Michael Jibson – whose first job out of drama school, the West End lead in Our House, earned him two Best Actor in a Musical nominations last year – has secured the role of Pinkie in the upcoming stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s literary classic about gang warfare at the English seaside town Brighton Rock. The musical receives its world premiere on 5 October 2004 (previews from 20 September) at north London’s Almeida Theatre, where it continues its limited season until 13 November, ahead of an anticipated West End transfer (See News, 10 May 2004).

In Madness musical Our House, Jibson starred as both ‘good’ Joe and ‘bad’ Joe (pictured) in the story about a streetwise London lad whose life could follow either of two courses after he commits a petty crime to impress his girlfriend. He was nominated for both an Olivier and a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for his performance.

In Brighton Rock, Jibson will play the ruthless young mobster whose only witness to a murder is 16-year-old Catholic Rose, to be played by Sophia Ragavelas, who happens to be besotted with Pinkie. Will a ‘til death do us part’ wedding buy her silence? The new musical will be directed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, whose father Richard Attenborough famously played Pinkie in the 1947 film version.

Jibson’s other musical credits include Oliver!, Bugsy Malone and, earlier this year in Sheffield, A Chorus Line. Ragavelas is playing, until this Saturday, Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables. Others so far confirmed for the 14-strong cast are: Neil McCaul (as Cubitt), Paul Bentall (Spicer), Corinna Powlesland (Judy), Joshua Richards (Mr Colleoni), Anthony Clegg (Crabb) and Elizabeth Price (Delia).

Brighton Rock has a book by Giles Havergal (former artistic director of Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre, who's previously adapted Greene's {Travels with My Aunt), music by Oscar-winning film composer John Barry (Born Free, Out of Africa, Goldfinger) and lyrics by Don Black (Tell Me on a Sunday, Sunset Boulevard, Bombay Dreams).

The production is designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Tim Mitchell, musical direction and orchestrations by Steven Edis, choreography by Karen Bruce and sound by John Leonard. It’s presented at the Almeida in association with Bill Kenwright.

- by Terri Paddock

DON'T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing on Thursday 23 September 2004 to Brighton Rock - including a FREE drink at our post-show reception! - click here for info!