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Casting Announced For New Musical STAGES At VAULT Festival

Casting Announced For New Musical STAGES At VAULT Festival

Casting announced for the world premiere of brand new musical Stages which comes to VAULT Festival this March, written and composed by Christian Czornyj and directed by Adam Lenson.

The cast is WhatsOnStage Award nominee Anna-Jane Casey, Olivier Award nominee Andrew Langtree, Max Alexander-Taylor and Aitch Wylie.

Aiden is sixteen, autistic and loves video games. They can be repeated, mastered and controlled. But what happens if the game starts to glitch? In this interactive video game musical the audience take control and help Aiden navigate Stages.

Playable characters include Ellie, Aiden's sibling, who's stuck deciding on which avatar to select, Owen, Aiden's dad, who hovers over the restart button and Alice, Aiden's mum, who faces her greatest challenge, the final boss.

Featuring an original electronic 8-bit soundtrack and arcade style graphics, Stages by Christian Czornyj examines what happens when the code of our lives is rewritten and the way the digital world interacts with our own. It is a bold new British musical that has to be played to be experienced.

Anna-Jane Casey plays Alice. Her theatre credits include Girl from the North Country (Gielgud Theatre and Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto), Calendar Girls (UK Tour), Billy Elliot (UK and international tour), Stepping Out (Vaudeville Theatre), Annie Get Your Gun, Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Mack and Mabel (Chichester and UK tour), Jerry's Girls (ST. James Theatre), Aladdin (Hackney Empire), Comedy of Errors (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) and Bells are Ringing (Union Theatre). She has been nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical and an Off West End Award for Best Actress.

Andrew Langtree plays Owen. His theatre credits include Groundhog Day (Old Vic Theatre, 2017 Olivier Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Theatres), Albert's Boy (Orange Tree), The Hypocrite (RSC and Hull Truck), Treasure Island (Birmingham Rep), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatre Clwyd and UK Tour), Oppenheimer (RSC and Vaudeville Theatre), The Shoemakers Holiday (RSC), A Stroke of Luck (Park Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Bolton Octagon), The Rose Tattoo (National Theatre), The Glass Menagerie, Come Blow Your Horn, London Assurance, Six Degrees of Separation (Royal Exchange, Manchester), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow), Getting to the Foot of the Mountain (Birmingham Rep) and Oh, What A Lovely War (Theatre Clwyd).

Max Alexander-Taylor plays Aiden. His theatre credits include Jeannie (Finborough Theatre), Jones' Diary (Studio 88) The Hunchback of Nortre Dame (Iris Theatre) and We Need To Talk About Norman (Toulouse-Lautrec).

Aitch Wylie plays Ellie. Stages is Aitch's professional debut.

Writer Christian Czornyj says: "What is it that lets someone play a video game for hours on end without a break or even realising how long it's been? What is it that makes video games so different from other art forms? This is the question that led me to create Stages. For me, I think it's all about the control. Escaping from a life that can feel out of control into a digital world where you are the master of fate. I'm really excited to see how the audience interact with Stages, what way they decide to control the story, and whether it will end up different each performance."

Director Adam Lenson says: "I am always searching for innovative, emotive and disruptive new musicals that challenge the perception of what a musical sounds like, looks like and is about. Never has this been more visible than in this ingenious new piece by Christian Czornyj. Family, trauma and video games collide in this startling and thought provoking show."

This is the first production of a new musical by ALP which looks to make artist led musicals by UK based career musical theatre artists. The show is part of ALP's commitment to create bold, experimental work without compromise and to challenge ideas of what musicals look like, sound like or are about. Rather than a final destination for the production we see this first outing for Stages as an opportunity to bring new ideas and audience together for the first time.

Stages is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Stages is written and composed by Christian Czornyj with musical supervision by Tamara Saringer, set and costume design by Libby Todd, movement direction by Christina Fulcher, lighting design by Alex Drofiak and sound design by Christian Czornyj. It is directed by Adam Lenson.

Writer and composer Christian Czornyj works as a writer, composer, and sound designer. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where he studied electronic music composition and musical theatre writing. He is passionate about creating new theatre that challenges the status quo and explores social and political questions. His new musical theatre work includes Catch Me, an intimate musical examining mental health and suicide, and Remember, Remember an electronic musical which immersively explores propaganda and truth.

Director Adam Lenson is a director, dramaturg and producer with a special focus on developing new musicals. Directing includes Wasted, The Rink, Superhero (Southwark Playhouse), The Leftovers (National Tour), 35mm, Whisper House, Songs For A New World (The Other Palace), See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). He has just returned from a five week creative residency at Sheridan College in Toronto where he developed a new musical, Hoarding. He recently founded ALP, a company to develop artist driven new British musicals.

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