Ahead of the broadcast of the Royal Variety Performance – in which cast members of I Can’t Sing! performed – full casting has been confirmed. The X Factor musical previews at the London Palladium from 27 February 2014 (press night is 26 March).
As previously announced, Olivier Award-winner Nigel Harman will play X Factor judge Simon, and Cynthia Erivo (recent Evening Standard Award nominee for The Color Purple) and Alan Morrissey are the lovestruck contestants Chenice and Max.
Joining Harman on the judging panel will be Ashley Knight as the ever-positive boyband manager Louis and Victoria Elliot as pop queen Jordy. Simon Bailey will play the ‘overly affectionate’ X Factor host Liam O’Deary, with Billy Carter as executive producer and Simon’s right hand man, Gerard Smalls. Simon Lipkin is Chenice’s faithful canine sidekick Barlow and Joe Speare is her iron-lung bound Grandad.
Along with Chenice and Max, the I Can’t Sing! hopefuls include Katy Secombe as supermarket checkout chanteuse Brenda, Charlie Baker as The Hunchback and Shaun Smith and Rowen Hawkins as hyperactive Irish pop duo Alterboyz.
The cast is completed by Luke Baker, Adam J Bernard, Jenna Boyd, Cyrus Brandon, Gabrielle Brooks, Scarlette Douglas, Kelly Ewins, Scott Garnham, Cherelle Jay, Faisal Khodaukus, Jaye Marshall, brian McCann, Max Parker, Joseph Prouse, Steven Serlin, Kirstie Skivington, Philippa Stefani, Gary Trainor and Alex Young.
Comedian Harry Hill, who has written the new musical comedy with Steve Brown (Spend Spend Spend), commented: “I worked with a lot of the cast in the workshops for I Can’t Sing! and we have some brilliant new faces too. I’m thrilled with the acting company we have on board – and it’s a coup to have Nigel Harman as Simon. He was so funny in Shrek the Musical – not so much in Downton. With the wig and teeth he looks more like Simon, than Simon.”
Hill introduced Harman as Simon for the first time on the Royal Variety Performance, as the cast performed a medley of the songs ‘Please Simon’ and the title number ‘I Can’t Sing’ on stage at the musical’s forthcoming home, the London Palladium. The performance will be part of the annual broadcast on ITV1 on Monday 9 December.
The musical is directed by Sean Foley alongside choreographer Kate Prince, designer Es Devlin, lighting designer Jon Clark, sound designer Gareth Owen and musical supervisor Phil Bateman.
I Can’t Sing! is presented by Stage Entertainment and Syco Entertainment.
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