Homepage H1The 2015 Musical: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown



In 2015 the musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown opened at the London's Playhouse Theatre. The play is based on Almodovar's Oscar-nominated 1988 black comedy.
This was the official website for the London show.
Content is from the site's 2015 archived pages as well as other outside sources.

 



Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - The Musical - Official Trailer
Trailer for the musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown starring Tamsin Greig, playing at the Playhouse Theatre in 2015.

 

PARLIAMENT WEEK

Women on the Verge: A Discussion

Visibility of Women in Theatre, Film, and Television.

Ahead of the West End musical premiere of Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, this event will engage a high profile panel of leaders in theatre, film, and television who also happen to be women. Chaired by Geoff Colman and featuring theatre and television star Haydn Gwynne and Rosemary Squire OBE, plus others to be announced.

So to book, please call 0844 871 7631
And quote Parliament1
Institute of Contemporary Arts on Thursday 20 November at 7pm.

Parliament Week (14-20 November) is a programme of events and activities that connects people with parliamentary democracy in the UK. Over 300 external partners from across the country host events and online activities designed to spark thought and discussion about politics and democracy, and to look at how Parliament affects people's lives. This year Parliament Week is launching Do Democracy, a campaign to find out the issues that young people really care about and to share them with Parliament. For more information visit www.parliamentweek.org or follow @parliament_week on twitter.


LISTEN TO ‘INVISIBLE’

Performed by Haydn Gwynne, the new song just released from the sound track to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Starring Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Green Wing, Jumpy, God of Carnage), the smart new musical comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown also stars Haydn Gwynne (The Audience, Billy Elliot), Jérôme Pradon (Les Miserables, Pacific Overtures), and Anna Skellern (BBC’s The Interceptor, Lip Service). Powered by a live band onstage, music by David Yazbek and a laugh-out-loud book by Jeffrey Lane (writers of the current West End hit musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), the colour and chaos of Pepa’s Madrid will light up London this winter.

On the streets of Madrid, a city pulsing with art, industry, and passion, Pepa’s world is unravelling. Her lover leaves her. And then she meets his wife. And his son. And his new girlfriend. Meanwhile, Pepa’s best friend is tangled up in her own romantic crisis with a suspected criminal, leaving Pepa with only the taxi driver to help navigate the Gran Vía ahead.

Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I), this hilarious and heartfelt musical based on Pedro Almodóvar’s award-winning trailblazing film celebrates women centre stage at the Playhouse from December.

 


About the Show

Starring Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Green Wing, Jumpy, God of Carnage), this smart new musical comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown also stars Haydn Gwynne (The AudienceBilly Elliot), Jérôme Pradon (Les MiserablesPacific Overtures), and Anna Skellern (BBC’s The InterceptorLip Service). Powered by a live band on stage, music by David Yazbek and a laugh-out-loud book by Jeffrey Lane (writers of the current West End hit musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), the colour and chaos of Pepa’s Madrid will light up London this winter.

On the streets of Madrid, a city pulsing with art, industry, and passion, Pepa’s world is unravelling. Her lover leaves her. And then she meets his wife. And his son. And his new girlfriend. Meanwhile, Pepa’s best friend is tangled up in her own romantic crisis with a suspected criminal, leaving Pepa with only the taxi driver to help navigate the Gran Vía ahead.

Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I), this hilarious and heartfelt musical based on Pedro Almodóvar’s award-winning trailblazing film celebrates women centre stage at the Playhouse Theatre now. Book your taxi now.


Hailed as ‘the West End’s boldest and most talked about new musical’ (The Guardian) this smart new musical comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, has opened to critical acclaim from the London Critics.

Starring Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Green Wing, Jumpy, God of Carnage), Haydn Gwynne (The Audience, Billy Elliot), Jérôme Pradon (Les Miserables, Pacific OverturesAnna Skellern (BBC’s The Interceptor) and Willemijn Verkaik (Wicked). Powered by a live band onstage, music by David Yazbek and a laugh-out-loud book by Jeffrey Lane (writers of the West End hit musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), the colour and chaos of Pepa’s Madrid will light up London this winter.

