Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Rachel John. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Rachel John. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

West End Live Lounge: Woman, The Other Palace Studio | Review


West End Live Lounge: Woman
The Other Palace Studio
Reviewed on Sunday September 24th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

If you're a frequent reader of Rewrite This Story (which I hope you are) then you will know that I have been to the previous two West End Live Lounges and raved about them to no end, so it's no surprise that last night's concert completely blew me away too. As always this will probably be a pretty long review because I want to praise as many people as I can, so go grab your drink of choice and get ready to relive an amazing night, or cry because you missed it!

Each West End Live Lounge raises money, with all proceeds from ticket sales and collections going to a specific charity, in last night's case, Women's Aid which helps women who are in/have been in abusive relationships; a cause which i'm sure we all agree is super important. So not only do you have an amazing night hearing some of the best the theatre world has to offer but you get to support a fantastic cause!

Last night's incredible line up was made up of: George Ure, Marcus Ayton, Brady Isaacs Pearce, Marisha Wallace, Liisi LaFontaine, Rob Houchen, Natalie Green, Matthew Harvey, Paul Wilkins, Rachel John, Kelly Agbowu, Sabrina Aloueche, Jodie Steele, Carolyn Maitland, Laura TebbuttMadalena Alberto, Emma Lindars, Lauren Ingram and Sapphire Soul.

Our compere for the evening was the ridiculously hilarious Samuel J Holmes who delivered gag after gag and was his own stand up act between performers.

Sapphire Soul were flawless as usual when they opened with a medley of classic Bond songs- the ladies, as their name suggests are full of soul and are just powerhouse vocalists which they proved again in act 2 with Bang Bang. From then on the energy was high and the first act flew by with some dazzling performances. Lauren Ingram's version of Crazy in Love was slowed down and sexy; Marcus Ayton's I Who Have Nothing was heart-wrenchingly beautiful as was Matthew Harvey's, Gravity.



Brady Isaacs Pearce was stunning as always with her emotive and heartfelt rendition of Jessie J's Big White Room; her clear, smooth voice is just so stunning to listen to and as I always say, she needs to be in a West End show NOW! Natalie Green as usual was fantastic, with her performance of If I Ain't Got You giving me chills!

The final trio of act one could not have been better; Rob Houchen had the whole audience in the palm of his hand with his insanely brilliant performance of I'd Rather Go Blind. I knew he could sing but man he's good! Kelly Agbowu then owned the belter One Moment in Time before Rachel John sent the whole audience to church with her Take My Hand/You've Got a Friend mash up. Needless to say, by the interval everyone was truly on a music induced high.

Act 2 was equally as good, if not better with banger and banger being delivered flawlessly by each and every person. Emma Lindars delivered Rolling in the Deep perfectly, with some added audience harmonies. Rachel John again wowed with My Kind of Love followed by Carolyn Maitland exquisitely performing Sia's Chandelier which could only have been made better if Maddie Ziegler was there to perform her iconic dance routine.

This act featured two impeccable duets; firstly Sabrina Aloueche and Matt Harvey with Girl Just Wanna Have Fun and secondly Paul Wilkins and Rob Houchen with Field of Gold. Both of which featured perfect harmonies and left me breathless. Kelly Agbowu's Chains was perfect and Jodie Steele's scarily relevant cover of Dear Mr President was beautifully, sincerely and emotively performed.


Liisi LaFontaine and Marisha Wallace are the definition of powerhouses, their vocals, stage presence and overall auras are just impeccable. Marisha along with her own back up singers brought the audience to their feet with her faultless Whitney Houston medley as she sang her heart out to the gods and slayed the entire audience. Liisi slayed equally with her stunning performance of Uninvited but it was their closing number, Listen which absolutely blew the roof off of The Other Palace Studio. Now I've heard Listen several times when I've seen Dreamgirls but this performance was just mind blowing and proved why these ladies are getting all the hype and praise they are at the moment. Absolutely sensational!

