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Circus musical Barnum headed for Leeds

Date Posted: 09/01/15

Circus musical Barnum headed for Leeds

Grand Theatre in Leeds' glamorous city centre is set to host the Cy Coleman-scored musical Barnum, with Brian Conley set to take on the demanding title role for the first time.

The musical, written in 1980 about a circus master who was once regarded as America's greatest showman, will play for a limited season only at the prestigious venue.

Conley said that despite the physically demanding nature of the role - which sees him cross an eight-foot high tightrope at one point - he couldn't refuse the offer to work on the tour after producer Cameron Mackintosh called him personally to ask him.

"I saw Michael Crawford do it originally in the West End and it’s a show that I’ve always admired," the 53-year-old told the Nottingham Post.

Leading lady Linzi Hately will play opposite Conley in the role of Barnum's long-suffering wife Chairy, who was the practical one in the relationship and responsible for making the majority of the circus master's dreams come true.

The production itself is based on the 2013 Chichester Festival Theatre Revival, which saw Christopher Fitzgerald in the title role. It received glowing reviews from the critics and was revised by Mackintosh to include a new number, Barnum's Lament, features in the touring version.

Conley added that he would like to return to London's West End at some point, claiming the role of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda is among those on his bucket list.

Barnham will play in Leeds from April 14th until 25th, but for those who will not be able to make a date in this timeframe, there will be other performances in Sheffield and Dublin.

Posted by Hayley Brent

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