Theatre News

Exclusive: Cast announced for Closer to Heaven at the Union Theatre

The musical by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys opens at the South London venue on Wednesday 22 April

Jared Thompson
Jared Thompson
© John Clark

Full casting has been announced for Closer to Heaven, a musical by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys, which will receive its first London revival at the Union Theatre from Wednesday 22 April 2015.

The cast features Jared Thompson, Katie Meller, Amy Matthews, Connor Brabyn, Ben Kavanagh, Craig Berry and Ken Christiansen.

The cast also includes Ellie Mitchell, Tamsyn Blake, Grace Reynolds, Jamie Firth, Martin Harding, Ben Somerside and Alex Tranter.

The show, which is set against the backdrop of Soho's clubland, is directed by Gene David Kirk, featuring a book by playwright Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing) and original music and lyrics by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys.

It centres on a young dancer, Dave, who is offered a bar job at a London nightclub, where he quickly becomes part of an unconventional family including Billie Trix (originally played by Frances Barber), a fading 60s rocker and mother figure to the club's habitués.

The Union production features choreography by Philip Joel, musical direction by Patrick Stockbridge and design by David Shields. Casting is by Adam Braham.

Closer to Heaven originally premiered at the Arts Theatre in 2001, and features an original club score by the Pet Shop Boys. It is produced by Kylie Vilcins for Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group.


Jared Thompson | Straight Dave
Jared recently graduated from the Urdang Academy, where credits include Lend Me a Tenor, The Witches of Eastwick, A Little Night Music and Legally Blonde.

Katie Meller | Billie Trix
Theatre includes: Buddy (UK Tour), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre).

Amy Matthews | Shell
Theatre includes: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre). Amy recently graduated from PPA where credits include Bring It On – The Musical and Into The Woods.

Connor Brabyn | Mile End Lee
Theatre includes: El Tango de Roxanne (Move It), Showtime (SSA Productions), Big Band Spectacular (Palace Theatre) and The Baker’s Wife (Urdang Academy).

Ben Kavanagh | Flynn
Theatre includes: The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Clatterhouse Theatre), Boy Meets Boy (Jermyn Street Theatre), Festen (ADC), The Pied Piper and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Cambridge Footlights).

Craig Berry | Vic
Theatre includes: Miracle on 34th Street (UK Tour), It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman (UK Premiere), Words and Music (Lost Musicals), Titanic and Carousel (Hertford Theatre).

Ken Christiansen | Bob
Theatre includes: Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre), Persephone (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Lord of the Flies (Open Air Theatre), White Something (Arcola Theatre), Fool For Love (English Touring Theatre), An Inspector Calls (West End), Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra and The School of Night (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Closer to Heaven runs at the Union Theatre from 22 April to 23 May. Reserved seating has been released today and is available here.