So yes, this was an incredible concert. Shaun McCourt is a saint for putting so much time and energy into this impeccable concert for a wonderful cause and I hope the West End Live Lounges continue for a long time to come. If you want a night of hilarity, fun and vocal perfection then get yourself along to the next one and help out some wonderful charities!


Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter for details of future concerts: https://twitter.com/WElivelounge17

Vlog of West End Live Loungehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hClGUk1_Sxk

Previous West End Live Lounge reviews: http://www.rewritethisstory.com/search?q=West+End+Live+Lounge

Thursday, 12 April 2018

In Conversation With... Rachel Lumberg | The Band | Interview

Rachel Lumberg is an award winning actress who has been in a whole host of shows from The Full Monty to Romeo and Juliet. She's currently starring as Rachel in the UK tour of The Band. She sat down with me to discuss everything about the show! It's a fairly long but super interesting interview so grab a cuppa and settle down...



Have you always wanted to be a performer? Did you have any random childhood ambitions?

I did have random dreams- I wanted to be a nurse! You know so many of us had those dress up nurses outfits when we were little.


I also went into fashion at school when we took our options but it just didn't appeal to me. I'd always loved drama but didn't really know what area to be involved in. So I started the fashion course and it wasn't really working for me so I went to our head of year and said I'd like to do drama, and she let me change. So ever since then ( I would've been 14) I've been doing this.



It was actually the film-maker, John Hughes -who made the likes of Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club- who I was a huge fan of growing up- who got me very interested in film. Then when I changed to the drama option at school and we started going to the theatre a lot I discovered that this is my love.


Could you explain a little about The Band and how your character Rachel fits into it?
Rachel is the driving force in bringing the girls back together again. She is the protagonist of the story really. She opens the show with a memory.. She begins by telling the audience how she grew up with a boy band and then ‘Boom’ we’re immediately transported back to my bedroom, my younger self (played utterly superbly by Faye Christall) and the incredible tunes of a certain boy band of 1993. It’s a double denim feast for your eyes!! 

You then meet all of Rachel’s friends. Each as loyal to each other and to the band as the next one.. They get to see the boys ‘live in concert’ and then on the way home from the gig, tradgedy strikes which changes the girls’ lives dramatically.

Fast forward 25yrs and here we see Rachel again pretty much living the life she dreamt off... or is she? She hasn’t seen her school friends for over 25yrs.. yet she enters and wins a competition to go and see the boys live again on their reunion tour.. is this the time to maybe have a reunion of her own?? Well-you’ll have to come and see the show to find that out.. 

Tim Firth has written a beautiful story of friendship and the love and influences that come with that..add to that the stunning music of Take That and how could you not want to come and see it?  


What attracted you to show? Other than your name, are you and Rachel alike in any way?
I've known Tim [Firth] for a very long time, almost 10 years, as well as David [Pugh] and Dafydd [Rogers], this is my second show with all of them and they're absolutely wonderful.

Rachel and I are alike. Our producers David and Dafydd always said that she's called Rachel for a reason which is incredibly flattering. Rachel has comedy and is very caring and fiercely loyal. Simple things, the love of her family and friends and their happiness are of utmost importance to her.. so there are definitely similarities between her and myself. 

More so I think with lovely Faye [Christall] who plays 16 year old me; it's weird seeing someone play you! We spent a lot of time together watching each other and watching out for the little habits we all have to make sure it seems truthful that we're the same person.

My mum came to see the show on press night and she said "that is her, that's Rachel at that age"... It's quite frightening! So I think both Faye and I are quite similar to each other and to Rachel.


The show focusses on how music influences our lives. Which musicians have inspired you?
I'm a bit of an all-rounder really. I'm one of those people that if I like a song, I like it! I was a fan of Take That, I wasn't necessarily hardened but I was a fan of them. I'm a big fan of Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet- they were more my era 'cause I'm a little bit older than Rachel.

