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Fame for Casey and Watkins

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Natalie Casey and Ian ‘H’ Watkins are to star in Fame The Musical when it returns to the West End this summer, opening at the Shaftesbury on 8 May.

Casey is best known for her television roles in Two Pints Of Lager (And A Packet Of Crisps) and Hollyoaks. On stage she has appeared in Hobson’s Choice at the Watermill and The Vagina Monologues at Manchester’s Palace theatre. In joining Fame, Casey is following her Two Pints co-star Sheridan Smith into the West End; on Monday Casey supported her friend by attending the press night of Little Shop Of Horrors, in which Smith plays the female lead.

Fame is an appropriate show for Ian Watkins, better known as H, who enjoyed pop stardom as part of Steps, the quintet of bright and breezy popstrels whose many hits included covers of Tragedy and Better The Devil You Know. After playing the title role in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London in 2004, H went back to college, Fame-style, and charted his progress through the Royal Academy Of Music on the television programme H-Side Story. He was most recently seen as a housemate in this year’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Based on the 1980 musical film, Fame The Musical follows the highs and lows experienced by the students of New York’s School for the Performing Arts as they fight to make their ambitions of stardom come true and hope to “light up the sky like a flame”. The show premiered in the West End in 1995, and ran until April 2006 in four consecutive homes. It now re-opens at its fifth, the Shaftesbury, for a strictly limited summer season.

Directed by Laurence Olivier Award-winning choreographer Karen Bruce, whose credits include Pacific Overtures, Footloose The Musical and the forthcoming Take That musical Never Forget, Fame is a high-kicking homage to the 80s, and has reportedly got through 2,500 legwarmers and 1,000 leotards since its 1995 opening.


Fame musical signs Steps star Watkins and TV’s Casey

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Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps star Natalie Casey and former Steps singer Ian H Watkins are to join the cast of Fame The Musical when it returns to London in May.

The show, which opened in the West End in 1995 and is now on a UK tour, comes to the Shaftesbury Theatre on May 8.

Casey, who also played Carol Groves in TV’s Hollyoaks, has previously appeared on stage in Hobson’s Choice at the Watermill Theatre, The Vagina Monologues at Manchester’s Palace Theatre and The Flint Street Nativity at the Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool.

Watkins has played the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and recently appeared in Before Bristol at the Old Red Lion Theatre.


Fame Casting Announced

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Casting has been announced for The musical Fame , which returns to the West End for a limited season opening 8 May 2007, following 4 May 2007 - booking to 1 Sep 2007

The cast includes: Natalie Casey, Ian H Watkins, Natalie Kennedy, Desi Valentine, Fem Belling, Phil Cole, George Maguire, Emma Francis, Danielle Cato, Kevin McGuire, Fabien Eloise, Chris Piper, Sean Selby, Hannah Job, Vicki Marie Ryan, Lewis Griffiths, John Reynolds, Jacqui Biggs.

Natalie Casey is well known for her starring roles as ‘Donna’ in the BBC’s Two Pints of Larger & a Packet of Crisps and as ‘Carol Groves’ in Hollyoaks.

Ian H Watkins is best known as one fifth of the band STEPS, who had 15 Top Ten hits. His London stage credits include "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" at the New London Theatre in 2004; Ian also appeared as a housemate in the Spring 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother.

Fame opened in the West End in 1995 at the Cambridge Theatre, it then opened at the Victoria Palace in 1997 and then the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1998, then back to the Victoria Palace in 2000, and then back to the Cambridge in 2001! It then transferred to the Aldwych 6th Sep 2002, where it ran to 22 April 2006.

The musical, based on Alan Parker's film, is conceived and developed by David de Silva, with lyrics by Jacques Levy and music by Steven Margoshes.

Directed by by Karen Bruce, design by Adrian Rees, lighting by Adrian Barnes.

The musical is set in New York's legendary High School for the Performing Arts. Fame follows a group of talented students in their quests for stardom and success as well as in their struggles with romance and other teenaged relationships.




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