Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. Tell Me On A Sunday charts the course of a young English girl newly arrived in New York. Brimming with optimism, she sets out to seek success, companionship and, of course, love. But as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties, frustrations and heartaches she begins to wonder whether - in fact - she's been looking for love in all the wrong places.
The musical 'song-cycle' was filmed for television, starring Marti Webb, as a 45-minute program and was broadcast on BBC 1 on Tuesday 12 February 1980 which proved popular, and was repeated the following month on Sunday 9 March 1980. The program was directed by Herbert Chappell, with designs by Nigel Curzon.
A couple of months after the original West End stage production closed, the musical, as a double-bill with Variations, was filmed at the Palace Theatre, with the 100-minute program broadcast on BBC One TV on Monday 27 August 1984. The cast for Tell Me On A Sunday featured Sarah Brightman. The cast for Variations featured Wayne Sleep, with Andy Norman, Angela Robinson, Cherida Langford, Claud-Paul Henry, Jane Darling, Lizie Saunderson, Paul Tomkinson, and Stewart Avon Arnold. The television program was directed by Tom Gutteridge, with choreography by Anthony van Laast, and designs by David Hersey.
A 60-minute live sound recording of the original star Marti Webb performing the show at at London's St James Theatre in January 2014, was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 20 April 2014.
1982: Original West End London Production at the Palace Theatre
Previewed 26 March 1982, Opened 7 April 1982, Closed 31 March 1984 at the Palace Theatre
Presented as Song and Dance double-bill.
The original cast for Tell Me On A Sunday featured Marti Webb as 'the girl'.
The original cast for Variations featured Wayne Sleep as the 'featured dancer', along with Andrea Durant, Andy Norman, Claude-Paul Henry, Jane Darling, Linda Gibbs, Linda-Mae Brewer, Paul Tomkinson, and Sandy Strallen.
The role of 'the girl' was played by Marti Webb from Friday 26 March 1982 to Saturday 14 August 1982; Gemma Craven from 16 August 1982 to Saturday 11 September 1982; Marti Webb returned Monday 13 September 1982 to Saturday 26 February 1983; Gemma Craven from Monday 28 February 1983 to Saturday 2 July 1983; Lulu from Monday 4 July 1983 to Saturday 3 September 1983 (see note below); Carol Neilson from Monday 5 September to Saturday 29 October 1983; and Liz Robertson from Monday 31 October 1983 to Saturday 31 March 1984.
Unfortunately, from early September 1983, Lulu was out of the show due to vocal problems with throat nodules. Although it had been hoped that she would be able to return to the show, she never did, with her understudy Carol Neilson performing the role in Lulu's absence.
The role of 'featured dancer' was played by Wayne Sleep from Friday 26 March 1982 to Saturday 25 September 1982; Stephen Jefferies from Monday 27 September 1982 to Saturday 26 March 1983; John Meeham from Monday 28 March 1983 to Saturday 11 June 1983; Wayne Sleep from Monday 13 June 1983 to Saturday 16 July 1983; Graham Fletcher from Monday 18 July 1983 to Saturday 11 February 1984; John Meeham from Monday 13 February 1984 to Saturday 25 February 1984; and Wayne Sleep from Monday 27 February 1984 to Saturday 31 March 1984.
Directed by John Caird, with choreography by Anthony van Laaat, sets by David Hersey, costumes by Robin Don, and sound by Andrew Bruce and Julian Beech.
1990: 1st West End London Revival at the Shaftesbury Theatre
Previewed 5 April 1990, Opened 30 April 1990, Closed 1 September 1990 at the Shaftesbury Theatre
Presented as Song and Dance double-bill.
The cast for Tell Me On A Sunday featured Marti Webb as 'the girl'.
The cast for Variations featured Wayne Sleep as the 'featured dancer', along with Amanda Courtney Davis, Cheryl Liss, Christopher Hall Manley, Christopher Tudor, Kim Rosato, Lizie Saunderson, Neil Johnson, and Paul Tomkinson.
Directed and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast, with sets by Roger Glossop, costumes by David Blight, lighting by John B Read, and sound by Greg Pink.
This was a touring production that started with a four-month season in London's West End prior to starting the regional tour.
2003: 2nd West End London Revival at the Gielgud Theatre
Previewed 4 April 2003, Opened 15 April 2003, Closed 14 February 2004 at the Gielgud Theatre
A major revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black's classic 'one-woman' musical Tell Me On A Sunday in London
This brand new production features many of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black's most famous and poignant songs, including the title song, 'Take That Look Off Your Face' and 'Unexpected Song'. But now Tell Me On A Sunday has been expanded to a whole evening's entertainment and also features five brand new songs written especially for this production with additional contributions by Jackie Clune.
The original cast featured Denise Van Outen as 'the girl'.