My huge influence growing up was more 60s because of my mum and dad. It was the likes of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Fats Domino all of that kind of music that my parents had on in the background.

On my wall were actors mainly, not musicians. There was James Dean, of course; it was mainly theatre and film actors that influenced my teenage years. Then when I got older, and absolutely when Take That reformed, I really, really enjoyed their music and I went to see them before I was ever involved in this!


Besides yourself, which actor in the production is going to blow people away?
You know I think most people that come, leave thinking "I was not expecting that" so it's the show that blows people away. A lot of people of course, are expecting the story of Take That but it isn't that, and that is absolutely not what they wanted. This show is a thank you to their fans for 25 years of loyalty. They were trying to find a way to do that, they always wanted Tim [Firth] to do it and they managed to.

The boys are phenomenal. There's always been the "oh they got them off a telly show", but they absolutely blow you away. The young girls are phenomenal, the older women, you know, everybody stands out in this. 

It would be unfair to say one person because it's very much an ensemble piece and we all bring something incredibly special to the table. Lets also not forget our crew who are unbelievable in how they put the show together and we have a live band who are so unbelievable. So it's absolutely a team effort! The work and skill and talent of each cast, crew member, band member and creative departments blows me away.. This is an ensemble piece of theatre. It wouldn’t work without each other.


What have people been saying as they leave the theatre?
What we've found is: "wow","wasn't expecting that", "you've relived my youth for me", "I've laughed, I've cried, I've danced, I've clapped", "I want to see it again". I've never really been in a show where we've had people see it more than once. We've got people on their 14th and 15th time, it's incredible how they come back.

As an actor you play to your crowd but it's also important that the audience listen and I've found that they really listen with this show. You can absolutely hear the listening. Some theatres are a little bit rowdier than others, especially on a Friday and Saturday but it's one of those shows that people are coming out of and booking more tickets straight away. So that's a huge compliment to us. 

Also, the majority of the audience are in their forties because they grew up with Take That but they're bringing their children and their partners and their mums and dads so it's lovely. The other day there was a lady in the grand circle in her seventies who came out of her seat and she had her arms in the air like everybody else and that's exactly what it's about! Older women have also contacted us to say that we're telling their story, we didn't expect that and the contact we've had from them has been incredible and very heartwarming.

I would love to watch our show (with me in) to see and realise truly the effect it has.


If you had a magic wand, which show would you do next?
It would be one that I've already done and left actually, one of Tim's other shows and hopefully timing will let me do it again and that's This Is My FamilyI do still have many roles i’d love to play that remain un-ticked on my bucket list. Some I am now too old to play and therefore will have to remain on the list, and some I’m (surprisingly) still too young to play.. so I live in hope!! 

My casting bracket and skill set allows for  character roles and I adore these. Complex characters that come with comedy and pathos that an audience member can relate wholeheartedly to... more characters similar to Rachel in The Band, I suppose. But above all, I just want to continue to work at the what I simply adore doing, and that is being out there, on stage, for you guys, 8 shows a week, for as long as I can and as long as audiences want to see me... I truly love my job!


If you could travel back to any era, when would you go to and why?
ohhhhh interesting! I would go back... to the 40s and 50s. Mainly for the beautiful costumes! And the incredible music! There's a tv series called A Place to Call Home that's set in the 50s, it's so beautifully designed and the costumes and cars are so fabulous. I'm just like "yes please, I would like that!"


Finally, what’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?
Always put money away for tax! Always take a percentage of your salary each week and put it into an account you can't touch and then you won't be hit with anything you're not prepared for!

I wholly believe that if your heart says you want to do it then do it. It's not an easy career, I mean, for me to be in this envious position of having a role written with me in mind to play it, has taken 28 years, so I can only say to anyone: stick at it and always follow your dreams. If you don’t follow them, someone else will!!  

Keep at it, you'll get there; there might be different routes you have to take but don't ever take it personally. When you get a no, just move on, it's rarely personal. It's very rarely to do with your own skill and talent, it's just that you're not right.

