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Michael Fletcher from ITV's SUPERSTAR Joins DEPARTURE LOUNGE at Edinburgh Fringe, Aug 8-19

Michael Fletcher from ITV's SUPERSTAR Joins DEPARTURE LOUNGE at Edinburgh Fringe, Aug 8-19

Michael Fletcher joins the cast of InSTEP Theatre's award-winning production of Departure Lounge direct from ITV's Superstar.

Liverpool based actor Michael Fletcher beat thousands of hopefuls including established West End performers to gain a place in the final 20 for ITV's Superstar; a nationwide search to find an actor to play Jesus in a UK wide arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Michael Fletcher from ITV's SUPERSTAR Joins DEPARTURE LOUNGE at Edinburgh Fringe, Aug 8-19Michael first auditioned for the show in February, which saw him personally selected by casting director David Grindrod. He then went through several rounds including a "Superstar Island boot camp" with judges Mel C and Jason Donovan, a trip to sing personally for Andrew Lloyd Webber at his holiday home in Mallorca (the very place Departure Lounge is set) and again in London following a 25 hour tour bus journey across Europe. Despite extremely positive comments from the judges and Andrew Lloyd Webber Michael did not make the final 10 and the live televised finals. He comments, "I never imagined I would have got so far in the competition and I am delighted at the comments I received, the lessons I learnt on the show will last me throughout my professional career."

He is extremely positive about his experience on the show and is delighted that he is able to join the rest of the cast for Dougal Irvine's award winning musical Departure Lounge this summer in Edinburgh. Michael is to graduate from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) later this month.

Michael Fletcher from ITV's SUPERSTAR Joins DEPARTURE LOUNGE at Edinburgh Fringe, Aug 8-19Joining Michael and the rest of the cast is former talent search star Hayley Hampson (previously Clarke) who made the live finals of ITV's last search for a musical theatre star Grease is the Word! The show culminated in the coveted role of Sandy being played by Susan McFadden.

Jordan, Pete, Ross and JB have had the time of their lives in Malaga. A week full of booze, girls and sunburn has left them with great stories to tell. But who is being completely honest and when the truth comes out will their friendship survive?

InSTEP Theatre was set up in Liverpool in the autumn of 2010 by a group of students studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The company shares a passion for the development of new musical theatre and created InSTEP to give such work a platform in the North West.

Departure Lounge is directed by Sally Rapier, musical direction by Richard Reeday. Designed by Roberta McKeown, The cast includes: Glenn Adamson, Jamie Barnard, Michael Fletcher, Joshua Meredith and Hayley Hampson. The Production is produced by Laura Trapp and Christian Joel Butterworth for InSTEP Theatre.

Dougal Irvine (writer) is currently Composer-in-Residence at Royal and Derngate, Northampton under the Cameron Mackintosh/Mercury Musicals resident composer scheme. Dougal studied Psychology at the University of Birmingham before training as an actor at Mountview. Theatre credits include; Mark in Rent (Prince of Wales,) Manjiro in Pacific Overtures (Leicester Haymarket) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria.) He trained in playwriting at the Royal Court. Dougal was bookwriter/lyricist/composer for In Touch (Bridewell Theatre,) and lyricist/arranger for Britain's Got Bhangra (Stratford East/Watford Palace/Rifco Arts). Other composer credits include; The Bacchae and Blood Wedding (Royal and Derngate,) The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors (Hazlitt Theatre). Songs by Dougal have featured at three Whatsonstage.com award concerts. His debut album Acoustic Overtures was released in 2011.

Sally Rapier (Director): Directing Credits Include: Spring Awakening, Titanic: The Musical, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity, Time and the Conway's, A New Brain, Privates on Parade, Ain't Misbehavin', Nicholas Nickelby, And The World Goes Round and Exquisite Agon (LIPA). Sunset Song (His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen and Scottish tour); Falling Off Broadway, One Touch of Venus, A Night with John Mortimer and Marlowe (Kings Head Theatre, London); Princesses and The Ballad of Little Pinks (NAMT, New York); First Lady Suite, Jerry Springer: The Opera, The Spitfire Grill, The Jonah Boy, Zanna Don't and August: Osage County (RSAMD); The Shakespeare Review, Babes in Arms and The Secret Garden (Stagedoor Manor, New York). Previous Artistic Director for Global Search for New Musicals, Cardiff International Musical Theatre Festival; Assistant Director for The Festival of New Musicals,The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), New York; Resident Assistant Director, Kings Head Theatre, London; Director and choreographer for Stage Door Manor, New York.

