Several London shows have recently made new casting announcements, which include a film/TV import to a major musical, the return of a West End veteran and new blood for a starring role in Billy Elliot.

Singin' in the Rain announced today that Robert Powell will be joining the cast from 1 October 2012 in the role of studio boss RF Simpson. The change will coincide with the 60th anniversary of MGM's film of the same name, and also comes as the show announces that it is now booking until February 2013.

Robert Powell and the cast of Singin' in the Rain
Robert Powell and the cast of Singin' in the Rain. Photo: Alastair Muir

On his new role, Powell said "I’m delighted to be back in the West End and joining this classic musical.  On the night I went to see it, from the minute the curtain went up I knew it was a show for me and I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented company.

"I’ve also dealt with a few studio bosses in my time so inspiration for the part of RF Simpson should come pretty easily!  I can’t wait to get started.”

Powell's previous stage credits include UK tours of Doctor in the House and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. He has also won a BAFTA award for Best Actor for a TV role as Jesus in Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth. He has also played CEO Mark Williams in the BBC’s Holby City for six years and David Briggs in the BBC’s The Detectives.

Darren Day returns

Darren Day will be making his was to the Tristan Bates Theatre to star in the European premiere of The Last Session, which opens on 26 September 2012.

Darren Day in a 2011 touring production of Brother Love's Salvation Show. Photo: Dan Wooller

Day, who has been absent from the London stage for some time while taking part in touring productions, will play Gideon in the musical centred on a terminally ill musician's final recording session before taking his own life.

His substantial back catalogue of stage credits includes Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (West End and national tour) and national tours of We Will Rock You and The Rocky Horror Show. On screen, he has played Danny Houston in Channel 4's Hollyoaks.

New Billy boys

Lastly, two new boys have been announced to play the role of Michael in Billy Elliot. Jack Bromage-Eccles, 10, and Thomas Moore, also 10, will alternate with Joe Massey, 12, in playing Billy's best friend in the Elton John-penned musical. The title role is alternated between a team of four performers aged 12-13.

Thomas Moore and Jack Bromage-Eccles
Thomas Moore and Jack Bromage-Eccles