Musical theatre star Charlie Stemp is to make his legitimate play debut in a new touring production of Tom Stoppard’s ROUGH CROSSING next year.
Stemp will play the unorthodox steward Dvornichek in Bill Kenwright’s new production. His previous stage credits include Arthur Kipps in the West End production of HALF A SIXPENCE (for which he received an Olivier nomination) and Barnaby in the acclaimed Broadway revival of HELLO, DOLLY! opposite stage legend Bernadette Peters.
Stemp will be reunited with director Rachel Kavanaugh, following their work on HALF A SIXPENCE, the musical that undoubtedly made a break out star out of Stemp. Kenwright told Rachel Kavanaugh that he wanted someone ‘with a twinkle in their eye but also the comic physicality of a Norman Wisdom or Lee Evans, for the part’. Kavanaugh personally recommended Stemp for the role. Kenwright added: ‘It was an inspired choice. We had to run it by Tom Stoppard, and he’s very pleased with the casting of Charlie’.
ROUGH CROSSING will mark the beginning of a busy year for the young actor. He’s currently rehearsing the pantomime SNOW WHITE which opens at the London Palladium this month, and he will join Zizi Strallen in the West End revival of MARY POPPINS next Autumn. Stemp will recreate the role of chimney sweep Bert, played in the original movie by Dick Van Dyke.
Stoppard’s comedy originally premiered in 1984. It follows two playwrights stuck on an ocean liner headed for New York, desperately rehearsing their newest show before they reach dry land. The pair are distracted on the seas by various absurd events threatening the success of their play.
The full cast for the show features Issy Van Randwyck, Matthew Cottle, Simon Dutton, Rob Ostlere and Charlie Stemp. It will feature new songs and lyrics by André Previn.
ROUGH CROSSING opens at Theatre Royal Windsor on 28th January 2019. It will then tour to Chichester, Salford, Bath, Malvern, Guildford, Plymouth, Norwich, Leeds and Cambridge, it’s last scheduled stop in April 2019.