Robbie Fairchild, Gary Wilmot and Briana Craig are starring in the world premiere stage production of The Artist. It opens at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in May 2024.
Robbie Fairchild, Gary Wilmot and Briana Craig are starring in the world premiere stage production of The Artist. It opens at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in May 2024.

TRP to host world premiere of The Artist

3 min


Stunning stage adaption of 1920s Hollywood story

Producers today announce lead casting for the world premiere stage production of Michel Hazanavicius’ internationally acclaimed film, The Artist.

Multi award-winning international dancer and actor Robbie Fairchild returns to the UK stage, for the first time since his leading performance in An American In Paris, to play silent movie icon George Valentin.

West End favourite Gary Wilmot potrays Al Zimmer. The show introduces Briana Craig (42nd Street tour) as Peppy Miller.

The plot is the stuff of Hollywood dreams with the 1920s’ American film industry acting as the backdrop for a classic love story.  

Silent movie icon George Valentin has long been the darling of the silver screen when he falls for aspiring actress Peppy Miller.  

But while her star is about to rise, his might soon flicker out: amidst all the glamour, laughter and romance, the silent movie industry is on the brink of a revolution.

The silent era is ending. The reign of ‘The Talkies’ is about to begin. George must find his voice – or lose everything he holds dear to a bygone era. 

Award winning entertainment: mesmerising audiences around the world

The Artist has mesmerised film audiences across the world for more than a decade, winning five Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globe Awards.

Now the beguiling love story is reinvented for the stage in a dazzling celebration of silent cinema that blends cutting-edge theatre-making with iconic music of the period.

‘There are few moments in the life of a performer when you are given the opportunity to play a character that you instantly feel so connected to,’ says Robbie Fairchild (George Valentin).

‘That in the process of diving into them, you begin to understand yourself and your own life experiences more. The Artist is one of those moments for me, and my gratitude is very, very abundant.’

‘It’s a great privilege to be a part of The Artist next year, I loved the film when I saw it in the packed cinema, and now that Drew McOnie’s got his hands on it, it’s going to go stratospheric,’ says Gary Wilmot (Al Zimmer).

‘Truly honoured to be in the company of such talented people – the audiences are going to get a first-class show!’

‘Working with Drew, this creative team and these artists, is such an honour,’ explains Briana Craig (Peppy Miller). 

‘I’ve never experienced anything so collaborative or such genius in one space. As a child, I dreamed of doing work as special as this and now it’s a reality I feel incredibly lucky.’

‘Every day in the room I’m amazed at how we’re using theatre as a medium to create this innovative piece of art. Expect the unexpected!’

‘A world class line up of principal performers’

The Artist is co-adapted for the stage by Lindsey Ferrentino and Drew McOnie and directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie.

‘It is such an honour to be collaborating with these exceptional artists on this brand new production,’ says Drew McOnie, Artistic Director of The McOnie Company.

‘The commitment and talent that pours from them is palpable and I’m so excited for audiences to fall head over heels in love with each of them for their bravery, honesty and heart.’

‘All of us at TRP are immensely proud to be co-producing and launching The Artist here in Plymouth,’ says James Mackenzie-Blackman, Chief Executive and Executive Producer of Theatre Royal Plymouth.

‘Drew has assembled a world-class line-up of principal performers. Robbie is renowned as one of the best dancers and actors of his generation, Gary is much loved in Plymouth and I am sure that Briana has a glittering career ahead of her.’

‘Audiences in the South West are encouraged to book soon to join us at the beginning of this exciting journey.’

Tickets are now on sale for The Artist at Theatre Royal Plymouth, where the production begins its journey with a strictly limited run from Saturday 11 May until Saturday 25 May 2024.

Image provided by Theatre Royal Plymouth.

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