Theatre News

Exclusive: Starter for Ten musical sets leading cast

The show has its world premiere at Bristol Old Vic

The cast of Starter for Ten, © photographer credit Oliver Rosser, Feast Creative
The cast of Starter for Ten, © photographer credit Oliver Rosser, Feast Creative

Exclusive: Take a first look at the cast for Starter for Ten, the brand-new musical based on the much-loved film of the same name.

Set in 1985, the coming-of-age story centres on Brian, who is starting his first year at Bristol University with the aim to fulfil his lifelong dream of competing on BBC quiz show University Challenge. It is based on the 2006 film of the same name, which starred James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden and Rebecca Hall.

The show will have a book and lyrics co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, with an 80s-inspired score composed by queer, pop-punk composers Tom Rasmussen and Hatty Carman.

Set to lead the show as Brian is Adam Bregman, who is currently training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has previous credits including Tolkein and Huntingdon Theatre’s stage production of Sing Street. Joining Bregman will be Eubha Akilade (Find Me In Paris, The Diplomat), who takes the role of Rebecca, Brian’s closest friend on campus.

Stephenson Ardern-Sodje (Rock Follies) plays Brian’s childhood best friend Spencer, Miracle Chance (Heathers) will play Brian’s team member Lucy, am-dram celebrity Alice will be played by Emily Lane (Frozen), and Will Jennings (Les Misérables) will play team captain Patrick.

Hall and Parham said today: “It is so exciting to be working with a new generation of extremely talented young actors. In exactly the same way that the film Starter for Ten was instrumental in launching the careers of so many young British stars (James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper and James Corden to name but a few!), we have seized this opportunity to champion and showcase the stars of tomorrow.”

Further casting, including that for Professor Bowman, Brian’s mum and Bamber Gascoigne, will all be revealed soon.

Running from 29 February to 30 March 2024, Starter for Ten will be directed by Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke, musical supervision by Nick Barstow and casting by Will Burton for GBC.

Hall and Parham’s company, Antic Productions, will co-produce alongside Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films – which co-produced the 2006 film adapataion – and Playtone.