Skins and About a Boy screen star Nicholas Hoult (pictured) will make his West End debut appearing alongside Mel Giedroyc and HollyoaksCiara Janson, also making her West End debut, in the stage adaptation of William Sutcliffe’s 1998 novel New Boy, which will have a limited season at Trafalgar Studio 2 from 19 March to 11 April 2009 (previews from 17 March).

New Boy, adapted and directed by Russell Labey, tells the story of a schoolboy crush and its devastating consequences. Mark starts the sixth form knowing that this is his last chance to impress – to be more popular, more obnoxious, the best informed about gynaecology. Meanwhile, good-looking new boy Barry (Hoult) seems to be having trouble making friends because everyone’s afraid of him. He could be the perfect ally in Mark\'s mission to enhance his social status and finally get a shag…

Nicholas Hoult made his feature film debut, age 11, starring opposite Hugh Grant in the British romcom About a Boy, but achieved teen pin-up status as bad boy Tony in E4 TV drama Skins. His other screen credits include Kidulthood, The Weather Man and Coming Down the Mountain.

Mel Giedroyc, best known as one half of comedy double act Mel and Sue, has just finished starring in West End musical Eurobeat and is one of the guest presenters at this year’ Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards launch party on 5 December (See News, 30 Oct 2008). Ciara Janson played Nicole Owen for three years in the TV teen soap Hollyoaks. The cast also features Gregg Lowe (who plays Mark) and Phil Matthews.

After its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000, New Boy transferred to London’s Pleasance Theatre and then had runs Off-Broadway and in Australia. It was revived earlier this year, with a different cast (though also including Gregg Lowe), at the fringe Tabard Theatre. It’s designed by Jason Denvir, with lighting by Roger Firth. The West End production is produced by Jason Haigh-Ellery and Stuart Piper.

- by Terri Paddock