Casting Announced for London Premiere of Disney's High School Musical
By Mark Shenton
The stage version of Disney's High School Musical will make its official London premiere at Hammersmith Apollo on July 5 following previews that begin June 28.
The company for the London run will include Letitia Dean (who played Sharon Watts, one of the original cast members of the TV soap "EastEnders," who was also seen in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing) as Ms Darbus. Norman Bowman will play Coach Bolton; in the West End and on tour, he has played Sky Masterson in the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls. Other credits include Marius in Les MisÚrables (West End and U.K. tour), Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, Tony Candelino in Master Class, Tony in West Side Story, Artie in Sunset Boulevard, Munkustrap in Cats and Danny in Grease (U.K. tours).
The cast also includes Mark Evans and Claire-Marie Hall as the school's star-crossed lovers, Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, and Rebecca Faulkenberry and Michael Pickering as the school's resident drama queen Sharpay Evans and her loyal brother/sidekick Ryan. Other featured roles are taken by Nadine Higin as Taylor McKessie, Damian Winter-Higgins as Chad Danford, Dylan Turner as Zee Baylor, Ben Nicholas as Jack Scott, Laurie Scarth as Martha Cox and Holly Taylor as Kelsi Neilson. The ensemble is completed by Gregor Stewart, Simon Hardwick, Nyroy Dixon, Matt Flint, Adam Bracegirdle, Helen Morris, Maxine Ewenson, Stephanie Siadatan, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Samantha Tan, Hayley Griffiths, Chris Milford, Carl Au, Karli Vale and Sarah-Louise Warden.
High School Musical began as a made-for-TV movie and led later to a stadium tour of the original cast, and spin-offs that also include an ice-show version, a video game, best-selling book and CD soundtrack. The stage adaptation features a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini), and is directed by Jeff Calhoun (Grease and Big River on Broadway).
To book tickets, contact the box office at 0844 847 2397 or visit www.HSMonstage.co.uk.
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