Sleepless announces Covid-19 testing procedures and additional cast
The production will test cast and crew members for Covid-19 daily during rehearsals and performances.
Sleepless: A Musical Romance announced that it will be using a new, fast testing proceduce to test the show's cast, musicians, crew, and theatre staff daily during rehearsals and performances of the show, which is scheduled to start socially distanced indoor performances at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre on 25 August.
The new test is called FRANKD (Fast, Reliable, Accurate, Nucleic-based Kit for Covid19 Diagnostic Detection), and testing can take place on site, as this procedue does not require a laboratory to determine results. Test results can be delivered with in hour via an app.
“We are so excited to be leading the way for our industry and to be the first fully staged, indoor musical back up and running and we have been working around the clock to make it possible," Michael Rose and Damien Sanders, on behalf of Encore Theatre Productions, the producers of Sleepless, said in a statement. "Uppermost in our minds has been the safety of our cast and crew and this new fast and accurate technology from GeneMe allows us to lead the way once more with daily COVID testing of our cast and crew which can give everyone involved peace of mind and create a happy and safe working environment. This technology is currently being trialled by airports, government departments, sports teams and multinational companies in the UK and we are delighted to be the first to trial the system in the theatre and live event industry.”
The producers also announce cast members who will be joining the previously announced Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh as Sam and Annie. The cast includes Daniel Casey as Walter, Harriet Thorpe as Eleanor, Tania Mathurin as Becky and Jake Sharp as Rob. Also in the cast are Charlie Bull, Colin Burnicle, Christie-Lee Crosson, Laura Darton, Leanne Garretty, Matt Holland, Ross McLaren, Gary Murphy, Dominique Planter, Annie Wensak and Benjamin Wong. Theo Collis, Mikey Colville, Jobe Hart and Jack Reynolds will share the role of Jonah.
Based on the 1993 Nora Ephron film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, Sleepless follows a widower Sam and his son Jonah, who find themselves inundated in love letters when Jonah goes on a radio show and says that his dad is lonely. Annie, a journalist who lives across the country, decides to investigate the story, and Jonah attemps to bring the two together.
The production is directed by Morgan Young, with set design by Morgan Large, costume design by Sue Simmerling, lighting by Ken Billington, video design by Ian William Galloway, sound design by Simon Biddulph, orchestrations and arrangements by Larry Blank, musical supervision by Stuart Morley, musical direction by Chris Walker, orchestra management by Sylvia Addison for Music Solutions, wig and hair design by Richard Mawbey, and casting by Sarah Bird CDG and Michael Donovan CSA.