Mel Giedroyc to appear in Starter For Ten at Bristol Old Vic

Final casting has been announced for Bristol Old Vic’s new musical Starter For Ten.

Acclaimed actress, presenter, comedian and writer Mel Giedroyc is to join the cast of the musical based on David Nicholls’ book and cult film which will run at Bristol Old Vic from 29 February – 30 March.

Mel will play the role of Brian’s mum, ‘Irene Jackson’.  She recently starred in The Crown Jewels at the Garrick Theatre in London with other theatre credits including Company (Gielgud); Much Ado About Nothing (Rose); Luce (Southwark Playhouse); New Boy (Trafalgar Studios); Eurobeat (Novello and UK tour); Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Barbican).

Her numerous TV credits include Let it Shine; The Great British Bake Off (BAFTA Award Winner); Light Lunch; Unforgivable; Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker; How To Build A Girl; Miranda; Mel and Sue Show; and the Strictly Come Dancing Xmas Special.

Mel said: “David Nicholls’ coming of age story is a classic that everybody can identify with; I was taken right back to being a gawky suburban teen finding my feet at Uni in the 80s. The sights and smells of student life – Impulse body spray, backcombed Robert Smith hairdos, questionable food from a one-ring hob, cheap cigarettes, dance floors sticky with snakebite and black!  Starter for Ten is especially meaningful to me and I’m ecstatic to be a part of bringing this brand-new musical version – full of heart, comedy and Strongbow – to a brand-new audience.”

She is joined by Robert Portal in the role of legendary quizmaster ‘Bamber Gascoigne’. Robert is a familiar face on stage and screen, known for his role as Paul Critchley on the BBC television series The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006), his role as the Duke of Richmond on the ITV drama series Belgravia (2020) and film work including the King in The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016), My Week with Marilyn (2011) and Six Days (2017).

Additional casting announced today includes Gemma Knight-Jones (A Christmas Carol, Old Vic; Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre) in the role of ‘Professor Bowman’ .

Also, Luke Johnson (The Light Princess, National Theatre) takes the role of ‘Des’, and Natasha O’Brien (Aspects Of Love, Apollo Theatre) will play ‘Mrs Harbinson’. The cast is completed by Finlay Blackman, William Hall and Rockingham Ooi-Griffiths sharing the role of Young Brian.

The join previously announced cast: Adam Bregman (The Effects of Lying) in the lead role of Brian, with Eubha Akilade (Find Me in Paris) as Rebecca, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje (Rock Follies , The Lion King) as Spencer, Miracle Chance (The Witches) as Lucy, Emily Lane (Frozen The Musical, The Sound of Music) as Alice, and Will Jennings (Les Miserables, The Mousetrap) as Patrick.

The story is set in 1980s Bristol, and is a tale of love, class and growing up against the backdrop of legendary British quiz show University Challenge.

Starter for Ten The Musical has an 80s-inspired original score and lyrics composed by queer, pop-punk composers Tom Rasmussen, who recently supported Rina Sawayama and Self Esteem on a UK tour, and Hatty Carman.

The show’s book and lyrics are co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, Artistic Directors of Antic Productions.

Starter for Ten will be directed by Charlie Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Olivier Award-nominee Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Will Burton for GBC.

The show is produced by Antic Productions, Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films and Playtone.

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📷 Main photo: Mel Giedroyc joins new musical Starter For Ten

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