Hand To God Opens In London
London is preparing itself. While the West End has seen American puppets before in Avenue Q come to life on its stage, I’m worried they are not prepared for a new puppet who goes by the name of Tyrone ready to not only take the stage but perhaps, the throne as well. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Broadway’s Hand To God officially opens in London’s West End!
Hand To God officially opens tonight in London’s West End! The Tony Award nominated production began previews February 5th at London’s Vaudeville Theatre where it is currently scheduled to play through June 2016. Moritz von Stuelpnagel heads to London to helm the production as director after directing both the Off-Broadway and Broadway production of the show. Stuelpnagel received a Tony Award nomination for his work directing the Broadway production. The London cast of Hand To God is led by Harry Melling (Pictured Right) best known for his work in the Harry Potter series as Dudley. The rest of the cast includes Janie Dee, Neil Pearson, Jemina Rooper and Kevin Mains. Broadway producer Kevin McCollum produces the London transfer with British producer Nica Burns joining him.
Hand To God comes to London following a nine month run on Broadway at The Booth Theatre (Pictured Left). The Broadway production opened April 7th, 2015 and shuttered January 3rd, 2016. The show was critically acclaimed playing just over 330 performances and receiving five Tony Award nominations including Best Play. The show moved to Broadway following an Off-Broadway run at Lucille Lortel Theatre presented by MCC in spring 2014. The play, written by Robert Askins, is described as being semi-autobiographical. Despite a story filled with a messed up family, a girl who offers her help, a bully who always get his way and a man of the church offering comfort, Hand To God is controlled by Tyrone; a hand puppet who is utterly and completely out of control.
Broadway producer Kevin McCollum released a statement regarding his excitement to bring the new work to London and continue Hand To God‘s life across the pond saying;
“After enjoying a wonderful journey in New York from a small 70-seat theater to Broadway, we are beyond thrilled to bring Hand to God to the West End. There is a great appreciation of new original plays in London and so we could not be more excited to introduce playwright Rob Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel to British audiences. Also, we could not be more fortunate to be working with a cast of such incredibly talented West End regulars to bring this show to life.”
With London being several hours ahead of us, here is a photo the production shared form Opening Night;
Luner Lowdown: London is truly so lucky. I saw Hand To God here in New York on Broadway and it was one of the best new works I have seen in recent years. A true work of brilliance by Askins with his underlying themes and messages in this show are left to the audience to enjoy time and time again. I was so sad to hear Broadway would lose this brilliant piece but thrilled London would gain it. It is hysterical, downright obvious and most importantly, makes you think. Hand To God offers us the opportunity to examine what would actually happen if someone did, said or carried out all of those thoughts we often found trapped inside our very own heads.
Happy Opening Night of London’s brand new production of Hand To God! We’re looking forward to seeing how audiences and critics enjoy this new American production in the West End! We’ll also be bringing you a first look at the stage show later this week on our site! Stay tuned for that and more Hand To God news! For more information, visit Hand To God’s UK Official Website, Facebook or Twitter. (Please note; Unless a photo is noted to be taken by Luner on Theatre, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post.) And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!