The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd

Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley

7 June – 2 July 2011

The London premiere

★★★★ The Public Reviews
★★★★ Time Out
The long overdue London premiere of the Broadway musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, directed by acclaimed West End and RSC director Ian Judge, with designs by three times Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild. With a score packed with standards including A Wonderful Day Like Today, The Joker, Who Can I Turn To? ( a hit for Tony Bennett), The Beautiful Land and Feeling Good (a hit for Michael Bublé), The Roar of The Greasepaint – The Smell of The Crowd presents the follies of the irrepressible Cocky and the imperious Sir as they play the comical Game of Life in this timely allegorical satire on the British class system. As they play, demonstrating how the working class can’t get ahead because of the rules set and constantly changed by the ruling classes, they encounter a dizzying array of bizarre and colourful characters who lead them to an unexpected conclusion…

Originally seen for a 1964 pre-London British tour starring Norman Wisdom, The Roar of The Greasepaint was championed by Broadway impresario David Merrick who presented it on Broadway in 1965 starring Anthony Newley and Cyril Ritchard. This production marks the show’s long-overdue London professional premiere.

About The Composer and Lyricist Leslie Bricusse

Award winning writer, composer and lyricist Leslie Bricusse has been nominated for ten Academy Awards, nine Grammys and four Tonys, and has won two Oscars, a Grammy and eight Ivor Novello Awards. In 1989, he received the Kennedy Award for consistent excellence in British songwriting, bestowed by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and was inducted into the American Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Stage musicals include Stop The World – I Want To Get Off (1961), Pickwick (1963), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Good Old Bad Old Days (1974), Scrooge (1970), Victor/Victoria (1982), Sherlock Holmes – The Musical (1989) and Jekyll And Hyde (1997). Songs and/or screenplays for films include Goldfinger (1964), Doctor Dolittle (1967), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Scrooge (1970), Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971), Superman (1978), Santa Claus - The Movie (1985), Home Alone (1990), Hook (1991), Tom and Jerry – The Movie (1992), Victor/Victoria (1995) and various Pink Panther movies. Hundreds of Bricusse's songs have been recorded by major artists including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis, Jr. (who recorded sixty Bricusse songs), Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Petula Clark, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, Andy Williams, Rex Harrison, Elaine Paige, Michael Feinstein, Bette Midler, The Moody Blues, Nancy Sinatra, Lena Horne, Sergio Mendes, Nina Simone, Dionne Warwick, Robert Goulet, Matt Monro, Ray Charles, Ethel Merman, Placido Domingo, Jennifer Holliday, Danny Kaye, Robbie Williams, Mariah Carey, Linda Eder, Diana Krall, Maroon 5, Michael Bublé, The Black-Eyed Peas and Celine Dion.

About The Writer, Composer and Lyricist Anthony Newley

Writer, composer and lyricist Anthony Newley (1931-1999) was also an actor, singer and director in a career that spanned more than 50 years embracing film, repertory theatre, rock and roll, comedy revues, music hall and television. He was born in Hackney and leaving school at 14 he found success as a child actor, most notably as the Artful Dodger in David Lean's 1948 film Oliver Twist. He became a hit recording artist including I've Waited So Long which took Newley to the top of the British charts and started a three year run of hits which included two number ones with Why and Lionel Bart's Do You Mind? His film appearances included Doctor Dolittle and The Cockleshell Heroes. His collaborations with Leslie Bricusse included writing and starring in the hit musical Stop The World – I Want To Get Off which included the songs Gonna Build A Mountain and What Kind of Fool Am I? which sold more than a million records and became his signature tune.

