Cast announcement: Her Benny, WirralDate: 2 March 2011
Scarisbrick-based ABD Productions has announced four young Merseyside performers have been successful in gaining roles in its forthcoming production of the musical Her Benny.
The production appears at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, Wirral, in the summer and aims to stay true to Silas Hocking’s classic tale.
Her Benny is a rags to riches, feel good, family musical, following the fortunes of urchin Benny and his little sister Nell, as they rely on courage and love to survive in Victorian Liverpool.
The youngsters are taken in kindly by night watchman, Joe Wragg, and wife Sally. However tragedy strikes when Benny is falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, and Nell’s health fails.
Playing the role of Benny is 12-year-old David Warren, from Birkdale High School, who has previously appeared in two separate runs of the production.
Eight year old Megan Basford, from Prenton in Wirral, who is a Birkenhead High School Academy pupil and been a member of Stagecoach Wirral for four years, is cast as Nell. She has also appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Liverpool Empire and Bost at the Floral Pavillion in New Brighton, Wirral.
Prior to auditions at the Wirral theatre on Sunday 20 February, writer and director Anne Dalton said: “The part of Benny is a challenging one. He is honest yet streetwise, tough yet sensitive. The boy who plays him must be natural, confident, move well and have a good singing voice. Stage experience, though useful, is not absolutely vital. His sister, Nell, is fragile and gentle. Girls auditioning for her part must be able to act and sing well and affect an audience.”
The two youngsters will join four experienced performers in the production, who were announced previously.
Local radio presenter and television personality Johnny Kennedy is playing Joe Wragg as he has done before. Julie Davitt plays the role of Sally Wragg, having played her at the Royal Court and Liverpool Empire theatres.
BBC Radio Merseyside’s Andy Mac, who brings a good dose of scouse grit and humour to Her Benny as one of the lively prostitutes off the docks, while Neil Newton, also from BBC Radio Merseyside, takes up the role of the criminal Jazzer.
Making up the cast are eleven year old Darcy Burchall, from Greasby in Wirral, who will play the role of Younger Eva. Experienced dancer Burchall is a member of Dawpool Primary School and also attends Stagecoach Wirral. Her previous credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Liverpool Empire.
Fourteen year old Robert Hilton, from New Brighton, is cast as Sniffer. The member of Rockferry Operatic Society and Birkenhead School pupil has appeared as Oliver at the Gladstone Theatre in the past.
Her Benny appears at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion from Wednesday 17 August to Saturday 20 August 2011.
In October, the production will transfer to the Pavilion Theatre in Rhyl and the Civic Theatre in Ellesmere Port, Wirral, with Kennedy, Davitt, Mac and Newton remaining in all three runs.
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