Friday, November 27
Based on the H G Wells novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul, it tells the story of Arthur Kipps, an orphan who unexpectedly inherits a fortune, and climbs the social ladder before losing everything and realizing that you just can't buy happiness. It features a score by David Heneker (of Irma La Douce and Charlie Girl fame )and a book by Beverley Cross. Stiles and Drewe have written some new songs, with the more famous Heneker numbers including Flash, Bang Wallop and If The Rain’s Got To Fall remaining.
Downton's Abbey's Julian Fellowes has been writing a new text (he has also written the book for Stiles & Drewe's The Wind in the Willows will open at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in October 2016), and Rachel Kavanaugh will direct ans Andrew Wright is the choreographer. Around the same time, at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, Christopher Luscombe will direct the pair’s musical adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel Travels With My Aunt
Half a Sixpence was first produced in London's West End at the Cambridge Theatre in March 1963, with Marti Webb playing Ann. It transferred to Broadway in 1965, starring Tommy Steele with John Cleese playing Walsingham (the stockbroker from a respectable family who embezzles Kipps' fortune(. Half a Sixpence was the last West End show to transfer successfully to New York before the late 1970s and early 1980s musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
A 1967 film adaptation starring Steele, along with Julia Foster was choreographed by Gillian Lynne.