Take That inspired musical The Band becomes ‘fastest selling theatre tour ever’

AJ Bentley, Yasdan Qafouri, Sario Watanabe-Soloman, Nick Carsberg & Curtis T Johns, credit Jay Brooks

AJ Bentley, Yasdan Qafouri, Sario Watanabe-Soloman, Nick Carsberg and Curtis T Johns (otherwise know as Five To Five) will star in The Band, opening in Manchester in September. Picture: Jay Brooks

The UK tour of new musical The Band, featuring the music of Take That, went on sale at 12 noon today (Monday 3 April) and within the first two hours the box office took £2 million, reportedly making it the fastest-selling theatre tour ever.

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen took to the stage of the Manchester Apollo on Sunday to officially confirm details of the musical.

Following on from a rehearsed reading of The Band in front of an audience of invited guests, the current line-up of the much-loved pop band returned to the stage where Take That first performed in 1992 to help launch the show’s UK tour. The show will open at the Manchester Opera House on 8 September (press night on 26 September).

Produced by David Pugh, Dafydd Rogers and Take That, the show has been written by Tim Firth, Barlow’s writing partner in his most recent critically acclaimed foray into musical theatre, The Girls.

Commenting on the show which features the five-piece boy band created on the recent BBC TV talent search Let It Shine, Take That said: “We are incredibly proud and excited that our first production as theatre producers is The Band – a musical that we think will touch the hearts of not just our fans, but everyone.”

The Band traces the lives of five 16-year-old girls united in their love for a 1990s boyband who are reunited 25 years later as 40-something women trying to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

Featuring 14 Take That hits performed by the winners of the TV show, The Band will be directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder.

With winning boy band Five To Five (AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Nick Carsberg, Sario Solomon and Yazdan Qafouri) already in place as The Band, first casting details have been revealed for the show’s female leads. Rachel Lumberg will play Rachel with Faye Christall cast as the character’s younger self. Further casting is to be announced.

The show which will reunite Barlow and Firth with producers Pugh and Rogers (the team behind The Girls) is co-produced by Barlow, Donald, Owen and Robbie Williams.

Co-director Gavin will also choreograph the production which has been designed by Jon Bausor with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

The Mamma Mia! style musical is lined up to tour across the UK until July next year ahead of a move into an, as yet unconfirmed, West End Theatre.

With tickets going on sale today (Monday 3 April), the first confirmed tour dates are: Manchester Opera House (8-30 September); Sheffield Lyceum (4-14 October); Bradford Alhambra (17-28 October); Southampton Mayflower (31 October-11 November); Llandudno Venue Cymru (14-25 November); Stoke Regent Theatre (28 November-9 December); Cardiff Millennium Centre (9-20 January 2018); Liverpool Empire (23 January-3 February); Norwich Theatre Royal (6-17 February); Canterbury Marlowe Theatre (20 February-3 March); Hull New Theatre (6-17 March); Leeds Grand Theatre (20- 31 March); Newcastle Theatre Royal (3-14 April); Bristol Hippodrome (17-28 April); Birmingham Hippodrome(1-12 May); Plymouth Theatre Royal (15-26 May); Northampton Royal & Derngate (29 May-9 June); Nottingham Theatre Royal (12-23 June); Glasgow King’s Theatre (26 June- 7 July); and Edinburgh Playhouse (10-14 July).

Angela Thomas



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