Sid Owen is set to star in new musical Carnaby Street, which premieres at the Hackney Empire from 6 to 14 April 2013 prior to a national tour, including dates in Manchester.
Owen, best known for his long-running role as Ricky Butcher in EastEnders, will play band manager Jumpin' Jack Flash in the 60s-set musical.
Other principal cast members in the show, which has been in development for a number of years (and was first rumoured back in 2009) include Verity Rushworth (Emmerdale, Hairspray), Tricia Adele-Turner (Legally Blonde) and Mark Pearce.
They feature alongside Paul Hazel, Hugo Harold-Harrison, Tom Connor, Cici Howells, Jonny Bower, Mike Slader, Lauren Storer, Gregory Clarke, Dan Smith, Lilly Howard, Claude Pelletier, Craig Anderson and Matthew Quinn.
Set in London's West End in the swinging 60s, Carnaby Street tells the story of Jude, a working class boy from Liverpool, new in London and armed with nothing but his guitar and his dreams of fame and fortune.
It features 30 classic hits including numbers by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Animals, The Searchers and The Kinks. Songs in the show include "You Really Got Me", "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Go Now".
'Appropriate moment to launch'
Written by Carl Leighton-Pope and Robert Johns, Carnaby Street will be directed by Bob Tomson (Blood Brothers, Dreamboats and Petticoats), with design by Matthew Wright, choreography by Carole Todd, lighting by Nick Richings and sound design by Ben Harrison.
At today's launch event, held in the Shakespeare's Head pub on Carnaby Street, Leighton-Pope described the show as being set in "an era people can really get excited about", and highlighted that access has been granted to songs - especially those by The Beatles - that have not been released for theatrical use before.
Whatsonstage.com: "This year is the 50th anniversary of the first
Beatles and Rolling Stones albums. There's going to be an awful lot of
interest this year in the sound that emerged during that period of time,
and this seems a really appropriate moment to launch."
It's produced by Carnaby Street Promotions Ltd in association with Hackney Empire. Universal Music will be releasing a compilation album with original tracks of music used in the show at the end of March, and a cast recording is also planned. There will also be a pop-up shop in conjunction with the show, selling retro clothing and other items.
Following its run in Hackney Carnaby Street will visit High Wycombe, Rhyl, Hastings, Windsor, Tunbridge Wells, Manchester, Lowestoft, Birmingham, St Albans and Bournemouth.