Richard Reeday (Musical Director): Musical Director credits: The new chamber cast production of The Hired Man (Off-Broadway, UK tour New Perspectives Theatre Company); The Rocky Horror Show (Official European Tour); Sex, Chips and Rock 'n' Roll (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); The Boys In The Photograph (Workshop and premiere, LIPA); Perfect Pitch New Musicals Showcase (Trafalgar Studios, London); Global Search For New Musicals Showcase (Cardiff International Musical Theatre Festival); Elegies:A Song Cycle (The Arts Theatre, London); Closer Than Ever, (Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man); The Wizard of Oz (The Gateway Theatre, Chester); Blues In The Night and Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (for the National Student Theatre Company, Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Composer/Arranger credits include: Dolly (Curve, Leicester); Alice In Wonderland (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton); A Christmas Carol (Greenwich Theatre, London); Angels Painted Fair (Workshop and premiere, LIPA); Carrying David (workshop/Three Triangle Productions).

Glenn Adamson (Ross): Theatre credits include: 'Hanschen' in Spring Awakening (Paul McCartney Auditorium, LIPA), 'Willie Mossop' in Hobson's Choice (Sennheiser Studio Theatre, LIPA)., 'Angel' in Rent, 'Ryan' in High School Musical and 'Sebastian' in Twelfth Night (Key Theatre, Peterborough).

Jamie Barnard (Jordan): Theatre credits include: 'Vicar' in A Clockwork Orange, 'Peter' in The Danny Crowe Show and'King Louis VI' in In Extremis (Sennheiser Studio Theatre, LIPA); 'Thomas Andrews' in Titanic: The Musical (Paul McCartney Auditorium, LIPA).

Michael Fletcher (Pete): Theatre credits include: Multiple Roles in A Clockwork Orange, 'Roger' in The Danny Crowe Show , 'Molina' in Kiss of The Spiderwoman (Sennheiser Studio Theatre, LIPA). 'Henry Etches' in Titanic: The Musical (Paul McCartney Auditorium, LIPA); 'Action' in West Side Story (Guernsey Theatre Project); 'Man One' in Songs for a New World (Unity Theatre, Liverpool); 'Nankipoo' in The Hot Mikado and 'Billy Bigalow' in Carousel (The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn). TV Credits: ITV's Superstar (Final 20).

Joshua Meredith (JB): Theatre credits include: 'Jim Farrell' in Titanic: The Musical, 'Acrobat' in Barnum (Hull New Theatre, Hull); 'Sigurd' in The White Darkness (Northwall Arts Centre, Oxford); 'Sheriff' in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Northern Academy of Performing Arts); 'Bouncer' in Adaptation of Bouncers for HM the Queen (Hull Truck Youth Theatre); 'Roadie' in Funny Turns and 'PC Meadows' in Loot (Hull Truck Theatre, Hull). Film credits include: 'Donovan's Mate' in The Inbetweeners Movie (Young Bwark Productions) and 'Jay' in Manus Dei - Short Film (York St John's University).

Hayley Hampson (Sophie): Theatre credits include: 'Cinderella' in Cinderella (The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn); 'Princess Jasmine' in Aladdin (William Aston Hall, Wrexham). Film & Television credits include: Live Finalist in Grease Is The Word (ITV); Sony PlayStation (Commercial); Jacob's Hammer - Short Film.

The show previews 7th August and runs  8th-19th Aug (no show 13th) at 10:30pm (70mins). Tickets for previews cost £6/£4; Sun-Thurs £8/£6; Fri/Sat- £10/£8. For tickets, call 0131 510 0022 or visit http://www.insteptheatre.co.uk. 152 Paradise in St Augustines is located at 41 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL.

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