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Broadway musical Once Upon A Mattress comes to The Playground Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE team behind the critically acclaimed, sold out UK premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s The Frogs, adapted by Nathan Lane at Jermyn Street Theatre, are to present a new production of the hit Broadway musical Once Upon A Mattress at The Playground Theatre – from December 18, 2018 to January 19, 2019.

A modern-day family musical retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, Once Upon A Mattress has music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer.

Winnifred, better known as Fred, is not your average princess – she’s loud, independent and knows her own mind. But for her to marry Prince Dauntless, she must prove to his overprotective mother, Queen Aggravain, that she is indeed a true princess in an impossible test.

Set against the colourful backdrop of her beloved’s castle, and with an upbeat jazzy score, this is the perfect comedy musical to see this holiday season, and will delight young and old alike. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again!

Produced by House on the Hill Productions and presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe, Once Upon A Mattress is directed by Alex Pearson and Grace Wessels. Casting will be announced in due course.

Once Upon A Mattress marked the Broadway debut in 1959 of stage and TV personality Carol Burnett, who originated the role of Princess Winnifred. A later US tour starred Buster Keaton as the King. The West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in 1960 featured Max Wall as the Jester. A 1996 Broadway revival starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Winnifred, and Jane Krakowski as Lady Larken was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

A 2005 Disney TV movie version featured Tracey Ullman as Princess Winnifred, and Glee star Matthew Morrison.

Mary Rodgers, the daughter of celebrated composer Richard Rodgers (over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals to his credit) also wrote children’s books, most notably Freaky Friday, in which a mother and daughter trade bodies. It was twice made into a film, first with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris in 1976 and then Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Le Curtis in 2003.

Her son, Adam Guettel, is the Tony award-winning composer of musicals Floyd Collins and The Light in the Piazza.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 8960 0110 or visit theplaygroundtheatre.london/.

Also at The Playground Theatre: The Pass, written and performed by Denise Marsa (September 27 to September 29); the world premiere of Fanatical, a musical by Matt Board and Reina Hardy (November 7 to December 8, 2018); and dystopian sci-fi fantasy Intronauts (February 12 to February 16, 2019).