||Last Updated: Aug 23rd, 2010 - 16:19:49
News Release: We Will Rock You
WE WILL ROCK YOU UPS IT’S ‘STREET’ CRED AS KEVIN ‘CURLY WATTS’ KENNEDY JOINS CAST AS ‘POP’
Show Announces New Cast to lead it into 10th Year. First Night is Monday September 6, 2010
Storming into its tenth year as one of the West End’s most successful shows, Queen & Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You has announced that one of the UK’s most loved and best recognised actors, Kevin Kennedy will join the new cast starting on September 6th.
Kevin, best known for his role of Curly Watts in TV’s Coronation Street, which he held for twenty years between 1983 – 2003 appearing in 334 episodes, will take on the part of Pop, the ‘hippie’ who alone knows the secrets of the ‘hidden rock’ and will take any measures to keep them concealed.
Kevin comes to London following his triumph in the same role in last year’s touring production of the musical, which set new audience records throughout the UK. The combined audience figures for We Will Rock You on tour and in London established the show as the most successful musical of last year.
Joining Kevin in the new cast will be former X-Factor star Brenda Edwards. Brenda, who shared the stage with Kennedy for the UK tour with huge success, joined the London cast earlier this month for a limited season stepping in for Mazz Murray, the show’s long-time sensational Killer Queen who is off on maternity leave. From September 20th, after taking two weeks out to appear in the Young Vic production Human Comedy, Brenda will rejoin the London show as full-time Killer Queen until Mazz Murray’s return. In Brenda’s absence the role of Killer Queen will be covered by Lucy Tapp and Tricia Adele-Turner.
The 2010 – 2011 cast also sees the welcome return of renowned actor/singer Ricardo Afonso to the leading role of the break-away rebel and dreamer Galileo. Ricardo previously played Galileo from 2007 – 2009, and led the WWRY cast in the Olympic hand-over concert last year, before a departure to take on a succession of touring concerts and shows.
Newly cast opposite Ricardo in the second leading role of Scaramouche, the lippy chick who finally leads Galileo to become a champion, is Sarah French. Sarah, having achieved great success covering the role of Scaramouche at London’s Dominion, was last year offered the female lead in the touring production, in which she delighted the provinces. Sarah’s journey with WWRY comes around full circle as she moves into the leading female role in the West End.
The role of Meat, the rock chick with a killer voice and an attitude to match, will be played by Rachel John. Rachel will take up the role November 1. Rachel’s recent West End roles have included ensemble and covers in both Sister Act and The Lion King. Her casting marks her first West End leading role. Prior to Rachel’s arrival, the role of Meat will continue to be played until October 2 by Amanda Coutts who presently holds the part. Lauren Varnham will then cover until October 30.
Sure to please the show’s legions of regular visitors, two of its most popular actors will continue in their roles: Alex Bourne stays on as Killer Queen’s perfect foil and fellow villain, the silver-tongued, Armani-suited Khashoggi. Alex was first cast in the role in April 2005. Ian Carlyle will continue to show his muscle as the ‘bad-ass’ Britney, who despite his tough exterior, will do anything for the love of his baby, Meat.
With over 3000 performances behind it, and holding the record for the longest running show ever at the Dominion, We Will Rock You continues to show great strength as it heads for its tenth year in London, a landmark it will reach next spring. Bookings are now being taken through to April 2011.
The show will begin a second UK tour this December, opening in Manchester, and rolling out around the country throughout the year. Concurrently, foreign language productions are set to open across Europe in the Netherlands, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.
WE WILL ROCK YOU is a Queen Theatrical Productions/Phil McIntyre Entertainment/Tribeca production.
We Will Rock You 2010 – 2011 Cast:
Galileo – Ricardo Afonso
Ricardo returns to the role of Galileo having spent a year away in which he undertook a series of concert and show dates including A Night of a Thousand voices at the Royal Albert Hall, the Queen concerts with the English National Orchestra and as principal singer in Abba Tribute in Portugal. He has also contributed to many well-loved feature films and animations including singing numbers as Robin Hood in Shrek and main title songs for Beauty and the Beast and Duck Tales.
Scaramouche – Sarah French
Having covered the role of Scaramouche at the Dominion before gaining the role in the touring production, Sarah now fully takes on the role in the London production. Sarah has previously been seen in the Olivier Award winning production Sunday in the Park With George, and in the UK touring production of The Rocky Horror Show.
Other theatre work includes the Sondheim 75th Birthday Gala at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She is also recognized for her TV work including the regular role of Alison Peters in EastEnders and Samantha and Julie in Little Britain.
Pop - Kevin Kennedy
One of TV’s best known and best loved character actors steps into the well-worn sandals of Pop, the hippy librarian who knows the secrets of the “texts” and leads Galileo on a journey of discovery to the Place of Living Rock where the Champions once played. Although most widely recognized for his 20-year long role of Curly Watts, Kevin has all the right credentials to play someone who knows about the history of rock music. Outside of acting, Kevin has himself enjoyed a successful career as a musician: he was bass player in the band Paris Valentinos which also featured Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke who later played in The Smiths, and later formed his own band, Band of Thieves. Then signed by Simon Cowell under his own name, he had a gold selling album, Present Kennedy and today he is an artist signed to Warner Records.
Kevin played Pop throughout We Will Rock You’s 2009 UK tour. He has also appeared in the West End as Amos in Chicago the Musical and as both Caractacus Potts and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Killer Queen – Brenda Edwards
Former X Factor finalist Brenda Edwards immediately went from her TV fame into
becoming a much sought after West End actress and TV regular. She was snapped up to play Mama Morton in Chicago the Musical and then created the role of Pearl Pastor in Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall. She wowed audiences around the UK in the touring production of We Will Rock You playing over 300 performances as Killer Queen, a treat she now brings to West End audiences.
Khashoggi – Alex Bourne
Alex is one of We Will Rock You’s longest running cast members having first taken the role of Khashoggi in 2005. Alex’s earlier roles in music theatre have seen him take on some of rock and pop’s greatest performers: he has played Buddy Holly in
Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Bobby Vee in Only the Lonely and Dean Martin in The Rat Pack. Other shows include Grease and The Rocky Horror Show.
Meat – Rachel John
One of the show’s most physically challenging roles, the freedom fighter Meat, falls on Rachel John to play. It is a role that Rachel covered for We Will Rock You’s UK tour playing the role for over 65 performances. Her handling of the role has taken her into the part full-time in the London cast. Previous roles Rachel has covered have included Deloris in Sister Act and Shenzi and Rafiki in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
Britney (‘Brit’) – Ian Carlyle
Continuing in the role of Britney, the hot-headed rebel who gives his all for the love of his ‘baby’, Ian made his West End debut in The Lion King followed by a run in Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess. His other highly noted work includes the UK tour of Miss Saigon and a run of Carmen Jones at the royal Festival Hall.
We Will Rock You. Now in its 9th year at the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1. (Tottenham Court Road tube station). Booking to April 2011.
Performances Monday – Friday 7.30pm. Saturdays 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Additional matinee last Wednesday each month and school holidays 2:30pm. Ticket line: 0844 847 1775. Full details at: www.wewillrockyou.co.uk
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