Take a first listen to the Starter for Ten musical!
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 has 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.
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 (who appears in the video below) and casting by Will Burton for GBC.
Further casting, including that for Professor Bowman, Brian’s mum and Bamber Gascoigne, will all be revealed soon.
Hall and Parham’s company, Antic Productions, will co-produce alongside Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films – which co-produced the 2006 film adapatation – and Playtone.