A trio of star names have been confirmed for two of Blackpool Grand Theatre’s future shows.
X Factor finalist Ray Quinn replaces Gareth Gates in The Rise & Fall of Little Voice and Dave Willetts and Marti Webb have been confirmed as the two leads for 42nd Street in July.
Written and directed by Jim Cartwright The Rise & Fall of Little Voice features two national treasures – Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald from Coronation Street) and now Ray Quinn (X Factor, Dancing on Ice, Grease).
Ray Quinn began his career in Brookside but is best known for coming second to Leona Lewis on 2006’s X Factor. Since then he has had a platinum selling album, Doing It My Way. Ray has also had his own nationwide tour as well as appearing on the X-Factor arena tour and winning 2009’s Dancing On Ice.
He recently played Warner in the tour of Legally Blonde, appeared in the West End production of Dirty Dancing and Grease along with other roles in Buster, Me and My Girl and Peter Pan.
Beverley Callard is best known for her role as Liz MacDonald in Coronation Street, who she first played in 1989. Beverley left the soap in 1998 to concentrate on her other career as an aerobics instructor, and to spend more time with her family. In 2001 she joined the cast of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and stayed with the series for the next four years. In 2003 she returned to Coronation Street where she stayed until filming her final scenes in April 2011.
The Rise & Fall of Little Voice is at the Grand Theatre from November 19 to 24.
42nd Street returns to the Grand Theatre due to public demand this July, starring West End stars Dave Willetts and Marti Webb.
Winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best New Musical and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, 42nd Street is the timeless, inspiring tale of small town Peggy Sawyer’s rise to fame.
Dave Willetts became interested in amateur dramatics in his 20s and caught the attention of Bob Hamlyn, artistic director of the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Hamlyn cast him in Annie and Willetts began his rise to the top.
Trevor Nunn cast him in the chorus of the original London production of Les Misérables and within a year he was understanding Colm Wilkinson in the lead role of Jean Valjean which he took over this role in 1986.
In 1987 he succeeded Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera later taking the show on tour. Since then he has appeared in a concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar, taken the lead role in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and appeared in the 20th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats as well as returning to his role as Jean Valjean for the 10th anniversary production of Les Misérables in Sydney.
Most recently he has appeared in the West End revival of Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love and the first UK tour of Legally Blonde.
Marti Webb is best known for her roles in Evita and Tell Me On a Sunday.
In the mid 80s she succeeded Elaine Paige as Grizabella in Cats and in 1995, at 50 she reprised her role in Evita in the UK tour. In recent years Marti has appeared alongside Sheila Ferguson and Rula Lenska in Hot Flush and in 2008 she played Mrs Johnstone in the UK tour of Blood Brothers. During 2010 she starred as Aunt Eller in a UK tour of Oklahoma.
42nd Street is at the Grand Theatre from July 24 to 28.
Book at (01253) 743339, www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk, or the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.