Full cast announced for Bring on the Bollywood

Bring On The Bollywood

Bring On The Bollywood

Full casting has been announced for the brand new Bollywood dance-theatre extravaganza, Bring On The Bollywood. With a dynamic cast of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars, the comedic musical of East meets West is set to bring the explosive colour, vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage.

Bring On The Bollywood is a love letter to traditional Bollywood, innovated for musical theatre aficionados and contemporary Bollywood lovers alike. Reflected in its casting, the fiery heroine Dr. Katrina Pawar will be played by newcomer Nisha Aaliya. Selected from hundreds of auditionees, Nisha Aaliya was discovered in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Samir Bhamra, director of Bring On The Bollywood, says of Nisha’s casting: “Andrew Lloyd Webber has rightly slammed the lack of diversity in musical theatre but, for me, the lack of opportunities for young British Asian performers goes much deeper. I discovered our perfect heroine, Nisha, by chance when she attended our auditions as a choreographic assistant. By urging her to audition herself, we have unearthed an exceptional acting talent for Bring On The Bollywood. However, like the majority of young South Asian performers, her only outlets for professional showcasing have been the Bollywood dance competitions. Without clearly defined pathways, formal training, and a diversity of roles, such talents can surely only rely on the chance few musicals that focus on Asian culture for a route into the West End.”

Joining Nisha is Avita Jay (Kangna), whose many theatre credits include: Spare (New Diorama Theatre), Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World (Southwark Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre), Rapunzel (Park Theatre) and Silent Sisters (Hawth Theatre).

Anthony Sahota will play the part of Katrina’s mischievous, betrothed brother, Lucky. Having recently starred as a finalist on Gary Barlow’s Let It Shine (BBC One), Anthony makes his professional acting debut alongside Robby Khela (Ronny).

 Robby Khela’s work in music has seen him support pop acts such as Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour. He re-joins Phizzical Productions for Bring On The Bollywood, having previously appeared in their previous national tour of What You Fancy (2007), a Bollywood adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night.

FULL CAST

Nisha Aaliya – KATRINA

Yanick Ghanty – AMIT

Anthony Sahota – LUCKY PAWAR

Avita Jay – KANGNA

Robby Khela – RONNY (and Lyrics)

Rohit Gokani – COLONEL SUNDER PAWAR

Sophie Kandola – REKHA

Sakuntala Ramanee – LALITA PAWAR

Subhash Viman – SHAHRUKH (and Choreography)

Jo Bispham – ENSEMBLE

Mithun Gill – ENSEMBLE

Raheem Mir – ENSEMBLE

Emiko Ishii – ENSEMBLE

Kesha Raithatha – ENSEMBLE

Having lived in London for 14 years, Dr. Katrina Pawar is summoned to her ancestral home, the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa, for her younger brother’s wedding. Sensing an opportunity to finally make a match for their last unmarried child during the festivities, Katrina’s parents search for a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter. As the good-looking Bollywood film director Amit arrives at Lakshman Villa, along with his newly eligible British personal assistant Ronny, Katrina must navigate the true course of love between East and West.

 

The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands to compose original music for Life of Galileo

Life of Galileo

Life of Galileo

The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands reunites with director Joe Wright to compose original music for Life of Galileo at the Young Vic
Run extended through to Saturday July 1 2017  

BAFTA winner Joe Wright’s production of Brecht’s masterwork Life of Galileo will be accompanied by an original score composed by Tom Rowlands, founding member of the English electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers. Joe and Tom first collaborated on the 2011 feature film, Hanna.Quote from Tom Rowlands:
When Joe approached me with the idea I was excited at the thought of doing something totally new. I was also happy to rekindle my creative collaboration with Joe as he always makes something inspiring and stimulating.”

Galileo uses the newly invented telescope to make ground-breaking discoveries about the planets that set him on a collision course with authority. In challenging the idea that the earth is the centre of the universe, he is challenging the all-powerful Roman Catholic Church. Brecht’s timeless play about the conflict between science and dogma is more topical today than ever before.

Performed in-the-round, Life of Galileo will transform Young Vic’s Main House with design by Lizzie Clachan and projections by 59 Productions. The full cast is: Ayesha Antoine, Jason Barnett, Brendan Cowell, Billy Howle, Paul Hunter, Joshua James, Bettrys Jones, Alex Murdoch, Brian Pettifer, Anjana Vasan and Sarah Wright.Extra performances have been added to Life of Galileo with the run extending through to Saturday July 1.

