FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED
INCLUDING MARK BENTON
AND NIKI EVANS
THE CULT MUSICAL SEQUEL IN CONCERT
RETURNING TO THE WEST END FOR ONE WEEK ONLY
AT THE DUCHESS THEATRE FROM TUESDAY 15 TO SATURDAY 19 APRIL 2014
Full casting is announced today for Cool Rider, the cult musical sequel which will return to the West End, cool riding into the historic Duchess Theatre from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 April 2014 (press night Wednesday 16 April at 8.00pm) following the rapturous reception of the one-night-only concert at the Lyric Theatre. On sale now.
Mark Benton will star as Mr Stuart and Niki Evans as Ms Mason.
Mark Benton was most recently seen competing on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, reaching week 10 of the competition with his dance partner Iveta Lukosiute. Perhaps best known as maths teacher Daniel Chalk in the hit BBC drama Waterloo Road, Mark’s other television credits include roles in The Bill, Kavanagh QC, Ballykissangel, Silent Witnes, Doctor Who, Hustle and Northern Lights. Mark has also appeared in films including Mike Leigh’s Career Girls, Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering and Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. On stage, Mark recently played Edna Turnblad in the 2013 UK Tour of Hairspray.
Niki Evans first came to the public’s attention in 2007 as a contestant on the fourth series of ITV’s X Factor, where she reached the semi-finals. Niki then made her musical theatre debut as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, a part with which she has since become synonymous having played the role in the West End and on tour for six years. Other theatre credits include Paulette in the UK Tour of Legally Blonde.
Also joining the cast are Stewart Clarke (Ghost UK Tour, Loserville West End) as Jonny, Luke Fetherston (Singin’ in the Rain and Top Hat West End) as Goose, Joshua Dowen as Louis, Harry Francis (A Chorus Line, London Palladium) as Davey, Hannah Levane (Flashdance and We Will Rock You West End) as Paulette, Bronte Barbe (BBC’s Over The Rainbow) as Sharon and Lucinda Lawrence (Kiss Me Kate, Old Vic Theatre, Love Never Dies West End) as Rhonda.
The cast also includes James Darch, Fela Lufadeju, Katy Hards, Lisa Ritchie, Jak Allen Anderson, Joseph O’Reilly, Danielle Mullan, Simone Murphy and Parisa Shahmir
They join the previously announced Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell who will once again sing the roles of Stephanie and Michael, immortalised on screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield.
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 for one night only, 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 the haunting melody of 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. So grab your jackets, book your tickets, hide those hickeys and head to the Duchess Theatre!
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.
Take a look at my Tea With Wilma interview with Ashleigh Gray talking about Cool Rider