It’s A Wonderful Life for Gerard McCarthy at Bridge House Theatre SE20

Gerard McCarthy in It's A Wonderful Life

The Fall’s Gerard McCarthy has been cast as the central role of George Bailey in the UK premiere of a stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s 1946 film classic It’s A Wonderful Life.

Bailey was originally played by James Stewart who holds the ninth position on the American Film Institute’s list of the 50 greatest screen heroes of all time. Many critics cite it as one the best Christmas movies ever.

It’s A Wonderful Life, performed as a live radio play in front of a studio audience at South London’s newest fringe theatre, the Bridge House Theatre SE20.

It is directed by the venue’s artistic director, Guy Retallack.

Belfast born Gerard McCarthy, seen as Kevin McSwain in BBCTV’s police drama, The Fall, made his Shakespearean debut in 2010 as Fenton in The Merry Wives Of Windsor at Shakespeare’s Globe.

He recently filmed the new BBC comedy Puppy Love, written by and starring Joanna Scanlan & Vicki Pepperdine.

The rest of the cast features Sophie Scott, Kenneth Jay, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Daniel Hill and Danny Colligan.

It’s A Wonderful Life, by Tony Palermo, is a loving tribute to the golden era of radio and also captures the eternal comedy of Frank Capra’s iconic Hollywood feature film.

It’s the story of a dreamer, the idealistic George Bailey from a small American town, Bedford Falls, just after the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Standing alone on a bridge on Christmas Eve, George has decided, with all his dreams of escape and adventure quashed by his love of family and civic duty, that everyone would be better off without him… or would they?

It falls to a guardian angel, Clarence, to try and save him, showing him what the world could have been like without him and how after all, it has been a wonderful life.

It’s A Wonderful Life runs alongside the family panto show The Uglies Take Penge, featuring David Kent and Jonathan Barnes as Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters.

It’s a Wonderful Life, runs at Bridge House Theatre SE20, Bridge House, High Street, Penge, London, from December 9-January 4.

The Uglies Take Penge plays from December 12-21.

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