Did London Critics Like Revised Big Fish Musical Starring Kelsey Grammer? | Playbill

The Verdict Did London Critics Like Revised Big Fish Musical Starring Kelsey Grammer? A revised version of the Andrew Lippa-John August musical premieres in London with a more human approach than its Broadway predecessor.
Matt Seadon-Young and Kelsey Grammer in <i>Big Fish</i>
Matt Seadon-Young and Kelsey Grammer in Big Fish

Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer, known for his roles on Cheers and Frasier, as well as his recent Broadway starring roles in Finding Neverland and La Cage aux Folles, makes his London stage debut in a revised version of the 2013 Broadway musical Big Fish.


Based on the 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace and the subsequent 2003 film by screenwriter John August, the stage production features music and lyrics by Grammy and Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, I Am Harvey Milk) with a book by Grammy and BAFTA Award nominee August.

Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in Big Fish
Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in Big Fish Paul Kolnik

Nigel Harman, who directs the London premiere, worked with August and Lippa to make the London production more “intimate and humble” than its Broadway predecessor, which was met with mixed reviews from New York critics. “Our approach has been humanity, not special effects,” Harman told the Daily Mail.


Big Fish opened at the Other Palace Theatre November 10 after beginning previews November 1. It will continue through December 31.

Grammer plays Edward Bloom, an ordinary man and an extraordinary father. Norbert Leo Butz created the role of Edward Bloom in the Susan Stroman-directed Broadway production, which played a four month run fall 2013.

Read reviews for Big Fish in London here:

The Evening Standard (Henry Hitchings)

The Financial Times (Sarah Hemming)

The Guardian (Michael Billington)

The Stage (Tim Bano)

The Times of London (Tristram Kenton)

Click here for more information about the London run.

The cast also features Matt Seadon-Young (Will Bloom), Frances McNamee (Josephine Bloom), Forbes Masson (Amos/Don), Jamie Muscato (Edward), Laura Baldwin (Sandra), Landi Oshinowo (Witch/Jenny Hill), Dean Nolan (Karl), George Ure (Zaki), Sophie Linder-Lee, Gemma McMeel, and Jonathan Stewart.

The creative team includes musical supervisor, arranger, and additional orchestrator Alan Williams, set and costume designer Tom Rogers, choreographer Liam Steel, lighting designer Bruno Poet, sound designers Luke Swaffield and Avgustos Psillas for Autograph, video designer Duncan McClean, musical director Alan Berry, associate director Ed Stamboulian, and production manager Richard Bullimore.

Take a look at the Broadway original below:

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