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Big - The Musical Gets UK Premiere in Liverpool

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Nearly 15 years after it premiered on Broadway, Big The Musical, adapted from the 1988 hit film starring Tom Hanks, will receive its UK premiere next year at the Liverpool Empire, where it runs from 18 to 26 February 2011 (previews from 14 February) prior to a national tour and possible West End transfer.

The production, which has been reworked from the 1996 original, will feature a cast led by Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing star Tom Chambers and is directed by Ian Talbot, former artistic director of the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.

Producers James Milton and Paul Morrissey, of Milton Morrissey Ltd, said: “At its heart, Big is a New York fairytale about the trials and triumphs of growing up. Tom Hanks captured the hearts of a generation in his Oscar-nominated performance in the film, and now Tom Chambers will do the same for a new generation of theatregoers. It is a story which continues to enchant. And we are thrilled to be working with such a phenomenal team to bring it to the stage.”

The story centres on Josh Baskin, a frustrated adolescent  who wishes he was “big” and wakes up the next morning as a 30-year-old man. But, when he discovers there is more to being an adult than he realised, he soon finds himself wishing to be young again.

The musical version premiered at Broadway's Shubert Theatre in April 1996, directed by Mike Ockrent and choreographed by Susan Stroman. However, despite being nominated for five Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk awards, it proved a costly flop and closed after only six months.

Tom Chambers, who will play Josh, is best known for playing Sam Strachan in long-running BBC medical drama Holby City, while other TV credits include Waterloo Road. Two years ago, he won the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Camilla Dallerup.

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