Monday, December 9

Ryan Molloy & Stefan Booth join Jessie Wallace & Gary Kemp in Lionel Bart’s Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be

Updated 24th February: Jersey Boys Frankie Valli  Ryan Molloy and Stefan Booth join cast

Jessie Wallace (Kat in EastEnders) and Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet: The Krays) are to star in a revival of Lionel Bart’s Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be directed by Terry Johnson.

The full cast is now : Mark Arden as Fred, Ryan Molloy as Horace, Stefan Booth as Tosher, Christopher Ryan as Red Hot, Vivian Carter as Myrtle, Stevie Hutchinson as Ted/PC 2, John Olohan as Paddy, Gary Watson as Norman/PC 1, Joanna Woodward as Margaret. They join the previously announced Jessie Wallace (EastEnders) as Lil, Gary Kemp (The Krays/ The Bodyguard/Spandau Ballet) as PC Collins, Sarah Middleton as Rosie, Ruth Alfie Adams as Brenda, Will Barton as Percy and Suzie Chard as Betty.

The play was premiered by Joan Littlewood at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1959 and will return there next May and June on the  centenary of the director’s birth. It will follow Littlewood’s Oh What a Lovely War which will star Caroline Quentin, also be directed by Terry Johnson and run at the venue from February.

Littlewood’s version of Bart’s play won an Evening Standard award for best musical in 1960 when it played at the Garrick Theatre where it  ran for 886 performances featuring Maurice Kaufmann, Wallas Eaton, Miriam Karlin, Barbara Windsor, Toni Palmer and Bryan Pringle.

It is about gangster Fred Cochran who has been down on his luck and is trying to make a comeback. Meanwhile his loyal girlfriend Lil’ longs for the day they can get married and give up crime. After a horrible fight occurs in Fred’s gambling den, Lil’ and Fred finally decide the time is right to marry and live a straight life.

Book tickets for Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be which will run at Theatre Royal Stratford East from May 8th (press night 20th May) to June 8th followed by a UK tour.

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