Tom Rowlands is perhaps best known as one half of The Chemical Brothers, an electronic music duo formed with Ed Simons in 1992 and described by NME as “one of the most important groups in dance history”. Some of their biggest hit singles include: Hey Boy Hey Girl, Galvanize, Setting Sun, Go and Block Rockin’ Beats. To date, they have released eight studio albums, won four Grammy Awards, had six UK Number One albums and sold-out some of the world’s largest arenas. In addition to writing the soundtrack to Hanna, which won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music Score in 2011, The Chemical Brothers’ work is also featured on Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

Bertolt Brecht was born in 1889 in Augsburg, Germany. He grew to maturity as a playwright in the twenties and early thirties and wrote such plays as Man Equals Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. He left Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933, eventually reaching the United States in 1941, where he remained until 1947. During this period of exile, he wrote Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and Her Children and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Shortly after his return to Europe in 1947, he founded the Berliner Ensemble and produced his own plays there until his death in 1956.

Brendan Cowell’s theatre credits include: Yerma (Young Vic); The Wild Duck (Barbican, UK tour, Vienna and Amsterdam tour); Once in Royal David’s City, Miss Julie (Belvoir, Sydney); The Dark Room (nominated for Best Actor at the Sydney Theatre Awards, Company B); True West, Dissident, Goes Without Saying (Sydney Theatre Company) and MEN (Old Fitzroy). His film credits include Last Cab to Darwin, Broke, Beneath Hill 60 (nominated for Best Actor in a Feature Film, Australian Film Institute Awards); Noise (winner of Best Actor in a Feature Film, Film Critics’ Circle Awards). His television credits include: Brock, The Let Down, The Outlaw Michael Howe (also written and directed); The Borgias (Series 3) and Love My Way (nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, ASTRA Awards, Most Popular TV Actor, Silver Logie Awards and Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, TV Week Awards as well as contributing several episodes over three series). Credits as a writer (UK) include: Happy New (Trafalgar Studios), Rabbit (Frantic Assembly UK tour), The Slap (nominated for a BAFTA and Emmy Award).

The Jerwood Assistant Director working with Joe Wright on Life of Galileo is Taio Lawson. The role is supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic.

Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, translated by John Willett and directed by Joe Wright runs 6 May – 1 July 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. Music is by Tom Rowlands, design by Lizzie Clachan with projections by 59 Productions, light by Jon Clark, sound by Tom Gibbons, puppet direction by Sarah Wright and movement by Javier de Frutos. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG.

Listings
Life of Galileo
Saturday 6 May – Saturday 1 July 2017
Main House, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ
Press Night: Tuesday 16 May 2017, 7.00pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm | Matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm (except 6, 10, 13, 17 May and 1 July)
Access Performances
Captioned Performance: Tuesday 20 June at 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Wednesday 7 June at 2.30pm
Tickets: Previews 6 – 15 May £20, £10 | 17 May – 24 June £38, £29, £20, £10.
Concessions available.
Box Office: www.youngvic.org | 020 7922 2922

London transfer announced for the highly acclaimed war-time love story

Yank

Yank

YANK!, the widely acclaimed musical production which recently received its UK première at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, is to transfer to London this summer. The moving, war-time gay love story will run at Charing Cross Theatre from Monday 3 July – Saturday 19 August 2017 (Press Night: Monday 10 July at 7.30pm).

Based on the true, hidden history of gay soldiers during World War, YANK! focuses on the life of Stu, a scared Midwestern youngster who is called up to serve in the forces in 1943 and becomes a reporter for Yank Magazine, the journal ‘for and by the servicemen’. Telling the stories of the men in Charlie Company, the musical explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against you.

YANK! is based on the Off-Broadway hit production from 2010, with book and lyrics by American writer David Zellnik, with his brother Joseph Zellnik’s musical score paying homage to the timeless music of the 1940s. The musical is directed by James Baker, and is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre, Ben Millerman with Jim Kierstead and Guy James.

