Génèse

Chess

09. 2010, UK Tour

Après le succès du Royal Albert Hall, un UK Tour est organisé.

After the tremendous success of the Royal Albert Hall concert, it wasn't so much a question of "Will Chess be revived in Great Britain?" as it was a question of "When will Chess be revived in Great Britain?" The first answer to that latter question took the form of Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood. Telly audiences were perhaps unaware that besides being a dancer, Horwood had a mile-long list of national and international musical theatre credits to his name as both a director and a choreographer -- including having directed the 2001 Danish tour of Chess. Horwood's signature technique of theatre direction (although not employed re: Danish Chess), similar to that of John Doyle, is that he requires his actors to also be the show's musicians.

The Chess tour was produced by Michael Harrison. Craig Revel Horwood served as director and choreographer. Musical supervision and orchestrations were by Sarah Travis, a long-time collaborator with Horwood. Set and costume designer were by Christopher Woods, and Jack James was responsible for video design. Colin Pink was the sound designer and Ben Craknell was the lighting designer.

Casting for the Chess tour, whose 28-strong company provided their own musical accompaniment, took place from April through June of 2010. Rehearsals began on 19 July 2010. The cast featured Shona White (All The Fun Of The Fair) as Florence Vassy, James Fox (Judas Jesus Christ Superstar 2004/5 UK Tour) as The America/Freddie Trumper, Daniel Koek (Chess : Chorus RAH & Chorus/Freddie u/s 2006 Scandinavian Tour) as The Russian/Anatoly Sergievsky, Poppy Tierney as Svetlana Sergievsky, Steve Varnom (Jacob/Potiphar Joseph 2004 UK Tour) as Molokov, James Graeme (Pilate Jesus Christ Superstar 1996 West End Revival replacement cast; Walter 2001 Danish Chess) as Walter and David Erik as the Arbiter.



The Chess tour opened in Newcastle at the Theatre Royal on 27 August 2010. The last performance was on 9 April 2011 at the King's Theatre in Glasgow. The full tour schedule was as follows: Newcastle, Theatre Royal : 27 August - 11 September 2010; Northampton, Royal & Derngate : 14-18 September 2010; Edinburgh, Edinburgh Playhouse : 21-25 September 2010; Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre : 28 September - 2 October 2010; Aberdeen, His Majesty's Theatre : 5-9 October 2010; Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre : 12-16 October 2010; Sheffield, Lyceum : 19-23 October 2010; Salford, The Lowry : 26-30 October 2010; Cardiff, New Theatre : 1-6 November 2010; Bradford, Alhambra : 9-13 November 2010; Southampton, The Mayflower : 16-20 November 2010; Nottingham, Theatre Royal : 22-27 November 2010; Norwich, Theatre Royal : 30 November - 4 December 2010; Plymouth, Theatre Royal : 6-11 December 2010; Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre : 25-29 January 2011; Truro, Hall For Cornwall : 1-5 February 2011; Birmingham, The Hippodrome : 8-12 February 2011; Southend, Cliffs Pavilion : 15-19 February 2011; Belfast, Grand Opera House : 22-26 February 2011; Bristol, The Hippodrome : 1-5 March 2011; Woking, New Victoria Theatre : 8-12 March 2011; Glasgow, King's Theatre : 5-9 April 2011.

On 20 February 2011, Chess was awarded as Best Regional Production in the 2011 WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards, having garnered 29.3% of the votes cast for all six nominated shows.

UK Tour In Toronto
After finishing its UK tour, Craig Revel Horwood's production of Chess played at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto for a limited run from 24 September - 30 October 2011, with previews beginning on 24 September and an opening night on 28 September 2011.
New to the 30-strong cast of actor/musicians for Toronto were Tam Mutu (Phantom alt. Love Never Dies, Enjolras u/s Les Miserables) as The Russian/Anatoly Sergievsky and Rebecca Lock (Carlotta The Phantom of the Opera, Bertrande Martin Guerre) as Svetlana Sergievsky. Reprising their roles from the UK tour are Shona White (All The Fun Of The Fair) as Florence Vassy, James Fox (Judas Jesus Christ Superstar 2004/5 UK Tour) as The America/Freddie Trumper, Steve Varnom (Jacob/Potiphar Joseph 2004 UK Tour) as Molokov, James Graeme (Pilate Jesus Christ Superstar 1996 West End Revival replacement cast; Walter 2001 Danish Chess) as Walter and David Erik as the Arbiter.

Tickets to the Toronto production of Chess went on sale on 22 August 2011. On the day of the premiere, 28 September 2011, producer Mirvish Productions hosted a Twitter Q&A with Time Rice. The following day, Mirvish instituted a student rush ticket policy with $20.00 tickets. Mirvish later instituted a buy one ticket get one for $1.00 promotion for its shows. For Chess, the discount was applicable to performances from 7-12 October 2011.