West End and Broadway hit End of the Rainbow is set to reach Manchester Opera House, running from 3 to 7 May as part of a major UK tour, starring Lisa Maxwell as Judy Garland.
It’s 1968 and Judy Garland, a once-glittering star, is in London to make her explosive comeback. But off stage, holed up in her hotel room, Judy is battling with her young new fiancé, her devoted accompanist, and her destructive addictions. Will she be able to conquer her demons and reclaim her crown as one of history’s great musical icons?
Featuring Garland’s most memorable songs The Man That Got Away, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and of course Somewhere Over The Rainbow, End of the Rainbow is a fiercely funny and emotionally charged musical play filled with Garland’s legendary tenacity, razor-sharp wit and once-in-a-generation voice.
End of the Rainbow first premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, before playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006. It returned to the UK in 2010 in a new production at Northampton Royal & Derngate, transferring to the West End the same year where it ran for 6 months and received four Olivier Award nominations.
A Broadway run followed in 2012, where it received three Tony Award nominations. It is written by Peter Quilter, whose plays have been presented in over 40 countries around the world and translated into 30 languages. For End of the Rainbow, Peter received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play. Other plays include Glorious!, which opened at the West End’s Duchess Theatre in 2005 starring Maureen Lipman, where it was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
The production will star Lisa Maxwell (The Bill, Grease and Boogie Nights) as Judy Garland; Gary Wilmot (Me and My Girl, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Chicago) as Anthony, Judy’s loyal friend and pianist; and Sam Attwater (Hollyoaks, EastEnders, The Rocky Horror Show) as Mickey, Judy’s fiancé.
The role of Judy Garland will be played by Ellen Verenieks in the matinee on Thursday 5 May.
End of the Rainbow is performed at Manchester Opera House 3 to 7 May 2016.