Anita Dobson to star in new musical CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS at Riverside Studios 4-14 July

Anita Dobson to star in a new musical
Based on the music of French composer Saint-Saens
To play Riverside Studios in London from 4 to 14 July 2013

 CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS is a new musical which will premiere at Riverside Studios in London from 4 to 14 July for 14 performances only.

The French composer Camille Saint-Saens wrote his short orchestral suite The Carnival of the Animals as a work of fun for his friends, and did not permit a public performance during his lifetime.  Since his death, the piece has become a firm family favourite in the concert hall, with many of its melodies, such as The Elephant, The Aquarium, Fossils and The Swan, achieving popular recognition.  Composer Gavin Greenaway, lyricist Roger Hyams and book writer Andrew Marshall, along with director Thom Southerland and producer Brian Eastman, have now taken this music and worked it into a new stage musical, capturing the family appeal Saint-Saens first created.

Anita Dobson and the cast of Carnival of the Animals in rehearsals
Photo by Gus Miller
The new musical is set in a quiet square in today's Paris, where The Carnival of the Animals is still being performed, over ninety years after its first outing.  Under the patronage of the infamous fashion designer, Mademoiselle Parfait, played by Anita Dobson, the legacy of Saint-Saens only just survives.  The animals that now make up the show have lost their enthusiasm for the daily performances and are at odds with each other over the updating the show clearly needs.  However, oqwHoHHhh  the squabbling animals, led by Odette the Swan and Henri the Lion, are soon united by the arrival of four new animals, a Chimpanzee, Zebra, Parrot and Lioness, who are determined to revive the show and create Paris's newest musical sensation.  No less disconcerted is Mademoiselle Parfait, who has a dark secret.

Anita Dobson, whose most recent theatre credits include playing Joan Crawford in Bette and Joan at the Arts Theatre and on tour, and Mistress Quickly in Merry Wives of Windsor for the Royal Shakespeare Company, leads a cast which includes Allyson Ava-Brown, Bronté Barbé. Alastair Brookshaw, Jacob Chapman, Cassandra Compton, Liam Doyle, Jonny Fines, Matt Gent, Paul Grunert, Claire Machin and Stephen Webb, playing the roles of the various animals.

CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS is directed by Thom Southerland, with sets and costumes designed by John Risebero, choreography by Richard Jones, lighting designed by Howard Hudson and sound designed by George Dennis. The Musical Director is David Randall. Casting is by Will Burton CDG for David Grindrod Associates.

CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS is produced at Riverside Studios by Brian Eastman and Christabel Albery.


Riverside Studios
1 Crisp Rd
London W6 9RL

4-14 July 2013

Wednesday to Saturday 7.30pm; Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm; Sunday 2pm & 5pm

Suitable for ages 6+

Box Office:  020 8237 1111