Miss Nightingale, a bitter-sweet musical, set in the risqué world of London nightclubs during the Second World War, comes to Grand Theatre, Blackpool for the first time as part of the last ever UK tour. Show creator Matthew Bugg spoke about the continued appeal of this acclaimed and much loved song-filled drama.
“Every time we do it, the show is different,” Matthew says. “It’s changed again this time – the cast is different, some of the songs are different too. This is what makes it so exciting for us and our audiences.”
Miss Nightingale takes place in 1942. The Luftwaffe is still bombing London on a nightly basis and the safest place to be is in one of the capital’s basement cabaret clubs. They provided a welcome touch of colour and glamour in an otherwise austere, grey world while Britain fought for its life as Hitler stood poised to invade from across the Channel. The complex, colourful characters that inhabit this world provide the drama and the heart of the story and is the reason why this show keeps being revived and refined.
Matthew said that this latest revival is genuinely back by public demand. “I thought we had done with it. We had toured it around the country four times, played to 30,000 people over the years. But, last year I found that theatres kept phoning me and to book the show. So we’re touring for a fifth and final time. What’s lovely has been the number of people who’ve come back to see the show for a second or third time!”
Miss Nightingale tells the story of nurse and wannabe singer Maggie Brown and her songwriter friend George Nowodny. Maggie is desperate to make it on stage as a singer and performer. George is a Jewish refugee, recently arrived in London, and is anxious to replicate the decadent world of the German nightclubs in stiff and starchy London.
Maggie and George’s plans take a giant leap forward when they run into showbiz entrepreneur Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe who sees in Maggie that certain someone who could give his fledgling club a much-needed boost. At first everything goes swimmingly, Maggie becomes a huge draw but the clouds of war and personality clashes threaten to destroy everything she has achieved.
For Matthew, one of the real joys of the show is that it is a completely new and original show. It’s not based on an existing book, film or play and neither is it a juke-box musical built around pre-existing songs. Best of all, the story manages to be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.
Miss Nightingale – the musical is performed by a talented cast who not only act, dance and sing but also play all the instruments live on stage. Matthew Bugg’s critically acclaimed songs, from hilarious tongue-in-cheek numbers to tender ballads, wonderfully capture the glorious spirit of the 1940s.
Matthew adds, “It was important to me that the songs inform the story. They’re not just put in the show to get a laugh. They are integral to the fabric of the show. They are funny, they are moving and they tell the story.”
Grand Theatre Blackpool
Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 February 2016
Evening and Matinee performances
(check the showpage for more information)
Evening £19 to £24
Friends of The Grand £5 off opening night
Under 26s £12.50 (first 50 tickets, weekdays only; subject to availability)
Concession, School and Group discounts available
Open Policy re booking fees: All our booking fees are included in all stated ticket prices. If you wish to have your tickets posted to you rather than collecting at our box office the charge is £1.00 (regardless of the number of tickets).
Call Box Office on 01253 290190 or visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk
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