Completing the creative team are James Cleeve as musical director; choreographer Chris Cuming; designer Victoria Hinton; lighting designer Aaron J. Dootson; sound designer Chris Bogg; and casting director Benjamin Newsome.

YANK! is the latest collaboration between leading London-based theatre production company Aria Entertainment and one of Manchester’s newest and leading arts venues, the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre. They first joined forces in January 2016 to spearhead the arts venue as a platform to showcase, revive and bring new musical theatre to the north of England. The transfer to Charing Cross Theatre is helmed by the three producers of the original production at Hope Mill, who are now joined by Jim Kierstead and Guy James.

Capturing the imagination of audiences, the creative collaboration between Aria and Hope Mill has previously garnered rave reviews for productions of the Tony Award-winning Parade and the cult classic Hair, which transfers to The Vaults this autumn for the 50th anniversary production.

Full casting for YANK! is to be announced.

 

Interview with our lucky draw winner Gillie Stoneham

Gillie Stoneham

Gillie Stoneham is the winner of the lucky draw from amongst the ticket buyers from our ticket affiliate link. She is one of the co founders of  ActorFactor Ltd -an organisation that aims to facilitate positive individual and organisational change through a rich, exciting and dynamic learning environment that combines theatre skills such as role play, forum and other experiential techniques with expert coaching. What follows is our little Q&A  that we do with our contest/lucky draw winners.

Gillie Stoneham

Gillie Stoneham

What I love about Carl’s blog
I always look forward to seeing who Carl has managed to meet next – a great way of keeping in touch with the world of theatre! His energy and frank reviews are always a joy to read and the information is useful in helping me to make decisions about tickets.
Challenges of running an organisation like ActorFactor Ltd
As the founder of ActorFactor Ltd., the greatest challenge has been navigating the financial and organisational change that has impacted on client contracts – you win some, you lose some! The joy, however, of running a small business like mine is that we provide work for local actors who are skilled in using theatre in the workplace. The work is always different, always creative.
What I am proud of 
We work dynamically to facilitate creativity and communication, and I am especially proud of the quality of the experiential work we have brought to health training.
 
What theatre can learn from business and organisational context
Although I feel that we input a huge amount in terms of offering a safe context in which to explore and practice communication and presentation skills, the world of theatre can certainly, in turn, learn from business and organisational contexts. For me, learning about organisational change and leading teams in such complex environments has been useful, along with understanding the workplace of a truly global organisation – languages, culture, communicating remotely etc .

Theatre scene in Devon
The theatre scene in Devon is very much alive although not alway kicking in the way London Theatre is. The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter is a hub for both new local work and fringe touring performances and has won awards for its innovative space. It is entering a really exciting phase of taking over a huge old space on Exeter Quay – The Boatshed – which will help to transform both theatre in Exeter and the environment of the quayside.  There are good connections between other small theatre groups, and there is the Northcott Theatre, our main theatre, although many of us are sad that this does not have the space or ‘pull’ that the Theatre Royal in Plymouth has. The Theatre Royal is a great venue for West End touring productions, although an hour further West from Exeter.

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The Dreamer by Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in association with Gecko has it’s European premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe

“Its flowing beauty depicts a poetic landscape…When you lower your head, you immediately fall into it, just like Alice falls into the rabbit-hole. What you see and what you experience goes beyond your imagination.”Audience member

  • THE DREAMER, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in association with Gecko, is Gecko’s first international co-production.
  • The show is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion, the work of his contemporary, Tang Xianzu (1550-1616).
  • Ipswich-based physical theatre company Gecko celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a new associate show as part of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives.
  • The Dreamer premiered in China in October 2016 winning Best Stage Design – 2016 One Drama Awards, China.
  • The European Premiere is 2 – 15 August at the Pleasance Grand
  • PRESS PERFORMANCE Thursday 3 August at 1.30pm

www.china-drama.com  / www.geckotheatre.com / @GeckoTheatre / Facebook.com/GeckoTheatre1

The prestigious Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in China has teamed up with Gecko to stage a new piece of work – THE DREAMER – inspired by two playwrights considered the most influential in their respective countries: William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu.

Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre is the only national performing arts company in Shanghai. Famous for its new Chinese-language dramas, as well as performing English-language classics in Chinese, its impressive team of actors, directors, writers and other creatives works across various venues in the French Quarter of the city. This is the company’s Fringe debut and the first time the ensemble has worked using physical theatre techniques.

