The U.K. premiere of Disney’s Newsies, the 2012 Broadway musical featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein, welcomes several new cast members beginning April 19 at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.
Spencer Darlaston-Jones steps into the role of Romeo, Forbes Masson is Joseph Pulitzer, Bradley Perret is Elmer, Owen Stringer is Oscar Delancey, and Ben Dalton and Harry Newby share the role of Les. The ensemble also welcomes Mireia Mambo, while new swings include Morgan Gregory, Kai Oxley, and Lucy Young.
They join current cast members Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as Jack Kelly, Moya Angela as Medda Larkin, Lindsay Atherton as Ensemble, Imogen Bailey as Swing, Samuel Bailey as Specs, Bronté Barbé as Katherine Plumber, Josh Barnett as Race, Jack Bromage as Tommy Boy, Bobbie Chambers as Ensemble, Alex Christian as Buttons, Arcangelo Ciulla as Ike, George Crawford as Morris Delancey, Ross Dawes as Snyder, Joshua Denyer as Mush, Ross Dorrington as Splasher, Matthew Duckett as Crutchie, Jacob Fisher as Albert, Jamie Golding as Wiesel, Damon Gould as Finch, Barry Keenan as Nunzio, Ryan Kopel as Davey, Sion Lloyd as Bunsen, Mukeni Nel as Jo Jo, Mark Samaras as Mike, Rory Shafford as Swing, Matt Trevorrow as Henry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman as Ensemble and Nesim Adnan, and Ethan Sokontwe as Les.
Directed and choreographed by Matt Cole, the musical began previews November 29, 2022, and officially opened December 8. Cole recently won the 2023 Olivier for Best Theatre Choreographer for the production, which continues through July 30.
The production also has set design by Morgan Large, musical supervision, dance arrangements, and musical direction by Nigel Lilley, costumes by Natalie Pryce, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Tony Gayle, orchestrations by Simon Hale, performer flying by John Maddox for Suspended Illusions Ltd, casting by Lucy Casson, children’s casting by Jo Hawes, fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown for RC Annie, associate direction by Rachael Nanyonjo, associate choreography by Jane McMurtrie, associate musical direction by Chris Ma, and production management by Lee Batty and Andy Fox for Setting Line.
Newsies was inspired by the real-life “Newsboy Strike of 1899,” when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst, and other powerful New York newspaper publishers.
The stage version introduced seven new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman—including a song written after the Broadway premiere specifically for the tour, “Letter from the Refuge”—while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Santa Fe.”
The musical took home Tony Awards in 2012 for Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli) and Best Original Score (Menken and Feldman) and was nominated for Best Actor (Jordan), Best Book (Harvey Fierstein), Best Direction (Jeff Calhoun), Best Orchestrations (Daniel Troob), Best Scenic Design (Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel), and Best Musical.