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Cast Announced for Citizens Theatre & ATG's New Musical THE CHOIR


A new musical co-production written by Paul Higgins and Deacon Blue singer and songwriter Ricky Ross and directed by Dominic Hill will be premiering at the Citizens Theatre this autumn. The Choir will be the first production to emerge from a partnership between The Citizens Theatre and Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), which was launched to create brand new musical theatre using the talent of local writers and composers.

The Choir is a funny, gritty but ultimately heart-warming musical play set in Wishaw about a group of strangers who come together, not always willingly, to sing in a community choir. With choirs never more popular thanks to films such as Pitch Perfect and TV shows Glee and Gareth Malone's projects on the BBC, The Choir celebrates the friendships, community and solidarity that can come from joining with others in song.

The choir in question will be portrayed by a stellar cast. Ryan Fletcher was a cast member in the original West End production of smash hit musical, Once, but is known closer to home for his stage work in Black Watch and Beautiful Burnout (for NTS) and for TV appearances in Gary Tank Commander, The Limmy Show and River City. Peter Polycarpou is instantly recognisable from the BBC series Birds of a Feather, and is in demand as a musical theatre actor having had roles The Pyjama Game (Shaftsbury Theatre), Cats and Phantom of the Opera (Really Useful Group), LES MISERABLES (original cast and 25th anniversary concert), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium) Oklahoma! (National Theatre) Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh) Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre) as well as numerous stage, television and film appearances. Myra McFadyen, whose work for stage includes Glasgow Girls and The Missing (NTS) and Interiors (Vanishing Point), as well as the film and stage versions of Mamma Mia, will also appear.

Making their first-time appearances in a Citizens production are Anne Kidd (BBC's Shetland, River City, Rapture Theatre's Uncle Varick); Jess Murphy (National Theatre's War Horse); Sandy Nelson (Sell a Door's Sunset Song tour, Communicado's Tam O'Shanter); James Quinn (BBC's Dr WHO and Doctors, ITV's Emmerdale, The Bill, The Royal); Johnson Willis (West Yorkshire Playhouse's Of Mice and Men, Library Theatre Manchester's Mother Courage), Nesha Kaplan (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh's BFG) and Cassie Webb, recent Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate. Scott Reid (Fever Dream: Southside, The Maids) and Joanne Thomson (Kill Johnny Glendinning) will return to the Citizens stage for this production.

The Choir features brand new music written by Deacon Blue singer and songwriter Ricky Ross. Deacon Blue released their debut album 27 years ago, and have since enjoyed major hits with Dignity and Real Gone Kid. Their most recent albums The Hipsters and A New House have been accompanied by gigs at the Royal Albert Hall and SSE Hydro and Glastonbury Festival. Ross has also written hits for notable musicians including James Blunt, Ronan Keating, Jamie Callum and Nanci Griffith. Speaking about The Choir, Ross said, I'm really enjoying creating music for the stage and discovering new ways to tell people's stories through song. The Choir is a musical play with a big heart about music's power to bring people together which is something I find really compelling. It will be great to hear my songs performed on stage in the iconic Citizens Theatre.'

The script is written by Paul Higgins, best known for his TV roles in Utopia and The Thick of It. His debut work as a playwright, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us, was presented at the Traverse Theatre by the National Theatre of Scotland in 2008. Speaking about this new production Higgins said, 'I'm thrilled to be presenting my first musical play at the Citizens Theatre. Knowing the play would receive its premiere at the Citizens, it was important to me that we create a down-to-earth story with recognisable characters and settings, as well as a piece of theatre that's going to be an enjoyable night out. It's been great collaborating with Ricky on this project too; he has composed some beautiful, uplifting songs that really capture the spirit of the story.'

This new production is directed by Citizens Theatre's Artistic Director Dominic Hill and is co-produced with Ambassador Theatre Group, the UK's largest live-theatre company. ATG have worked with the Citizens Theatre to develop this new musical play from its earliest stages and supported Dominic Hill to create this major new piece of Scottish writing.

Discussing the partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group, Hill said, 'I'm delighted to be embarking on this new venture with one of the foremost producers of musical theatre in the UK. We began this partnership back in 2012 with the intention of developing new work drawing on the rich creative talent in the west of Scotland. Working with Ambassador Theatre Group on The Choirwill allow us to create a big, ambitious new productionand I'm really excited to be bringing a new musical featuring music by one of Glasgow's favourite artists to the Citizens' audience this autumn.'

Howard Panter, CEO and Creative Director of ATG, said, 'We are delighted to be partnering with the Citizens Theatre on the development of some very exciting new musical theatre work and are thrilled that The Choir, our first co-production, will be presented at The Citizens Theatre later this year. It has always been important to ATG to be investing in the future of great theatre, and working with Dominic and the fantastic team at the Citizens has been a richly rewarding partnership and one which we hope will continue to grow and develop.'

Tickets for The Choir are on sale now and available from or by calling the box office on 0141 429 0022.

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