The festival returns to Henham Park in Suffolk.
Promising an exhilarating, side-splitting musical adventure, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical? is set to tour across the UK from the end of this month until the year is out.
Starting life as an Irish radio show at the beginning of the ’90s, Agnes Brown has grown into a national phenomenon, recently voted the No.1 sitcom of the 21st century after having been picked up by the BBC.
From the creative mind of Brendan O’Carroll, Mrs Brown has been enjoyed by fans on stage and screen for two decades, having toured various live shows across the country since the turn of the century.
Now the cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys are preparing for a musical rendition, although as O’Carroll explains to Ticketmaster over the phone, it’s not looking to dethrone any West End classics.
Designed with unadulterated enjoyment in mind, and delivering escapism at its best, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical? looks to bring together the nation’s favourite characters with upbeat laughs and a handful of raucous songs.
Find out more from Brendan O’Carroll below, but first watch Agnes Brown meet Danny Dyer, courtesy of the BBC. Be warned, there’s adult humour from the start.
Tell us a little bit about what the new show is all about?
Well those who have seen the Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie will know that Mrs Brown fought the developers who were trying to close down her market street and she fought the developers and went to court and won the court case, so the developers were pushed out and the market was saved. However, in the new show, what’s happened is there’s a legal bill of £175,000 and the traders don’t have the money to pay for it. So Mrs Brown is now looking for some way to make this happen and so she comes up with the idea of, why don’t we put on a musical?
Where did the idea come from to do a musical version of the show?
Well the idea of doing the show as a musical came from a couple of angles. First of all, we’ve delivered five Mrs Brown’s stage shows before and out of the five of them, four of them have had songs in them and they’re very popular… so we thought maybe we should do a version with more songs in it. But I don’t want to do a musical: we’re not recreating Les Mis or anything here! Forget that! It’s going to be a Mrs Brown’s show with songs in it and it’s the only platform really that Agnes hasn’t had success yet. She’s had success as a novelist, as a radio show, as a TV show, so we thought: why not let’s see how she gets on with the music?!
How are the preparations going in the lead up to the show?
Well, everybody in nervous, I will say that. Opening night is going to be the greatest fun you’ve ever seen in your life because backstage there’s going to be 20 terrified people. I mean, opening nights are bad enough any way, but to be doing opening night where we also all have to SING?! Well, there’ll be a queue for the bathroom, that’s for sure.
And presumably fans of the TV show can expect to see all their favourites – just doing things a bit differently?
Oh absolutely! It’s the same cast and the same characters and they’re going to be singing some amazing songs… there’s one song called A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen, which I’m sure will go down very well; although it doesn’t go down too well with Agnes. And luckily enough everybody in the cast already sings, and our celebration at the end of any show, or at the end of a recording of any of our episodes, has always been to have a few drinks and singsong. So, thank god, everybody is used to singing. It’s just the difference here is that we’re doing it in a full production – and that’s actually quite a buzz.
But you know the important thing to get across that this isn’t Les Mis, it’s not Cats – it is still a Mrs Brown’s Boys show, it’s just that it’s got songs; and although the songs will be relevant to the story and work within the context of the scene or whatever, at it’s heart this is still a Mrs Brown’s Boys show…
Outside of those post-show celebrations and the songs in previous shows, have you done much singing on stage yourself?
Actually, when I used to do stand-up I used to always finish with a song called How Can I Say I Love You When You’re Sitting On My Face, so singing on stage isn’t new for me, but it is a different vehicle here: there’s sparkly lights and there’s flames, oh my god! – it’s not just singing, so that’s nerve-wracking.
What is it about the character of Agnes that just keeps you coming back for more and wanting you to keep doing something different with her?
Well there’s a couple of things I really love about Agnes. She’s at that age where she really doesn’t care what she says, so that’s always fun to play; she’s an awful bitch! But she also absolutely adores her family. And that’s her redeeming quality, you kind of go: if I was this woman’s son, she would defend me to the absolute death.
What do you think makes Mrs Browns Boys D’Musical so successful?
I think there’s something quite comforting about Mrs Brown’s Boys and the only promise we’ve ever made when we’re doing a live stage show or an arena show is that you can come along and sit in the dark for two hours and we’ll make you laugh. That’s the only thing.
And right now, particularly the way things are in the world right now, people just want something to laugh at. They don’t want to have to think – just let me laugh. And that’s what we try and do.
Catch Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical? on the following dates:
29-31 March 2019 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
5-7 April 2019 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
12-14 April 2019 – Manchester Arena, Manchester
19-21 April 2019 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
14-16 June 2019 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
21-23 June 2019 – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham
28-30 June 2019 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
5-7 July 2019 – The O2 Arena, London
22-24 November 2019 – The SSE Arena, Belfast
29 November-1 December 2019 – Echo Arena, Liverpool
6-8 December 2019 – FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Remaining tickets for Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical? are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.