Sauciness and scandal amid the risque world of wartime nightclubs

Matthew Bugg, creator of Miss Nightingale - the musical
Matthew Bugg, creator of Miss Nightingale - the musical

Miss Nightingale, a bitter-sweet musical, set in the risqué world of London nightclubs during the Second World War, visits Buxton 
Opera House for the first time as part of the last ever UK tour.

Show creator Matthew Bugg talks about the continued appeal of this acclaimed and much loved song-filled drama:


Q. What’s Miss Nightingale - the musical about?

A. The show is set in London in 1942, right in the middle of WW2, and it tells the story of Maggie, a feisty northern singer and her songwriter, George, a Jewish refugee. They are searching for their big break but no one wants their act, that is until seriously posh club owner Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe takes on Maggie and transforms her into the saucy, sassy ‘Miss Nightingale’. Her outrageous costumes, saucy cabaret songs and racy love life create a scandalous new West End star. But out of the spotlight there’s a threat far more dangerously explosive than The Blitz. I don’t want to give too much away because what starts out as a typical rags-to-riches story becomes something much more intriguing.
Q. So the piece is a totally Britsh musical?

A. Absolutely. It’s really important to me to make original work. There are tons of revivals or ‘jukebox musicals’, many of which are great shows, but there is precious little that is genuinely new.  Audiences deserve the chance to enjoy something different.
Q. Why should people come and see Miss Nightingale – the musical?

A. Miss Nightingale combines the best of music theatre with the best of well-written drama. Lovers of musicals have plenty to enjoy in the show – cracking show tunes, hilarious comedy and heart-breaking ballads – but there’s also a complex story with loads of unexpected twists and surprises that will keep everyone interested. What’s so lovely is the different response we get from people who’ve been to see the show – some people love the comedy, others enjoy the love story.
Q. This is the fifth time you’ve toured Miss Nightingale – themusical. Has the piece changed at all since the first production?

A. It’s been completely reworked since we opened the first production back in 2011! In fact we’ve kept developing the show to make it better and better. And this tour we’ve got an amazing cast with some of the best and most talented actor-musicians in the country – they act, dance, sing and play all the instruments live on stage it’s so impressive.
Q. Why should anyone buy tickets to see Miss Nightingale - the musical?

A. The show will make you laugh and cry and have you cheering for more. But this will be our farewell UK tour because we’re keen to start work on our next show, so it’s your last chance to see it.

l Miss Nightingale is at Buxton Opera House from February 17 to 20.

February, Tickets £23 to £25. Call the Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit

www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk