Full casting is announced today for Closer to Heaven, the musical by Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys, which returns to the Union Theatre following its sell-out run in April 2015, playing from Wednesday 21 October to Saturday 28 November 2015.
The cast features Alex Lodge (Titanic, Saturday Night Fever) as Straight Dave, Molly McGuire (Carrie: The Musical) as Shell, Jonathan David Dudley (Joseph, Les Misérables film) as Mile End Lee, David Habbin (Les Misérables, West Side Story) as Vic and Nic Kyle (The Grand Tour) as Bob. Reprising their roles from the previous run at the Union Theatre are Katie Meller (Phantom of the Opera, Blood Brothers) as Billie Trix and Ben Kavanagh as Flynn. The cast also includes Tilly Ford, Daniel James Greenway, Keira Marner, Ellie Mitchell, Anthony Starr and Philip Towne.
Set against the backdrop of Soho’s pulsing clubland, Closer to Heaven tells the story of Dave, just off the boat from Ireland and determined to make something of himself. He is offered a bar job at a glitzy London nightclub, where he quickly becomes part of an unconventional family including Billie Trix, a fading rock star of the sixties and mother figure to the club’s habitués – Vic, the club’s owner and a middle-aged gay father and his daughter Shell, who Dave sparks an immediate connection with. But will Dave truly discover himself in London, or will he fall into a labyrinth of excess, false agendas and the darker side of club life?
Closer to Heaven originally premiered at the Arts Theatre in 2001, and features an original club score by Pet Shop Boys. It received its first London revival at the Union Theatre in April 2015.
Pet Shop Boys are the UK’s most successful pop duo with 12 Top Ten studio albums and 40 Top Twenty singles including four number one records. Their first single West End Girls reached number one in nine countries, with further number one hits including It’s a Sin, Always on My Mind and Heart. They have won Brit awards for Best Single, Best Group and Outstanding Contribution to Music, and Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriting and Outstanding Contribution to British Music. They have a dedicated interest in combining music with theatre and film, having collaborated on tours with artist/director Derek Jarman, David Alden and David Fielding from the ENO, theatre designers Ian MacNeil and Es Devlin and director Sam Taylor-Wood. In 2001, Closer to Heaven was produced in the West End, and in 2011 their ballet The Most Incredible Thing, choreographed by Javier De Frutos, premiered at Sadler’s Wells.
Jonathan Harvey is the multi award-winning writer of Beautiful Thing, which returns to the West End in June. He has written 20 stage plays including Corrie!, Canary, Hushabye Mountain, Babies, Boom Bang A Bang and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. His theatre work has won him an Evening Standard Award, two Manchester Evening News Awards, the George Devine Award and the John Whiting Award. Television work includes the Bafta nominated sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, Beautiful People, Coronation Street, Shameless, Rev (Bafta, Best Sitcom), At Home With The Braithwaites, Lilies, The Catherine Tate Show and Murder Most Horrid. Jonathan has also written 4 novels, published by Pan Macmillan, All She Wants, The Confusion of Karen Carpenter, The Girl Who Just Appeared, and The Secrets We Keep.
Closer to Heaven will be directed by Gene David Kirk, whose recent credits include Me & My Friend (Drayton Arms Theatre), The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams (Off Broadway), Orwell: A Celebration (Trafalgar Studios), The Ash Boy (Theatre503) and Elgar & Alice (UK Tour). Gene was Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre from 2007 – 2012, winning The Stage’s Theatre of the Year Award in 2012. Gene was Executive Producer for the stage premiere of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall starring Sir Michael Gambon and Dame Eileen Atkins, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, which transferred to the West End’s Arts Theatre and to Off-Broadway’s 59east59 Theatre. Gene is currently Artistic Director of the Drayton Arms Theatre.
Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd returns to the Union Theatre following productions of The Beautiful Game and Bare: The Rock Musical. Other productions include Casa Valentina, Carrie: The Musical and In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse), Altar Boyz (Greenwich Theatre) and The Cat in the Hat (UK Tour).
Closer to Heaven has a book by Jonathan Harvey and music and lyrics by Pet Shop Boys. It is directed by Gene David Kirk with choreography by Philip Joel, musical direction by Patrick Stockbridge and design by David Shields. Casting is by Adam Braham. It is produced by Kylie Vilcins for Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group.
Photo: Darren Bell
WEDNESDAY 21 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2015
204 Union Street, London SE1 0LX
Performances: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm
Tickets: £40 (Premium/Reserved), £35, £30 (Concessions)
Box Office: 020 7261 9876 | www.ticketsource.co.uk/uniontheatre
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