But if you have a dream, follow it, do your best and put money aside for tax!

A massive thank you to Rachel for taking the time to do this interview. The Band is country touring round the country, tour dates and ticket information can be found here.

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Matt Crockett



Sunday, 3 February 2019

West End Women, Cadogan Hall | Review


West End Women (Concert)
Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Saturday 2nd February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

After their Cadogan Hall debut, Lambert Jackson Productions are back with West End Women,  featuring three of the most prominent performers UK theatre has to offer: Rachel JohnLauren Samuels and  Celinde Schoenmaker. Taking us on a loose history of women in theatre and melting our faces off with vocal gymnastics, this was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening.

Despite the biting wind outside and the snow enveloping the country, Cadogan Hall felt warm and buzzy as it was taken over by powerhouse performance followed by powerhouse performance.  The trio opened with the upbeat 'I Got Rhythm', before some solo showcases of their voices. A simplistic and heartwarming rendition of 'Someone To Watch Over Me' brought stillness to the room thanks to Celinde SchoenmakerLauren Samuels kept us in the 20s with a beautiful rendition of 'Lady, be Good'; whilst Rachel John brought us a decade further forward with the sultry and smooth 'Summertime'.

The ladies were then joined by the MX Masterclass choir for 'Blow Gabriel Blow', followed by a Rodgers and Hammerstein medley of 'It Might As Well Be Spring', 'My Favourite Things' and 'If I Loved You'. The choir then gave a vivacious and humourous performance of 'America' which brought some real energy to the concert and gave us a glimpse into the future of the West End. 

Also giving us the inside scoop on 'Names To Remember' were the wonderful competition winners who performed throughout the concert. Three became six as act two opened with the merry murderesses in the 'Cell Block Tango', before Brady Isaacs Pearce gave a spine tingling performance of 'A Piece of Sky'. I've said before that Brady is one to watch out for and her continually more brilliant performances are just evidence of that. Watch out West End! Fourteen year old Talia Robens was equally as powerful with 'Everything I Know', which she performed with effortless grace.

West End Women presented music from 1930 all the way to 2017 and showed just how timeless the songs and stories are. Every performance was a faultless delight but some highlights among the highlights included Lauren's gloriously clear renditions of 'Maybe This Time' and 'Never Enough'; Celinde's 'Think of Me' and Rachel's 'I Never Knew His Name' (Bring Brooklyn to the West End now please). All three women gave vocal masterclasses as their technique and power provided the backbone to the entire night. Whilst each powerhouse brings something individual to the table, the trio also work gloriously together and their clear as glass voices ring out with pure sincerity and strength in the acoustically great space of Cadogan Hall. 

Alongside the fantastic musicians (expertly led by Adam Hoskins) this was a really great night which reminded me of why the music part of musical theatre is so special and moving. For a masterclass in technique, go see these ladies in their future endeavours.

photo credit: Mark Sykes

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Rachel John on Bringing Back Live Theatre | Songs For a New World | Interview

After the success of the online streamed version of Jason Robert Brown's Songs For a New World, Lambert Jackson have brought the musical back as one of the first live, in person performances in the West End. Theatrical powerhouse Rachel John will be starring in the show and is extremely excited to get back to performing...


You’re going to be starring in Songs For A New World, can you tell us a bit about how it all came about and your journey with the show so far?
I was approached by Lambert Jackson with the exciting idea of being a part of a virtual production of the show. It was unlike anything I had done before, so I was excited to see the way that this format would translate through the screen and into people’s homes. After the show was streamed, we received the exciting news that we would be performing at the Palladium. I felt so blessed.


2020 has been crazy to put it mildly, has all the theatrical innovation in a time when the arts can’t run normally made you love what you do even more?
The innovation that has occurred during lockdown has been very inspiring and has shown me the strength and creativity of our theatre industry. I have had a renewed sense of my love of story-telling and have been reminded how we refused to stop sharing our gifts.


