Boy George Debuts in Taboo Cast for Six Weeks OnlyDate: 11 April 2002
Pop star Boy George (pictured) will make his West End stage acting debut next month in his own musical, Taboo, at The Venue off Leicester Square. For six weeks only, from 6 May to 15 June 2002, George will take over from Matt Lucas portraying outrageous 1980s performance artist Leigh Bowery, after which the part will be played by Mark Little.
In other casting news, Lyn Paul former New Seekers' singer and star of Blood Brothers, in the West End and on tour, will take over from Gemma Craven as mother Josie. Other members of the cast, including Luke Evans, Mark McGee and Euan Morton who plays the young Boy George, will remain with the show, which is now booking up to 14 September 2002.
Australian actor and comedian Mark Little is familiar to television audiences from Neighbours star and his time hosting The Big Breakfast. He has previously appeared in the West End in the hit one-man show Defending the Caveman.
Boy George was one of Britain's biggest stars in the 1980s and it's from that decade that he takes his inspiration for Taboo. It's the story of Billy, a naïve young man who launches himself onto London's vibrant club scene during the "decadent" decade and finds romance in the process. Many of the era's most notorious personalities - including Marilyn, Steve Strange, Leigh Bowery, Philip Sallon and George himself - appear as supporting characters on Billy's journey.
While Taboo includes snippets of some Culture Club classics, George has written an original score with all-new songs including "Ode to Attention Seekers", "Stranger in this World", "Love Is a Question Mark", "Guttersnipe", "Touched by the Hand of Cool", "Out of Fashion" and "Pie in the Sky".
The musical has a book by This Life writer Mark Davies, with designs by Tim Goodchild, lighting by Chris Ellis and choreography by Les Childs. It is directed by Christopher Renshaw - who's also directing the Queen-Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You which opens at the West End's Dominion Theatre next month - and is produced by Adam Kenwright.
Born George Alan O'Dowd in 1961, Boy George shot to fame in the 1980s as the androgynous and behatted lead singer of Culture Club. He has sold over 30 million records worldwide, including hit singles such as "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?", "I'll Tumble for Ya", "The War Song" and "Church of the Poisoned Mind". Taboo marks his stage musical debut.
- by Terri Paddock