Kelsey Grammer to make London stage debut in Big Fish at The Other Palace
The musical is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 book Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions and tells the story of William Bloom, whose father, a traveling salesman called Edward, lies on his deathbed. As they share memories with each other, William comes to realise his father isn’t the liar he thought he was, and comes to understand the reasons behind his exaggerations.
Kelsey Grammer is best known for playing Dr Frasier in the US sitcom Cheers, and then in the spin-off series revolving around his character, Frasier. He made his Broadway musical debut in 2010 playing nightclub owner Georges in a production of La Cage aux Folles, and was nominated for Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. In 2015, he starred as Charles Frohman in James Graham and Gary Barlow’s musical Finding Neverland.
The cast also includes Frances McNamee (Little Shop of Horrors), Forbes Masson (Travesties), Jamie Muscato (Lazarus), Laura Baldwin (Shrek), Landi Oshinowo (Sister Act), Dean Nolan (Fiddler on the Roof), George Ure (Sweeney Todd), Sophie Linder-Lee (The Rocky Horror Show), Gemma McMeel (Titanic) and Jonathan Stewart (Guys and Dolls).
Tim Burton directed a film adaptation of Wallace’s book in 2003, starring Ewan McGregor. John August wrote the film’s screenplay, and ten years later went on to pen the book for musical version, with Andrew Lippa providing music and lyrics. Following a Chicago tryout, the show premiered on Broadway in October 2013 at the Neil Simon Theatre starring Norbert Leo Butz and Bobby Steggert.
Andrew Lippa (score and lyrics) is an American writer, composer and producer who has had an extensive musical theatre career. In 1999 he contributed to the score of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which featured Kristin Chenoweth, and he wrote the music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of The Addams Family, which saw him nominated for a Tony Award. His musical The Wild Party opened The Other Palace (its first production since the St James Theatre rebrand).
Director Nigel Harman, who is well-known for his screen acting in shows such as EastEnders, said: “When I first encountered the piece I was struck by its depth of humanity and it's zest for life. A story that celebrates life in all of its wonders and despairs. A simple tale told in the most extraordinary way.
“It has been wonderful to revisit the music, book and lyrics with John and Andrew.”
Big Fish Tickets go on sale next week.