The Belgrade Theatre has announced the cast for its Coventry Musical Godiva Rocks, including Niki Evans who wowed the judges on the 2007 series of ITV’s X Factor. Premiering on the Main Stage this October, Godiva Rocks is the must-see new musical featuring a soundtrack of hit songs from Coventry artists through the decades, and brings together a talented cast of actors, singers and musicians.
Since reaching the semi-finals of X Factor, Niki, who is from Warwickshire, developed her career in musical theatre performing in major productions in the West End and across the UK including Legally Blonde, 25th Putnam Anniversary Spelling Bee, What’s All the Fuss About, Cool Rider and Shout. Her performance as Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s iconic musical Blood Brothers was highly acclaimed in both the West-End and on tour. In 2016 Niki appeared as a guest performer for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor for ITV, an event witnessed by millions of viewers worldwide. For this production of Godiva Rocks, Niki will be taking on the cameo role of ‘Bev’.
Also appearing is Ross Gurney Randall in the role of ‘Leo’. Ross has made numerous TV appearances in programmes such as EastEnders, The Bill, Waking the Dead and Doctors. He has also written and appeared in shows which have toured the UK and appeared at international festivals in Edinburgh, Adelaide and America.
Seasoned musical theatre actress Madeleine Harland joins the cast in the role of ‘Dee.’ Madeleine’s theatre credits include Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum, Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
Playing the role of ‘Nell’ is Georgie Ashford; another familiar face in London’s West End. Most recently Georgie has been performing in the Carole King musical Beautiful at the Aldwych Theatre, Show Boat at the New London Theatre and in the UK tour of Barnum.
Returning to Coventry for his third production at the Belgrade Theatre is Yanick Ghanty as ‘Jas’. Yanick has recently completed a UK tour of Bring On The Bollywood which opened at the Belgrade earlier this year, and prior to that performed in Eric Idle’s The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat on the B2 Stage. He is also an acting stage combat specialist with various musical talents.
Rebecca Botterill is a graduate of the Urdang Academy and BRIT School, and will be taking on the role of ‘Lucy’. Rebecca has also appeared as a Dancer on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and a singer on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.
In the role of ‘Dee-Ann’ is Aimee Barrett who most recently appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! for Secret Cinema. Prior to that, Aimee filmed guest lead Fiona Holden in BBC’s Casualty and Silent Witness and appeared in the feature film, St Trinians 2.
Birmingham born actress Alexia McIntosh joins the cast in the role of Rosa. Alexia is no stranger to Coventry, having studied Performing Arts at City College, before going on to train at Birmingham School of Acting. Her theatre credits include Rent and Sister Act for the Gordon Craig Theatre and Wind in the Willows at the Birmingham Old Rep.
Jack Benjamin trained at Drama Studio London where he was a winner of the Laurence Olivier Bursary Award, and will be performing as ‘Tony’ in Godiva Rocks. Since graduating, Jack has appeared in ITV’s Mr Selfridge and on stage at the Royal Court, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Unicorn Theatre. Jack is also a playwright and working with Polka Theatre on developing a new play for 2018.
Lejaun Sheppard will make his musical theatre debut in the role of ‘Patrick’, after graduating from the Guildford School of Acting. He has recently finished a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival with two original plays at the Junkbox Theatre. Originally from Birmingham, AJ Jenks will be returning to the Midlands for this production in the roles of ‘Ray/Pete’.
Completing the cast is Thomas Gilby as ‘Nigel’. Thomas has recently finished a run at the Southwark Playhouse in their production of Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Babe, The Sheep Pig for Polka Theatre. He was also one of the lead puppeteers on the National Theatre’s UK and South African tours of War Horse.
Godiva Rocks is brought to the stage by the same team behind the smash-hit Coventry Blitz play, One Night in November, and will feature 20 classic songs from Coventry artists such as Frank Ifield, Vince Hill, Hazel O’Connor, The Specials, Terry Hall, King, The Primitives and The Enemy.
It is the first musical ever written about a UK city’s musical heritage, bringing together a range of genres and spanning many generations of history. With the final result of Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 soon to be announced, Godiva Rocks will be a celebration of the city’s rich heritage and diverse talent.
Godiva Rocks will run on the Main Stage at the Belgrade Theatre from Sat 7 to Sat 21 Oct. Tickets are available now priced from £19.75 by calling the Belgrade Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk.