Photo Flash: First Look at the World Premiere of BANANAMAN THE MUSICAL

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Bananaman is flying to London to save the world! The most brainless superhero ever to grace the skies is making his live action debut in an all-singing, all-flying must-see new British musical at Southwark Playhouse. Check out production photos below!

Bananaman, the Man-of-Peel, is a unique member of the superhero ranks. Our handsome hero may have a jaw line you can see from space and sport the snazziest of tight lycra outfits, but this superhero has 'the muscles of 20 men and the brain of 20 mussels.' Which isn't much.

With supervillains Doctor Gloom and General Blight attempting world domination who can we call? Superman's on holiday, Spiderman's not picking up - our only option, our very very last option is ...Bananaman.

For the first time ever, Bananaman will be live on stage in Bananaman the Musical.

Bananaman the Musical, written and composed by Leon Parris, directed by Mark Perry, will run at Southwark Playhouse from December 15 to January 20.

Bananaman began life in the Nutty comic in 1980, and was a flyaway success, transferring to The Dandy before joining the world's longest-running comic, The Beano in 2012 and he is now one of The Beano's flagship characters. A send-up of the likes of Superman and Batman, he was the subject of the hugely popular TV cartoon that ran between 1983 and 1986 for three series and 40 episodes on the BBC and featured the voices of Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie from The Goodies.

Fans of the the TV series will remember the iconic opening sequence, "This is 29 Acacia Road. And this is Eric Wimp. He's a schoolboy who leads an amazing double life. For when Eric eats a banana an amazing transformation occurs. Eric is
Bananaman. Ever alert for the call to action."

With a useless hero and some equally clueless villains, Bananaman's winkingly clever, delightfully silly humour has been sealed into the memories of those who saw him first, and will now spark the imagination of a new bunch of Bananafans.

It won't be long before we all 'Peel the Power' of Bananaman.

Matthew McKenna is unmasked today as the star and "handsome hero" of Bananaman the Musical. Matthew has appeared in many major West End musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Legally Blonde the Musical, We Will Rock You, Starlight Express (as Elektra), and The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff) and both Singing in the Rain and 42nd Street at the Theatre Du Chatelet, Paris.

Also starring, as Bananaman's arch nemesis Doctor Gloom, the super villain seeking world domination, will be Marc Pickering. Marc Pickering returns to Southwark Playhouse where he appeared in the European premiere of Toxic Avenger The Musical. He recently starred as Finch in the musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Wiltons Music Hall), Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man (Trafalgar Studios), Merchant of Venice (Arcola) and The Glee Club (Hull Truck). His film work includes Sleepy Hollow, Calendar Girls, Kill Keith, I Want Candy, The Darkest Day and Montparnasse in Tom Hooper's 2012 film of the celebrated musical Les Misérables. On TV he has appeared in the new series of Josh and Homeboys & Dalziel & Pascoe (BBC), played R Wayne in Peter Kay's talent show parody Britain's Got the Pop Factor, Ippolito D'este in Borgia III (for Netflix), and the young Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in the fifth and final season of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Bringing the rest of the residents of Acacia Road to life are a stellar West End cast.

Bananaman the Musical is produced by Sightline Entertainment in association with Cahoots Theatre Company and Beano Studios.

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

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