Casting announced for the new production of ZORRO THE MUSICAL at the Charing Cross Theatre

Aria Entertainment today announces full cast for newly reimagined Zorro The Musical by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson, featuring music by the Gipsy Kings and John Cameron, with lyrics by Stephen Clark. Christian Durham directs Ajjaz Awad, Pete Ashmore, Amy Bastani, Isobel Bates, Ben Boskovic, Matthew Bugg, Paige Fenlon, Alex Gibson-Giorgio, Maxwell Griffin, Matthew Heywood, Jessica Lim, Phoebe Panaretos, Jessica Pardoe, Markis Pickering, Benjamin, Stylianos Thomadakis and Hannah Woodward. The production opens on Tuesday 12 April, with previews from 2 April, and runs until 28 May.

Set in the sizzling heat of 1805’s California, a pueblo is under attack from its autocratic leader. When the danger is at its greatest, a masked crusader appears from nowhere and saves lives. Who is he? Will he be their champion?

The famous red-hot tale of the masked hero, El Zorro, fighting for justice and freedom is told in an immersive, thrilling and headily sensual new production. With zealous, ‘get-on-your-feet’ music, featuring international hits by Gipsy Kings including Bamboleo, Baila Me and Djobi Djoba, alongside original music to express a fresh new tale of love, hope and courage.

Audiences will be seduced into the story and witness the thrills and spills of our hero as he battles for all he holds dear. Spanish Gypsy pride and fire runs deep throughout this explosive show with murderous encounters, immeasurable flamenco choreography and Cante jondo singing at its forefront.

Stephen Clark (1961-2016) was an award-winning playwright, librettist and lyricist. His credits include Love Story (Chichester Festival Theater/Duchess Theatre), Stripped, (Circle Theatre, Chicago – winner of the Jefferson Award), Takeaway (Lyric Hammersmith/UK tour), Making Waves (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Eyam (Old Fire) Station/The Bridewell), Martin Guerre (UK and US tour – Olivier Award for Best New Musical), Forbidden City (Esplanade Theatre, Singapore) and The Far Pavilions (The Shaftsbury Theatre, London). His adaptations include La Traviata (ENO) and The Mahabharata (Sadler’s Wells/UK tour).

Helen Edmundson is a playwright. Her theater credits include Small Island (National Theater), Queen Anne (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Thérèse Raquin (Theatre Royal Bath), The Heresy of Love (Shakespeare’s Globe), Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic/Vaudeville Theater/UK tour) , Mary Shelley (Shared Experience), Life is a Dream (Donmar Warehouse), War and Peace (National Theatre), Coram Boy (National Theater/Imperial Theatre), Orestes, Gone to Earth (Shared Experience UK tours), Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court Theater), The Clearing (Bush Theater – John Whiting Award), Mill on the Floss, Anna Karenina (Lyric Hammersmith). Her screenwriting credits include Mary Magdalene, An Inspector Calls and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher III. Edmundson was a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize for Drama in 2015.

John Cameron’s orchestration credits include Les Misérables – New York Drama Desk Award, Honk! (The Ugly Duckling) – Olivier Award for Best Musical, and Peter Pan (Royal Festival Hall). His musical supervision and arrangement credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Goodbye Girl, The Card, Blondel, Mutiny!, Spend! Spend! Spend! (Best Musical – Evening Standard Awards). As a composer his credits include Faust Part Iand Part II (RSC), Hamlet, Becket and Twelfth Night (National Theater international tours). For television his work includes scores for Jack the Ripper and Jekyll and Hyde, and the theme for BBC’s Crimewatch UK; and his film scores include A Touch of Class – Oscar Award nomination for Best Music and Original Dramatic Score, Kes and To End All Wars.

The Gipsy Kings consisted of two bands of brothers: The Reyes (Nicolas, Canut, Paul, Patchaï, André) and the Baliardos (Tonino, Paco, Diego). In 1987 The Gipsy Kings’ self-titled debut album introduced the world to rumba Gitano, the sound of South America’s rumba rhythm married to flamenco guitars. With Bamboleo, the Gipsy Kings scored a huge international hit. Their total album sales worldwide now exceed 18 million.

Ajjaz Awad is part of the ensemble for the company. Her recent theater credits include The Snow Queen (South Street Theatre), There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom (The Little Angel Theatre), How Not To Drawn (Traverse Theater) and Another Star to Steer (Brighton Dome). Her television credits include Doctor Who and Hindsight.

Pete Ashmore plays Don Alejandro. His theater credits include The Jungle Book, A Christmas Carol (Watermill Theater), Silas Marner (Belgrade Theater), Venice Preserved, The Provoked Wife (RSC), The Lovely Bones, Treasure Island (Birmingham Rep), The Dog Beneath the Skin ( Jermyn Street Theatre, Arms and the Man, The Canterbury Tales, Aladdin (Watford Palace theater), Private Lives, A View from the Bridge, The Winter’s Tale, Under Milk Wood, David Copperfield, Beauty and the Beast (Mercury Theatre), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Arabian Nights (Sherman Cymru), The Emperor’s New Clothes, House and Garden (Harrogate Theatre), The Itinerant Music Hall (Lyric Hammersmith), Mansfield Park (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), Manchester Sound , The Massacre, Grimm Tales (Library Theatre), The Jungle Book (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Macbeth (National Theatre), Vernon God Little, The Ruffian the Stair, The Queen of Spades, The Lady Aoi, La Musica, Venice Preserv ‘d, Nothing (Citizens Theater and E59E59), Public Property (Hampst ead Theatre), Tom’s Midnight Garden, Jemima Puddle-Duck (Unicorn Theatre), Cutlery Wars (Soho Theatre) and One Snowy Night (Chichester Minerva Theatre). His television credits include Silent Witness.