Gecko is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed physical theatre company, led by Artistic Director Amit Lahav, established in 2001. In 2016 it won the Peter Brook Equity Ensemble Award and this production sees ensemble members Rich Rusk and Chris Evans lead in the creation of an associate show for the first time.

2016 marked not only the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death but also that of his Chinese contemporary, Tang Xianzu. Dreams were a leitmotiv for both writers and THE DREAMER reimagines a dream sequence, inspired by The Peony Pavilion and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Focusing on strong female characters within both plays and exploring the topics of magic, humour and love in classic Gecko style, the show blends emotionally driven movement, a spine-tingling soundscape and striking visual storytelling to bring a new twist to these classic works.

“An amazing show! For its unique performing style, distinct stage design and music, The Dreamer is the most impressive show I’ve ever watched!”Audience member

Created by Gecko’s associate director Rich Rusk and devising performer Chris Evans (Gecko’s: The Overcoat, Missing, Institute, The Time of your Life, The Wedding), The Dreamer is an international collaboration between Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Gecko, created as part of British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme. The Dreamerpremiered on 7 October at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.  

Amit Lahav, Artistic Director said: “Gecko has been touring to China since 2010 and audiences in the country are very fond of the company. It was extremely exciting to work on our first international co-production with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and their ensemble.

Rich Rusk and Chris Evans have been working with Gecko for 15 years between them and I’m thrilled to see them take the lead on this very exciting international collaboration.”

Rich Rusk, Gecko’s Associate Director said: “It was a huge highlight to work on Gecko’s first international collaboration with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre which celebrates the international appeal and power of both Shakespeare and his contemporary, Tang Xianzu. We have created a Gecko-style visual feast, and invite our audiences to dive into the world of dreams and unleash their imagination. This co-production is a first of its kind for us so it has been very exciting to be a part of it.”

Chris Evans, Movement Director said: “Gecko has been my home for the past six years, where as a maker and performer I’ve been able to throw everything I have into a show, and see how that process throws back at me challenges and ways to develop. This project enabled me to pull together these skills and provocations. The experience of making a whole production, taking responsibility for it and believing in our decisions as co-creators has been the most transformative experience of my career. “

Alex Wu, Producer at Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre said: “Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre has continuously been seeking to work with creative and ground-breaking artists from all over the world. After witnessing the success of Gecko’s touring productions Missing and The Overcoat in China, SDAC warmly invited Gecko to present a cross-cultural dialogue between the two giants in western and eastern theatre – William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu – and discover the emotional connection between classics and modern people, aiming to bring energetic and profound theatrical work to both Chinese and British audiences, as well as audiences in other corners of the world.”

Neil Webb, Director of Theatre & Dance at the British Council said: “Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre has been an important and trusted partner in our work in China for many years. Gecko meanwhile has appeared in several of our Edinburgh Showcases and toured extensively around the world, including in China. I am delighted to see these world-class organisations celebrating the profound influence of such world-class playwrights. And I look forward to seeing the finished work presented to audiences in China and the UK as part of our global Shakespeare Lives programme.”

Trevor Ashley in Liza’s Back! (is broken) At the Underbelly Festival From Tuesday 27 June to Sunday 2 July 2017

Trevor Ashley

Trevor Ashley

After wowing audiences at London Wonderground in 2016, Trevor Ashley is bringing everyone’s favourite diva back to London this Summer in Liza’s Back! (is broken), his five-star comic tribute to the iconic Liza Minnelli, playing at the Underbelly Festival for 6 performances only from Tuesday 27 June to Sunday 2 July.

Listen to Trevor perform Maybe This Time as Liza

There is no doubt about it; Liza Minnelli is a true Broadway legend. But her appearances on the musical stage have been few and far between. So what would happen if Liza decided to perform all the great Broadway roles she never got to play, in one special night?  Liza’s Back! (is broken) explores the parts that Minnelli should have played over the last forty years – those great leading lady roles from Grizabella to Norma Desmond, and all others in between. Ever wanted to see Liza tackleWicked? Then this is the show for you!

Direct from rehab, and live with a 7-piece big band, don’t miss Liza singing Broadway’s greatest hits, including I Have Confidence, Memory, Send in the Clowns, Le Jazz Hot plus her own classics Maybe This Time, Cabaret and New York, New York!

