Paul Virides Productions today announces the world première production of the heart-warming, original musical Then, Now & Next, written by Christopher J Orton (My Land’s Shore) and Jon Robyns (currently playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera) in a first-time collaboration for the pair. 

Directed by Julie Atherton (Ordinary Days) and starring Alice Fearn (Come From Away, Wicked), with further casting to be announced, the production opens at Southwark Playhouse, Borough on 28 June, with previews from 23 June, and runs until 29 July. 

Christopher J Orton and Jon Robyns said today “We started work on early drafts of this show together almost ten years ago, and eagerly revisited it in April 2020. It got us both through lockdown with no expectation of the show turning into what it is today. We came out the other side with a piece that speaks to how we all feel now about moving forward and what it means to belong.

We are strong advocates of new, original British musicals, and are delighted to have our debut show produced at Southwark Playhouse; a proven breeding ground for new innovative writingAlice Fearn has beautifully embodied the character of Alex Shaw through several workshops, and we’re extremely excited for audiences to see her bring this brand-new musical to the stage for the first time.”

Julie Atherton adds “I’m beyond excited and feeling very lucky to be working with such an innovative and passionate creative team on this beautiful moving story written by my old friends and colleagues, Jon & Chris. I just can’t wait to get in that rehearsal room.”

Struggling with a difficult past, Alex Shaw is attempting to take steps forward. We follow her journey over twenty years, through two loves – young, adventurous idealist, Stephen, and the older, reliable and charming Peter –  as she gathers the scattered chapters of her life, in the hope of re-building her story and asking if she will ever be more than just “fine”.

Through Alex’s experiences, her uplifting story questions how relationships can change over time and explores what it takes to truly heal.

Accept what was. Embrace what could be.

Christopher J Orton is an actor, composer, lyricist and writer. His writing credits include My Land’s Shore, Grace Notes, The Gory Story of Edward Polidori, Dracula, This Time Next Week, B.O.A.T.S, The Road to the Port of Barry, Elephant Juice and Are you Sitting F**king Comfortably?. As an actor his credits include Tom (UK tour), The Hired Man (Leicester Curve), Spamalot (UK tour and Playhouse Theatre) and Oliver! (Watermill Theatre). 

Jon Robyns is an actor and writer. Then, Now & Next marks his debut project as a writer, and first collaboration with Christopher J Orton. As an actor, his credits include Les Misérables, Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Avenue Q, RENT, Miss Saigon and many more. He has released 2 Albums, completing a sell-out UK tour of his most recent entitled Musical Direction. 

Alice Fearn plays Alex Shaw. Her theatre credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre), Oliver! (Watermill Theatre), Woman in White (Palace Theatre), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Shrek (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). 

Julie Atherton directs. Her theatre credits include Ordinary Days (Cockpit Theatre), Well Behaved Women (Cadagon Hall), Club Mex (Hope Mill Theatre), Cinderella (Capitol), Made in Dagenham (Mack Theatre), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Bernie Grant Arts Centre), Girlfriends, Deed Not Words (Karamel Club), Legally Blonde (Laines Theatre Arts) and The Hello Girls (St Peter’s Arts Centre). 

Tickets available here:

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