What’s one thing you’ve taken away from lockdown?
There are many things that I have taken away from lockdown, but if I had to pick one it would be valuing family time. I have had more time to speak to my family abroad and here and it has been a blessing.


Going back to live performances must be super exciting, what are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to working with a company again and I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing the live audiences. I miss the tangible feeling of the audience. The electricity.


When theatres are fully running in the (hopefully) near future, what show would you like to see first?
I cannot pick what I would like to see first! I am just eager to get back to support my fellow performers and soak up the atmosphere.


What can audiences expect from Songs For a New World?
Audiences can expect to come on a journey with us through this incredible song cycle. Jason Robert Brown’s lyrics and melodies will touch their hearts.


How do you want people to feel after experiencing Songs For a New World?
I would like people to experience the joy of being back together, even if there is distance. I would like them to feel hopeful and optimistic.


Songs for a New World plays at the London Palladium 11th October 2020

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre | Review


Hamilton
Victoria Palace Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 21st December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

It's worth the hype.

Like many other musical theatre nerds, I jumped on the Hamilton bandwagon just over two years ago and haven't stepped off since. Swept up in the unique style of the show and the inclusivity of it, I fell in love and couldn't wait until I would finally see Lin Manuel Miranda's musical about the rise and fall of the USA's first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton.

During the past few months, while the show was being primped and preened for its arrival at the newly renovated Victoria Palace theatre, it has been receiving more press and excitement than Prince Harry's engagement! Even as a huge fan and supporter of the show, I was getting to the point where I thought there was no way it'd be worth it. Then I saw it...

Die-hard Hamilton fans are probably expecting everything to sound identical to Leslie Odom Jr.'s Burr, Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton or Philippa Soo's Eliza and we can't help but compare to what we're used to from the OBC recording but thanks to the power and brilliance of the London cast, all these comparisons fade away. The entire company pump in soul, heart and skill to the glorious narrative created by Miranda, musical supervisor Alex Lacamoire and director, Thomas Kail.



Giles Terera is charismatic and sharp as Aaron Burr, bouncing brilliantly off of the suave, likeable Jamael Westman as the titular, Alexander Hamilton. The two are perfect as the historical frenemies as Burr begins to resent Hamilton for rising in the ranks of office. Giles has some of the most iconic moments of the show with some truly show-stopping vocal sections, especially in the epic 'Wait For It' and jazzy, 'The Room Where It Happens'. Jamael tackles the huge role with skill and ease, showing his brash side in big rap numbers, as well as his more emotional, Shakespearean side towards the end in his final monologue and the heart-wrenching 'It's Quiet Uptown'.

Whilst these two talented men lead the cast, there is not a weak link anywhere. Powerhouse Rachel John is sassy and strong as the heartbroken Angelica; Rachelle Ann Go manages to be innocent but powerful at the same time in her performance of Eliza who falls for, is betrayed by and eventually forgives the man she loves. Christine Allado as "and Peggy" is particularly humourous as she bounds on stage with a childlike quality in the opening and is contrastingly seductive as Maria Reynolds in act 2 when she belts out 'Say No To This' with ease and drama.

West End newbie, Tarinn Callender is suave as Hercules Mulligan and full of dry humour as James Madison. Jason Pennycooke is frantic, hilarious and all round brilliant as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. His fast paced, faultless rap is perfectly balanced with his acting and smooth movement around the stage and he's certainly a stand out. Obioma Ugoala wows with his vocals as he belts 'One Last Time' and as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton, Cleve September is strong whilst maintaining his childlike quality. Michael Jibson as King George steals every scene he's in. When I say he's hilarious, I mean laugh out loud, unforgettable moments hilarious. Every movement is perfectly thought out and he milks each line with precision.



The ensemble are sharp and outstanding, with In The Heights alumni, Courtney-Mae Briggs capturing my attention throughout. The precise choreography is one of the ultimate parts of the show, it's sharp as sharp can be and mirrors the action to perfection. Like the music, each aspect of on stage drama is reflected by style. Hip-hop, operetta, lullaby's and more embelish the spirit of the moment.

