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Five guys named Moe finds new home at Marble Arch

JUMPING FOR JOY: Dex Lee will play Know Moe in the production
(photo: Graham Michael)

UNDERBELLY PRODUCTIONS have announced full casting for a brand new production of Clarke Peters’ Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award- nominated musical, Five Guys Named Moe.

The production will open on September 14 in show that a new temporary theatre in Marble Arch, London.

Edward Baruwa will play Nomax and the ‘Moes’ will be played by Ian Carlyle (Four-
Eyed Moe), Dex Lee (Know Moe), Idriss Kargbo (Little Moe), Timothy Martin (Big Moe) and Emile Ruddock (Eat Moe).

Underbelly have also released the first look at how the inside of the new Marble Arch Theatre will look.
Specifically designed for the production, it will be reminiscent of 1940s New Orleans jazz clubs, occupying the entire space.

There will be cabaret table seating in the centre of the space, with a drinks table service. In addition to the theatre, there will be a connecting foyer designed in the style of a New Orleans courtyard, with hanging atmospheric foliage, festoon lighting, a beautiful bespoke bar, a performance area for a jazz trio and concession stands selling popcorn, sweets, snacks and merchandise, as well as a cloakroom area.

Five Guys Named Moe was first seen at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1990, before it was transferred to the West End and played for four years, and premiered on Broad- way in 1992.

Clarke Peters’ career-defining musical features the irresistible hits of trailblazing King of the Jukebox, Louis Jordan, including Early In The Morning, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby, Choo Choo Ch’Boogie and Saturday Night Fish Fry.

The soundtrack of soul, blues, gospel and early R’n’B is performed on stage by a live band. The production, which is to be directed by Peters himself, is currently booking from August 29 to November 25, with an opening night on September 14. Five Guys Named Moe will be directed by Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme, Person of Interest, Porgy and Bess, The Ice Man Cometh) with musical staging and choreography by Andrew Wright (Half a Sixpence, Singin’ in the Rain, Guys and Dolls), set and costume design by ta- kis (Side Show, In The Heights, Hairspray), Harrison (Cabaret, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Dancing in the Streets, The King and I), lighting design by Philip Gladwell (The James Plays, Cymbeline, Transporting, After Miss Julie, Hairspray), sound design by Ben Harrison (Star- light Express, Blood Brothers, Soul Sister) and musical super- vision from Steve Hill (Fame, RENT, The House That Nat Built, Bent, Hair).

THRILLED

Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the play in the West End in the early 1990s, said: “I am really thrilled that Underbelly are producing a brand new pro- duction of Five Guys Named Moe in London later this year.

“It is a show that brought fun and joy to audiences in the West End for many years, so it’s great to see its return for its 25th anniversary.

“I am particularly excited that this new production is being staged in a Spiegeltent theatre specifically tailored for Five Guys, so that Underbelly’s unique style will give audiences and the show a special intimate experience which will definitely make it the best party in town – a party which I’m delighted to support Underbelly in throwing.”

Clarke Peters said: “It is a rare and wonderful thing to have the chance to direct a show that not only you have created, but also performed in. “It is a show that is very close to my heart and soul, and is so much of who I am.

“It is an honour to return to it on its 25th anniversary and reimagine the show in this new theatre space – one which is perfect for creating a closeness and dynamic energy between the story and the audience.

“Further to this, it is a treat to be working with a fantastic creative team and I cannot wait to trans- port audiences into the magical world of rhythm and blues. This rhythm will lift one and all from their blues!”

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