Newcastle musical première reschedules to 2021
18 August 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan
The première of the new musical The Drifters Girl at Newcastle Theatre Royal has been rescheduled for late 2021. Produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian, the show stars Beverley Knight as Faye Treadwell, the manager of The Drifters, who, alongside her husband, fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records' hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon and charts the trailblazing efforts of the world's first African American, female music manager and how she refused to ever give up on the group she loved.
Its songs include "Stand By Me", "Saturday Night at the Movies", "Under The Boardwalk", "Save The Last Dance For Me" and "Kissin’ in the Back Row of the Movies" and it will be directed by Jonathan Church (Singin' In The Rain), making its world première at Newcastle Theatre Royal next year on Saturday 9 October 2021, running until Saturday 23 October (Tuesday–Saturday at 7:30; matinées Thursday at 2:00 & Saturday at 2:30), before transferring to the Garrick Theatre in London for a strictly limited season of 20 weeks, with performances beginning on Thursday 4 November 2021.
Beverley Knight—“The Queen of British Soul”—has enjoyed several Top 10 albums, including the platinum selling Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight. Her most recent solo album Soulsville was released in June 2016 and went straight into the UK Top 10. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to British music and charity, has won three MOBO Awards has and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. 2019 saw her celebrating 25 years in the music business with a live album, BK25, recorded with the Leo Green Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.
Her West End debut was in the star role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard in 2013. In 2014, she received an Olivier Award Nomination as Best Actress in a Musical for her role of Felicia Farrell in the Tony Award-winning show Memphis The Musical, and in 2015 she played Grizabella in Cats at The London Palladium. In 2018, she starred as Emmeline Pankhurst in new funk and hip hop musical Sylvia at The Old Vic, for which she won a best supporting actress award at the inaugural Black British Theatre Awards.
She performed on 23 July 2020 at the London Palladium for the official pilot performance to safely reopen UK theatres and music venues.
Further casting will be announced at a later date.
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