A Night With Janis Joplin star promises 'wildly different' show unlike anything in the West End

Mary Bridget Davies (Piers Allardyce)
Mary Bridget Davies (Piers Allardyce)

The star of A Night With Janis Joplin has promised the production will be “wildly different” from anything UK audiences have seen in the West End before.

The Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit, which celebrates Janis Joplin and her musical influences, will debut at London’s Peacock Theatre this summer, featuring Mary Bridget Davies as the legendary singer.

Starting August 20 and running through September 28, audiences will be treated to Joplin's classics such as Piece of My Heart, Cry Baby, Me and Bobby McGee, and many more.

Davies, who earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Joplin, said that the production will offer an “immersive experience” for all.

“What's so good about it is, it feels really good,” she told The Standard. “We're having an authentically wonderful time between the band, myself and the girls, and I'm your emcee for the night, so there's nothing but fourth wall breaks.

Davies pictured centre, with producer Tony Smith (L) and Janis Joplin’s younger brother, Michael Joplin (Piers Allardyce)
Davies pictured centre, with producer Tony Smith (L) and Janis Joplin’s younger brother, Michael Joplin (Piers Allardyce)

“I'm talking to the crowd. We want your interaction. We want you to be singing along. We want you clapping. We want you getting out of the aisles and dancing at the end of Act One, it's an immersive experience for everyone.

“Just to forget about all the awful things that are going on outside for a couple hour, feel good and have a good time.”

The singer, 45, added: “The people who will come to the show are going to get everything they want, because it's not just a Janis Joplin impersonation show. That's not what I do.

“We incorporate a lot of Janis' music and many of her musical influences - like Odetta and Bessie Smith and Nina Simone - and just we have this one woman called the 'Blues Singer' as the muse, just to encapsulate the Big Mama Thornton and everybody.

“So you're getting to see how Janis as a child listened to that, Porgy and Bess and stuff, and how she then moulded it and transmuted it into the psychedelic rock version.”

On Monday night, Davies was joined by Janis Joplin’s younger brother Michael Joplin, show producer Tony Szmith as well as Mica Paris and actor Gerand McCarthy at the show’s London launch.

The cast includes Davies and Sharon Sexton in the title role of Janis Joplin, alongside Kalisha Amaris, Georgia Bradshaw, Choolwe Laina Muntanga and Danielle Steers as The Joplinaires.

A Night With Janis Joplin began in 2011 and was an immediate success, touring for the next 2 years before opening on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in 2013 to rave reviews.