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Musicals Cast: Falls, Love Story, Gates Les Mis

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Further casting announcements have been made for a number of musicals, including Gareth Gates moving into the West End production of Les Miserables new show Legacy Falls, the Chichester transfer of Love Story and the 24th Billy joining the cast of Billy Elliot.
New musical Legacy Falls, a show set behind the scenes and in front of the camera on a fictional American daytime soap, written by James Burn has announced casting for its Off-West End run at the New Players Theatre which opens on 29 October 2010 (previews from 27 October).

Having previously been staged in Bermuda in 2003, the show is directed Ian Poitier who says the script contains the "the romances, cat-fights, hirings and firings, sex scandals, deaths and earthquakes" theatregoers would normally expect from a television soap.

The full cast have been announced as Amy Anzel whose recent credits include Company at Barons Court Theatre; Aimie Atkinson who appeared in the West End production of Never Forget; Joanne Heywood whose recent credits include the touring production of Nightfright; Davis Brooks who was recently seen in Assassins at the Union Theatre; Tara Hugo who appeared in the 2008 Menier production of La Cage Aux Folles and Mark Inscoe who was part of the cast of surprise Edinburgh Fringe hit Hamlet the Musical this summer.

They are joined in the cast by Stephen von Schreiber, Ezra Axelrod, Bart Williams and Pippa Winslow. Set and costume design for the production is by Georgia Lowe, with lighting by Mike Robertson and sound by Andrew Johnson. The show will be musically directed by Michael Bradley and is produced by Danielle Tarento and Coughed Productions.

Legacy Falls runs for a limited season at the New Players until 20 November 2010.

Gareth Gates, who recently played Marius in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, will revisit the role in the West End production at the Queen’s Theatre. He will join the cast from 18 October to 20 November 2010 before taking a break for panto season, rejoining from 31 January to 18 June 2011.

Gates, who first found fame as the runner-up to Will Young on the first series of ITV’s Pop Idol in 2002 and has since starred in the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, takes over from Alistair Brammer (who was preceded by another pop star, Nick Jonas).

Les Miserables, which recently staged a special birthday gala concert at the O2 Arena, ran at the West End’s Palace Theatre for 18 years and over 7,500 performances before moving down the road to the Queen’s on 3 April 2004.

The current cast features Simon Bowman (Jean Valjean), Norm Lewis (Javert), Lucie Jones (Cosette), Rebecca Seale (Fantine), Martin Ball (Thenardier), Lorraine Bruce (Madame Thenardier) and Killian Donnelly (Enjolras).

The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Love Story, which transfers to the West End's Duchess Theatre on 6 December 2010 (previews from 27 November) have announced full casting for the production, in addition to previously reported Emma Williams, Michael Xavier and Peter Polycarpou who reprise their Chichester roles.

They are joined in the cast by Richard Cordery (Power of Yes at the National Theatre), Gary Milner (Imagine This) and Paul Kemble (Sister Act) as well as ensemble members Lillie Flynn, Christopher Killick, Jamie Muscato and Rebecca Trehearn.

Love Story has music by Howard Goodall (The Hired Man, Days of Hope, Two Cities), a book by Stephen Clark (The Far Pavilions) and lyrics by Goodall and Clark. It’s directed by Birmingham Rep artistic director Rachel Kavanaugh and designed by Peter McKintosh, with musical direction by Stephen Ridley.

The musical is presented in London by Adam Spiegel, Stephen Waley-Cohen and, in his producing debut, Michael Ball, who was last on the West End stage himself in Hairspray, for which he received the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. He is currently touring the UK with the show.

Love Story, which drew critical aclaim at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, is designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound designer Matt McKenzie, musical direction by Stephen Ridley and musical staging is by Lizzi Gee.

The 24th boy to play Billy in Billy Elliot has been announced, with 13 year-old Scott McKenzie from Dumbarton joining the cast of the long-running Elton John musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. McKenzie joins 12 year-olds Aaron Watson from Kings Lynn and Rhys Yeomans from Oldham and 13 year-old Dean Charles-Chapman in sharing the role.

The Billys are joined by principal cast members Genevieve Lemon (Mrs. Wilkinson), Martin Marquez (Dad), Tom Lorcan (Tony), Diane Langton (Grandma), Chris McGlade (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Kevin Patricks (Mr. Braithwaite) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy).

Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot tells the story of one boy’s dream to become a ballet dancer, set against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike. The musical had its world premiere in May 2005 at the Victoria Palace, celebrating its fifth birthday earlier this year.

As well as productions on Broadway, where a the musical opened in November 2008, the show was also produced by a number of youth theatres in the UK as part of the Billy Youth Theatre 2010 project culminating in a West End Gala at the Victoria Palace in July, leading to the production becoming available for productions by schools and youth groups.

Further acts have been confirmed for the London return of La Clique - now performing as La Soiree - which opens in the specially constructed ‘South Bank big top’ next week (21 October 2010, previews from 12 October).

Joining the previously announced contortionist Captain Frodo, “bath boy” David O’Mer, strongmen duo The English Gents and Miss Behave are: Montreal’s Cabaret Decadanse; opera-singing diva Le Gateau Chocolat; physical comedienne Jess Love; cabaret artist and cheeky clown Marawa; and former Cirque du Soleil comic Mooky.

La Clique made its London debut at the London Hippodrome on 10 October 2008 (previews from 2 October), initially due to run for just four months and eventually extending until 27 June 2009, when it closed ahead of the venue’s redevelopment as a casino complex. That same year, it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, and in November 2009, it moved to the Roundhouse for a nine-week Christmas season.

Offering a mixture of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety, the company has performed seasons around the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Montreal, Dublin and New York in addition to regular summer stints at the Edinburgh Fringe.

La Soiree continues for a limited season to 31 January 2011.


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