Noel Coward Theatre
St Martins Lane
London, WC2N 4AU
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Opened: 29 Oct 2016
Booking from: 16 Jan 2017
Booking until: 02 Sep 2017
Duration: 2 hour 45 minutes (including an interval)

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  • braintree 155cm female 25 reviews 4 helpful votes
    80% total rating Half a Sixpence, 10th November 2016
    I went in to Half a Sixpence not knowing much except that Tommy Steele had been in the original 1963 production (it was one of the last British productions to go to Broadway before the 1970s-1980s dominance of Andrew Lloyd Webber) and my boyfriend had sung the title song at me. As stories go it is a rags to riches tale about the value of money, class and love. Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps is fantastic; charming, handsome but with a naivety about women and status. When he finds he’s been left a fortune he gets close to Helen Walsingham (Emma Williams), a teacher who had showed him kindness when he was a draper’s assistant in the local haberdashery. He still has feelings for his childhood sweetheart, Ann (Devon-Elise Johnson), who works as a parlour maid. I really enjoyed the scenes with Kipps’ work mates and there is fantastic support from the social climbing Mrs Walsingham (Vivien Parry) and her dodgy son James (Gerard Carey). It is a very old fashioned story and an old fashioned musical; huge choreographed numbers and tune after tune after tune with revisions of the old production with new songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who collaborate with Half a Sixpence adaptator Julian Fellowes on upcoming The Wind and The Willows at The London Palladium. What struck me after seeing shows like The Lion King and School of Rock recently was the lack of diversity and refusal (with the exception of the projections) for many modern elements. It feels like it has been staged at it would have been in the 1960s. As a result, the audience for this seems quite limited, it is fun show but it seems aimed at a certain generation and it feels very different to many of London’s current musicals and you can feel every inch of what an epic production this must have been in the 1960s but now feels a bit dated. Its strength is not the music but the story and the performances. Alongside Stemp (this feels like a breakout role) there is strong support from Ian Bartholomew as Kipps’ playwright friend Chitterlow and whose musical theatre experience, along with Emma Williams’, really shines through. It feels very lush and you will come out feeling delighted you went but my main recommendation would be as a seasonal show to take grandparents and parents rather than a group of young friends.
    Sat in Stalls Q18
    Really good view, close but not stretching and it is a very comfortable seat.
    Q18 Stalls - Noel Coward Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls Q18
  • joc78 5"4 female 120 reviews 2 helpful votes
    100% total rating Half a Sixpence, 28th December 2016
    Without doubt one of the best musicals I have seen in a long time and they certainly don't make them like this anymore! Charlie Stemp is an absolute must-see in this production - I genuinely don't know where he gets his energy from. He thoroughly deserved the numerous standing ovations he received. It's a great family show, full of wonderful songs and choreography. I'm very tempted to see it again!!
    You are very restricted in this seat due to the curve of the theatre so lots of the stage is blocked out . There is a big rail in front of you so you have to lean forward for the whole production. The price of the ticket therefore reflects this as it is quite a cheap seat
    Slips7 Grand Circle - Noel Coward Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Grand Circle Slips7
  • gracemetheringham 5"2 6 reviews 0 helpful votes
    100% total rating Half a Sixpence, 6th January 2017
    A brilliant new addition to the West End. A classic piece has been made to feel contemporary without betraying its roots. This show is definitely one of the best things playing right now, and with its further extension until the end of the summer, there is no excuse to miss it!
    Sat in Stalls P19
    Had absolutely no problems with this seat - a brilliant view, comfortable seating and what felt like perfect placing just off the centre of the stalls to gain a full overview of the stage but being close enough to see each actor clearly. GILT reductions made this seat excellent value!
    P19 Stalls - Noel Coward Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls P19
  • mandyandrewsnuth 5"1 female 1 review 0 helpful votes
    100% total rating Half a Sixpence, 27th December 2016
    A feel good, toe tapping show with catchy new songs added to an older show. The storyline has altered slightly from original show. All main actors were incredible- all sing, all dancing stars. They even stopped to say hello to fans outside the stage door and pose for photos. Can thoroughly recommend this show.
    We were sat in 1&2 in the Box A and a small part of the right hand side of the stage was difficult to see as there was a speaker there. The other 2 seats in the box were free so we moved over and had a fabulous view.
    Box A2 Stalls - Noel Coward Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls Box A2
The Stalls are by far the best section if you want to be absorbed in this fantastic new musical, however beware of the very front Rows AA-B as you may be craning your neck and not be able to see the back of the stage that well. The best seats are in rows F-M and this is often reflected in the price, with Rows P and backwards being overhung by the circle.

The upper levels of the theatre can all offer better value for money alternatives, however the Balcony can feel quite distant and seats to the ends of rows can give quite a side on view.
Noel Coward Theatre, London interactive seating plan & seat reviews
Half a Sixpence transferred to London’s West End following a hugely successful revival at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The show began performances on 29th October 2016, having had its official opening on 17th November 2016 and will run until 2nd September 2017.

Half a Sixpence is the classic musical version of H.G. Wells’ novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul which is a veiled autobiography of his unhappy apprentice at a Drapery Emporium.

This new show is a completely new adaptation written by Julian Fellowes. Fellowes is a much loved actor and writer, best known for being the creator and screenwriter of the hugely popular ITV period drama Downton Abbey and the 2001 film Gosford Park. Fellowes has seen countless stage successes, working on shows such as School of Rock – The Musical, The Wind in The Willows and Mary Poppins.

The musical follows the tale of Arthur Kipps, a poor orphan who has a hard life as draper’s assistant in the early 1900s. Although ordinary, he is a charming young man, who dreams of a nice and more fulfilling world.

When he surprisingly becomes heir to a fortune, he is propelled into the upper class society and everything he knew about life becomes unstable, as he wrestles with his identity and relationships.

This new stage version is created by an acclaimed creative team, including reuniting bookwriter Julian Fellows with Anthony Drewe and George Styles, the musical team that were first put together by co-creator and producer Cameron Mackintosh when creating their acclaimed stage adaptation of Mary Poppins. A vibrant new score has been created by the team, featuring several of the most loved original songs.

The show first opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre to great acclaim, with its entire original cast having transferred for the West End production at the Noel Coward Theatre. Charlie Stemp takes the lead role as Arthur Kipps, with Devon-Elise Johnson as Ann Pornick, Ian Batholomew as Chitterlow and Emma Williams as Helen Walsingham.

Half a Sixpence began performances at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End on 29th October 2016, with an official opening on 17th November 2016 and is currently set to run until 2nd September 2017.
Suitable For
Half a Sixpence is a beautiful revival of a classic musical, brought up to date by one of theatre’s greatest creative teams. If you loved previous classic musical revivals such as Show Boat at the New London Theatre you should definitely check this out. With Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows behind it, you can expect the very highest quality.