Piaf: West End Stars Reunite

Thursday 12th March 2020

Jenna Russell and Sally Ann Triplett to perform together for the first time in three decades

Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse have announced more of the casting for their upcoming co-production, Piaf. It includes the news that Sally Ann Triplett is set to reunite with friend Jenna Russell for their first performance together since 1987, in the West End premiere of Sondheim’s seminal musical, Follies.

Pam Gems’ Piaf tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational, world-renowned singer Edith Piaf. Her most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien, though the international star began her life singing on the streets of Paris. Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell (EastEnders, BBC, Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s Theatre) has already been announced to take the title role.

Now Sally Ann Triplett (Last Ship on Broadway, Anything Goes at the National Theatre) has been revealed as the actress playing the role of Toine – Edith Piaf’s best friend and confidante. Russell and Triplett are friends themselves, but this will be the first time they have performed together since the original West End production of Sondheim’s Follies _ 30 years ago. This is also a return to the Playhouse for Triplett, as she played Judy Garland in _My Judy Garland Life in 2014.

Garry Robson (Reasons to be Cheerful, Graeae, Blanche and Butch, BoP) will also be taking the role of Louis Leplee – the French nightclub owner who discovered Piaf. Robson previously performed at Nottingham Playhouse in Our Country’s Good in 2018, produced by Nottingham Playhouse as part of the Ramps on the Moon Consortium.

Nottingham’s very own Sara Poyzer (Billy Elliot in the West End, Mamma Mia in the West End) will also be returning to the Playhouse following her performance in Assassins in 2019. She will playing the roles of Marlene Dietrich and Piaf’s PA, Madeleine. Louis Gaunt (Grease, UK and Ireland tour) will be performing as Piaf’s husband Theo, having previously performed at Nottingham Playhouse as Manfred in 2018’s Sweet Charity. Samuel James (James Graham’s Sketching, Wilton’s Music Hall, Monster Raving Loony, Theatre Royal Plymouth & Soho Theatre) is confirmed to play Bruno, owner and manager of the Paris Olympia.

Further casting will be announced soon.

Piaf will be directed by Adam Penford (Holes, An Enemy of the People, The Madness of George III). Nottingham Playhouse will also transform its auditorium into a Parisian bar, with the opportunity to book cabaret-style seating for performances.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director for Nottingham playhouse, said: “Nottingham Playhouse was one of the first theatres to produce Piaf back in 1981 and I’m thrilled to be bringing this raucous story back to life. To have Jenna Russell reunited with Sally Ann Triplett for the play is incredibly exciting, and is a pairing that will excite musical theatre fans. Edith Piaf’s life was shocking, hilarious and heart-breaking, when combined with those iconic songs, it makes for an unforgettable night of theatre.”

Piaf will be here at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 8 May – Saturday 23 May 2020 and then travels to Leeds Playhouse for performances from Wednesday 27 May to Saturday 13 June.