On the streets of Madrid, a city pulsing with art, industry, and passion, Pepa’s world is unravelling. Her lover leaves her. And then she meets his wife. And his son. And his new girlfriend. Meanwhile, Pepa’s best friend is tangled up in her own romantic crisis with a suspected criminal, leaving Pepa with only the taxi driver to help navigate the Gran Vía ahead.

Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I), this hilarious and heartfelt musical based on Pedro Almodóvar’s award-winning trailblazing film celebrates women centre stage at the Playhouse Theatre now. Last chance to see these unmissable performance's, final performance 23 May. Book your taxi now.

 



MADRID (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown The Musical) West End

 



 

Dear Pepa
ARE YOU ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? 

Dear Pepa

I fear that I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and you are my last hope. I have been living with my boyfriend for the last 5 year. A couple of days ago, he told me that he wanted to ask me a very important question – one that would change both our lives.  Obviously I thought he was about to propose and I spent the next two days in a state of excitement (I also couldn't resist telling all my friends)! Imagine my shock last night when, after closing my eyes  as instructed, I opened them to find him attired in a full monk's robe. Naturally, I thought perhaps he had some monk fantasy he wanted to act out. If only! It turned out that the he wanted my blessing to take holy orders! Talk about a bolt out of the blue! Now, not only do I not have a boyfriend anymore, but I've booked a big bridal shower for myself at a fancy hotel and invited everyone I've ever known. I'm so embarrassed and upset - I may have to run away. What should I do?

Shocked and Irreligious, Sherburn-in-Elmet


  


  

Dear Shocked and Irreligious

This is indeed a shocking tale. I can see why you might be embarrassed and upset. However, do not despair. Many men go through a monk phase. It's quite easily dealt with. Sew some unpleasant prickly material on the inside of his new robes (distract him with a new bible whilst you're doing it and then he won't notice). As he gets crosser and more itchy, he's bound to think twice about his decision. It works every time!

I would, however, suggest postponing the party for now, as the above might take a while. Why don't you take your friends to see 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' as an interim treat. It has all kinds of good tips for ladies and you’ll be sure to identify with it. They also have some decent group rates so – in this case - size won't matter!

Love, Pepa

  


  

Dear Pepa

I'm truly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I seem to have spent my life dieting and exercising, and to no avail. Despite trying every diet in the book, I'm still quite large and, annoyingly, my friend, who eats like a horse and does no exercise whatsoever, is like a stick insect plus she's quite smug and self-satisfied about her shape. It's just not fair. Do you think I should try diet pills? My thin friend has offered to buy me some.

Constantly Starving, Crawley

  


  

Dear Constantly Starving in Crawley

Never mind all that tedious dieting – I think the bigger (sorry) issue here is that thin friend of yours. She sounds like an absolute horror. I had a thin friend like that once and one day, as we walked over a drain, she simply fell through it and disappeared, never to be seen again. This is one of the many dangers of being too thin.  If I were you, I would tell your thin friend this cautionary tale, give up dieting completely and go and see 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'. I lost two stone just watching it, as it's so fast and frenetic – well worth it, plus you can have an ice cream in the interval! Let me know how you get on.

Love, Pepa

  


  

Dear Pepa

I hope you can help me or I may have a nervous breakdown. I've recently taken in a new lodger. She is a music student and gives guitar lessons in the evenings. At first I thought nothing of this, enjoying the idea of some nice music in the background. However, I've recently noticed that all her pupils seem to be quite dodgy looking young men and their lessons seem to last for hours at a time. I also haven't heard anyone playing a guitar in a while. She seems like a nice quiet girl and she's very helpful around the house. She also seems to be quite well off for a student. Should I be worried?

