Casting Complete for U.K. Bow of High School Musical

News   Casting Complete for U.K. Bow of High School Musical Full casting has been announced for the U.K. premiere of High School Musical. The stage version of the hit TV movie will open at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on Jan. 24, 2008, prior to a national tour.

The Disney Theatrical Productions stage version features a book by David Simpatico, adapted from Peter Barsocchini's original screenplay. Jeff Calhoun (Grease and Big River, both on Broadway) will direct the show, which features a live orchestra and 34 performers.

The leading roles of Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez will be played by Ashley Day (On The Town and Mary Poppins) and Lorna Want (Les Misérables and Evita) respectively.

Ruling drama queen Sharpay and her faithful brother and sidekick Ryan will be played by, respectively, Helen George and Lee Honey-Jones. The principal cast also includes Carlton Connell as Chad and Hannah Levane as Taylor.

The cast also features Claire Machin, Mark Dickinson, Cathryn Davis, Jennifer Tanarez, Richard Vincent, Dominic Tribuzio, Ashley Andrews, Drew Campbell, Matthew Cheney, Dan Cooke, Lewis Greenslade, Natalie Hope, Mark Hilton, Robert Jones, Sarah Kitson, Richard Leeson, Buchi Osuji, Simone Palmer, Soeli Parry, Tania Pieri, Jessica Phillips, David Purdue, Amy Ross, Bonnie Laura Smith and Charlotte Walcotte.

According to production notes, High School Musical follows the fortunes of "Troy, a popular high school basketball star, and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer who discover they share a secret passion for singing.  When they sign up together to audition for the lead roles in the school musical it threatens East High's rigid social order and sends their peers into uproar.  In a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo, the 'jocks,' the 'brainiacs' and even the drama club regulars, are soon hatching convoluted plots to separate the pair and keep them offstage. However, by defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, the couple inspire other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own." The original movie proved to be an unexpected hit when it premiered in the U.S. in 2006, becoming the highest rated Disney Channel movie and winning two Emmy Awards.

The movie also achieved an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first TV movie to deliver nine concurrent singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

The creative team also includes choreographer Lisa Stevens and designer Kenneth Foy.

For more information on High School Musical, visit www.highschoolmusicalonstage.co.uk.