Trevor Ashley is an Australian performer and cabaret artist.  His musical theatre credits in Australia include creating the role of Miss Understanding in the world premiere of Priscilla Queen of The Desert – The Musical; Edna Turnblad in Hairspray and Monsieur Thenadier in Les Miserables. Trevor is the creator and star of a one-man Dame Shirley Bassey tribute Diamonds are for Trevor, which he recently performed to a sell-out audience at Sydney Opera House. As Liza, his smash hit show Liza (On an E) has played seasons all over the world, including a week-long residency at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End.

Time lapse footage captures milestone in ongoing Bristol Old Vic redevelopment project

Bristol Old Vic has reached a milestone in its ongoing redevelopment project. Captured by time lapse over the last few months, the careful work undertaken by Gilbert-Ash to carefully remove the unwanted sections while protecting the iconic Coopers’ Hall can be seen in the video.

The old 1970s section of the building has finally been demolished, making space for Bristol Old Vic’s new entrance to begin construction.

While the space is clear of buildings, for the first time in living memory, the actual 251 year old Theatre – built on a plot of land behind King Street – can now be seen from the street itself. Since its construction in 1766, the Theatre has been hidden from view by either terraced houses – belonging to the now infamous Mr Foote and Mr Gill, or with various versions of a foyer space or later, a studio theatre and office space.

The next incarnation, due to be opened in September 2018, will be a beautiful glazed entrance, housing a new bar, box office and the revealed 1766 wall of the theatre, open to view and accessible to all.

Jeremy Irons to narrate UK premiere of Voices of the Amazon, a new dance musical at Sadler’s Wells theatre

The cast of VOICES OF THE AMAZON

The cast of VOICES OF THE AMAZON © Giulietta Verdon Roe

Sisters Grimm have announced that Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning Jeremy Irons has agreed to narrate their new show, VOICES OF THE AMAZON, a passionate dance musical from the heart of Brazil. VOICES OF THE AMAZON, which is receiving its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells from 4 to 8 July, is directed by Pietra Mello-Pittman, choreographed by Helen Pickett and composed by Ella Spira in collaboration with Brazilian songwriters Danny Nascimento, Dito Martins and Julien Davis and world‐renowned percussionists Olodum.

Jeremy Irons many roles in film, television and theatre include Brideshead Revisited (Golden Globe nominated), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (BAFTA nominated), Elizabeth 1 (Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner), The MissionReversal of Fortune (Academy Award winner) and The Real Thing on Broadway (Tony Award winner).  In October 2011, he was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.  He supports a number of charities, including the Prison Phoenix Trust in England, and the London-based Evidence for Development which seeks to improve the lives of the world’s most needy people by preventing famines and delivering food aid, for both of which he is an active patron.

Jeremy Irons said of his involvement in VOICES OF THE AMAZON “I was very much impressed by both Pietra and Ella in the way they approached me and intrigued by the multi-media approach to the world wide problem of deforestation and attacks upon indigenous populations. Something about their spirit came through their proposal and now having worked with them I know it will imbue the final production which I look forward to seeing.”

The international cast of VOICES OF THE AMAZON stars British-born Rachel Maybank (McQueen at Theatre Royal Haymarket, Manon, Adriana Lecouvreur and Athis at the Royal Opera House) as Beleza, and features Brazilian dancers and singers Charles Damasio, Hicaro Nicolai, Fernanda Muniz, Kauê Ribeiro and Leilani Telles, who make their professional UK debuts in VOICES OF THE AMAZON. Completing the cast are Michelle Buckley, Liam Burke and Kay Elizabeth from the United States, and Stefanos Dimoulas from Greece, as well as musicians Rob Barron – (Musical Director, Piano & Synths), Adam Kovacs (Percussion 1), Matthew West (Percussion 2), Tina Jacobs (Viola) and Lucy Skinner (Cello).

VOICES OF THE AMAZON will open at Sadler’s Wells on 4 July 2017 following an appearance at the Chekhov International Theatre Jubilee Festival in Moscow from 14-16 June. The show will then travel to Singapore to perform at Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands from 28-30 July. The show has recently been announced as part of the line-up for Latitude festival 2017.

