Craig Gazey plays the Elf
Craig Gazey plays the Elf

The Soho Theatre has announced casting for its new musical production of The Night Before Christmas, which opens on 5 December 2013 (previews from 29 November).

Shameless star Rebecca Atkinson will feature alongside Teachers' Navin Chowdhry and Coronation Street's Craig Gazey and Craig Kelly.

Directed by Soho's artistic director Steve Marmion with music by Tom Mills, the show reunites the team behind 2009's Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness and 2011's Realism.

According to press material, "In an all new version of this alternative Christmas classic, we bring you music, magic and lashings of that 'Powdered Christmas Feeling'."

Rebecca Atkinson, who plays Cherry, is best known for playing Karen Maguire in Channel 4's Shameless, having been in the show from its inception. She has also appeared in BBC's Life on Mars and Ideal''.

Navin Chowdhry (Gary) is best known for his role as IT teacher Kurt in the BAFTA-nominated series Teachers. On stage he played Zain in the Royal Court's award-winning play Shades.

As the Elf is Craig Gazey, who recently played Graeme Proctor in Coronation Street. His theatre work includes The Full Monty, the Sheffield Theatres production that transfers to the West End next year, Third Floor at Trafalgar Studios and Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Completing the cast is Craig Kelly as Simon, best known for his role as factory owner Luke Strong in Coronation Street and Vince in Channel 4's Queer as Folk. In 2009 he took part in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, making it through to week eight. His theatre credits include Helpless at the Donmar Warehouse, Babies at the National Theatre Studio and Fast Labour at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Other shows in the Soho Christmas schedule include Soho Theatre and nabokov's production of Phil Porter's play Blink (11 December-11 Janury) and sketch group Late Night Gimp Fight (6-21 December).