Casting Announced for West End Run of Cool Rider at London's Duchess Theatre

By Mark Shenton
27 Mar 2014

Full casting has been announced for the week-long West End run of Cool Rider, which begins performances April 15 at the Duchess Theatre prior to an official opening April 16, for a run through April 19.



Described in press materials as "the cult musical sequel in concert," it was previously seen as a one-night concert at the Lyric Theatre in January.

Originally billed in publicity materials as Grease 2, and described as being based on the cult 1982 film of the same name that starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield, Grease 2 is no longer mentioned, but is clearly referenced.

According to press materials, "The film told the heady and daring love story of two unlikely lovers and their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education class to talent show, and long (and beautifully lit) romantic motorcycle rides to a slightly incongruous luau ending. Now, this concert of the songs from the much loved and even more maligned 1982 cult musical will come to the West End…featuring the hit songs 'Who’s That Guy?,' 'Score Tonight,' 'Cool Rider' (which will be sung precariously atop a step ladder without the aid of wires for safety), 'Reproduction,' 'Girl for all Seasons' and 'Rock-a-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming).' Celebrating the infamous styles, moves and wheels of the greatest high school of all time, Cool Rider will pay homage to the films sheer brilliance (and shortcomings) with many surprises along the way."

Mark Benton, recently seen competing on BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" and whose other TV credits include playing Daniel Chalk in "Waterloo Road," will star as Mr. Stuart. He was recently seen as Edna Turnblad in the 2013 U.K. tour of Hairspray.

Niki Evans, who reached the semi-finals of the 2007 series of TV's "The X Factor," will play Mrs. Mason. She has also played Paulette in the U.K. tour of Legally Blonde.

They join the previously announced Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell, who will once again sing the roles of Stephanie and Michael, immortalized on screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield.

Also in the cast are Stewart Clarke as Jonny, Luke Fetherston as Goose, Joshua Dowen as Louis, Harry Francis as Davey, Hannah Levane as Paulette, Bronte Barbe as Sharon and Lucinda Lawrence as Rhonda. The cast is completed by James Darch, Fela Lufadeju, Katy Hards, Lisa Ritchie, Jak Allen Anderson, Joseph O’Reilly, Danielle Mullan, Simone Murphy and Parisa Shahmir.

Cool Rider is directed by Guy Unsworth and choreographed by Matt Krzan, with musical direction by Lee Freeman, lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones and costume design by Christopher Wilmer. It is produced by Christopher D. Clegg and James DP Drury, with casting by Jacob Sparrow.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4659 or visit www.CoolRiderLive.com for more details.