Sixpence New Artwork.

Half A Sixpence

Book
JULIAN FELLOWES

New Music and Lyrics
GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE

Original songs
DAVID HENEKER

Co-Creator
CAMERON MACKINTOSH

, Festival Theatre

Overview

The undoubted hit of the summer, perhaps even the year

Evening Standard

So warm you feel you’re basking by the seaside. Pure gold. Bravo!

Daily Telegraph
 

High-kicking, heel-clicking, cartwheel-turning – sheer exhilaration

Times
 

Flash, bang, wallop what a musical!

Daily Mail

Based on the H.G. WELLS novel
Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul
And the original musical by
BEVERLEY CROSS and DAVID HENEKER

Half A Sixpence is the iconic British musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s disguised autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul, based on the author’s unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at Hyde’s Drapery Emporium in Southsea. This new stage version of the novel is a completely fresh adaptation by Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey.

Arthur Kipps, an orphan, is an over-worked draper’s assistant at Shalford’s Bazaar, Folkestone, at the turn of the last century. He is a charming but ordinary young man who, along with his fellow apprentices, dreams of a better and more fulfilling world, but he likes his fun just like any other, except not quite.

When Kipps unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society, it confuses everything he thought he knew about life. Watching him wrestle with his new identity is his childhood companion and not-quite girlfriend, Ann Pornick, who sees with dismay how Arthur is being made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. She is always there with helpful hints on how Arthur could improve himself and make his life richer and more meaningful, if only he would believe in himself, and listen to her. Both of these young women love Arthur – there is no doubt about that – but which should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.

This new stage version of Half A Sixpence has a stellar creative team and reunites bookwriter Julian Fellowes with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the smash-hit stage adaptation of Mary Poppins with Disney. They have written an exuberant score that is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s memorable songs from the original production, which he co-wrote with Beverley Cross, including the show-stopping Flash Bang WallopMoney To Burn and the irresistible Half A Sixpence.

Director Rachel Kavanaugh’s previous work at Chichester includes The Music Man (2008), Love Story (2010) and more recently Single Spies (2016).

Cast & Creatives

Cast

  • Charlie Stemp

    Arthur Kipps
  • Devon-Elise Johnson

    Ann Pornick
  • Ian Bartholomew

    Chitterlow
  • Emma Williams

    Helen Walsingham
  • Vivien Parry

    Mrs Walsingham
  • Kimberly Blake

    Ensemble
  • Nick Butcher

    Ensemble
  • Gerard Carey

    James Walsingham
  • John Conroy

    Mr Shalford
  • Matthew Dale

    Ensemble
  • Jaye Juliette Elster

    Ensemble
  • Tim Hodges

    Ensemble
  • Alex Hope

    Sidney
  • Jane How

    Lady Punnet
  • Bethany Huckle

    Flo
  • Rebecca Jayne-Davies

    Ensemble
  • Jennifer Louise Jones

    Ensemble
  • Philip Marriott

    Ensemble
  • Harry Morrison

    Ensemble
  • Sam O'Rourke

    Buggins
  • James Paterson

    Uncle Bert
  • Callum Train

    Pierce
  • Lauren Varnham

    Ensemble
  • Annie Wensak

    Aunt Susan

Creative Team

Julian Fellowes

Book

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe

New Music and Lyrics

Cameron Mackintosh

Co-Creator

Rachel Kavanaugh

Director

Paul Brown

Designer

Andrew Wright

Choreographer

William David Brohn

Orchestrations

Stephen Brooker

Musical Supervisor

Graham Hurman

Musical Supervisor and Conductor

Paule Constable

Lighting Designer

Mick Potter

Sound Designer

Luke Halls

Video Designer

Trevor Jackson

Casting Director

Paul Wooller

Casting Director
Running Time
approx 2 hours 45 mins including the interval