I could continue to rave about this show but I fear that could turn into a full dissertation so here's where I'll end. Hamilton is truly groundbreaking, it challenges the status-quo, brings a freshness to  the West End and breaks conformity by casting people of colour and challenging racial tensions. The show embodies representation in every way and is a spectacle to behold.

Hamilton lives up to the hype and is unforgettable. It's cool, unique and diverse as it subverts the typical language of storytelling. Find a way to get a ticket and see this show!

photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Friday, 11 June 2021

West End Musical Celebration, Palace Theatre | Review



West End Musical Celebration (Concert) 
Palace Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday10th June 2021 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

As two pioneers in making theatre accessible, diverse and welcoming, Shanay Holmes and Chris Steward have continually pushed through all of the setbacks of the last year to provide high quality, delightful entertainment. Most recently through their West End Musical Drive In’s and now through their West End Debut which was a full, flamboyant and fabulous celebration of, and return to theatre.


As hostess with the mostess, Shanay took us through the night with grace and passion. Like all the performers, it was really evident just how much theatre and the theatrical community means to her and the love throughout the auditorium was frenetic.


Joining Shanay were some of the West End's best: Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Ben Forster, Rachel John, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Layton Williams. It's unfair to pick favourite moments when every performance was a complete treat and the song selection was outstanding. From Defying Gravity, to a bluesy version of Don't Rain on My Parade and a sweetly sentimental rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow there was something for absolutely everyone. If that wasn't enough, the pre-show/interval playlist was also a stagey delight. 


As well as this, the night featured a fantastic band, wonderful backing singers and excellently sleek dancers. Several standing ovations and plenty of chair dancing highlighted that the audience were completely on the performers side and were just as much a part of the show as those on stage, albeit with considerably vocal ability. Overall the whole evening felt like a high quality, well-oiled, musical theatre sensation.


Alongside the mile a minute song selection, the night also included the sparkling wardrobe of dreams. The sheer glitz, glam and spectacle of the whole night's proceedings felt so special to be a part of. 


The night closed with a series of high octane numbers, including Don't Stop Believing, How Will I Know and One Night Only, which had everyone on their feet and proved that we really can have a good time, even under covid restrictions. 


As the final chorus of The Greatest Showman’s From Now On rang out “and we will come back home”, I was reminded that the theatre really is home and if last night's concert is what it's like then never want to leave.



West End Musical Celebration runs at the Palace Theatre until Sunday 13th June 2021


Photos by Bonnie Britain

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Full Cast and Creative Team Announced for Billy Elliot the Musical


Curve has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming Made at Curve production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

The first new UK production is directed by Nikolai Foster (A Chorus Line, Sunset Boulevard – At Home, West Side Story) and will run at the Leicester theatre for six weeks only from Thursday 7 July to Sunday 14 August. Press night will take place on Thursday 14 July.

The titular role of Billy Elliot, the miner’s son with a passion for ballet, will be performed by Leo Hollingsworth from Nottinghamshire, Alfie Napolitano from Northamptonshire, Samuel Newby from Hertfordshire and Jaden Shentall-Lee, whose family live in Leicestershire.

Billy’s dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson will be played by West End and Broadway legend Sally Ann Triplett, whose iconic roles include Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Young Phyllis in Follies (Shaftesbury Theatre), as well as Martha in the recent Made at Curve UK tour of White Christmas.

Michael, Billy’s best friend will be performed by Bobby Donald, Lucas Haywood, Ethan Shimwell and Leicester’s Prem Masani, who will make his stage debut in the production.

All hailing from the East Midlands, Pearl Ball, Caitlin Cole, Lola Johnstone and Ellie Copping – who returns to Curve’s stage having previously appeared as Susan Waverly in the 2018 Made at Curve production of White Christmas - will share the role of Debbie, Mrs. Wilkinson’s daughter.

