Harvey, who has been with the Royal Ballet since he was 11, has played such roles as Mercutio in Rome and Juliet and Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling. In a statement he commented, "It has long been an ambition to play a lead in the West End, to be taking the role of such an iconic and inspirational character as Johnny Castle is a genuine thrill."
Rowe, who previously starred as Nancy in Roman Polanski's film "Oliver Twist" and as May in the BBC series "Lilies," will be making her stage debut in the show. In a statement she said, "I am absolutely delighted to be making my West End debut playing Baby in Dirty Dancing, one of my all time favourite films."
The new principals will also include Steven Hartley ("The Bill," "Doctors") and Carol Starks ("Family Affairs," "Blue Murder") as Baby's parents, while Jessica Brooks (Don Juan in Soho at the Donmar Warehouse and "Hotel Babylon" for BBC1) plays Baby's sister, Lisa.
Other new cast members are West End veteran David Firth as Max Kellerman, Robin Chalk as Neil Kellerman and Josie Kidd as Mrs. Schumacher. The ensemble is completed by Jacquie Biggs, Wayne Anthony Cole, Cassandra Compton, Neisha-yen Jones, Toussaint Meghie, Sandy Moffat, Callum Powell (who joins his sister Stephanie Powell), Cleopatra Royer, Kelly Smith, Zizi Strallen, Elia Lo Tauro, Hannah Vassallo and Alan Vincent (the last three of whom were previously with Matthew Bourne's company New Adventures in Motion Pictures), Maria Ward, Ed White and Karen Williams.
Cast members continuing in the show from the West End opening include Basienka Blake, John Conroy, Nadia Coote, Jason Griffiths, Chris Holland, Richard Lloyd King, James Leece and Brian Saccente. In a press statement the show's creator, Eleanor Bergstein, said, "As we enter our third year in London, we've wanted to re-imagine our show as an homage to our wonderful audiences. We're honoured that our new company led by Martin Harvey, as Johnny, includes three Matthew Bourne dancers (Alan Vincent, James Leece and Hannah Vassallo), distinguished theatre actors Carol Starks, Steven Hartley and David Firth, and introduces a lovely new Baby, Leanne Rowe. We're very proud of them. This is in addition to our delight that Nadia Coote will continue onstage as our radiant Penny, leading the rest of our much loved remaining company."
To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 847 2330 or visit www.dirtydancingonstage.com.