David Essex (pictured) will lead the cast of a new touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, which opens at the Theatre Royal Newcastle on 4 September 2007 (previews from 31 August).

Essex was most recently seen in the West End in last year’s transfer of Footloose, and despite being best known as a pin-up crooner, he has enjoyed an extensive stage career. Since being cast as Jesus Christ in the original London production of Godspell (with music by Stephen Schwartz), Essex subsequently played Che in Lloyd Webber’s original cast of Evita.

He has also starred in numerous plays, including Peter Hall’s 1993 production of She Stoops to Conquer, alongside Miriam Margolyes, and co-wrote the musical Mutiny!.

Set in France in 1947, Aspects of Love is the story of a passionate love affair spanning 20 years and three generations. English student Alex Dillingham, travelling through France before his call up, falls in love with alluring actress Rose Vibert. Their relationship, however, is changed forever by the sudden arrival of Alex’s Uncle George (Essex).

Aspects of Love, which has music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart, originally opened in the West End in 1989 and ran for three years at the Prince of Wales. The new revival is directed by Nikolai Foster and designed by Rob Jones.

Following its run in Newcastle, the tour continues to Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Bradford, Stoke on Trent, Manchester, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Plymouth, Norwich and Bath, where it concludes on 8 December 2007. The tour is produced by Kenny Wax and Michael Harrison, in association with PW productions.

- by Caroline Ansdell