Joe Caffrey, who previously performed in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, will join the cast as Billy’s Dad Jackie, while Broadway and West End sensation Rachel Izen will play Billy’s Grandma Edna. Luke Baker (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the Made at Curve UK tour of Grease) will play Billy’s older brother Tony and Jessica Daley (recently seen in Made at Curve productions of White Christmas and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber) will play Billy’s Mum.

The adult company will be completed by Craig Armstrong as George, Minal Patel as Big Davey, Cameron Johnson as Mr. Braithwaite, Micky Cochrane as Scab, Robin Paley Yorke as Lesley, Christopher Wright as Mr. Wilkinson, Michael Lin as Pit Supervisor, Jonathan Dryden Taylor as Posh Dad, William Atkinson as Older Billy and ensemble, and Steph Asamoah, Tori McDougall, Anna Rossa and Louie Wood as members of the ensemble.

The young company of ballet dancers and boxers, most of which are Midlands-based or have local family connections, will feature Willow Adamson, Maddie Seren Ashley, Oliver Back, Aneeka Kaur Bains, Ella-Rose Blackburn Price, Harvey Clarridge, Lily Corkill, Miley Dalton, Matisse Didier, Isabelle Francis, Ethan Galeotti, Rahul Gandabhai, Isla Granville, Uzziah Gray, Orlaith Rae Hunt, Ava Rose Johnson, Ava Mia Komisarczuk, Kyrelle Lammy, Lienna-Jean Langdon, Tahlia Maddox, Lorcan Murphy, Nesisa Mhindu, Sophia Pirie, Hayden Polanco, Gopal Thacker and Mirabelle Varakantam.

The Made at Curve production of Billy Elliot the Musical will by choreographed by Lucy Hind, with Musical Supervisor and Musical Director George Dyer. The set will be designed by Michael Taylor with costumes designed by Edd Lindley. Also joining the creative team are Lighting Designer and Curve Associate Ben Cracknell, Sound Designer Adam Fisher, Props Supervisor Lizzie Frankl, RYTDS Resident Assistant Director Lilac Yosiphon, Birkbeck Trainee Director Thyrza Abrahams, Associate Choreographer James Berkery, Dialect Coach Elspeth Morrison, Fight Director Kev McCurdy and Head Chaperone Helen ‘H’ Mclaren-Frost.

Children’s casting is managed by Jo Hawes, with adult casting led by Curve Associate Kay Magson CDG.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We are beyond excited to share our extraordinary cast for Lee Hall and Elton John’s astonishing musical Billy Elliot, ensuring this summer in Leicester is truly memorable.
“Billy Elliot is a musical filled with incredible characters, epic ideas and at its heart, the story of a young boy who has the passion and courage to dance down a different path from the one prescribed for him. We are thrilled to be working with our four Billys - Alfie, Leo, Jaden and Sam - and the entire young company - all hugely talented, brimming with energy and representing the very best young talent in the UK today.
“And leading the entire company, theatre legend Sally Ann Triplett takes on the role of the inspirational teacher we all need in our lives, Mrs. Wilkinson. Joining Sally, we are proud to welcome a first-class company to Curve, totally 55 performers! This is by far the most ambitious show we have staged at Curve and there is no better time to present this musical which recognises the value of culture in our society, the importance of expressing your truest self and gives a voice to the courageous working-class communities who are depicted in Lee Hall’s astonishing play. All beautifully framed by Elton John’s electrifying score.”

Based on Stephen Daldry’s BAFTA-winning 2000 film starring Jamie Bell and Julie WaltersBilly Elliot the Musical features music from Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. The musical first premiered at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and went on to win a host of international awards, including four Olivier Awards and ten Tony Awards.

Tickets for Billy Elliot the Musical at Curve be purchased on Curve’s website www.curveonline.co.uk, over the phone by calling 0116 242 3595 or in-person at Curve’s Box Office.

photo credit: Marc Brenner