Half A Sixpence

Arthur Kipps is an orphan who unexpectedly inherits a fortune, and climbs the social ladder before losing everything and realizing that you just can't buy happiness. Based on H.G. Wells's novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul.
Half A Sixpence at Noël Coward Theatre

Image: Noël Coward Theatre


Genre: Musical
Venue: Noël Coward Theatre
Started: Saturday 29 October 2016
Closed: Saturday 2 September 2017
Running time:2 hrs 45 mins
Age suitability: Not available


Following rave reviews and a record-breaking run in Chichester, Cameron Mackintosh's critically acclaimed hit musical Half A Sixpence transfers to the Noël Coward Theatre in London's West End from 29 October.

This new stage version of Half A Sixpence is a completely fresh adaptation which reunites book-writer Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey) with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical team that co-creator Cameron Mackintosh first put together to create the hit stage adaptation of Mary Poppins with Disney.

Half A Sixpence is the iconic British musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s disguised autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul, based on the author’s unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at Hyde’s Drapery Emporium in Southsea.

This new stage version of the novel is a completely fresh adaptation by Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of Downton Abbey.


Arthur Kipps, an orphan, is an over-worked draper’s assistant at Shalford’s Bazaar, Folkestone, at the turn of the last century.

He is a charming but ordinary young man who, along with his fellow apprentices, dreams of a better and more fulfilling world, but he likes his fun just like any other, except not quite.

When Kipps unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society, it confuses everything he thought he knew about life.

Watching him wrestle with his new identity is his childhood companion and not-quite girlfriend, Ann Pornick, who sees with dismay how Arthur is being made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham.

She is always there with helpful hints on how Arthur could improve himself and make his life richer and more meaningful, if only he would believe in himself, and listen to her.

Both of these young women love Arthur - there is no doubt about that - but which should he listen to?

With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.

The score is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker's exhilarating songs from the original production, including 'Flash Bang Wallop', 'Money To Burn' and 'Half A Sixpence'.


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Box office tel: 0844 482 5141

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Previews from:Saturday 29 October 2016

Closes:Saturday 2 September 2017

Performance days & times


Monday ‑ 7‑30pm

Tuesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Wednesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Thursday ‑ 7‑30pm

Friday ‑ 7‑30pm

Saturday ‑ 7‑30pm



Wednesday - 2-30pm

Saturday - 2-30pm




Monday to Thursday performances:

£74.75, £49.75, £27.25, £14.75

Friday and Saturday performances:

£79.75, £49.75, £27.25, £14.75

Premium tickets: £127.25, £99.75


(Actor - character)

Charlie Stemp - Arthur Kipps

Ian Bartholomew - Chitterlow

Devon-Elise Johnson - Ann Pornick

Emma Williams - Helen Walsingham

Vivien Parry - Mrs Walsingham

Jane How - Lady Punnet

Gerard Carey - James Walsingham / Photographer

David Birch - Swing

Kimberly Blake - Mrs Bindo-Botting

David Burrows - Uncle Bert

Nick Butcher - Head Waiter / Assistant Dance Captain

John Conroy - Shalford / Foster

Matthew Dale - Hayes

Jaye Juliette Elster - Mrs Wace / Dance Captain

Tim Hodges - Mr Wace

Alex Hope - Sid Pornick

Bethany Huckle - Flo

Samantha Hull - Swing

Rebecca Jayne Davies - Mary

Ross Lee Fowkes - Swing

Jennifer Louise Jones - Miss Ross

Philip Marriott - Policeman

Harry Morrison - Carshot / Maxwell

Sam O'Rourke - Buggins

Callum Train - Pierce

Lauren Varnham - Mildred

Annie Wensak - Aunt Susan / Lady Dacre


Author: Adapted by Julian Fellowes with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, based on H.G. Wells's novel
Composer: Original songs David Heneker, New Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Lyricist: Original songs David Heneker, New Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Director: Rachel Kavanaugh
Designer: Paul Brown
Choreography: Andrew Wright
Lighting: Paule Constable
Sound: Mick Potter
Video designer: Luke Halls

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