Russell and Triplett reunite for Piaf in Nottingham

Published: 15 March 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Jenna Russell (far left) and Sally Ann Triplett (far right) performing in Follies in 1987

Jenna Russell and Sally Ann Triplett are to reunite for their first performance together since 1987 when they appear in the Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse co-production of Piaf.

Russell received a Tony Award nomination and the 2006 Olivier Award for best actress in a musical for her roles as Dot and Marie in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George in the West End and on Broadway.

Triplett will return to Nottingham Playhouse where she was Judy Garland in Amanda Whittington’s adaptation of Susie Boyt’s My Judy Garland Life in 2014. Triplett will play Toine, Edith’s best friend, in Piaf.

Russell and Triplett who are friends last performed together in the West End première of Sondheim's Follies.

Pam Gems's Piaf tells the extraordinary story of singer Edith Piaf. Her most famous songs include “La Vie en Rose” and “Je Ne Regrette Rien”. The international star began her life singing on the streets of Paris.

Garry Robson will take the role of Louis Leplee, the French nightclub owner who discovered Piaf. Robson performed at Nottingham Playhouse in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country's Good in 2018, produced by Nottingham Playhouse as part of the Ramps on the Moon consortium.

Sara Poyzer from Nottingham will also return to the Playhouse. She played Sara Jane Moore in Sondheim’s Assassins in 2019. In Piaf, she will play Marlene Dietrich and Piaf's PA, Madeleine.

Louis Gaunt will be Piaf's husband, Theo, having previously performed at Nottingham Playhouse as Manfred in Neil Simon's Sweet Charity in 2018. Samuel James will play Bruno, owner and manager of the Paris Olympia.

Nottingham Playhouse’s artistic director Adam Penford, who will direct Piaf, said, “Nottingham Playhouse was one of the first theatres to produce Piaf back in 1981 and I'm thrilled to be bringing this raucous story back to life.

“To have Jenna Russell reunited with Sally Ann Triplett for the play is incredibly exciting and is a pairing that will excite musical theatre fans. Edith Piaf's life was shocking, hilarious and heart-breaking. When combined with those iconic songs, it makes for an unforgettable night of theatre.”

Piaf will run at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 8 May until Saturday 23 May. Press night will be on Tuesday 12 May 2020. It will then go to Leeds Playhouse from Wednesday 27 May until Saturday 13 June.