About The Director Ian Judge

Director Ian Judge first joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1975. His productions there include The Wizard of Oz, The Comedy Of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Twelfth Night, A Christmas Carol, The Relapse, Troilus And Cressida and The Merry Wives Of Windsor. Other productions include The Rivals and King Lear (The Old Vic), Banana Ridge, One For The Pot and Peter Pan (Shaw Festival, Canada), Macbeth (Sydney Theatre Company), Henry VIII and Love for Love (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Macbeth (Sydney Theatre Company, Australia). Musicals include Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along (Bloomsbury Theatre), The Swan Down Gloves and The Wizard Of Oz (Royal Shakespeare Company), Oh Kay! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Bitter Sweet (Sadler's Wells and UK tour), A Little Night Music (Piccadilly Theatre), Show Boat (London Palladium and UK Tour) and West Side Story (Australia and New Zealand). His Opera repertoire includes Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Le Nozze Di Figaro, Don Carlos, Roméo et Juliette, Tannhäuser, Die Gezeichneten (Los Angeles), The Tales Of Hoffmann (Sydney Opera, Houston, Opera Pacific), Faust, The Merry Widow, Cav/Pag, La Belle Vivette, Don Quixote, Mefistofele (English National Opera and also at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires), Der Fliegende Holländer, Simon Boccanegra (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Macbeth (Cologne) and Faust, Tosca, Macbeth, Boris Godunov, Acis and Galatea and Attila (Opera North), Norma (Scottish Opera and Buhnen Graz), La Bohème (Marinsky Theatre (Kirov), St Petersburg), The Mikado (Savoy Theatre), Salome (New York City Opera) and Falstaff (Theatre du Châtelet, Paris) and Tannhäuser (Madrid). His work has been nominated for nine Olivier Awards.

About The Designer Tim Goodchild

Designer Tim Goodchild, three times Olivier Award-winner, has designed for stage, television and film. He has designed over seventy one productions for West End theatre, twenty of which are musicals. He has also designed many productions for the New Shakespeare Company. In 1988, he designed the first Anglo-Soviet production of Swan Lake for the Moscow Classical Ballet, which made theatre history and was seen worldwide. He also designed the ballet A Simple Man for BBC2, which was the winner of the 1987 BAFTA Award. Tim also designed Bert Bacharach’s The Look of Love for BBC2, directed by Gillian Lynne, and Don Quixote for the Northern Ballet Theatre. West End theatre includes Henry IV starring Richard Harris (Wyndham's Theatre), Bus Stop starring Jerry Hall (Lyric Theatre), Chapter Two starring Tom Conti and Sharon Gless (Gielgud Theatre), Someone Like You, Brief Lives, Killing Jessica, Richard II starring Ian McKellen Hadrian VII and Our Song starring Peter O'Toole. For Cameron Mackintosh, revivals of Oklahoma! (also in Australia), My Fair Lady, The Card, Little Shop of Horrors, Blondel, Café Puccini and Five Guys Named Moe (also on Broadway and Australia). Other musicals include Wonderful Town, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Hello Dolly!, The Two Ronnies, Hans Andersen, Gone With the Wind, Phil the Fluter, Salad Days, Thomas and the King, Sing a Rude Song starring Barbara Windsor, Colette and Cowardy Custard with Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine. Designs for Chichester Festival Theatre include Robert and Elizabeth, R Loves J, The School for Scandal, Love for Love and Blithe Spirit. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, his designs include The Taming of the Shrew, The Relapse, Xenobia, Three Hours After Marriage and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Operas include work for The Los Angeles Opera, Houston Opera Pacific, Lyric Opera Chicago, Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, English National Opera, London Coliseum, Theatre du Chatelet and New York City Opera. More recently projects include La Bohème (Marinsky Theatre, St Petersburg) for the Kirov Opera, Falstaff (Châtelet Theatre, Paris), The Tales of Hoffman (Sydney Opera House), Boy George's musical Taboo (London and Broadway), Five Guys Named Moe (UK Tour), the opera Salome (New York City Opera) and Catherine Johnson’s play Suspension (Bristol Old Vic). In 2001, he designed the costumes for We Will Rock You, which celebrates its tenth anniversary later this year. In October, he returns to Los Angeles Opera for a production of Romeo and Juliet.

