2009 April to June


On the stage – For 6 days – All The Fun Of The Fair All the Fun of the Fair is a jukebox musical with a book by Jon Conway, based on the songs of David Essex. The title of the musical is taken from David Essex’s 1975 album All the Fun of the Fair. The plot is fictional, not autobiographical. This visit to the Mayflower was part of the premiere tour ahead of its move into the West End where it opened at the Garrick Theatre in April 2010. It starred David Essex in the lead role.

A preview of the show


On the stage – opens Tuesday for 2 weeks – EVITA –  MAYFLOWER  – This was the third production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical to visit the Mayflower. The show originally premiered at London’s Prince Edward Theatre in 1978. For this touring production  it starred Rachael Wooding as Eva, Seamus Cullen (a finalist in the BBC show Any Dream Will Do) as Che, Mark Heenehan as Perón with James Waud as Magaldi who won the role in a competition.

A clip from the tour
Rachel Wooding


On the stage – for six days – HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL – MAYFLOWER – A stage adaptation of the hit musical Disney Channel Original Movie featured a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini), and a score including all songs from the original chart-topping soundtrack, including the UK hit singles “Breaking Free” and “We’re All In This Together,” plus two new numbers.  The production was directed by Jeff Calhoun, whose credits include the award-winning Broadway revivals of Grease and Big River. It’s a contemporary musical comedy about Troy (played by Ashley Day), a popular high school basketball star and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer, who discover they share a secret passion for singing.  When they sign up to audition together for the lead roles in the school musical it threatens East High’s established pecking order and sends their cliques into uproar.  In an attempt to maintain the status quo, the ‘jocks’ and ‘brainiacs’, and even the drama club regulars, are soon hatching crazy plans to separate the pair and keep them offstage.  Defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, and each other, the couple inspire the other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.

A promotional trailer for the show

This was an early leading performance for Ashley Day who went on to play the leads in the West End productions of An American In Paris at the Dominion and 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Ashley Day in High School Musical


Jane McDonald is a Yorkshire based English singer, actress, media personality and broadcaster, who became known to the public in 1998 after her appearance on the BBC show The Cruise. This was her third appearance at the Mayflower. Beginning in 2004, McDonald was a regular presenter on the ITV daytime television programme Loose Women, appearing on the show three times a week. At the time of this show she had achieved 5 big selling albums.

Jane McDonald performing on tv in 2009


Live, on stage – for four days – SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS LIVE! THE SPONGE WHO COULD FLY! also known as “The Lost Episode”, was the 19th episode of the third season and the 59th overall episode of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants and became the inspiration for musical called SpongeBob SquarePants Live! The Sponge Who Could Fly! It was launched in Singapore in 2007, and was the first customization of SpongeBob into a live musical event. The script was written by Steven Banks, who had become the head writer for the series in Season 4, with songs by Eban Schletter. In 2009, the show toured the United Kingdom and Ireland with the name of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Sponge Who Could Fly!  This stop in Southampton was just one of the venues in a six month tour. Alison Pollard choreographed and directed the UK adaptation and said that the episode already had a few songs in it, which helped with the conversion to a musical. She said “The episode chosen for the show already had four or five really catchy tunes in it, and the idea that he wants to fly with jellyfish is nice for the stage as well.” The UK adaptation included twelve songs of various styles. 

A promotional trailer for the show

English actor Chris Coxon played the role of SpongeBob. Coxon was a fan of the series and said “If I’d been told a year ago that I would be playing SpongeBob today I would have loved it, although I’m not sure I would have believed it.” Coxon admitted it was difficult to adapt the show into a musical. He remarked “It is difficult because you are trying to recreate this character that is so fluid on screen.

12th May – FAME

Live on stage – for five days – FAME is a stage musical based on the 1980 musical film of the same name. It has been staged under two titles; The first, Fame – The Musical conceived and developed by David De Silva, is a musical with a book by José Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy. This was the fifth production of the musical at the Mayflower. The musical has had seven separate West End runs, a number of UK national and international tours and was nominated for three Laurence Olivier Awards. The UK productions included a long run at the Aldwych Theatre from 2002 to 2006.

The main theme from the show


On the stage – for two weeks – MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT – David Ian Productions, cancelled the tour of Spamalot “due to unforeseen circumstances” and this impacted the scheduled two week run at the Mayflower


live on stage – for six days – DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS – Bill Kenwright Productions step in again to save the day (at least to fill one of the two weeks left vacant by the cancellation of Spamalot) – this time by providing a genuine jukebox musical based on popular songs from the fifties and early sixties. The musical, featuring those songs of the rock ‘n’ roll era, is set around the years 1957 to 1963 and was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. It was first performed at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley, in February 2009, and made its first visit to Southampton as part of the UK tour. This run received rave critical reviews and widespread audience acclaim. It transferred to the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End where it was set for a limited run from July to September, however it outperformed expectations and found a new location at the Playhouse Theatre on 6 January 2010 where it ran until 4 August 2012. Before moving on to  Wyndham’s Theatre, where it ran until 19 January 2013.

Take a look at Dreamboats And Petticoats


The Mayflower Theatre closed today to enable the newly constructed stage loading docks and office facilities to be integrated with the theatre. When reopened on 25th August 2019 the stage left wing will be greatly enlarged and the dock will accommodate up to three articulated lorries at a time, whilst the office accommodation above will eliminate the need for the theatre to rent expensive office space nearby.

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