The Drifters Girl musical has announced casting ahead of the show’s opening in Newcastle and London.
Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud will play The Drifters in a brand new musical The Drifters Girl also starring Beverley Knight, which tells the remarkable story of one of the world’s greatest vocal groups and the woman who made them.
The Drifters Girl will begin performances in Newcastle on Saturday 9 October 2021, playing until Saturday 23 October. Performances at the Garrick Theatre in London start on Thursday 4 November 2021.
The Drifters Girl brings together a brilliant collection of performers to play the iconic group. Adam J Bernard exploded into the West End limelight when he originated the role of Jimmy ‘Thunder’ Early in Dreamgirls, for which he was awarded an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
Tarinn Callender originated the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the West End production of the international musical phenomenon Hamilton. His other credits include the Olivier Award-winning production of Come From Away.
Award-winning actor, singer, songwriter and artist Matt Henry won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola in Kinky Boots, for which he also received a Grammy Award nomination for the London cast recording. As a finalist on the BBC’s The Voice, Matt’s performance of Ray LaMontagne’s ‘Trouble’ racked up over four million hits on YouTube and the original ‘Trouble’ re-entered the UK charts that week, testament to Matt’s performance.
Tosh Wanogho-Maud played Jimmy in the West End musical Dreamgirls. His other West End credits include Show Boat, The Book of Mormon and playing the role of Simba in The Lion King.
Beverley Knight will star as Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters, who, alongside her husband, fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records’ hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon.
From the highs of hit records and sell-out tours to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy, The Drifters Girl charts the trailblazing efforts of the world’s first African American, female music manager and how she refused to ever give up on the group she loved. Thirty years, and hundreds of hit songs later, there is no doubt that Faye Treadwell was and always will be, The Drifters Girl.
With an incredible soundtrack of some of the most famous songs in history, including Save The Last Dance For Me, Under The Boardwalk, Kissin In The Back Row Of The Movies, Stand By Me, Come On Over To My Place, Saturday Night At The Movies and many more, The Drifters Girl will play for just 15 performances in Newcastle before transferring to London for a limited 20 week season.
Beverley Knight is the Queen of British Soul. She has enjoyed several Top 10 Albums, including the platinum-selling Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight. Her most recent solo album Soulsville was released in June 2016 and went straight into the UK Top 10. She was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2007 for services to British music and charity, has won three MOBO Awards, and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.
Beverley has also made several, highly acclaimed performances in the West End. Her debut in London was in the star role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard in 2013. In 2014 she received an Olivier Award Nomination as Best Actress in a Musical for her much-praised role of Felicia Farrell in the Tony Award-winning hit show Memphis The Musical, and in 2015 she played the iconic role of Grizabella in Cats at The London Palladium. In 2018 she starred as Emmeline Pankhurst in new funk and hip hop musical Sylvia at The Old Vic, for which she won a best-supporting actress award at the inaugural Black British Theatre Awards.
The Drifters Girl, with a book by Ed Curtis, based on an idea by Tina Treadwell, and which is co-created by Beverley Knight, Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud will be directed by Jonathan Church, with set design by Anthony Ward, choreography by Karen Bruce, costume design by Fay Fullerton, orchestrations and musical supervision by Chris Egan lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Tom Marshall and video design by Andrzej Goulding. Associate Director is Tyrone Huntley and Associate Choreographer is Myles Brown with casting by Stuart Burt and children’s casting by Jo Hawes.