Monday, 9 September 2019

Full casting announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new musical, The Boy in the Dress

Full casting is announced for The Boy in the Dress, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) new musical, which runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 8 November.

David Walliams’ heart-warming comedy telling the story of star striker and fashion lover Dennis comes to the stage for the first time in a musical adapted by former RSC writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill, with new songs from Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

Twice Olivier nominated actor Charlotte Wakefield will take on the role of Miss Windsor. Charlotte joins the previously announced cast of Rufus Hound (Dennis’ dad); Irvine Iqbal (Raj, the shopkeeper); Natasha Lewis (Dennis’ best friend Darvesh’s mum), and Forbes Masson (Mr Hawtrey, the headmaster from Dennis’ school).

Charlotte’s recent theatre credits include: A Crag Path Christmas (Aldeburgh Juliblee Hall), The Dreamers (Abbey Road Studios), Crazy For You (UK Tour), Heathers The Musical (Work in Progress Season at The Other Palace), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West Yorkshire Playhouse & UK Tour), The Herbal Bed (Royal & Derngate/ETT/Rose Theatre Kingston), Monsieur Popular (Theatre Royal Bath), Oklahoma (UK Tour), A Spoonful Of Sherman (St James Theatre), Noel Coward's Christmas Spirits (St James Theatre), The Sound Of Music (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre - 2014 Olivier & ES Award Nominee), Mamma Mia (Novello Theatre and UK Tour) and Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre, 2010 Olivier Award Nominee).

The role of Dennis will be played by Oliver Crouch, Jackson Laing, Tom Lomas and Toby Mocrei.

Darvesh, Dennis’ best friend, will be played by Ethan Dattani, Shivain Kara-Patel, Kassian Shae Ahktar and Arjun Singh Khakh.

Asha Banks, Tabitha Knowles and Miriam Nyarko will play Lisa James, Dennis’ fashion-savvy friend, while Alfie Jukes and Zachary Loonie will play his older brother John. 

Other cast includes David Birch (Maudlin Street Captain), Hannah Fairclough (ensemble), Max Gill(Big Mac), Ahmed Hamad (ensemble), Ryan Heenan (Rory), Charlotte Jaconelli (Lorna), Alim Jayda (ensemble), Christina Modestou (Miss Bresslaw), Alexander Moneypenny (Gareth), Clancy Ryan (ensemble), Cilla Silvia (ensemble), Jack Anthony Smart (Swing), Ben Thompson (Oddbod), Jamie Tyler (St Kenneth’s Captain), Georgie Westall (Swing) and Grace Wylde (Louise).

Greg, RSC Artistic Director, said of the production:

“It is tremendous to welcome such a talented cast of new and established RSC company members to our new musical production of The Boy in the Dress, particularly one with such a strong background of excellent musical theatre performances and first-class comic talent. The cast joins an already impressive line-up of UK and international creatives, including comic writer, performer and beloved children’s book author David Walliams and chart-topping songwriters Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. I am excited to work together with them over the coming weeks to bring this life-affirming, funny story to the RST stage.”

The production is designed by Robert Jones, an Associate Artist of the RSC whose credits include: Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, The Herbal Bed, Venus and Adonis, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Henry VIII (and New York) and The Winter’s Tale. 

He has designed more than thirty West End and Broadway productions, including: 

Fiddler on the Roof, City of Angels, Quiz, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Ragtime, The Sound of Music (also Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, China, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia), The Secret Rapture, Calendar Girls (and UK tour), A Chorus of Disapproval, Much Ado About Nothing, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Wizard of Oz (also Toronto and US tour). 

Choreography is by Aletta Collins. Formerly an Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House Aletta has worked on a wide array of theatrical productions as choreographer and director, most recently as choreographer for the Old Vic’s production of A Very Expensive Poison, and before that for the Manchester Royal Exchange’s production of West Side Story - the first professional UK staging to feature new choreography. 

Previous productions include: The Hairy Ape (The Old Vic/Park Avenue Armory), The Twilight Zone(Almeida/West End), Bend It Like Beckham, Made In Dagenham, Jesus Christ Superstar (West End), The Effect, His Dark Materials (National Theatre), Sweet Charity (Royal Exchange Manchester) and Anna Nicole (ROH/BAM).

Lighting is by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis and Tom Marshall.
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