EastEndersShaun Williamson (pictured) will make his West End debut in Saturday Night Fever. The screen-to-stage musical returns to the West End this summer, opening at the Apollo Victoria on 6 July 2004, following previews from 2 July (See News, 31 Mar 2004).

Williamson, who will play sleazy DJ Monty in Saturday Night Fever, is best known to TV viewers for his nine years as the hapless Barry Evans in the BBC soap EastEnders, which he recently left when his character was pushed off a cliff.

The stage production of Saturday Night Fever had its world premiere at the West End's London Palladium in May 1998, marking the 21st anniversary of the release of the 1977 hit film, starring John Travolta, which effectively defined the disco age.

The story was adapted for the stage by the film's producer Robert Stigwood. It closed in the West End in February 2000 and embarked on a brief regional tour later that year. Another major tour, launched in March 2003 (See News, 12 Nov 2002), will finally conclude on 19 June 2004 in Rhyl, ahead of the West End transfer.

Further casting for the new West End season has not yet been confirmed. On tour, the production features Stephane Agnelli (as Tony Manero), Victoria Hamilton-Barritt (Stephanie Mangano), Jane Horn (Annette) and Alex Jessop (Bobby C).

The stage musical features legendary Bee Gees songs from the original Grammy Award-winning motion picture soundtrack, including 'Staying Alive', 'Night Fever', 'Jive Talkin'' and 'How Deep is Your Love' as well as two songs - 'Immortality' and 'First and Last' - written especially for the stage production by the brothers Gibb.

Saturday Night Fever is presented by Adam Spiegel Productions. Currently at the Apollo Victoria, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Bollywood musical Bombay Dreams will finish on 13 June 2004, after a two-year run (See News, 24 Mar 2004).

- by Terri Paddock