London Lantern

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Disney’s High School Musical at The Apollo Hammersmith

16/05/2008, By

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 1161 votes


Already a global phenomenon as a smash-hit TV movie, a quadruple-platinum soundtrack, a best-selling book and a chart-topping DVD, Disney's High School Musical is now set to be a summer stage blockbuster with its spectacular London production. High School Musical, produced by Stage Entertainment in co-operation with Disney Theatrical Productions, had a 31 date UK tour, which started at the end of January, with one of the biggest advances in British theatre touring history.

Due to the huge public demand for the tour, a second UK production will be mounted for a limited summer season at London’s Hammersmith Apollo Theatre commencing 30th June, 2008. With an entirely new cast and a production designed specifically for the venue, High School Musical is set to be one of the city’s hottest tickets for families this summer.

This new stage adaptation of the smash-hit musical Disney Channel Original Movie features a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini), and a score including all songs from the original chart-topping soundtrack, including the UK hit singles Breaking Free and We’re All In This Together, plus two new numbers. The production will be directed by Jeff Calhoun, whose credits include the award-winning Broadway revivals of Grease and Big River. The creative team will also include the original US production’s choreographer Lisa Stevens and other members of the American production team.

High School Musical is a contemporary musical comedy about Troy, a popular high school basketball star, and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer, who discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up to audition together for the lead roles in the school musical it threatens East High's rigid social order and sends their peers into uproar. In an attempt to maintain the status quo, the ‘jocks’ and ‘brainiacs’, and even the drama club regulars, are soon hatching convoluted plans to separate the pair and keep them offstage. Defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, and each other, the couple inspires the other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.

The London Premiere of High School Musical – Live On Stage will take place on Saturday 5th July at 7pm, with a donation to be made to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The performance will attract a star-studded audience, including favourites from television, screen, radio and theatre – joining together to raise awareness for one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals.

It will feature EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing star Letitia Dean. As part of the principal cast Letitia will be joined by Norman Bowman as Coach Bolton, Mark Evans and Claire-Marie Hall as star-crossed lovers Troy and Gabriella, with Rebecca Faulkenberry and Michael Pickering as the school’s resident drama queen Sharpay and her loyal brother/sidekick Ryan.

This stage adaptation of the smash-hit musical Disney Channel Original Movie features a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini) and a score including all the songs from the original chart-topping soundtrack, including the UK hit singles Breaking Free and We’re All In This Together, plus two new numbers. The production will be directed by Jeff Calhoun, whose credits include the award-winning Broadway revivals of Grease and Big River. The creative team will also include the original US production’s choreographer Lisa Stevens and other members of the American production team.

The donation to be made in connection with High School Musical's London Premiere is part of The Walt Disney Company Ltd’s partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to raise £10million for the hospital’s redevelopment appeal. This partnership, announced in January 2008 with an initial donation from Disney of £1million, will see a range of unique and exciting fundraising opportunities created through Disney’s films, TV shows, theme parks and products in an unprecedented cross-company campaign.

Letitia Dean, playing Ms. Darbus in the London production, said: “I am delighted to be appearing in High School Musical this summer and, having long admired the work of Great Ormond Street Hospital, it makes the job all the more special to know that they will benefit from our opening night at the Apollo. I know the rest of the cast join me in supporting the partnership between Disney and Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity and I look forward to meeting some of the inspirational children and staff during my time with the show.”

Karen O’Donoghue, Head of Corporate Partnerships for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Disney is supporting the hospital's fundraising appeal with the opening of High School Musical in London. It is also an exciting opportunity for patients and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital - many of who are huge fans of High School Musical.”

Steve Fickinger, Vice President Theatrical Licensing for Disney Theatrical Productions, said: “Since High School Musical is a story about young people and for young people and has been embraced by kids worldwide, it is only fitting that our London premiere will benefit one of the world's leading children's hospitals, Great Ormond Street Hospital.”

For booking details and lots of fun facts go to the Website.

28th June to 31st August
Hammersmith Apollo
Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm
Tickets from £10 to £45 and an access rate of £10 across all performances
Show running time: 2 hours 15 minutes including a 20 minute interval
Tickets can be purchased online from the Hammersmith Apollo

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