About The Lighting Designer Mark Doubleday

Lighting Designer Mark Doubleday trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where he won the Richard Pilbrow Prize. Mark worked for a year and a half with London Contemporary Dance Theatre before getting his first position as Lighting Designer at the Redgrave Theatre where he lit over fifty productions. Opera includes Tannhäuser, Teatro Real, Madrid, Kaspar Hauser, Le Nozze di Figaro, (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and New Athenaeum Theatre Glasgow), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Finta Giardiniera (Royal College of Music and Britten Theatre), The Cumnor Affair, Tête à Tête, Flight, La Rondine (British Youth Opera), The Cunning Little Vixen, (Royal College of Music), The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, Mikado, Carl Rosa and Raymond Gubbay (Gielgud Theatre), Blind Date (a new opera for Tête à Tête), Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots (Wilton's Music Hall), Hansel and Gretel  (Opera North (education)), Tannhäuser (Los Angeles Opera), Lysistrata (New York City Opera), Odysseus Unwound, Tête à Tête, La Vie Parisienne (D'Oyly Carte) Eugene Onegen, (Music Theatre London), Die Fledermaus, Orlando Finto Pazzo, Shorts, Six-Pack, Family Matters, (Tête à Tête), Falstaff (Royal Academy of Music), Le Nozze di Figaro, Opera Zuid (Netherlands), Hansel and Gretel (Scottish Opera on tour), Manon, Die Fledermaus (English Touring Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos, Albert Herring (Aldeburgh Festival), Le Torreador, Messalina, Amadigi, Jonathan Dove's Le Porte di Bagdad, The Lady and the Sweep (Batignano, Italy), La Fanciulla del West, Norma (Opera Holland Park), The Rape of Lucretia, Cosi fan Tutte (Royal College of Music), Nitro (Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House Covent Garden), Lysistrata (Houston Grand Opera), The Knot Garden (Istituto di Musica di Montepulciano). London Theatre includes Salad Days (Riverside Studios), Kurt and Sid (Trafalgar Studios), Family Man (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Fast Labour (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Hampstead Theatre), Elling (Trafalgar Studios), The Birds, The Colonel Bird (Gate Theatre), Retreat, Each Day Dies with Sleep, House Among The Stars, Lips Together Teeth Apart (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), The Danny Crowe Show (Bush Theatre), On The Piste, The Garrick, It Runs in the Family  (Playhouse Theatre), Kit and the Widow (Vaudeville Theatre and Ambassadors Theatre), Gogmagoggs (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Shadow of a Gunman (Tricycle Theatre), Easter (Riverside Studios (Oxford Stage Company)), Out of Our Heads (ATC). Regional Theatre includes The Daughter-in-Law (New Vic Theatre), Behzti (Birmingham Rep), Tall Phoenix (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Broken Glass, How The Other Half Loves, The Deep Blue Sea, Get Ken Barlow (Palace Theatre, Watford), A Chorus of Disapproval, The Beggars Opera, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 (Bristol Old Vic), Privates on Parade (New Vic Theatre), Present Laughter, A Streetcar Named Desire, Misery (Mercury Theatre, Colchester) and Forty Years On (West Yorkshire Playhouse). Mark has also lit plays in many other regional theatres including: Derby Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, York Theatre Royal, Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Greenwich Theatre, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Liverpool, Nuffield Southampton, Northcott Exeter, Salisbury Playhouse. His future plans include Albert Herring (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama), Little Platoons and The Knowledge (Bush Theatre) and Circus Tricks (a new opera for Tête à Tête).

About The Musical Director Ross Leadbeater

Ross Leadbeater is a Musical Director, pianist, singer, arranger and vocal coach from South Wales. He trained at Trinity College of Music, specializing in piano, voice and conducting and studied English at the University of Warwick. Recent Musical Direction includes A Feast of Snacks (Kings Head Theatre), Fred and Gladys (Landor Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Borough), Maya (Barons Court Theatre), Peak 10 (Greenwich Theatre) and as Assistant Musical Director on HMS Pinafore (Battersea Barge and Kings Head Theatre). Ross also works as a Vocal Animateur for Welsh National Opera MAX Department and was Assistant Director to John E. McGrath for the inaugural production of National Theatre Wales. As a performer, Ross created the role of Richard Lewis in the world premiere production of My Land's Shore, directed by Craig Revel Horwood and is a member of the Classical BRIT award-winning choir Only Men Aloud. He has sung with the choir at a host of events including the Royal Variety Show, Children in Need, Proms in the Park and two critically acclaimed sell-out UK Tours.

