Whatsonstage.com can exclusively reveal the cast – as well as the first photos and interviews with them - for the new West End production of the record-breaking Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks, which opens on 9 June 2010 (previews from 24 May) at the Duchess Theatre (See News, 6 Nov 2009).

Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe joins fellow musical theatre favourites David Burt and Hadley Fraser as well as up-and-coming stars Lorna Want (who sang an extract from the show earlier this month at the Whatsonstage.com Awards Concert) and Luke Brady as well as leading classical actors Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter.


Left-to-right, Back: Luke Brady, Lorna Want, Clive Rowe, David Burt & Paul Hunter.
Front: Hadley Fraser, Carl Au & Edward Petherbridge.

The plot of The Fantasticks, loosely based on Edmund Rostand’s play The Romancers, focuses on Luisa (Want) and Matt (Brady), two teenagers who fall in love despite the feuding of their fathers, Hucklebee (Rowe) and Bellomy (Burt). However, the story isn’t just a Romeo and Juliet-style love affair: the fathers are secretly friends who have been plotting to make them fall in love all along! Once the paternal plan works, the parents must find a way of putting an end to their supposed disagreement without Luisa and Matt discovering the truth.

Fraser acts as the omnipotent narrator El Gallo, with RSC veteran Petherbridge and Told by an Idiot founder Hunter as non-singing thespians Henry and his sidekick Mortimer. The cast also features Carl Au in the role of the mute.

Whatsonstage.com was granted exclusive access to the cast photocall. Click to Play the extended video feature below, including interviews with all eight principals...

Clive Rowe won an Olivier for Richard Eyre’s NT production of Guys and Dolls. His myriad other musicals include Caroline, Or Change, Simply Heavenly, Carousel, Company, Chicago and Lady Be Good. He’s also well known for his panto dames at Hackney Empire, for which he’s also been Olivier nominated.

David Burt’s musical credits include Tommy, Cats, Evita, Les Miserables, Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar, Taboo, The Woman in White and Bad Girls: The Musical. Hadley Fraser’s West End musicals include Les Miserables, The Far Pavilions, The Pirates of Penzance and Peter Pan; in 2007, he made his Broadway debut as the male lead in Boubil and Schonberg’s The Pirate Queen.

Lorna Want is also an alumna of Les Mis, having played Cosette, aged nine. Her other credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet The Musical, Footloose, the Mistress in Evita and Gabriella in High School Musical.

While Les Miserables may be the “world’s longest-running musical” if measured by West End and Broadway residencies, theatre trivia nuts will know that The Fantasticks’ original Off-Broadway production ran for an incredible 17,162 performances at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village between May 1960 and January 2002 – nearly 42 years. It holds the record for the longest-running show of any kind in the US and, internationally, has been staged in 67 countries to date.

The Fantasticks has music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones and includes the song “Try to Remember”. The revamped new London production, is directed and choreographed by Amon Miyamoto and designed by Rumi Matsui – who last teamed up on the Tony nominated Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures - with lighting by Briton Rick Fisher. It’s presented in the West End by Kumiko Yoshii for Gorgeous Entertainment, John Gore and Thomas B McGrath in association with Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer for Nimax Theatres.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE FANTASTICKS on 2 June 2010 – inc FREE show poster & FREE drink at our EXCLUSIVE post-show reception with the cast, all for £29.50!! – on sale this week to Club members - click here for more info & to book now! **