Irish Pop Star Ronan Keating to Join West End's ONCE as 'The Busker' from Nov 17
According to the Daily Mail, Irish pop star Ronan Keating will appear in the West End production of Once, beginning November 17, 2014, and continuing in the role of the busker (currently played by David Hunter) through March 21, 2015.
"I'm an Irish musician, too, so I think I can do that," Keating told the Mail, joking. He continued: "It's scary. I never saw myself going into the West End...This is like a play with music, and for me it's daunting. I won't hide from you that I'm scared."
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Directed by John Tiffany, the West End production of ONCE opened in April 2013 and continues to run at the Phoenix Theatre. David Hunter and Jill Winternitz currently lead the cast as 'Guy' and 'Girl'.
In April, ONCE was the winner of two coveted Olivier Awards -- including the first ever recipient of the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement in Music. The show has also won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the GRAMMY Award for Best Musical Theater Album. In addition, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's "Falling Slowly" won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
The Broadway production continues at the Bernard B Jacob's Theatre. Later this year an Australian production will open at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne while the US tour continues.
Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, ONCE is a celebration of love, friendship and music. When an Irish busker and a young Czech mother meet through a shared love of music, their songwriting sparks a deep connection and a tender, longing romance that neither of them could have expected.
ONCE has book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh. Based on the 2007 motion picture written and directed by John Carney, music and lyrics are by Academy Award winning Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Scenic and costume designs are by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, musical supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe and movement by Steven Hoggett.
Keating started out with the Irish group Boyzone alongside Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Stephen Gately in 1994. He kicked off his solo career in 1999 and has since released nine albums and sold over 20 million records worldwide. He also appeared as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor.
Photo Credit: www.ronankeating.com