Working finished its run at The Southwark Playhouse on 8th July. It received three Off West End nominations and was a critical and popular success. The London cast recorded an album of the show and it’s available here.

Working Cast Southwark Playhouse
Click the pic to read the ***** review…

Working is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award winner STEPHEN SCHWARTZ (Wicked; Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce. Book tickets to see Working here.

Here’s the official trailer. 

Peter is a finalist for a Off West End Award (better known as The Offies) in the Best Actor in A Musical category. Working is a finalist for Best Musical.

This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation. 

Joe in Working at Southwark Playhouse
Read The Times review
The Working cast of Southwark Playhouse

Employing a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers such as five-time Grammy Award winner JAMES TAYLOR and Pulitzer Prize winner LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA (Hamilton; In The Heights), Working makes for a strikingly dynamic and contemporary look at what it is to work and what it is to be a musical.

PP and Stephen Schwartz
Composer Stephen Schwartz came to a performance of Working

From the book by Studs Terkel
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso.

Fathers and Sons photo by Robert Workman
PP sings Fathers and Sons

Songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor

Working received its European premiere at Southwark and is directed by Luke Sheppard, the acclaimed director of the Olivier Award-winning In The Heights. It opened on June 2nd. Here’s the Southwark Theatre’s own site with a gallery of all the cast during the rehearsals. You can also see pictures of the production here.

PP singing Joe
PP as Joe in Working Southwark Playhouse

Reviewers have said,

Sam Marlowe in The Times…”Sheppard’s staging, with compact, punchy choreography by Fabian Aloise, has terrific verve and the performances are superb. Particularly memorable are Peter Polycarpou as a grizzled iron worker and a retired firefighter, and Krysten Cummings as a worn-out housewife and mother disregarded by the world, and a fabulously sassy cleaner. The show may be ragged; the production is impeccable — and above all, it works.”

Mark Shenton in The Stage…”Peter Polycarpou moved me to tears with his haunting version of Fathers and Sons – a song by Wicked composer and this show’s original co-deviser Stephen Schwartz – while Gillian Bevan, brings a wonderful defiance to It’s an Art, also by Schwartz, about the life of a waitress. Dean Chisnall offers muscular strength to James Taylor’s Brother Trucker, Krysten Cummings is superb as a housewife proving that’s work too, Liam Tamne is a delight on a newly added song by Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda about a delivery man, and Siubhan Harrison completes the sextet in fine voice.”

Greg Stewart in Theatre Weekly…”Monologues, song and dance combine to make one fantastic show, Fabian Aloise’s stunning choreography is perfect for the Southwark Playhouse stage. It never feels too big, but neither do you feel it constrained. Each moment of movement feels so carefully considered and purposeful. The workers we meet want to be proud of their output, and if anyone deserves to be proud it’s the six young performers, making their professional debut. The graduates; Luke Latchman, Izuka Hoyle, Nicola Espallardo, Patrick Coulter, Huon Mackley and Kerri Norville are just phenomenal to watch. In fact, it would have been nice to see a little more of them, particularly in the next generation scene, but they really were working what they had.”

Julian Eaves on…”Peter Polycarpou is in magnificent voice, and sensitively alive to every beat and tick of his characters with a small number of words and a great big heart and soul.  Watching – and listening to – him is like seeing an Ordinary Joe get added onto the rock faces of Mount Rushmore.  Siubhan Harrison has comparable success with her characters, as does the beautifully warm-voiced Liam Tamne.  Oh, and did I say something about this one of the FEW truthfully representative examples of diverse casting in town?  Never mind only on the musical theatre stage, either: in any form.  Here we see the world that really exists!”

Lynn Gardner in The Guardian, “Luke Sheppard’s production is exquisitely sung, never more so than by Peter Polycarpou in the number Fathers and Sons.” Read the full review here.

***** From Celebrity Radio Read the full review here.

Southwark Playhouse
77-85 Newington Causeway
London SE1 6BD

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