Following a sold-out Edinburgh season and a five star rave review in the Scotsman, Frances Ruffelle, one of the UK’s best loved and most talented musical theatre performers, returns to the West End for one night only on Sunday 12 September in Frances Ruffelle: Beneath the Dress, with her funky six-piece band and a dazzling array of songs.
From bursting into the public consciousness 25 years ago as the original Eponine in Les Misérables to most recently starring as Roxie Hart in smash hit musical Chicago, Frances Ruffelle’s distinctive sound has continued to delight her fans and captivate new audiences. A charismatic and vivacious show, Beneath the Dress is an alluring exploration of her musical influences from compositional giants such as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington & Kurt Weill, to lesser-known songwriting talents whose work she has been inspired by.
Having created the role of Eponine in Les Misérables in the West End, Frances recreated the role on Broadway for which she won the coveted Tony award, Helen Hayes award, Theatreworld award and Outer Circle Critics award for Best Actress. Frances hit the West End for the first time in The Sleeping Prince, by Terence Rattigan (in which she co-starred with Omar Sharif). She then took part in the original workshop of Starlight Express and subsequently played the role of Dinah for Trevor Nunn in the show’s first ever cast. She also created the role of Yonah in the original West End production of Children of Eden directed by John Caird.
Further stage adventures have ranged from appearing with Ian Dury in Apples at the Royal Court in London to playing Roxie Hart in the West End production of Chicago. Frances has performed concerts in London with the Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and has played sell-out gigs at London’s Ronnie Scott’s with her Big Band.
Her multi-faceted career has also included four solo albums and representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 with her hit song ‘Lonely Symphony’. She launches her new solo album, Imperfectly Me, imbued with her trademark sense of earthy realism rather than airbrushed perfection, on September 13th this year. At the end of 2010, Frances will be starring in Songs from a Hotel Bedroom at the Royal Opera House.
Produced by Neil Eckersley & Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment and Stuart Piper & Jon Bath for Cole Kitchenn, Frances Ruffelle: Beneath the Dress is devised by Frances Ruffelle & Matt Ryan, directed by Paul Baker & Matt Ryan, with musical direction by David Barber, design by John Risebero, lighting design by Mike Robertson and sound design by James Tebb. It was originally produced by Danielle Tarrento.
For more information on France Ruffelle, visit: www.francesruffelle.com