Brisson to play Vera Brittain in new musical

Published: 27 March 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

Audrey Brisson who will play Vera Brittain
Alexander Knox (Roland Leighton)
George Arvidson (Edward Brittain) Credit: Euan Livingstone
Kit Esuroso (Bobby)

Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre have revealed the cast for their new co-production The Land of Might-Have-Been which opens in July 2023.

The musical is built around the songs of Ivor Novello and is loosely based on incidents in the early life of Buxton’s pioneering feminist and pacifist Vera Brittain and the lives, loves and stories of those closest to her.

Audrey Brisson will play Vera Brittain. She has appeared in numerous musical theatre productions including the title role in Amélie the Musical at London’s The Other Palace in 2019. That earned her a nomination for an Olivier Award for best actress in a musical.

She will be joined by Alexander Knox who plays Roland Leighton, Vera’s doomed fiancé, George Arvidson as Vera’s brother Edward Brittain who courts death rather than face being court marshalled for his sexuality and Kit Esuroso as Bobby, Vera’s friend and Edward’s secret lover.

Other roles will be played by Stuart Pendred, Bernadine Pritchett, Elin Davies, Julie Teal, Boaz Chad, Richard Woodall, Helen Maree, Julia Mariko, Tobias Camposs Antinaque and Charlie St John.

With book and lyrics by Michael Williams, The Land of Might-Have-Been follows on from Williams’s opera Georgiana. The first co-production between Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre will be directed by Kimberley Sykes and conducted by Iwan Davies.

Set and costumes will be designed by Nicky Shaw with lighting by Jake Wiltshire, sound by Declan Matwij and choreography by Nathan M Wright. Iain Farrington has arranged Ivor Novello’s songs, including “My Dearest Dear”, “Waltz of My Heart”, “My Life Belongs To You” and “Why Is There Ever Goodbye” for the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

The Land of Might-Have-Been will run at Buxton Opera House from Friday 7 until Friday 21 July before transferring to Norwich Theatre from Tuesday 25 until Sunday 30 July.

    Related listings

  • The Land Of Might-Have-Been - Book and lyrics by Michael Williams, music by Ivor Novello (Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre)

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