Amy Bastani reprises her role in the ensemble continuing her professional stage debut with the company.

Isobel Bates returns to the company as part of the ensemble. Other theater credits includeSleeping Beauty (King’s Lynn Corn Exchange), Summer Holiday (Bolton Octagon), Red Riding Hood (New Wolsey Theatre), Oh! What a Lovely War (Oldham Coliseum Theatre), Leader of the Pack (Waterloo East Theatre) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Theatr Clwyd).

Ben Boskovic returns to the company as part of the ensemble. Other theater credits include The Misadventures of Robin Hood (UK tour), Aladdin (Sutton Coldfield Town Hall), The Exonerated (Hope Mill Theater), The Secret Garden (Barn Theater), Holding the Man (Above the Stag) and Paper Hearts: A High-Street Musical (Upstairs at the Gatehouse/First Stage, Hamburg).

Matthew Bugg is part of the ensemble for the company. He wrote and performed in Miss Nightingale (UK tour/Vaults/Hippodrome Theatre). Other theater credits include Jane Eyre (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Cinderella, Aladdin (Sutton Coldfield Town Hall), The Crooked Spire (Chesterfield Church), No Horizon (UK tour), Goodnight Mister Tom (East Riding Theatre), Cirque Berserk (Garrick Theatre), Looking for Gatsby (Windsor Theater Royal/The Other Palace) and The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse).

Paige Fenlon plays Luisa. Her theater credits include Pretty Woman (Savoy Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theater) and Elegies for Punks, Angels and Raging Queens (Union Theatre).

Alex Gibson-Giorgio plays Ramon. His theater credits include Rags (Park Theatre), Everything’s Coming Up Sondheim (Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne), Yank! (Brisbane Powerhouse), Georgy Girl, Mamma Mia! (Australian tour), Aladdin (Capitol Theatre, Sydney) and Anything Goes (Opera Australia). His film credits include Not Quite Cricket.

Maxwell Griffin makes his professional stage debut as part of the ensemble.

Matthew Heywood returns to the company as part of the ensemble. His theater credits includePeter Pan, Beryl and Seagulls (Octagon Theatre).

Jessica Lim is part of the ensemble for the company. Her theater credits include The Musical That Goes Right (Cockpit Theatre), Mario: A Super Musical (Union Theatre), and Medusa: The Legend (Above the Stag Theatre).

Phoebe Panaretos plays Inez. Her theater credits include Strictly Ballroom the Musical (Australia tour), Singing in the Rain, Lazarus, Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical (The Production Company), American Idiot (Shake and Stir Productions) and Cake (The Turbine Theatre).

Jessica Pardoe returns to the company as part of the ensemble. Other theater credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas (UK tour), The Happy Prince (The Place Theater), Kiss Me Kate (Kilworth House), The Bubble Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal Stratford East/Belgrade Coventry), Twenty One (Chechester Festival Theater) and Sweeney Todd (Rose Theatre).

Marc Pickering plays Garcia. His theater credits include BASKERVILLE! (Mercury Theatre), The Elephant Man (Trafalgar Studios), Honeymoon Suite (Hull Truck Theatre), Merchant of Venice (Arcola Theatre), The Return of the Soldier (Hope Mill Theater), The Toxic Avenger, Suessical, Bananaman, (Southwark Playhouse), How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Wilton’s Music Hall), An Incident At The Border (Trafalgar Studios 2), The Wizard of Oz (Royal and Derngate), Mothergoose (Marlowe Theater), The Long and The Short and The Tall, Dead Live! (Pleasance Theatre), As We Forgive Them (ERT Company) and Dick Whittington (Milton Keynes Theatre). His television credits include Josh, Borgia III, Dalziel and Pascoe, Cricklewood Greats and which is Witch and for film; Les Miserables, To Be Someone, Brothers of Italy, The Krays: Dead Man Walking, A Viking Saga: The Darkest Day, Kill Keith, The Task, I Want Candy, Cashback, Girls, Calendar, Secret Passage and Sleepy Hollow.

Benjamin Purkiss returns to the company to play Diego/Zorro. Other theater credits include Broken Wings (The Other Palace/Katara Opera House), The Beggar’s Opera (international tour), Bat Out of Hell (London Coliseum/international tour/Manchester Opera House), and Allegro (Southwark Playhouse).

Stylianos Thomadakis returns to the company as part of the ensemble. Other theater credits include The Thorn of Acacia (White Bear Theatre). His films credits include Mary Queen of Scots, Artemis Fowl and Enola Holmes 2.

Hannah Woodward is part of the ensemble for the company. Her theater credits include Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Hartlepool Borough Hall)

Christian Durham directs. His theater credits include Breaking the Code (Salisbury Playhouse), Café Society Swing (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Quaint Honor (Finborough Theater), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Japan and Russia – Golden Mask Award for Best Musical), Spend Spend Spend, Children of Eden (Union Theater), Henna Night (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Proud (New Wimbledon Theater Studio), Taboo (UK tour – Manchester Evening News Award for Best Musical), Debbie Does Dallas (Old Fire Station, Oxford/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Real Classy Affair (Soho Theater) and Only You Can Save Mankind (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

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