Cast revealed for Belgrade’s hosting of new Rice musical

Published: 15 September 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Carly Bawden (Angélique) and Marc Antolin (Jean-René) in Romantics Anonymous Credit: Steve Tanner

Casting has been confirmed for Romantics Anonymous, the new musical from director Emma Rice, which is to go on a virtual tour and will be co-hosted online by Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre on Wednesday 23 September.

Performed in person to a 'socially distanced' audience at Bristol Old Vic, the production will be broadcast live to theatres across the UK and overseas, with performances tailored to different regional audiences each night.

The cast includes Marc Antolin (Jean-René), Carly Bawden (Angélique), Me’sha Bryan (Suzanne / Mimi), Harry Hepple (Ludo / Remi), Laura Jane Matthewson (young woman), Sandra Marvin (Magda / Brigitte / Dr Maxim), Philip Cox (Father / Pierre / receptionist), Gareth Snook (Mercier / Mumbler / Marini) and Omari Douglas (salesman / Fred).

Romantics Anonymous is “an irresistible love story all about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy”. Based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes, it follows Angélique, a gifted but timid chocolate-maker, and Jean-René, the boss of a struggling chocolate factory. When Angélique takes a job at Jean-René’s factory, a fragile romance blossoms between them.

Rice said, “the last weeks have been filled with scrupulous planning and careful preparations to ensure the safety of the cast and crew, but when we get onto that stage everything will change. Under the lights, for a few short hours, we’ll forget our fears and remember other essentials in life: imagination, celebration, story, community and song.”

Adapted and directed for the stage by Rice with original songs by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, Romantics Anonymous is co-produced by Rice’s company Wise Children, Plush Theatricals and Bristol Old Vic.