Musical to have UK première at Birmingham Rep

Published: 27 January 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

Privileged: Jerry Mitchell Credit: Christopher DeVargas

Birmingham Rep is to stage the UK première of new musical Becoming Nancy—a “coming-of-age story that has a huge heart”.

Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell was returning to New York from the UK in 2013 and came across Terry Ronald’s book Becoming Nancy at Heathrow Airport. By the time he had reached the US, he knew he had to make the story into a musical.

He said, “Becoming Nancy is about finding love: love of self, love of others and love of what matters most in life. As soon as I saw the Rep and visited Birmingham, I knew that it was the right place to open the show.

“It’s been a privilege to turn Terry’s beautiful story into a musical and we’re all looking forward to working on it and sharing it with Birmingham, the rest of Great Britain and the world.”

Sean Foley, the Rep’s artistic director, added, “when I first saw and heard this touching, funny and relevant show at workshop stage, I knew we had to help make it happen and produce it.

“Stiles and Drewe with Elliot Davis and original writer Terry Ronald have created as exciting, frequently hilarious and heart-tugging a show about first love and being yourself as you can ever hope to see. I’m sure that Birmingham itself is about to fall in love with this brilliant new musical.”

Becoming Nancy is set in 1979. David Starr is unquestionably one of the smartest, most talented sixth formers in East Dulwich. But being clever, having talent and a great taste in music may not be enough to get him through secondary school where, to his great surprise, he’s given the female lead in the school play. The unconventional casting sends shockwaves to everyone around him including his parents, his aunt and his classmates.

Becoming Nancy will run at the Rep from Wednesday 2 October until Saturday 2 November.

    Related listings

  • Becoming Nancy - Book by Elliot Davis, music by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe, additional music and lyrics by Terry Ronald, Elliot Davis and George Stiles, based on the novel by Terry Ronald (Birmingham Rep)

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