Wise Children announce revival of Romantics Anonymous at Bristol Old Vic

31 Oct 2019

Wise Children and Plush Theatricals present Romantics Anonymous 

Book by Emma Rice, Lyrics by Christopher Dimond, Music by Michael Kooman Based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Phillippe Blasband

Directed by Emma Rice; Composer: Michael Kooman; Lyricist: Christopher Dimond

Designer: Lez Brotherston; Musical Supervisor: Nigel Lilley; Choreographer: Etta Murfitt

Orchestrator: Simon Hale; Lighting Designer: Malcolm Rippeth; Sound Designer: Simon Baker

Bristol Old Vic
18 January – 1 February 2020
Press Night: Thursday 23 January, 7.30pm

Tickets go on sale to Bristol Old Vic Friends at 1pm on Thu 31 Oct and general sale on Fri 1 Nov at 1pm

Wise Children today announced further programming for 2020, with a revival of Emma Rice’s musical adaptation of Romantics Anonymous in a co-production with Plush Theatricals. Marc Antolin and Carly Bawden return to the cast to play Jean-René and Angélique respectively. The production opens at Bristol Old Vic on 23 January, with previews from 18 January and runs until 1 February, ahead of a US tour to Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in LA and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C.. Further US dates and the full cast will be announced shortly.

Emma Rice, said today, “Rarely have I made a show as beloved as Romantics Anonymous. It worked a gentle magic on all who created and saw it. Like Angélique creating her exquisite chocolates, fairy dust seems to float around this precious production and I, for one, cannot wait to bring it back. There is palpable excitement in the team and Bristol Old Vic is the perfect place to launch this new production. Beautiful, intimate and true, Romantics Anonymous will fill Bristol’s cold winter nights with soul soaring music, heart-warming humanity and heavenly chocolate. Just right!”   

Angélique is a gifted chocolate maker inhibited by social anxiety and Jean-René is the boss of a failing chocolate factory.  When Angelique takes a job in Jean-Rene’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds.    

Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy.  

Directed by Emma Rice, the world première of Romantics Anonymous was originally produced by Shakespeare's Globe for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment.

This announcement follows recent news of Wise Children’s world première adaptation of Wuthering Heights opening at the National Theatre ahead of a UK tour next year.

Emma Rice is the proud and excited Artistic Director of her new company, Wise Children. She adapted and directed the company’s first two productions, Angela Carter’s Wise Children (The Old Vic/UK tour) and Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers (Bristol Passenger Shed/UK tour). For the ENO she directed Orpheus in the Underworld. As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016/18), she directed Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions for Kneehigh include The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions), Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic), Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages), and Steptoe and Son. Other work includes the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey), The Empress (RSC), and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).

Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (lyrics) are a stage and screen writing team. They currently serve as songwriters for VAMPIRINA, an animated musical TV series on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior, reaching over 100 million viewers in 115 countries. Their theatre credits include The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Village Theater), Orphie & The Book of Heroes (The Kennedy Center), The Enlightenment of Percival Von  Schmootz (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court (Pittsburgh CLO), Dani Girl (Exit, Pursued by a Bear), Golden Gate (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (Ambassadors Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and Junior Claus (Orlando Repertory Theatre); and for television, Vampirina. Kooman and Dimond have received the Fred Ebb Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, the ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, the Samuel French Next Step Award, the Burton Lane Award and the Harold Adamson Award.

Marc Antolin plays Jean-René. His theatre credits include: Hedda Gabler (Sherman Theatre), Cry Havoc (Park Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Hello Dolly! (Regent Park’s Open Air Theatre),Twelfth Night and The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Shakespeare’s Globe), Peter Pan (National Theatre), The Trial (Young Vic), Taken at Midnight (Theatre Royal Haymarket/Chichester Festival Theatre), Amadeus, Singin’ in the Rain, The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre), From Here to Eternity (Shaftsbury Theatre), Matilda (RSC/Cambridge Theatre), Billy Liar (UK tour) and Imagine This (New London Theatre). His film credits include Into the Woods

Carly Bawden plays Angélique. Her theatre credits include Ghost Quartet (Boulevard Theatre), Sylvia, Natives (The Old Vic), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe), Wonder.Land (National Theatre), McQueen (Haymarket Theatre), Assassins, Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dead Dog in a Suitcase, Tristan & Yseult (Kneehigh), My Fair Lady (Sheffield Theatre), The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (360 Theatre, Kensington), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Kneehigh/Curve/Gielgud Theatre), Sleeping Beauty (Wakefield Theatre), Vice (Arcola Theatre), Whistle Down the Wind (UK tour), Evita (UK tour - Nominated for TMA Award for Best Supporting Actress 2009); and for television, Call the Midwife,Close to the Enemy and Doctors.

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

Press Office: 0117 949 4901 | press@bristololdvic.org.uk