Smash hit, wallop what a triumph! Biff what a triumph!
After opening at Chichester Festival Theatre, the show transferred to the Noël Coward Theatre with the entire cast, including Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps and Devon-Elise Johnson as his sweetheart Ann. A story of love, broken hearts and a couple of broken banjo strings, Kipps finds himself flung into a world of riches and garden parties after coming into money. It’s a far cry from his banjo and days in the meadow with Ann. Soon, Arthur finds himself caught in the middle of two worlds and two women. But who wants half a sixpence when you’ve got a fortune? Or is it rather who wants a fortune when you’ve got half a sixpence…?
This is the second extension for the show at the Noël Coward Theatre, with an initial extension announced in November 2016. I spoke to Johnson after news of the first extension broke who was delighted to spend ‘even more time together’ with Stemp, having previously worked with him on Mamma Mia. ‘When we got the news, we were absolutely buzzing. We all enjoy the show so much, we wish we could actually watch it one night!’
This new stage version of Half a Sixpence, the musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s semi- autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul, is a completely fresh adaptation which reunites book-writer Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of Mary Poppins with Disney. The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s exhilarating songs from the original production, including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Money To Burn’ and ‘Half A Sixpence’.
Tickets are priced from £12.50 – £77.50. A limited number of £20 seats are released each day from 10.00am in person at the Box Office.