The highly-anticipated new musical featuring the music of Take That is on its way to Norwich Theatre Royal.
The Band will take to the stage on February 6-17 next year and promises to be a celebration of the group’s biggest hits.
Tickets go on sale to the public from 12 noon on Monday April 3 and box office demand is expected to be very brisk.
It follows the story of five female friends whose 16-year-old lives revolve around a boy-band. It then picks up on them 25 years later as the forty-something women try to once again meet up with their heroes.
Playing the title role of their pop heroes The Band will be AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri, Curtis T Johns and Sario Solomon (pictured, top). They captured the hearts (and votes) of prime-time Saturday TV audiences when they won Let It Shine, the BBC show that followed the search for stars of this new production which was co-hosted by Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc.
They will star opposite top theatre performers Rachel Lumberg and Faye Christall, who play Rachel and Young Rachel respectively, with further casting to be announced.
It also boasts a strong team behind the scenes. Take That are very hands-on co-producing the show themselves. The Band is written by Tim Firth who is best known for penning Calendar Girls and its musical spin-off The Girls. It is also being directed by Jack Ryder who is probably best known for his role as Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders but these days has a very successful creative career having directed the stage versions of Calendar Girls and The Full Monty.
Co-producer Gary Barlow said the audience are in for something very special. He said: “It is a rollercoaster of emotions and a celebration of our music. You will be laughing, crying, see amazing cast members, brilliant acting and singing, and it will make people feel they are 15 again. You will get all that in one performance. It is what theatre is all about.”
And there was praise for the five cast-members who portray The Band from fellow Take That member and show co-producer Mark Owen. He said: “They are like our little brothers. We are so lucky to have them. We had no idea who would win the TV show and we are so proud of them.”
The show was officially launched earlier today (April 2) in front of an audience of specially invited guests including fans and friends, with Take That themselves in attendance. The VIP event at the Manchester Apollo was particularly poignant for the boys as it was where they first performed back in 1992.
And speaking after the special show, AJ Bentley who plays one of The Band, said the whole process has been incredible so far for him and his fellow Let It Shine winners. He said: “We have not had time to stop and take it all in. It has been so full on. The night of the Let It Shine final, Gary told us the hard work starts tomorrow and it did. There has been a lot to do and we have kept very busy.”