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Casting announced for ‘University Challenge inspired’ musical Starter for Ten

Photo by: Oliver Rosser, Feast Creative


Casting announced for ‘University Challenge inspired’ musical Starter for Ten

Initial casting was announced this week for musical Starter for Ten, introducing a new generation of young actors with a wealth of musical theatre talent between them.

This bright, big-hearted show will receive its world premiere at Bristol Old Vic from 29 February – 30 March 2024 as part of Nancy Medina’s inaugural season as Artistic Director.

Emma Hall and Charlie Parham:

“It is so exciting to be working with a new generation of extremely talented young actors. In exactly the same way that the film ‘Starter for 10’ was instrumental in launching the careers of so many young British stars (James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper and James Corden to name but a few!), we have seized this opportunity to champion and showcase the stars of tomorrow.”

Based on the hilarious coming-of-age novel by David Nicholls and the popular 2006 film adaptation starring James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden and Rebecca Hall, this tale of love, class and growing up in the 1980s is set in Bristol against the backdrop of legendary British quiz show University Challenge.

Starring in the leading role, Adam Bregman plays the Southend-born, Bristol-bound undergraduate, ‘Brian’. Making her stage debut, Eubha Akilade takes the role of ‘Rebecca’, Glasweigan rabble-rouser and Brian’s closest friend on campus. Stephenson Ardern-Sodje plays Brian’s childhood best friend ‘Spencer’.

The Challenge team also features Miracle Chance in the role of ‘Lucy’, always calm in a crisis and a quiz fanatic. The role of ‘Alice’, student am-dram celebrity and Brian’s unrequited crush, is played by Emily Lane. Will Jennings plays ‘Patrick’, the Bristol Challenge team captain and Brian’s biggest critic..

Further casting to be announced later this year when the lead roles of Professor Bowman, Brian’s mum Irene Jackson, and the iconic quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne will be revealed.

David Nicholls, author of the bestselling novel Starter for Ten:

“20 years after publication, it’s such a thrill that Brian’s misadventures are being brought to the stage, and by such a brilliant, dynamic team.”

Starter for Ten has book and lyrics co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, Artistic Directors of Antic Productions. The 80s-inspired original score and lyrics are composed by  composers Tom Rasmussen and Hatty Carman. The production will be directed by Charlie Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Olivier Award-nominee Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Will Burton for GBC.

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