Yank!, the American musical about the hidden history of gay soldiers during World War II, begins performances July 3 at London's Charing Cross Theatre. The production plays the intimate venue following a spring premiere at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester.
The production will open officially July 10 and run through August 19.
Scott Hunter reprises his role as Stu; he is joined by three new actors. Playing the role of Mitch is Andy Coxon, whose West End credits include Beautiful and Les Misérables. Waylon Jacobs, who has appeared in Chicago, Memphis, and We Will Rock You in the West End, plays Sarge/Scarlet. Bradley Judge takes on the role of Rotelli; his credits include Aladdin, Don’t Run, and Sister Act.
The rest of the company is completed by members of the original Manchester production: Benjamin Cupit as Professor, Lee Dillon-Stuart as Tennessee, Chris Kiely as Artie, Kris Marc-Joseph as Czechowski, Mark Paterson as Lieutenant/NCO, Tom Pepper as Cohen/Speedy, and Sarah-Louise Young as Louise.
The musical focuses on Stu, who is called to serve in the armed forces in 1943 and becomes a reporter for Yank Magazine, the journal for and by fellow soldiers. Telling the stories of the men in Charlie Company, the musical explores the concept of manhood and what it means to “fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against you.”
Yank! is based on the 2010 Off-Broadway production, with book and lyrics by David Zellnik, with his brother Joseph Zellnik’s score paying homage to the music of the 1940s. The musical, directed by James Baker, is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre, Ben Millerman with Jim Kierstead and Guy James.
Completing the creative team are music director James Cleeve, choreographer Chris Cuming, designer Victoria Hinton, lighting designer Aaron J. Dootson, sound designer Chris Bogg, and casting director Benjamin Newsome.
For ticket information, visit CharingCrossTheatre.co.uk.