Wool Over Eyes, St Ives

  


  

Dear Wool Over Eyes in St Ives

Oh dear. I'm afraid you should be worried. This young woman is well known to me and countless others. (Does she still wear little guitar shaped earrings?) She looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth but unfortunately, butter notwithstanding, she is running some kind of illegal operation from your house – I'm sure I don't need to spell it out. Thankfully, I can help. I'll send one of my policeman friends round, disguised as a guitar strumming, slightly druggy looking youth, and she's sure to reveal her true colours! You'd better be out of the house whilst this is going down, so I'm sending you some tickets to 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' – a truly inspirational story and musical. A word of warning though - it might put you off gazpacho. If you want to find out why, go and see it.

Love, Pepa

 



QUOTES & REVIEWS

"It’s no wonder that Almodóvar has given this exhilarating version his blessing"
The Independent

"A stylish hoot. Brilliant. Magnifico!"
Daily Mail

"Almodóvar’s edgy women will lift you up and melt your heart"
The Times

"A joyous evening: an affectionate, poignant and defiant tribute to female resilience"
Financial Times

"An absolute joy of an evening, built on heartbreak, jealousy and tongue-in-cheek verve"
Daily Telegraph

"Funny and tender. This show sends you out of the theatre feeling repaired"
The Times

"Gloriously camp yet seriously heartfelt celebration of female powers of survival"
The Independent

"Retains the heart, spirit and guts that makes Almodóvar so brilliant. We loved it"
Digital Spy

"Tamsin Greig is magnificent"
The Stage



 

LATEST NEWS

FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED

Seline Hizli completes the cast for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown joining the previously announced Tamsin Greig, Haydn Gwynne, Jérôme Pradon, Anna Skellern, Ricardo Afonso, Haydn Oakley and Willemijn Verkaik.


 

The press trip to Madrid

Take a sneak peek at the press trip to Madrid

 


 

Just released 'Madrid'

Listen to the just released ‘Madrid’ from David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane’s score

 


 

Guardian 'Tamsin Greig webchat – as it happened'

The actor, currently appearing in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in the West End, was here to answer your questions. Find out how she learned to sing, what happened when Bill Bailey got trapped inside a piano and why Mark Heap is a nigh…

 


 

Pedro Almodóvar says musical version of Women on the Verge is ‘wonderful’


 

Olivier Award Nominations

The Olivier Award nominations are out, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown are pleased to announce that Tamsin Greig has been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical & Haydn Gwynne has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress …

 


 

Haydn Gwynne joins Just a Drop Mums Army as Celebrity Ambassador

West End actress, Haydn Gwynne, has joined international water aid charity Just a Drop’s Mums Army ahead of the campaign launch this Mother’s Day. Currently starring in hit musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous B…

 



 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Playhouse Theatre, review

4/5 stars By Dominic Cavendish 12 Jan 2015 | www.telegraph.co.uk/

An absolute joy of an evening, built paradoxically on the despair, rejection, heart-break and jealousy that comes with love betrayed, says Dominic Cavendish

Women on the Verge Review

Tamsin Greig and the cast of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at the Playhouse Theatre Photo: Alastair Muir

A musical comedy based on a cult Pedro Almodóvar film about a bunch of women going doolally over a cheating middle-aged cad? A show which, moreover, flopped on Broadway and is now trying to woo cash-strapped British audiences in mid-winter? To be honest, almost all of me thought that the producers must have taken leave of their senses in trying to bring Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the less frequented side of the Embankment.

I don’t know why I fretted. This is an absolute joy of an evening, built paradoxically on the unhinging despair that almost all of us experience in facing rejection, heart-break and the jealousy that comes with love betrayed. Is it a treat for the ladies? Probably more so than the blokily scripted Made in Dagenham, and yet it’s more palatable, in its tongue-in-cheek verve, for men too. I’d also add that thanks to a smart book by Jeffrey Lane and taut direction from Bartlett Sher, the gag-count is much higher than in the 1988 film.

