I thought this was an April Fools joke for a minute, but then realised we're in late August.
But if they can pull it off then that'll be great. Just seems a bit odd that it's relatively soon after the Brian Conley tour (which I am now deeply regretting missing). I thought Cameron Mackintosh would've pumped a bit more life into that production before this sort of thing would come along - seems to be no mention of his and Bramble's "revisions" for this production.
Great poster though! I guess the question is, who will play Barnum?
...And will there be a "high"-wire at the Chocolate Factory?
I got excited - then saw the venue. The original cast production back in the 80s was spectacular. The stunts Michael Crawford did every night were incredible. You were on the edge of your seat and literally felt you were watching high risk, dangerous stunts. Brian Conley in the more recent incarnation was the right age had the stage presence and singing voice but all the dazzle and spectacle had been squeezed out of Cam Mack's production. The tight rope was very low, no death defying swinging round by the neck for him, not even the zip wire from the circle which builds the excitement in 'Join the circus' Even 'Jumbo' the elephant seemed cheap and small. I'm not sure what room there will be to do anything at the Menier? Juggle?
Well I wasn't expecting that... I had the same initial reaction as you, Viserys. But the big thing for me is who they cast as Barnum. I've never seen a production, and the reason I avoided he recent tour was for one reason (Brian Conley).
I usually can't stand Brian Conley on television, but he was very good in the tour. His brashness really worked with the character.
The show itself is loudly mediocre - a third-tier Cy Coleman score tied to a by-the-numbers book. Yes, the key is going to be who they cast.
It will be interesting to see who they cast in the title role - the success of the whole show depends on this. The recent Chichester revival did not transfer into town as Cameron would have liked due to the casting of Christopher Fitzgerald who was very uncharismatic! Cameron also tinkered with the book to make it work better without success.
The original production only worked due to the charisma of Jim Dale on Broadway and Michael Crawford in London who both gave show stopping performances and the spectacle disguised the shows flaws - the book! Stripping the show back will only expose these.
As others have said - not an ideal or obvious choice for a Menier production - they must be looking to transfer like Funny Girl and this will all depend on the casting of the lead. I can't think of anyone who could do this quite frankly let alone anyone who is prepared to commit the time to (potentially) a year in the WE on top of a Menier run.