Half a Sixpence Cast

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Beverley Cross

Co-Author of Original Musical

Born into a theatrical family, Beverley Cross started by writing plays for children in the 1950s but then achieved instant success with his first adult play One More River, starring Michael Caine and directed by Laurence Olivier. His second play, Strip the Willow, was to make his future wife Dame Maggie Smith a star. Cross then went on to write Half a Sixpence (1963) with David Heneker, based on the  H G Wells novel Kipps, which propelled Tommy Steele to international stardom. David and Beverley also collaborated on the West End musical Jorrocks. Cross’s translation of Mark Camoletti’s play Boeing-Boeing opened in the West End in 1962, where it ran successfully for seven years. The play was revived in the West End in 2007 with an all-star cast, directed by Matthew Warchus, moving to Broadway the following year where it was nominated for six Tony awards. Cross’s other work includes a stage adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel and plays Happy Birthday,The Three Cavaliers and The Crickets Sing. Later, he became well known for his screenplays, the most famous of which being Jason and the Argonauts, Genghis Khan, The Long Ships, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and Clash of the Titans which was remade in 2012; he was also to adapt Half a Sixpence for the screen.  Amongst his other credits he wrote the librettos for the modern operas The Mines of Sulphur and Victory and The Six Wives of Henry VIII for television. Beverley also wrote two novels.