Full casting is announced today for Cool Rider, the cult musical sequel which will return to the West End, riding into the historic Duchess Theatre in April.
The film told the heady and daring love story of two unlikely lovers and their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education class to talent show, and long (and beautifully lit) romantic motorcycle rides to a slightly incongruous luau ending. Now, this concert of the songs from the much loved and even more maligned 1982 cult musical will come to the West End for one night only, featuring the hit songs Who’s That Guy?, Score Tonight, Cool Rider (which will be sung precariously atop a step ladder without the aid of wires for safety), Reproduction, Girl for all Seasons and the haunting melody of Rock-a-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming).
Mark Benton will star as Mr Stuart and Niki Evans as Ms Mason. Benton was most recently seen competing on BBCs Strictly Come Dancing, reaching week 10 of the competition with his dance partner Iveta Lukosiute. Perhaps best known as maths teacher Daniel Chalk in the hit BBC drama Waterloo Road, Marks other television credits include roles in The Bill, Kavanagh QC, Ballykissangel, Silent Witnes, Doctor Who, Hustle and Northern Lights. Mark has also appeared in films including Mike Leigh’s Career Girls, Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering and Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. On stage, Mark recently played Edna Turnblad in the 2013 UK Tour of Hairspray.
Niki Evans first came to the public’s attention in 2007 as a contestant on the fourth series of ITVs X Factor, where she reached the semi-finals. Niki then made her musical theatre debut as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, a part with which she has since become synonymous having played the role in the West End and on tour for six years. Other theatre credits include Paulette in the UK Tour of Legally Blonde.
Also joining the cast are Stewart Clarke (Ghost UK Tour, Loserville West End) as Jonny, Luke Fetherston (Singin in the Rain and Top Hat West End) as Goose, Joshua Dowen as Louis, Harry Francis (A Chorus Line, London Palladium) as Davey, Hannah Levane (Flashdance and We Will Rock You West End) as Paulette, Bronte Barbe (BBCs Over The Rainbow) as Sharon and Lucinda Lawrence (Kiss Me Kate, Old Vic Theatre, Love Never Dies West End) as Rhonda.
Celebrating the infamous styles, moves and wheels of the greatest high school of all time, Cool Rider will pay homage to the films sheer brilliance (and shortcomings) with many surprises along the way.
Cool Rider is at the Duchess Theatre from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 April 2014. Tickets are priced from £25-39.50 (Premium Seats £49.50). Book online at www.nimaxtheatres.com or call box office on 0844 412 4659.