The stage version of the Academy Award-winning film begins performances at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre June 22, 2011, prior to an official opening July 19. Prior to London, it will also play at Manchester's Opera House, beginning performances March 28 for a seven-week run through May 14.
The show is directed by Matthew Warchus and has new music and lyrics by Dave Stewart (best known for being part of pop duo The Eurthymics) and Glen Ballard and also features the iconic song "Unchained Melody." Oscar winner Bruce Joel Rubin has adapted his original screenplay for the stage.
Also in the cast are Sharon D. Clarke as Oda Mae Brown and Andrew Langtree as Carl, with Ivan de Freitas (Willie Lopez), Adebayo Bolaji (Subway Ghost), Mark Pearce (Hospital Ghost), Lisa Davina Phillip (Clara) and Jenny Fitzpatrick (Louise). They are joined by ensemble and swing members Jaygan Ayeh, Paul Ayres, Darren Carnall, Rochelle Neil, Michael Peters, Laura Selwood, Yemie Sonuga, Spencer Stafford, Phillipa Stefani, Jez Unwin and Sally Whitehead.
Fleeshman was last seen onstage taking over as Warner Huntington III opposite Sheridan Smith in Legally Blonde The Musical. He is best known on television for his roles in "Coronation Street," in which he played Craig Harris for four years and, more recently, Debbie Horsfield's "All the Small Things" for the BBC. As a musician, Fleeshman was the youngest contestant to win ITV's "Stars in Their Eyes Celebrity Special." Later, in 2006, he won ITV's "Soapstar Superstar." In 2008 he accompanied Elton John on his Summer Stadium and Red Piano tours. His album "Neon" was released in 2007.
Levy has most recently been seen on stage on Broadway and in the West End in the leading role of Sheila in Hair. She made her Broadway debut as Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, a role she re-created on tour in the U.S. She went on to play Maureen Johnson in the U.S. tour of Rent and in 2008 starred as Elphaba in the Los Angeles production of Wicked.
Clarke was last seen in the West End playing Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Other West End credits include playing Mama Morton in Chicago, Killer Queen in We Will Rock You and Rafiki in The Lion King. She was a judge on the BBC's "The Last Choir Standing" and has appeared regularly as Lola Griffin on the BBC series "Holby City."
Langtree has starred as Sky in Mamma Mia! in the West End, and also appeared in Blood Brothers and Fame. He appeared at the National Theatre in The Rose Tattoo and also appeared extensively at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre. His TV credits include "Doctors," "Heartbeat," "Cutting It," "Coronation Street" and "Emmerdale."