Marco Sabba (pictured), the fourth evictee from TV reality show Big Brother, will make his professional stage debut this month with a cameo role in the UK and European premiere of Little by Little. The American musical about “love, friendship, hormones and sex” will have five performances only at the West End’s Arts Theatre, running on Sundays 25 July, 8 and 22 August 2004 (See News, 3 Jun 2004).

Sabba – who was evicted on 2 July 2004 after 36 days in Channel 4’s Big Brother house - was invited by the Little by Little producers to fill a non-singing guest slot as the show’s camp waiter after they were impressed by his flamboyant behaviour – and frequent musical riffs - in the Big Brother house this summer.

Commenting on the casting, the show’s director Benjamin Till, said: “In casting the cameo role, we were looking for someone with an instantly identifiable character, someone who young audiences would relate to and someone with a strong enough personality that would enable them to be themselves on stage. Endless ideas were considered, but in the end, Marco was everyone’s preferred choice. From his time in the house, it was obvious he had an understanding of and passion for musical theatre and his enthusiasm for the genre is what singled him out as the ideal choice.”

First seen in New York in 1991, with a full Off-Broadway staging in 1999, Little by Little examines the ever-blurred boundaries between friendship and love. One man, two women, three sets of hormones. He fancies her. She fancies him. So far, so simple. Except that he has another admirer in whom they both place their trust. Can friends ever be lovers? Lovers ever friends?

In addition to Sabba’s onstage duties, the 21-year-old law student will be lending a hand after the curtain comes down in distributing complimentary condoms to audiences courtesy of Trojan Condoms, who are supporting the show in a tongue-in-cheek gesture to ensure that audiences are prepared for whatever else their evenings may hold in store.

Little by Little has music by Brad Ross, lyrics by Ellen Greenfield and Hal Hackaday, and book by Annette Jolles and Ellen Greenfield. The new West End production stars Notes from New York’s Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton and is presented by the same creative team behind the occasional West End platform for contemporary US musical theatre. It’s produced by Neil Eckersley and directed by Till, with musical direction by David Randall and sound design by Marcus Wadland.

- by Terri Paddock