Burlesque The Musical - Casting: Jess Folley (Photo by Elliott Morgan) & George Maguire

Jess Folley & George Maguire to star in Burlesque The Musical

Producers of the new movie-to-stage adaptation of Burlesque The Musical, including the movie’s original star Christina Aguilera, have revealed casting ahead of the show’s Manchester and Glasgow runs.

The show will star The X Factor and Voice Kids UK winner Jess Folley as Ali, the part played by Christina Aguilera in the movie, alongside Olivier Award-winner George Maguire (Death Note, Sunny Afternoon, Bonnie & Clyde) as Vince, played by Peter Gallagher in the film.

Burlesque will also star Billie-Kay (Anything Goes) as Sophia, B Terry (Cabaret) as Georgie, TikTok star and actor Jess Qualter (BrookieandJessie) as Daphne, Yasmin Harrison (The Bodyguard) as Brenda/Dance Captain, Lily Wang (Moulin Rouge! The Musical) as Fifi, Hollie-Ann Lowe (Dirty Dancing) as Summer and Alessia McDermott (Back to the Future) in the Ensemble.

The part of Tess Scali, played by Cher in the movie, is to be announced on 5 Feburary 2024, along with other cast.

This is the first ever stage adaptation of Steven Antin’s cult movie Burlesque, which starred Christina Aguilera.

Burlesque is written by Steven Antin, with additional material by Kate Wetherhead. The show boasts songs by Christina Aguilera, Sia and Diane Warren, alongside additional songs by Todrick Hall and Jess Folley.

Directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, the creative team also includes Soutra Gilmour (Set Designer), Ryan Dawson Laight (Costume Designer), Tom Curran (Musical Arrangements and Orchestrations), Phil Bateman (Musical Supervisor), Jack Knowles (Lighting Designer), Ben Harrison (Sound Designer), Harry Blumenau (Casting Director), Carole Hancock (Hair & Wigs Designer), Guy Common (Make-up Designer), Chris Poon (Musical Director), Robin Antin (Creative Co-Producer/Associate Choreographer), Ryan-Lee Seager (Associate Director/Choreographer), Libby Watts (Associate Choreographer), Sarah-Jane Price (Casting Associate), Laura Rushton (Costume Supervisor), Tommy Franzen (Assistant Choreographer), Sarah Day (Dramaturg), David Gallagher (Orchestra Fixer), Lloyd Thomas (Production Manager).

Steven Antin said in a statement: “I am so thrilled that we have the powerhouse that is Jess Folley taking on the iconic role of Ali Rose. She is a rare talent indeed. An incredible singer, a wonderful, instinctual actress, a spectacular songwriter…and gorgeous. Jess has also composed sensational new music for the show. Everyday I peel myself off the ceiling and ask…what did I do to deserve Jess Folley. I was gobsmacked over Xtina when she did the movie, because she had so many extraordinary talents that she brought to the film, the rare breed that she is, so the bar for me was very high. And it has come full circle with Jess. The other cast members who are creating the world of Burlesque deserve more than just a brief mention. The stakes and the bar for being in the Burlesque cast are very high. It requires a rare breed of talent and we have looked tirelessly for those special people who will populate our world. From George Maguire, to Billie-Kay, B Terry, Jess Qualter, Yasmin Harrison, Lily Wang, Hollie-Ann Lowe and Alessia McDermott and more! These artists are the creme de la creme.”

Actor and songwriter Jess Folley said: “A year ago, I was lucky enough to have the chance to compose a song for the show and fortunately for me, Steven loved it! We had a couple of calls to get to know each other, and the next thing I know he had asked me to play Ali in the workshops and then the show itself. Since then, I’ve written a number of other songs, become part of the creative team and have totally fallen in love with this project. I’m beyond excited to be in the Burlesque family and can’t wait to open as Ali Rose in Manchester in June.”

Burlesque the Musical previews at Manchester Opera House on 13 June 2024, playing to 29 June. The show then runs at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal from 11 to 28 September 2024, and then heads back to Manchester Opera House from 3 October to 2 November 2024, prior to its West End run.

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📷 Main photo: Burlesque The Musical - Casting: Jess Folley (Photo by Elliott Morgan) & George Maguire

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