Full casting is announced today for Closer to Heaven, a musical by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys, which will receive its first London revival at the Union Theatre from Wednesday 22 April 2015, with a press night on Tuesday 28 April.
The cast features Jared Thompson as Straight Dave, Katie Meller as Billie Trix, Amy Matthews as Shell, Connor Brabyn as Mile End Lee, Ben Kavanagh as Flynn, Craig Berry as Vic and Ken Christiansen as Bob. The cast also includes Ellie Mitchell, Tamsyn Blake, Grace Reynolds, Jamie Firth, Martin Harding, Ben Somerside and Alex Tranter.
Reserved Seats will also be released online today, priced at £30 and available at selected performances. Reserved Seats are guaranteed reservations in the best seats in the theatre, which operates unallocated seating, 100% of the ticket revenue from these seats will contribute towards a profit share between the cast and creative team.
Producer Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd said: “We are absolutely delighted that Closer to Heaven has recouped its production costs pre-opening due to an unprecedented 48 hour online sell-out. This means the entire cost of the Reserved Seats will be shared equally amongst the cast, musicians and creative team. The Off-West End exists because of the good-will, risk and generosity of the people that decide to work on these shows, and in our fortunate circumstances it feels only right that any financial award is split amongst those giving their time and energy to make the work happen.”
Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/uniontheatre.
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?
Katie Meller (Billie Trix). Theatre includes: Buddy (UK tour), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre).
Amy Matthews (Shell). Theatre includes: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre). Matthews recently graduated from PPA where credits include Bring It On – The Musical and Into the Woods.
Connor Brabyn (Mile End Lee). Theatre includes: El Tango de Roxanne (Move It), Showtime (SSA Productions), Big Band Spectacular (Palace Theatre) and The Baker’s Wife (Urdang Academy).
Ben Kavanagh (Flynn). Theatre includes: The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Clatterhouse Theatre), Boy Meets Boy (Jermyn Street Theatre), Festen (ADC), The Pied Piper and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Cambridge Footlights).
Craig Berry (Vic). Theatre includes: Miracle On 34th Street (UK tour), It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman (UK premiere), Words and Music (Lost Musicals), Titanic and Carousel (Hertford Theatre).
Ken Christiansen (Bob). Theatre includes: Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre), Persephone (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Lord of the Flies (Open Air Theatre), White Something (Arcola Theatre), Fool For Love (English Touring Theatre), An Inspector Calls (West End), Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra and The School of Night (Royal Shakespeare Company).
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. It is produced by Kylie Vilcins for Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group.