About The Choreographer Tim Jackson

At the Finborough Theatre, Tim Jackson was Musical Director of The Boatswain's Mate (2007) and Assistant MD of Ordinary Days (2008) which recently transferred to Trafalgar Studios.Trained at Mountview Academy in Musical Theatre, and before that read Music and was a choral scholar at New College, Oxford, with whom he toured internationally and recorded regularly. Choreography includes The Kissing Dance (Jermyn Street Theatre), Pages: Promised Land (Union Theatre), Blood Wedding (Southwark Playhouse), Origin of The Species (Arcola Theatre),The Marriage of Figaro (Wilton's Music Hall and French Tour), La Bohème (Jerusalem, Ramallah and Nablus), Saturday Night (Arts Theatre, Jermyn Street Theatre and Theatre Royal, Windsor), Into The Woods and The Threepenny Opera (both Oxford Playhouse) and Austentatious (Landor Theatre). Acting includes Sunset Boulevard (Comedy Theatre), Crazy For You (London Palladium), Holoray Holiday (Arcola Theatre) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Thelma Holt Japan Tour). He is currently playing Andy in Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Playhouse Theatre, West End. Opera performances include The Birds, Theodora, Tosca and Venus and Adonis. Tim also works as an Musical Director, Arranger and Composer including Once On This Island (Move It - Perform 2011), A Slice of Saturday Night (Upstairs at The Gatehouse), Dreamboats and Petticoats (National Tour), The Merchant of Venice (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), The Lord Mayor's Show 2009 (St Paul's Cathedral), Kean (Apollo Theatre, directed by Adrian Noble) and workshops of of His Grace's Betting Shop (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Two Dreams (directed by Phyllida Lloyd).

The Press on Director Ian Judge

"If you want an evening which constantly sends tingles down the spine and makes you grip your seat, hurry along to Ian Judge’s virile production." The Daily Telegraph on Attila

"Ian Judge’s new production of The Flying Dutchman for the Royal Opera is a brilliant display of stagecraft...a series of breathtaking dramatic coups." The Observer on The Flying Dutchman

"ENO’s Mefistofele is the most astonishing night in London!" Time Out on Mefistofele

"This is the best production of Tosca since the Zeffirelli production was new at Covent Garden over a quarter of a century ago." The Times on Tosca

"A new production by Ian Judge which is at once as brilliant, tragic and funny as Massenet could have ever imagined it to be." Evening Standard on Don Quichotte

"Theatrically this ranks among the most striking shows in London, colourful, fast-moving, fizzing with invention, beautifully lit and with a vivid use of the chorus." Evening Standard

"Ian Judge’s exquisitely judged Twelfth Night ...marvellous and memorable." The Daily Mail on Twelfth Night

"This is as sure-fire, gilt-edged a hit as anything seen this year." Evening Standard on The Wizard of Oz

"Ian Judge’s production strikes me as infinitely superior to Harold Prince’s 1975 version at the Adelphi. The show emerges as an exhilarating testament to the power of sheer craftsmanship in the musical theatre." The Guardian on A Little Night Music

"Ian Judge’s great success. A superb evening." Financial Times on A Little Night Music

"A great and inspiring evening." The Times on Show Boat

"Ian Judge’s superlative production makes this Show Boat a show-piece." The Independent on Show Boat

"Best of all is the sheer wit and exuberance of Ian Judge's fresh-as-paint production, brilliantly designed by Tim Goodchild." The Daily Telegraph on The Mikado

"Ian Judge’s production has a freshness and gaiety that puts many West End musicals to shame. It sends you away a much happier being." The Guardian on The Mikado

The Press on The Roar of the Greasepaint The Smell of the Crowd

“Ian Judge's beautifully crafted production is a joy to behold.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

"No one does musicals in small theatres better than the Finborough though, and it would be a surprise if this one didn’t have you singing on your way home." Michael Spring, Fringe Report

“Here’s to hoping it emerges from the woodwork as a cult classic for 21st century audiences.” Vicky Ellis, WhatsOnStage

“This is a fabulous opportunity to catch a fascinating rarity and you shouldn’t miss it." Gareth James,

"Hoots of hilarity and shouts of bravo echo after each number proving this production a delightful, rollicking evening with an entertainment value exceeding many despite the half-century wait for its London opening." Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

“A brilliant revival…consistently entertaining.” Laura Winningham, The Winning Review

