Shayne Ward, the 2005 winner of ITV talent show The X Factor, will join the West End cast of Rock of Ages, it was announced today (8 June 2011).

The popstar, who has released three albums since winning Simon Cowell's show, will play disillusioned rock bad boy Stacee Jaxx in the musical which opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 27 September (previews from 31 August 2011).

Ward joins comedian and presenter Justin Lee Collins who, it was announced earlier this week, will play ageing hippy Dennis Dupree in the classic rock jukebox musical.

In a press statement, Ward said today: “I cannot wait to take to the stage for Rock of Ages. It’s an absolute thrill to have been chosen for this part and can’t wait to show a new side to my voice.”

Set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip and billed as an “arena-rock love story”, Rock of Ages centres on Drew, a busboy and aspiring rocker who chases his dreams to Los Angeles’ most famous rock club, where he meets a small-town girl newly arrived from Kansas, named Sherrie.

Directed by Kristin Hanggi, the musical has a book by Chris D'Arienzo, and is laden with classic rock anthems. It has choreography by Kelly Devine, design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Gregory Gale, lighting design by Jason Lyons, sound design by Peter Hylenski and projection design by Zachary Borovay. Ethan Popp is music supervisor.


Full casting has been announced for Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Singin' In The Rain which opens on 5 July (previews from 27 June 2011) starring the previously announced Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen.

Chichester artistic director Jonathan Church helms the production, based on the famous 1952 MGM film, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds.

Former Royal Ballet principal Adam Cooper (who returns to the Kelly role of Don Lockwood following productions in Leicester and at Sadler’s Wells), Crossley and Strallen are joined in the cast by Katherine Kingsley, who returns to Chichester having appeared in the 2007 production of Hobson’s Choice and recent West End outing 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar Warehouse; Michael Brandon who originated the title role in Jerry Springer - The Opera at the National Theatre and in the West End; and Sandra Dickinson whose credits include the BBC series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 2 Point 4 Children.

Also in the cast are: Marc Antolin, Georgie Ashford, Alan Burkitt, Daniel Crossley, Brendan Cull, Flora Dawson, Jaye Juliette Elster, Peter Forbes, Gemma Fuller, Francis Haugen, Katherine Kingsley, David Lucas, Matthew Malthouse, Scott Mobley, Ebony Molina, Gillian Parkhouse, Sherrie Pennington, Lisa Ritchie, Nancy Wei George and Jack Wilcox.

Singin' In The Rain, which runs in rep in Chichester's Festival Theatre through to 10 September 2011, has design by Simon Higlett, choreography by Andrew Wright, musical direction by Robert Scott, lighting design by Tim Mitchell and sound design by Matt McKenzie.