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Preview: Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy at Middlesbrough Theatre

Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy
Middlesbrough Theatre
Thursday 4th  – Saturday 6th June 2015

In its 60thanniversary year, the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough is on tour to Middlesbrough Theatre from 4 to 6 June with Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy.

Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy
Photos by James Drawneek
A cross-dressed Victorian romp gives way to a modern take on Gilbert and Sullivan inspired political satire in this outrageous comedy musical about deception, international relations, and chickens.

First seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 2014, Sir Arthur Sullivan’s one-act comic opera has been reinvented with a sequel by Chris Monks and Richard Atkinson and is being revived for the company’s diamond celebrations.

Cox & Box, 1866: Cox is an apprentice hatter who works by day and Box is a printer who works by night. The two unknowingly share the same rented room, hoodwinked by their thrifty landlady, Mrs Bouncer.

Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy, 2016: A recently elected government has repatriated all migrant workers. Twin sisters Urszula and Krystyna are secretly sharing a room – the very same one – in a rundown B&B where their landlord is a member of the UZIP party. 

Wrapped up with a heart-warming happy ending, you won’t be able to stop yourself singing “Fetch a Pan” or “Yorkshire is So Beautiful”.

Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy
Photos by James Drawneek
Director Chris Monks said: “I’ve always admired Cox and Box, it’s the wellspring of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical style and has some terrific tunes. Burnand’s book and lyrics, based on Maddison Morton’s original farce, are crafted to perfection. The problem is it’s only an hour long, so I hit on the idea of a sequel, visiting Bouncer’s boarding house to see who would be living there 150 years later. I’m chuffed to bits that we can take the show on its own Tour de Yorkshire and introduce new audiences to the work of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.”

Composer and Musical Supervisor Richard Atkinson said: “We’ll be bringing all the comic elements, sparkling melodies and farcical qualities associated with the original into our companion piece yet in keeping with modern musical theatre.”

The Stephen Joseph Theatre welcomes Darren Southworth, as seen in the original West Endcast of Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Emilia Williams from the West End and national tour of Dirty Dancing, who will join original company member Lara Stubbs.

Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy
Photos by James Drawneek
Darren Southworth, whose other theatre credits include the Lip Service tour of Desperate to be Doris and A Taste of Honey at the New Vic, will play Mrs Bouncer and landlord Bob Narks. Emilia Williams, recently seen as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice at Islington’s Rosemary Branch Theatre, plays the male printer, Box, and in the second act, Polish sister, Krystyna. Lara Stubbs, a regular with Barbershopera, marks a third production with the SJT having also appeared in its new writing play, Screenplay, last summer. She reprises her role as the hatter, Cox, and Krystyna’s twin, Urszula. Scarborough musician Mark Gordon returns to the SJTfollowing the Christmas play, Aladdin, to take on the role of Musical Director.

“Monks has a fine understanding of Sullivan’s proto-Pythonesque humour. And the sequel nails its satirical targets brilliantly” ★★★★  - The Guardian

“The witty lyrics are set to catchy tunes” ★★★★ - What’s On Stage

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough presents
Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy
Adapted, with a sequel, by Chris Monks and Richard Atkinson
Director: Chris Monks
Cast: Darren Southworth, Lara Stubbs, Emilia Williams
Designer: Tim Meacock
Musical Director: Mark Gordon
Lighting Designer: Tigger Johnson
Sound and Video Designer: Paul Stear
Choreographers: Kraig Thornber and Beverley Norris-Edmunds
Photos by James Drawneek

Cox & Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacycan be seen at Middlesbrough Theatre on Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 June at 7.30pm each evening and with a matinee a 2.30pm on Friday 5 June. Tickets, priced at £13, £11 for concessions and £7.50 for the matinee, are available from the box office on 01642 815181 and online at

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