“Afficionados of musical theatre and novice fans of the genre should roll the dice, start playing The Game and make their move down to the Finborough to catch this delight of a show while they can.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

"I doubt it could get a better production." Gareth James,

“Be surprised, uplifted, moved and in fits of laughter all at the same time.” Sandrine Lester, Kensington Review

"A fun revival of a '60s helter-skelter musical. Musical fans rejoice! Ian Judge's production The Roar of The Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd is not only fun and fast, it's also consistently amusing and beautiful to look at." Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“This show…is well-rehearsed and the production values are very high.” A Younger Theatre

"The Finborough, a sure bet for fringe theatre, currently delivers top drawer musical enjoyment with a revival of Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd." Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

"This deceptively simple-looking 1964 musical by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse is given as delightful a production as you could ask for by this reliably over-achieving above-a-pub theatre." Gerald Berkowitz, Theatre Guide London

“We don’t normally equate Fringe with musicals, but the Finborough sets itself apart from the rest. As leaders in musical theatre, Artistic Director Neil McPherson has managed to transfer this Broadway Hit across to a somewhat smaller space with both imagination and innovative flair.” Sandrine Lester, Kensington Review

"The Finborough, with Neil McPherson at its helm, can always be relied on to come up with a revival of a neglected work." Robert Tanitch,

“The audience is totally captivated by the magic and sheer theatricality that feasts both their eyes and ears.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“Despite having made its Broadway bow back in 1965, The Roar Of The Greasepaint has never been staged professionally in London - until receiving its current and premiere staging at the Finborough Theatre. And what a premiere it is!” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“A great example of how musicals don’t need massive overheads and giant budgets to be amazing. They just need talent!” The Theatre Slut Blog

“Whilst it is strong on entertainment value, the underlying issues it tackles also strike a powerful chord.” Sandrine Lester, Kensington Review

"It’s a kind of music hall version of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner, with additional hints of Laurel and Hardy, if such a thing could be imagined." Michael Spring, Fringe Report

“A compelling concept.” Vicky Ellis, WhatsOnStage

"The story is accompanied by a musical score which encompasses a number of songs which may be incredibly familiar to you: standards like Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) and Look At That Face, The Joker – recognisable as the theme tune for hilarious television show Kath and Kim and also from Shirley Bassey’s Greatest Hits (or maybe both…!) and Feelin’ Good, immortalised by Nina Simone’s flawless interpretation." Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

"There are some brilliant tunes in there, eminently hummable and Terry Doe’s Feelin’ Good backed by harmonising urchins and Ashforde’s Who Can I Turn To are both great moments." Ian Foster The Public Reviews

"Roar of the Greasepaint…has an arresting, absurdist allegorical message and a couple of outstanding performances." Scott Matthewman

“A piece about inversion, exposing the dark side of theatrical archetypes and stock figures of the British class system.” Julia Rank, Exeunt

"I loved it...It’s got some great songs, including standards Who Can I Turn To, Look At That Face, The Joker and Feeling Good, which are sung brilliantly by a first class cast." Gareth James,

"A nightmarish satire on the British class system." Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“The absurdist political allegory…forms a most unusual book to a musical that is by turns amusing, thought-provoking and magical.” Scott Matthewman, The Stage

"Notes of Beckett, Kafka, 'Monty Python' and 'The Frost Report' pulse through a creepily comic, visually arresting and superbly performed two hours." Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“A cross between Waiting For Godot, Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven and Charles Dickens at his most grotesque. With its Victorian setting, it draws heavily on the British Music Hall tradition, combined with a sense of Continental absurdism.” Julia Rank, Exeunt

“The lyrics are deft. The script is literate and witty. The music is tuneful, rooted in the music hall tradition and with plenty of quick jokey references to famous Broadway musicals for the show-biz cognoscenti.” Robert Tanitch, British Theatre Guide

"Jauntily menacing music hall is the name of the game (I'm sure 'Put It in the Book' will haunt my nightmares for years), but any musical which can toss away 'Feelin' Good' (yes, that 'Feelin' Good') two thirds through is worthy of anybody's time." Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Boasts some damned fine songs.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“One sensational song after another.” Laura Winningham, The Winning Review

“The show, by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the duo behind Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, contains many beautiful and passionate songs, including ‘Who can I turn to?’” A Younger Theatre

