In addition to EastEnders’ Letitia Dean, who makes her musical debut playing teacher Ms Darbus (See News, 15 Apr 2008), the cast features: Mark Evans (as Troy Bolton), Claire-Marie Hall (Gabriella Montez), Norman Bowman (Coach Bolton), Rebecca Faulkenberry (Sharpay Evans), Michael Pickering (Ryan Evans), Nadine Higgin (Taylor McKessie), Damian Winter-Higgins (Chad Danforth), Dylan Turner (Zeke Baylor), Ben Nicholas (Jack Scott), Laurie Scarth (Martha Cox) and Holly Taylor (Kelsi Neilson).
The stage adaptation of High School Musical tells how Troy, a popular high school basketball star, and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer, discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up together to audition for the lead roles in the school musical, it threatens East High's rigid social order and sends their peers into uproar.
Since its US premiere in January 2006, the made-for-TV Disney movie High School Musical has gone on to become a global phenomenon. Winner of two Emmy Awards, the soundtrack has been certified Double Platinum in the UK alone, while DVD sales have topped 1.6 million. The screen sequel, High School Musical 2, broke TV viewing records in both the US and UK.
High School Musical features a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original film script by Peter Barsocchini) and a score which includes all the songs from the original chart-topping soundtrack, including the UK hit singles “Breaking Free” and “We’re All in This Together”. It’s directed by Jeff Calhoun, designed by Kenneth Foy and choreographed by Lisa Stevens, with costumes by Wade Laboissonniere, lighting by Ken Billington, sound by Rick Clarke and musical production by Bryan Louiselle.
The London cast is completed by Gregor Stewart, Simon Hardwick, Nyroy Dixon, Matt Flint, Adam Bracegirdle, Paul Riddiford, Stevie Hutchinson, Matthew Russell-Jones, Lauren Varnham, Kirsty McDonald, Helen Morris, Maxine Ewenson, Stephanie Siadatan, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Samantha Tan, Hayley Griffiths, Chris Milford, Carl Au, Karli Vale and Sarah-Louise Warden. The Hammersmith run of High School Musical is separate to an 11-month, 29-venue UK regional tour which launched in January (See News, 3 Jul 2007).
In other musical casting news outside of London:
- by Terri Paddock