The role of 'the girl' was played by Denise Van Outen from Friday 4 April 2003 to Saturday 23 August 2003; there where no performances from Monday 25 August 2003 to Saturday 30 August 2003; Julie-Alanah Brighten from Monday 1 September 2003 to Saturday 20 September 2003; Denise Van Outen from Monday 22 September 2003 to Saturday 10 January 2004, with Julie-Alanah Brighten at afternoon matinees; and Marti Webb from Tuesday 13 January 2004 to Saturday 14 February 2004, with Julie-Alanah Brighten at Thursday afternoon matinees.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, with designs by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Mick Potter.
"Denise Van Outen first traded her breakfast TV couch for the bright lights of live theatre two years ago when she played the minxish murderess Roxie Hart in the smash-hit musical Chicago. Now she has returned with a gruelling one-woman show set in another US city, New York... The 'plot' offers little by way of surprise and to a modern audience used to Carrie Bradshaw's sassy one-liners, Don Black's lyrics are Sex In The City-lite. But you can't help admiring Van Outen's guts. She gives it her all, belting her way through an immense score for a solo performer. If she feels as lonely on stage as the woman she portrays, she never lets it show... At just 70 minutes, it's short by West End standards but you get a hell of a lot of Denise for your dollar - and Van Outen's many fans will not be disappointed." The Daily Express
"A clutch of trite new songs has been bolted on, presumably to make the romantic struggles of an Essex girl in New York mean something to the Sex and the City generation. Far from injecting new life, however, this clunky material merely makes the heroine seem schizophrenic: a self-doubting ladette with a bizarre weakness for torch-song self-expression... And while·the piece cries out for a mature actress who can sing, Van Outen is a singer who cannot really act... watching her go through the motions is a bit like watching a plucky child struggling round an assault course. You cheer her on - but its not a comfortable experience." The Sunday Times
"Andrew Lloyd Webber's song-cycle, Tell Me On A Sunday, was originally written for Marti Webb and told the story of a single girl from North London. Sensibly, his reworking 20 years on for Denise Van Outen, Britain's bubbliest Basildon blonde, has relocated to Ilford... When Van Outen belts out the bigger numbers, you'd guess she had been cloned and manufactured in America... Her voice hasn't the texture of a really great singer, a Streisand or a Bassey, but it's bold and brassy, and she hits all the right notes, high ones, low ones, teary, cheery, weary ones... Still, what makes this show a winner - and Denise shine - is that her character is a likeable, very ordinary girl, probably quite like Denise herself... Van Outen's vitality fills the stage and she plumps up Lloyd Webber's slim line material for 80 minutes simply by being herself. And if that kind of girl is enough for you, this is your kind of show." The Mail on Sunday
Tell Me On A Sunday in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 4 April 2003, opened on 15 April 2003, and closed on 14 February 2004
2014: 3rd West End London Revival at the Duchess Theatre
Previewed 7 January 2014, Opened 8 January 2014, Closed 12 January 2014 at the St James Theatre (now Other Palace Theatre)
Transferred 18 February 2014, Closed 8 March 2014 at the Duchess Theatre
A major revival of the original version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black's classic song-cycle Tell Me On A Sunday in London starring Marti Webb
Following an eight performance run at the St James' Theatre in January 2014, this production transfers to the Duchess Theatre in London's West End for a strictly limited season. Marti Webb performs the original version for which she received huge critical acclaim when she originated the role in the early 1980s.
The cast at London's St James Theatre and the West End's Duchess Theatre fetured Marti Webb as 'the girl'.
Musical supervision by Simon Lee, lighting by Josepha Capes, and sound by Andrew Josephs.
This production was recorded live at the St James Theatre, with the 60-minute program broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 20 April 2014.
"How satisfying - and moving - to see an old pro wander on stage and whack her trademark song for six. That is precisely how Marti Webb starts and ends her hour-long stint at the St James Theatre, in a production soon to move to the Duchess Theatre... Miss Webb, although she does not quite look it, is now 69, so any idea that she is truly a 20-something girl is for the birds. But she has such stage presence and a voice so clear that it does not matter... The melodies are early Lloyd Webber, innocently romantic, richly harmonised. And they still suit her limpid, untrained voice well. As Lloyd Webber once told her: 'You sing in my key.' she replied: 'You write in mine'... The Lloyd Webber score and Black lyrics are well matched. Although the staging is nothing much more than a concert set, a few back-wall slides show American cityscapes - with a park in spring green for the sondheim-esque title song." The Daily Mail
"Reprising her role as the girl who ventures to New York to find love, Marti Webb shows that she's still got it, 30 years on. The one-woman musical includes the full set list from the original Andrew Lloyd Webber production, with Webb receiving rapturous applause for her performances throughout. She has the audience in fits of laughter, while Simon Lee and his seven-piece band provide the musical dramatics for her highs and lows. Not to be missed." The Sunday Mirror
Tell Me On A Sunday in London at the Duchess Theatre opened on 18 February 2014, and closed on 8 March 2014.