Cast: Gaumond Is WWRY's New Galileo, Duncan BetwixtDate: 4 July 2011
Alex Gaumond, who was nominated this year for both Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Best Actor in a Musical gongs for his performance as Elle Woods’ Harvard Law school squeeze Emmett in Legally Blonde, will return to the West End stage next month as rebel Galileo in We Will Rock You.
Gaumond, who previously played the role in the Queen musical on tour, takes over from Ricardo Afonso at the Dominion Theatre from 8 August 2011 and is initially contracted until the end of January 2012.
We Will Rock You co-creator and Queen guitarist Brian May commented: “Alex is a superb actor, and his interpretation of Galileo on tour in the UK was a huge hit with audiences. We look forward to a new triumph in the Dominion, in We Will Rock You’s tenth year.”
Meanwhile, Mazz Murray, the show’s longest-serving Killer Queen until her departure on maternity leave last year, will return for a special two-week farewell season next month, from 8 to 20 August 2011, after which current Killer Queen, Brenda Edwards, will resume performances.
Set in the future, We Will Rock You tells the story of a world in which globalisation has meant the death of real music in favour of computer-produced cyber stars, a status quo which the rebel Bohemians, harking back to the Golden Age of rock (embodied by Queen), are trying to overthrow so that they can write and perform their own music. An unintentional hero ends up saving the kids of Planet Mall from the tyrannical Killer Queen and discovers the place of living rock.
We Will Rock You had its world premiere on 14 May 2002 (previews from 26 April) at the Dominion Theatre, where it’s currently booking through to 16 April 2011. The musical has a book by Ben Elton and features 32 of Queen’s greatest hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Under Pressure", "Radio Gaga" and, of course, "We Will Rock You". It’s directed by Elton, choreographed by Arlene Phillips and designed by Mark Fisher and Willie Williams.
In other musical casting news, former Blue Peter TV presenter Peter Duncan will join Broadway’s Ellen Greene in Betwixt!, which runs at Trafalgar Studios 2 from 28 July to 20 August 2011 (previews from 26 July). Duncan’s previous musical credits include Barnum, Me and My Girl, The Little Tramp and The Card, for which he was nominated for an Olivier in 1995.
Ian McFarlane's new musical tells the story of New York writer Bailey and his flamboyant roommate Cooper who are catapulted into a strange enchanted world. Their arrival fulfils a prophecy telling of a brave hero and a great queen and they are tasked with searching out a fading daytime TV star who is the only hope for saving a pregnant princess from losing the throne. The musical promises "sitcom-styled dialogue and a toe-tapping score".
Attwater, best know for playing Eastenders heartthrob Leon will play loveable rogue Norman in the rock ‘n’ roll compilation which opened at the Playhouse on 6 January 2010, following a three-month run from July to October 2009 at the Savoy Theatre. Attwater joins a cast that also includes X Factor contestant Scott Bruton.
The first Dreamboats and Petticoats became one of the biggest-selling albums of the decade after its release in 2007, amassing sales of more than 600,000. The second album climbed to number two in the charts within the first week of its release. And Dreamboats and Petticoats 3 went straight in at No 1 on the Compilation Chart.
Dreamboats and Petticoats is directed by Bob Tomson and designed by Sean Cavanagh, with choreography by Carole Todd, lighting by Mark Howett, sound by Ben Harrison and musical supervision by Keith Strachan. It’s produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield in association with the record label Universal Music.