Set amidst the Brazilian rainforest, VOICES OF THE AMAZON follows the story of Beleza; a water spirit from the Amazon, whose search to cure her dying sister takes her on a life-changing journey deep into the rainforest.

VOICES OF THE AMAZON features a sensational musical score, containing sounds recorded from the Amazon Rainforest, with music and songs performed in English and Portuguese. Combined with Helen Pickett’s fusion of ballet, contemporary and capoeira, the show aims to highlight the damaging effects of deforestation, the loss of natural medicines and plants, and promises an exhilarating live experience, embracing the true spirit of Brazil.

VOICES OF THE AMAZON has lighting design by Ben Cracknell, stage and costume design by Temple Clark and sound design Adrian Rhodes. WWF, EDEN and Alexander Van Tulleken (CBBC’s Operation Ouch, Channel 4’s How to Lose Weight Well) will provide scientific consultation.

VOICES OF THE AMAZON is produced by Sisters Grimm, the creators of the Grammy® Award-nominated show INALA.

Website: voicesoftheamazon.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/sistersgrimmltd

Twitter: @amazon_voices

Instagram: @voicesoftheamazon

Running time: 100 mins (including interval)

UK LISTINGS INFORMATION

4 – 8 July 2017

Sadler’s Wells

Rosebery Ave,

London EC1R 4TN

Performances: TuesdaySaturday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 2.30pm

Tickets: £12 – £38

Box Office:  020 7863 8000

Website: www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2017/sisters-grimm-voices-of-the-amazon

 

Deena Payne steps in for Linda Nolan in Our House

Deena Payne in Our House

Deena Payne in Our House Photo by Adam Trigg

Actress and singer Deena Payne is to join the UK Tour of OUR HOUSE, following the unfortunate withdrawal of Linda Nolan. Having previously been announced in the role of Kath Casey in the Olivier Award-winning Madness musical, Linda Nolan has withdrawn from the tour following her recent cancer diagnosis. Deena Payne, best known for her role as Viv Hope in ITV’s Emmerdale, will take up the role of Kath Casey along with newly announced cast members Jason Kadji (Joe Casey) and Sophie Matthew (Sarah).

On the night of his 16th birthday, Joe Casey takes the girl of his dreams, Sarah, out on their first date. In an effort to impress her with bravado, Joe breaks into a building site overlooking his home on Casey Street. When the police turn up, a split-second decision forces him to choose between himself and his heart as the story splits in two: one which sees Joe stay to face the music, and the other which sees him flee and leave Sarah to run from the police. As two very different paths unfold before him, the consequences of that choice will change his life forever.

Deena Payne is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Viv Windsor in ITV’s Emmerdale, a role which she played for eighteen years. Having begun her career as a dancer on stage and TV, she went on to work extensively in musical theatre: Cabaret, Only in America (the Roundhouse Chalkfarm), Who’s a Lucky Boy (Manchester Exchange), One Careful Owner, (tour) and the original West End production of They’re Playing Our Song (Shaftesbury Theatre). Following her departure from Emmerdale in 2011, Deena went on to play three tours of Tim Firth’s critically acclaimed stage adaptation of Calendar Girls.

Deena said: “My thoughts are with Linda, and we all send her lots of love at this very unsettling time. Though I know she’d want the madness to continue, and I’m thrilled to take on the challenge. Great songs, brilliant story – a real fun-loving musical!”

Taking a starring role as Joe Casey, Jason Kajdi is currently appearing as Ernest (and first cover for Bert) in the international stage tour of Mary Poppins. His other theatre credits include West Side Story (Kilworth House), 27: The Rise of a Falling Star (The Cockpit) and the European premiere production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump St. (From Page to Stage 2016).

Sophie Matthew makes her professional stage debut in the role of Sarah, having previously starred as Ginny in Channel 4’s critically acclaimed drama series Humans. Her theatre credits include Fast Film Noir (TheSpace, Edinburgh Festivals) and Magic of the Musicals (Royal Albert Hall, 2016 & 2017).

OUR HOUSE was first staged at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End from October 2002 to August 2003 and won the 2003 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. This tour will be directed by Immersion Theatre’s James Tobias and choreographed by the resident choreographer of Matilda The Musical, Fabian Aloise.