“Running through this deliciously funny and absorbing musical is a simply wonderful vintage Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley score that boasts a veritable feast of "standards" - including Who Can I Turn To?, The Joker, Feeling Good, On A Wonderful Day Like Today and Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“Full of lovely songs with sound performances.” A Younger Theatre

“The songs are all knock-out numbers.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“The score is undoubtedly worth the cost of admission.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“All throughout this production, we are reminded of the limitations of the working class and the expectations of the dominating class.  The narrative is easy to follow, since the performances are so upbeat and energetic.” Sandrine Lester, Kensington Review

“The ensemble cast…deliver flawless and energetically committed performances that never allow the pace of the piece to falter, while singing quite beautifully throughout.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“The cast deliver with such vivacity that from the very outset we were captivated.” Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

“In Judge's production, the musical numbers are tight and the acting all on form.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

“The cast acquit themselves with sheer delight. Everyone from the leads to the chorus gave perfectly pitched performances.” The Theatre Slut Blog

“Ensemble numbers were well sung and the harmonies tight and powerful.” A Younger Theatre

"Superior numbers, tight performances and terrific choreography elevate the night’s entertainment." Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

“Ashforde and Beamish make a good comic double act.” Robert Tanitch, Mature Times

“Beamish and Ashforde convincingly play to their stereotypes and work well together to display this relationships of opposites on stage.” A Younger Theatre

"As Cocky, Ashforde is visually and aurally arresting and gets the audience on his side throughout. " Scott Matthewman, The Stage

"Matthew Ashforde’s likeable everyman makes Cocky an appealing figure, whilst Oliver Beamish’s oily sense of entitlement as the controlling Sir is well pitched with the air of menace never too far away." Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

"The true standout performance of the evening is delivered by Matthew Ashforde who takes on “Cocky” with gutsy relentlessness. As engaged with the audience as his fellow cast members he embodies the painful trials and pathetic triumphs of this role. His eye-catching panache brings to the production a magnetic pull." Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

"An appealingly shabby Matthew Ashforde." Julia Rank, Exeunt

“Matthew Ashforde's performance blends comedy with pathos and makes the downtrodden Cocky a highly appealing character. His rendition of the iconic Who Can I Turn To? is one of the show's most special moments.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

"Matthew Ashforde is outstanding as Cocky." Gareth James,

“Matthew Ashforde brings a lanky determination to the role of Cocky.” TNT

“Matthew Ashforde brings a clown's grace and expressive face to Cocky.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatre Guide London

“Sung with raw emotion by Matthew Ashforde.” Laura Winningham, The Winning Review

"A gorgeous-voiced Terry Doe." Julia Rank, Exeunt

"Doe's shiver-down-the-spine performance." Lyn Garnder, The Guardian

"This production would be worth seeing if only for Terry Doe’s rendition of ‘Feeling Good’." Michael Spring, Fringe Report

“Doe’s version of 'Feeling Good' is spine tingling, actually taking us there to see the "birds flying high/ sun in the sky" through his soulful voice.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

"Feelin’ Good is the best number of the night by far." Scott Matthewman, The Stage

“Terry Does’ interpretation of the song is an absolute high-point which casts a spell over everyone and everything.” Blickpunkt Musical

"Terry Doe – whose belting rendition of Feeling Good I would happily pay money for " Naima Khan, Spoonfed

"Terry Doe…stunned the room with his show-stopping delivery of “Feeling Good”." Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

“Terry Doe’s terrific voice.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Terry Doe sings…beautifully.” Robert Tanitch, British Theatre Guide

“Terry Doe…proves the highlight of the evening with his heartfelt delivery of a single, show-stopping number – the bluesy “Feelin’ Good.”” TNT

“Oliver Beamish is a highly effective Sir.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

"Oliver Beamish skilfully plays the broadly comic Sir." Gerald Berkowitz, Theatre Guide London

“Beamish charmingly captures the mores of an absolute bastard.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

"Sir is played with theatrical panache by Oliver Beamish." Robert Tanitch, British Theatre Guide

“Beamish carries the jaunty melodies with insouciant verve.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