Here, from the start, there’s movement, fluidity, unpredictable vitality. The mad has been put into Madrid in an opening dream sequence that sets the sleekly designed, brightly coloured scene, complete with hand-clapping, foot-stamping, guitar-strumming and a black female matador in pink socks. You swiftly get to know, and gradually get to love, the main characters.

Making an impressive musical debut, Tamsin Greig plays the leading role of the suddenly dumped TV actress Pepa. Angular, gawky, klutzy, she has us hooked on every astonished and distressed look, every charming smile and legible emotion, oscillating between resignation and rage – and when she sings, as she does often, the power of her voice drags you into the vortex of her predicament about the faithless Ivan (Jerome Pradon).

Hadyn Gwynne is little short of hilarious as the latter’s tall, long abandoned wife – a growling Gorgon in retro clothing who yet finally moves you with her lament for lost years and vanished allure. There’s fantastic work too from Anna Skellern as Candela, a model who has fallen disastrously for an Islamic terrorist (topical, but not tastelessly so and not a dominant theme). Only Hadyn Oakley and Seline Hizli, playing Ivan’s son and demanding fiancée are poor substitutes for their celluloid originals (Antonio Banderas and the strikingly featured Rossy de Palma).

David Yazbek’s warm, Latin American-flavoured music and lyrics sometimes incline to the generic, the words a paella of yesterday’s left-over sentiments but the way it’s all served up, you don’t especially notice. And it never proves like the Valium-saturated gazpacho that provides a pivotal chemical plot-twist to the farce-like action. Instead, no, against the odds, this is a real Madrid tonic.

 

 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown — review

Sarah Hemming JANUARY 13, 2015 | https://www.ft.com/

Tamsin Greig stars in a joyous musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s film

At one point in the swirling mayhem of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, a character catches sight of what she thinks is a mirror but is in fact a Picasso portrait. “My God, I look dreadful!” she exclaims. It’s a throwaway gag (and very funny in context), but it’s perhaps also symbolic. With its primary-coloured set, farcical plot, hectic pace and illogical structure, this stage musical of Pedro Almodóvar’s much-loved 1988 film aims to use splintered style and self-conscious theatricality to get at the fact that life, as experienced, often doesn’t make sense. It’s a second shot for the creative team, who mounted an ill-fated Broadway version in 2010. And it seems apt for a show all about tenacity that this slimmed-down version comes nearer its mark and features stellar performances from Tamsin Greig and Haydn Gwynne.

With a plot as twisted and tangled as an old-fashioned phone cord, writer Jeffrey Lane and director Bartlett Sher wisely go for simplicity and theatrical resourcefulness: a couple of chairs stand in as a taxi. This and David Yazbek’s cheeky, Spanish-flavoured live music keep the pace moving and contribute to the dizzy, disorientating sense of life falling away that accompanies the heroine, Pepa, as she lurches round Madrid in pursuit of her errant lover, bumping into his ex-wife and a host of other casualties of love.

The staging deliberately reminds us of the artifice of theatre, pointing up classic farce tactics, announcing scene changes with Brechtian placards, including a nod to Hamlet (the rosemary in the drugged gazpacho) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the revealing sleep induced by said gazpacho). Shakespeare, after all, was a master at creating dreamlike stage worlds to reflect the complex truth of inner turmoil.

Most important, it thrusts the onus on to the cast to draw out the bruised feelings behind the fizzing disarray. Greig brings her touching tragicomic expertise to Pepa and a rich, rough emotional truth to her musical solos. Gwynne is superb as the ex-wife and her painful song about the invisibility of middle-aged women gets to the heart of the show.

It’s still a little stiff and uneasy: the madcap pace feels particularly forced at the outset. In fact the team could go further in surrendering the style to the surreal logic of the plot: we are accustomed to mashed-up classics. But this becomes a joyous evening: an affectionate, poignant and defiant tribute to female resilience.

 

 

 

WomenOnTheVergeMusical.com