Casting has been announced for the new musical comedy thriller Money to Burn, which opens on 9 October 2003 (previews from 29 September) at Leicester Square's The Venue, formerly home to Boy George's Taboo.

The eight-strong cast features Peter Blake (as Lord Oliver Justin), Andrew C Wadsworth (Hugo, OJ's lawyer), Sarah-Louise Young (Tiggy, OJ's wife), Perry Benson (Perkins, OJ's butler), Gabrielle Noble (Rosie, a hopeful actress) and Camilla (Angel of The Kitten Club), who are joined by Rachel Lynes and Graham Martin as well as a six-piece band.

In Money to Burn Lord Oliver Justin (OJ to his friends) is a bad-boy aristocrat who's down on his luck. After losing a fortune on the roulette tables and incurring massive debts, his wealthy wife refuses to fund him further. So OJ decides to take matters into his own hands and murder her. Billed as part thriller, part farce, part satire, with a "twist in the tail", Money to Burn features 12 original songs in a 'jazz pop' style.

Blake has appeared in West End musicals such as Hair, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hard Times. Wadsworth recently directed A Comedy of Arias at the King's Head and appeared with Gyles Brandreth in the West End earlier this year in Zipp!.

Money to Burn is written and directed by Daniel Abineri, himself an actor whose screen credits include Bless Me Father and Return to Eden and International Velvet. The first musical Abineri wrote, Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom, featured Russell Crowe in the title role and won various awards in Australia before transferring to England where it was banned after just ten performances.

The rest of the creative team for Money to Burn comprises musical director Simon Wallace, designer David Shields, lighting designer Nick Richings and choreographer Michele Thorne. The show is produced by MTB Productions with Paul Savident and Parry Masterson for The Venue.

The first new West End venue to be licensed for 70 years, The Venue is located in the crypt of Notre Dame Church off Leicester Square. A former dance hall and rehearsal space, it was reclaimed in January 2002 as a 320-seat performance space to host the world premiere of Boy George's Taboo and has been dark since the musical closed, ahead of its Broadway transfer, in April 2003.

- by Terri Paddock