Victoria Wood and co. take 'Acorn Antiques' to West End as musical

They ate their first macaroons together nearly 20 years ago and now they are reuniting to do so again. But this time the cast of "Acorn Antiques" will be all-singing and dancing as Victoria Wood has turned her spoof soap sketches into a musical.

They ate their first macaroons together nearly 20 years ago and now they are reuniting to do so again. But this time the cast of "Acorn Antiques" will be all-singing and dancing as Victoria Wood has turned her spoof soap sketches into a musical.

Mrs Overall, played by Julie Walters "except on bingo nights", Miss Babs (Celia Imrie) and Mr Clifford (Duncan Preston) will be joined by Neil Morrissey, Josie Lawrence and Sally Ann Triplett, the star of the National Theatre's Anything Goes, for the production, which will open in February.

On Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees, Wood will step into the role of the cleaner Mrs Overall to give Walters a break from the demands of eight performances a week.

Wood said: "I wanted to write a musical and it was just a brainwave - why not make it about Acorn Antiques which is something that people can recognise? I didn't write it with the purpose of having [the original cast members] in it, so it's a huge bonus that they are."

The musical will tell the story of a pretentious director, played by Morrissey in a reprise of his current role as a pretentious director in Cloaca at the Old Vic, rehearsing his new work which is a "bleak and uncompromising look at life in modern Britain".

In an attempt to lure the middle classes to see it, he has called it Acorn Antiques and engaged some of the original cast of the axed television soap - inspired by Crossroads - to play their own parts.

But Walters' character is appalled at the tone of his dark script and tries to shoe-horn in some lovely numbers from a musical she appeared in nearly 50 years ago.

Wood said it felt "fantastic" to be doing the show that she first thought of in 2001. She began writing the following year and held workshops to try it out in February. Trevor Nunn, the former head of the National Theatre, is the director.

She said taking part herself seemed a good way of pleasing the audience, but added: "If the show works, and I think it will work as entertainment, it should be irrelevant [who is doing it]. It's Julie's performance done by me. I'm just going to copy it, with a different pinny possibly."

Walters, who will appear for the first 16 weeks, said she was taking part because she thought it would be a "great pleasure" although it is her first West End musical and would be a challenge. "The last time I had to do tap-dancing I nearly kicked myself to death doing it.".

She added: "The music is fantastic. I can't tell you how brilliant the music is. I think it will appeal to everybody."

Walters played a dance teacher in the film Billy Elliot that is itself now being turned into a musical. She discussed appearing in the stage version with its director, Stephen Daldry, but was doing Acorn Antiques instead.

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before