Trevor Nunn has singed on to direct a West End revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval, starring Olivier Award winner Nigel Harman, Rob Brydon and Ashley Jensen. The play will begin previews at the Harold Pinter Theatre on September 17 and open on September 27. The play will feature Teresa Banham, Daisy Beaumont, Georgia Brown, Rob Compton, Matthew Cottle and Steven Edis, who is also the show’s musical director. Further casting will be announced shortly.
In A Chorus of Disapproval, the Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society’s production of The Beggar’s Opera is going off the rails until a handsome but shy young widower, Guy (Harman), joins the group. An instant hit with the company’s ferociously zealous director Dafydd (Brydon) and the show’s leading ladies, including Dafydd’s wife Hannah (Jensen), Guy soon gets more than he bargained for as he discovers that all the best action happens off-stage. Classic songs fill the air as the drama on stage is mirrored by the romantic rivalry and small town squabbles causing a stir in the wings of this ambitious local show.
Harman won a 2012 Olivier Award for playing the title role in Shrek the Musical. His other West End credits include Three Days of Rain, The Common Pursuit, Guys and Dolls, Mamma Mia!, Damn Yankees and more. Brydon, who is making his West End debut in A Chorus of Disapproval, is known for his screen roles in Marion and Geoff, Human Remains, I’m Alan Partridge, The Trip, Gavin and Stacey and Have I Got News For You, as well as his self-titled talk show on BBC2. Jensen was recently seen in an Emmy-nominated role opposite Ricky Gervais in Extras; her London theater credits include Attempts on Her Life, Uganda and Storming.
The world premiere of A Chorus of Disapproval was directed by Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 1984. The London premiere at the National Theatre in 1985, also directed by Ayckbourn, starred Bob Peck, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton, and transferred to the West End the following year.
Designs are by Rob Jones, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Fergus O’Hare. A Chorus of Disapproval is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.