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Sleepless, A Musical Romance to open with social distancing this summer

Jay McGuiness, Kimberley Walsh and Theo Collis. Photo credit: Matt Crockett.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SLEEPLESS, A Musical Romance, based on the original screenplay Sleepless in Seattle, will premiere at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, with previews from August 25. The limited season will run until Sunday, September 27, 2020.

Performances will begin pending Government guidance. Audiences will be socially distanced and the producers and venue will follow COVID-secure guidelines for cast, crew and audiences.

The producers are also going to hold a special NHS Gala, A Night for Sleepless Heroes, for NHS and Care workers on Thursday, August 27. They will be allowed up to four free tickets per application with scanned NHS badge/pass on a first come, first served basis.

Sleepless is a new musical with a book by Michael Burdette and music and lyrics by new British writers Robert Scott and Brendan Cull and will feature a 12-piece jazz orchestra. It was originally due to begin performances on March 24, 2020, prior to the UK Government shutdown of theatres.

Sleepless will star Jay McGuiness as Sam and Kimberley Walsh as Annie.

Michael Rose, producer of Sleepless, on behalf of Encore Theatre Productions, said, “Lockdown has effected and frightened a huge number of people in this country – particularly in our industry. Our story in Sleepless deals with mending something that is broken – it’s about putting a family back together after a loss – and we feel it’s time to do exactly that – it’s time to start the healing process – that’s part of what we do in Theatre.”

Sleepless is the enchanting new romantic musical comedy based on the original story and screenplay of the romcom classic Sleepless In Seattle. It tells the heart-warming tale of Sam, who moves to Seattle with his ten year-old son, Jonah, following the tragic death of his wife. When Jonah phones a radio show, Sam is forced to talk about his broken heart and sleepless nights live on air, and he suddenly finds himself one of the most sought after single men in America and a great news story for feisty journalist Annie on the opposite side of the country. Can Jonah bring the two together on the top deck of the Empire State Building?

A fresh and lively book alongside a brand-new musical score bring this most timeless of romantic comedies to life on stage.

Together with Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, the producers of Sleepless will continue to follow the official advice and guidelines given by both the World Health Organisation and from Public Health England.

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre said: “Our first priority is and always has been the safety and comfort of our audiences, staff and visiting companies. We are working closely with health and safety experts and strictly following all government guidelines and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the world premiere of Sleepless whenever this is allowed.”

The spacious venue means that there will be no physical contact between the staff and audience at any time and that social distance measures can be strictly obeyed. Audiences will be temperature checked on entering the building and will be required to wear face masks. All food and beverage orders will be contactless to minimise exposure, hand sanitiser will be available at multiple locations, and all areas of the venue will be thoroughly deep cleaned after each performance.

All cast, crew and audience will be sent the most up-to-date safety measures and instructions 48 hours prior to arrival and the venue will be set-up accordingly to accommodate these measures.

As well as Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre being a new and spacious theatre, there is ample parking available at Wembley Stadium, which costs only £1 if you are a theatre ticket holder.

NB: People within the same household and/or social bubble may buy up to four tickets together. All tickets will be allocated by the box office. Please note that, up to two hours before the performance, people may exchange their tickets, should a member of their party fall ill.

For the NHS Gala, NHS and Care workers can apply for up to four free tickets via nhstickets@thisisencore.co.uk. Applicants will be required to scan in a photo of their NHS badge/pass with the application email. Tickets allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Read more about Sleepless.

Image: Jay McGuiness, Kimberley Walsh and Theo Collis. Photo credit: Matt Crockett.