“Oliver Beamish struts confidently as Sir.” TNT

"The Urchins form the chorus and their antics bring much of the fun to the show which relies on them heavily. It's their musical numbers and dances that place Greasepaint above most off-West End musicals." Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“The urchins…are the real stars of the production and give it its charm.” Michael Spring, Fringe Report

“The chorus of singing and dancing urchins outdo themselves with exuberant routines in a set that can barely contain them.” Jennifer Cavanagh, My Village

“The urchins’ movements are tight, adeptly organized by Tim Jackson's choreography into a gleefully mean body of performers.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

"A lot of the charm and high spirit of the evening is generated by a delightful chorus line of 'urchins', all of whom deserve to come out from behind their clown's whiteface and become featured performers themselves." Gerald Berkowitz, Theatre Guide London

“The chorus of urchins…is adorable singing with clear tones…They colour the songs with expressive emotions and poke fun at the game playing men. They have a freshness that sustains the show.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“The team of urchins were well-drilled in both their choreographic and singing contributions.” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

"There’s excellent support from Lucy Watts as The Kid" Gareth James,

“Lucy Watts as The Kid adds a menacing presence.” James Buxton, Extra Extra

"The Finborough have attracted hugely experienced director Ian Judge and hugely talented designer Tim Goodchild to give this odd little show a stunning production." Gareth James,

"Director Ian Judge (next assignment: Romeo et Juliette at Los Angeles Opera) provides a pacy performance with lots of interest." Michael Spring, Fringe Report

"Ian Judge's production bounces along at a snappy pace" Gerald Berkowitz, Theatre Guide London

"Under Ian Judge’s nimble direction (his next engagement is Romeo et Juliett conducted by Plácido Domingo at Los Angeles Opera) this is an eccentric and disturbing curiosity that makes a refreshing antidote to West End glitz and gaudiness." Julia Rank, Exeunt

“There is no doubt of the efficiency of Ian Judge's revival.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Sir and Cocky, plus Sir’s acolyte Kid, are deployed smartly by director Ian Judge.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Musical director Ross Leadbeater's perfectly balanced and beautifully subtle fingers at the piano.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“Ross Leadbeater plays the score with such musical adeptness and sensitivity to the singers.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Ross Leadbeater’s musical direction allows for an incredibly sensitive rendition of songs of like ‘The Beautiful Land’ and ‘Who Can I Turn To’.” Blickpunkt Musical

“Tim Jackson's slick, highly energised choreography.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“Choreographer Tim Jackson has filled the space with madcap movement.” Vicky Ellis, WhatsOnStage

“A special mention goes to Tim Jackson’s poetic choreography which conjures up rare beauty on the Finborough’s mini stage.” Blickpunkt Musical

“Superb use of the space.” Gareth James

“The set is enticing in its originality and use of space.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Walking into the Finborough theatre was quite rembarkable: Tim Goodchild has transformed the space into a worn-out circus tent arena, with a beautiful painted game board marked out on the floor. It is truly amazing and visually beautiful.” A Younger Theatre

"Tim Goodchild’s stunning design, turning the tiny Finborough into London’s smallest Big Top and the ensemble of urchins into a group of superbly choreographed Pierrots, adds to the fairy tale much to enjoy." Scott Matthewman, The Stage

"Tim Goodchild's faultless set design." Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“Tim Goodchild’s breathtakingly intricate design.” The Theatre Slut Blog

"Tim Goodchild’s design is probably one of the best currently in London, utilising the natural curve of the room to create a miniature faded Big Top with a boardgame painted on the floor and ladders all around adding an extra dimension." Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

"The tiny Finborough possibly boasts the most creative designs on the London Fringe, and Tim Goodchild’s effectively childlike aesthetic is no exception." Julia Rank, Exeunt

“Tim Goodchild's garishly evocative circus-tent set.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Tim Goodchild’s sparing but still very expressive set design.” Blickpunkt Musical

"One of the undeniable pleasures of going to the Finborough Theatre is to see the transformation of the tiny acting area. It is always amazing." Robert Tanitch, British Theatre Guide

“Tim Goodchild's cleverly designed circus-cum-board-game based set.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

“Mark Doubleday's atmospheric lighting.” Robert Gould, Broadway World

7 June – 2 July 2011

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
Sunday 3:00pm