’s life as he lit up the world with the colour, warmth and excitement of his imagination and finally teamed up with J A Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey’s Circus – the Greatest Show on Earth.

Cy Coleman’s wonderfully exuberant score includes the hits Come Follow The Band, The Colours Of My Life and There Is A Sucker Born Ev’ry Minute. Barnuma has music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Michael Stewart and a book by Mark Bramble in a revised version by Cameron Mackintosh and Mark Bramble.

It was a smash-hit when it opened on Broadway in 1980. Starring Glenn Close and Jim Dale, it won three Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award. When Barnum opened at the London Palladium in 1981 Michael Crawford took the lead, winning an Olivier Award for his performance.

August 5, 2014