Doctor Dolittle Cancels

Jan 11 2019 | By More

No Festival show for Dolittle

The run of the musical Doctor Dolittle, which was scheduled to play the Festival Theatre in May, has been cancelled.

The Festival Theatre has said that anyone who had bought tickets for the theatre adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s books will get a refund and should wait to be contacted by box office staff.

Mark Williams (Doctor Dolittle) with Jane Crawshaw and Ellie Seaton as the puppeteers of Polynesia the Parrot. Pic: Alastiar Muir

The production, which stars Mark Williams in the title role, opened at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley in November, playing the Lowry in Salford and will play its scheduled dates at the Oxford New Theatre from January 15 to 26, when it will then close.

Doctor Dolittle was produced by Music & Lyrics, the consortium of 18 independent regional theatre venues set up by former Festival Theatre boss John Stalker in 2011.

The consortium included Capital Theatres, the company which runs the Festival Theatre, and Aberdeen Performing Arts. Previous tours have included The Addams Family and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

scale and imagination

Speaking of the decision to cancel the tour, Music & Lyrics’ chair, Robert Sanderson, said: “Music & Lyrics was established to create work of scale and imagination for regional presenting venues and over eight years it has met with a high degree of success.”

The Cast of Doctor Dolittle with the giant pink sea snail. Pic Alastair Muir

Sanderson continued: “On this occasion, Doctor Dolittle has not secured the same degree of support and, sadly, members of the consortium have had no alternative but to foreshorten the planned tour.

“I would like to thank all those involved in creating this breathtaking production, which has been enjoyed by audiences and critics alike. There is still time to see the production in Oxford between 15 and 26 January.”

The musical is based on Hugh Lofting’s children’s books and the Rex Harrison movie of 1967. It has a book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

The production was due to play the Festival Theatre from Tuesday May 14 to Saturday May 25.

According to a statement on the theatre’s website: “Our box office team will be in touch direct with ticket holders to arrange a full refund or exchange – please do not contact the box office direct. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience.”

The show was originally intended to tour a total of 22 venues, finally closing at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 2 November.

The Oxford New Theatre dates from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 26 January are still going ahead. For full details and to book tickets click here.


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