Rehearsals are underway for the U.K. premiere of Disney’s Newsies, the 2012 Broadway musical featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein.
Directed and choreographed by Olivier nominee Matt Cole, the musical will begin previews at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre November 29 prior to an official opening December 8. In this new production, theatregoers will be thrust right inside the action as the newsies dance, sing, jump, and fly around the streets of 19th-century New York City.
Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (Emmett in Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Bronté Barbé will star as Jack Kelly and Katherine Plumber, respectively.
They will be joined by Moya Angela as Medda Larkin, Samuel Bailey as Specs, Josh Barnett, as Race, Cameron Blakely as Joseph Pulitzer, Jack Bromage as Tommy Boy, Alex Christian as Buttons, Arcangelo Ciulla as Ike, George Crawford as Morris Delancey, Ross Dawes as Snyder, Joshua Denyer as Mush, Ross Dorrington as Splasher, Matthew Duckett as Crutchie, Jacob Fisher as Albert, Jamie Golding as Wiesel, Damon Gould as Finch, Alex James-Hatton as Oscar Delancey, Barry Keenan as Nunzio, Ryan Kopel as Davey, Sion Lloyd as Bunsen George Michaelides as Romeo, Mukeni Nel as Jo Jo, Joshua Nkemdilim as Elmer, Mark Samaras as Mike, and Matt Trevorrow as Henry.
The role of Les will be played by Nesim Adnan, Haydn Court, Oliver Gordon, and Ethan Sokontwe.
Lindsay Atherton, Bobbie Chambers, Kamilla Fernandes, Clarice Julianda, and Lillie-Pearl Wildman will make up the ensemble, with Imogen Bailey, Zack Guest, Jordan Isaac, and Bradley Trevethan rounding out the company as swings.
Take a look at the rehearsal process in the newly released photos below:
The production will also have set design by Morgan Large, musical supervision, dance arrangements, and musical direction by Nigel Lilley, costumes by Natalie Pryce, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Tony Gayle, orchestrations by Simon Hale, performer flying by John Maddox for Suspended Illusions Ltd, casting by Lucy Casson, children’s casting by Jo Hawes, fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown for RC Annie, associate direction by Rachael Nanyonjo, associate choreography by Jane McMurtrie, associate musical direction by Chris Ma, and production management by Lee Batty and Andy Fox for Setting Line.
Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, Newsies was originally produced on Broadway by Disney Theatrical Productions. Opening night was March 29, 2012, at the Nederlander.
Newsies was inspired by the real-life “Newsboy Strike of 1899,” when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst, and other powerful New York newspaper publishers.
The stage version introduced seven new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman—including a song written after the Broadway premiere specifically for the tour, “Letter from the Refuge”—while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Santa Fe.”
The musical took home Tony Awards in 2012 for Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli) and Best Original Score (Menken and Feldman) and was nominated for Best Actor (Jordan), Best Book (Harvey Fierstein), Best Direction (Jeff Calhoun), Best Orchestrations (Daniel Troob), Best Scenic Design (Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel), and Best Musical.
Newsies is produced by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Gavin Kalin, Hunter Arnold, Kater Gordon, and Dianne Roberts, by permission of Disney Theatrical Productions.