This Season of FROM PAGE TO STAGE Features West End Performers, Including Jon Robyns, Niamh Perry, & Kim Criswell,

Aria Entertainment is delighted to announce first casting today for the second annual From Page To Stage Festival, a season of new musical theatre at the Landor Theatre from Monday 10 February to Sunday 9 March 2014. Full casting is now confirmed for the Season's three showcase readings of Merman's Apprentice, Claus The Musical and The Return of the Soldier, as well as the repertory cast for three Showcase Nights of musicals in development. Final casting for the two Headline Musicals Before The Night Is Through and The Mistress Cycle will be announced next week:

MERMAN'S APPRENTICE

TUESDAY 11 AND WEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2014

A new musical with Book and Lyrics by Stephen Cole and Music by David Evans.

West End and Broadway actress Kim Criswell will play Ethel Merman. Kim spent many years on Broadway (Baby, Nine, The Threepenny Opera) and in L.A (Cats), before crossing the Atlantic in 1992 when she was invited to play the title role in Annie Get Your Gun, establishing herself at the heart of London's Musical Theatre scene. The cast also features Olivia Hallett, John Guerrasio, Nigel Richards, David Burt, Elizabeth Seal (Tony Award Winner, Irma La Douce), Ted Merwood, Ben Stock,Daniel Cane, Thomas Sutcliffe, Lindsey Nicholls and Kimberley Moses.

1970. The Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end. But twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn't know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, and meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly!rehearsal where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star...making little Muriel Plakenstein Merman's Apprentice.

Merman's Apprentice is directed by Stewart Nicholls with musical direction by Richard Healey.

CLAUS THE MUSICAL

FRIDAY 14 AND SATURDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2014

A new musical with Book by Simon Warne Music and Lyrics by Andy Collyer, based on The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

The cast features Gary Albert Hughes, Joseph Houston, Jonathan Bourne, Adam Anderson, Paul Lincoln, Kara Lane,Sophie Caton, Kirsty Marie Ayers, Kate Hume and Sasha Latoya.

How the Boy became a Man. How the Man became a Legend. Claus tells the incredible story of a human child brought up by immortals in a magical forest. But when Claus discovers there's a whole world outside of the forest, inhabited by humans like him, his life takes a different path.

Claus The Musical is directed by Kate Golledge with musical direction by Matt Ramplin.

THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER

FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY AND SATURDAY 1 MARCH 2014

A new musical with Book and Lyrics by Tim Sanders and Music by Charles Miller.

The cast features Gary Tushaw, Sinead Wall, Sophia Ragavelas (Never Forget, Les Miserables), Jennifer Harraghy and Jonathan Leinmuller.

Coinciding with the centenary of the First World War, The Return of the Soldier is a new musical adaptation of Rebecca West's remarkable 1918 novella of the home front. An intensely bitter-sweet tale dissects the very different love of three women for one man. When Christopher returns from the war, shell-shocked, there are profound consequences for each of them. With a cast of five, this powerful new drama with its rich and arresting score becomes an eloquent treatise on the nature of love, truth, memory and loss. In the end, only an extraordinary sacrifice will restore the fragile status quo.




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