Former Hear'Say pop star Suzanne Shaw will star in the new production of Summer Holiday, the stage musical of the 1963 film that shot Cliff Richard to fame. The show embarks on a four-month UK-wide tour next month, opening 3 April 2003 at Plymouth's Theatre Royal before visiting 17 further venues ahead of a planned West End season (See The Goss, 28 Nov 2002).

Billed as "the ultimate roadtrip musical", Summer Holiday follows a group of friends on their frantic travels through France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. They're joined by pop starlet Bobby who, disguised as a boy, has run away from her showbiz lifestyle. Chased by her domineering mother and her agent, Bobby hitches a ride with the unknowing gang of holidaymakers on their double-decker London bus. Romance blossoms when Bobby reveals her true identity and falls for her bachelor boy, Don. The story is set to rock 'n' roll hits from the era including "Do You Want to Dance", "Bachelor Boy" and, of course, "Summer Holiday".

Shaw (pictured with fellow members of Hear'Say, the band formed from winners of TV's original Popstars competition) stars as Bobby with Stefan Booth (from TV soap Hollyoaks) as Don. They are joined by panto favourite Christopher Biggins (Bad Girls, Porridge, Rentaghost) as Bobby's agent, Aimi MacDonald as her mother and Dougal Irvine (currently starring in the West End as Mark in Rent).

Also in the cast are David Barrett, Kaisa Hammalund, Peter Hillier, Melody Jones, Adam Kelly, Layla Pellegrini and Jessica Pendall. Summer Holiday is adapted - and newly updated - for the stage by Mark Haddigan and Michael Gyngell, who also directs. The production is designed by Paul Farnsworth and choreographed by Gillian Gregory, with lighting by Chris Ellis, sound by Simon Whitehorn and musical supervision by Keith Strachan.

Following Plymouth, the musical continues on tour until 9 August 2003, visiting Bromley, Edinburgh, Swansea, Newcastle, Leeds, Canterbury, Wolverhampton, Woking, Stoke on Trent, Northampton, Manchester, Cardiff, Southend, High Wycombe, Nottingham, Bristol and Belfast. The tour is presented by Richard Temple and Bill Kenwright by arrangement with Canal Studios and the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

- by Terri Paddock