Full casting is announced for YANK! which transfers to the Charing Cross Theatre in the summer for a seven week season from Monday 3 July to Saturday 19 August 2017, with a press night on 10 July. The UK spring premiere of the musical production at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester received extensive critical acclaim. The cast of the original production are joined by three new performers during the London run.
A poignant love story based on the true, hidden history of gay soldiers during World War Two, YANK! focuses on the life of Stu, who is called up to serve in the forces in 1943 and becomes a reporter for Yank Magazine, the journal ‘for and by the servicemen’. Telling the stories of the men in Charlie Company, the musical explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against you.
Scott Hunter will reprise his role as Stu. Stage credits include Cinderella (Trinity Theatre), Grease (European tour) and Howard Goodall’s The Kissing Dance. Joining the company as Mitch is Andy Coxon, whose credits include Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), 20th Century Boy – The Marc Bolan Musical (UK tour), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre) and European tours of The Rocky Horror Show and Evita. Sarge/Scarlet will be played by Waylon Jacobs, whose credits include Chicago, Memphis and We Will Rock You (West End) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park). Bradley Judge will play Rotelli. His credits include Aladdin (The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn), Don’t Run (Waterloo East Theatre) and Sister Act (Aberystwyth Arts Centre).
The rest of the company is completed by members of the original Manchester production: Benjamin Cupit who made his professional debut as Professor in the Hope Mill production; Lee Dillon-Stuart (Les Misérables at Queen’s Theatre and Carousel for Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Tennessee; Chris Kiely (The Ladykillers and Pygmalion for Theatre Royal Windsor, Sunset Boulevard at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and a national tour of Chess) as Artie; Kris Marc-Joseph (Anno Domini at The Actors Church, Children of Eden and See Rock City and Other Destinations at Union Theatre) as Czechowski; Mark Paterson (tours of Horrible Histories and Peter Pan at Manchester Opera House/New Victoria Woking) as Lieutenant/NCO; Tom Pepper (The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Arts Theatre, and on television, Drifters, Grandpa in My Pocket and Red Dwarf) as Cohen/Speedy; and Sarah-Louise Young (a member of award-winning improvised musical The Showstoppers at Apollo Theatre and extensive cabaret credits including Fascinating Aida) as Louise.
YANK! is based on the Off-Broadway hit production from 2010, with book and lyrics by American writer David Zellnik, with his brother Joseph Zellnik’s musical score paying homage to the timeless music of the 1940s. The musical is directed by James Baker, and is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Hope Mill Theatre, Ben Millerman with Jim Kierstead and Guy James.
Completing the creative team are James Cleeve as musical director; choreographer Chris Cuming; designer Victoria Hinton; lighting designer Aaron J. Dootson; sound designer Chris Bogg; and casting director Benjamin Newsome.
YANK! is the latest collaboration between leading London-based theatre production company Aria Entertainment and one of Manchester’s newest and leading arts venues, the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre. They first joined forces in January 2016 to spearhead the arts venue as a platform to showcase, revive and bring new musical theatre to the north of England. The transfer to Charing Cross Theatre is helmed by the three producers of the original production at Hope Mill, who are now joined by Jim Kierstead and Guy James.