News: UK Premiere of Becoming Nancy, A New Musical Directed And Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell

January 23, 2024
News: UK Premiere of Becoming Nancy, A New Musical Directed And Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell

Becoming Nancy is a coming of age story that has a huge-heart.  A new musical that weaves a story of family bonds, first loves, and the courage it takes to find your own spotlight.

It is based on the extraordinarily moving coming of age novel by Terry Ronald and directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell.  The book is by Elliot Davis, music is by George Stiles and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe with additional music and lyrics by Terry Ronald, Elliot Davis and George Stiles.  (Stiles and Drew’s production of Honk! won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2000.)

The UK premiere of the production will run at Birmingham Rep Theatre from 2nd October – 2nd November 2024, with press night on Tuesday 15th October at 7pm.

Jerry Mitchell has been working in London since he first served as Associate Choreographer to Sir Cameron Mackintosh on Follies starring Diana Rigg and Julia McKenzie. Since then Jerry has directed and choreographed 3 Olivier Award-winning musicals in the West End.  He directed and choreographed Kinky Boots and Legally Blonde and choreographed Hairspray.  The Tony Award-winning director and choreographer was returning to New York from the UK in 2013 and came across the book Becoming Nancy at Heathrow Airport.  By the time he reached the US he knew he had to make the story into a musical.

He commented: ‘Becoming Nancy is about finding love. Love of self, love of others and love of what matters most in life. As soon as I saw The Rep and visited Birmingham, I knew that it was the right place to open the show.  It’s been a privilege to turn Terry’s beautiful story into a musical, and we are all looking forward to working on  the show and sharing this beautiful musical with Birmingham and the rest of Great Britain and the world.

In Becoming Nancy, it’s 1979 and David Starr is unquestionably one of the smartest, most talented sixth formers in East Dulwich – he’s got a wild imagination, a vocal range to die for, and a bedroom plastered with posters of his beloved pop idols: Blondie, Sting, and Kate Bush.  But being clever, having talent, and great taste in music may not be enough to get him through secondary school, where, to his great surprise, he’s just been given the female lead in the school play. The unconventional casting sends shockwaves to everyone around him – including his parents, his aunt, and his classmates. 

 Before long, it seems like everybody has an opinion on whether David should go on with the show, inspiring him to turn to his no-nonsense best friend Frances and his unlikely co-star Maxie, the enigmatic captain of the football team.