Final casting for the première of the Broadway musical Grey Gardens, which tells the spectacular real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin, sees the already announced leads, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell, joined by West End stalwart Billy Boyle.
Boyle, who has just finished two years playing Grandpa George in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is a veteran of the West End stage having played leading roles in over 15 hit shows including Hello, Dolly, Beauty and the Beast and Dirty Dancing.
They are joined by Aaron Sidwell who comes direct from starring as Johnny in Green Day’s American Idiot at the Arts Theatre. His other starring roles include the original West End cast of Loserville, Ghost The Musical and he played Steven Beale in over 100 episodes of EastEnders.
The cast also includes Jeremy Legat, who most recently played Camille in Thérèse Raquin at Finborough Theatre and Park Theatre; Ako Mitchell whose West End roles include Mufasa in The Lion King, Sweaty Eddie in Sister Act, Gabriel in Fences and Mitch in Jamie Lloyd’s première of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar Warehouse; and Rachel Anne Rayham who has just played Louisa in The Sound of Music.
The rest of the cast are child actors Alana Hinge, Grace Jenkins, Rebecca Nardin and Eleanor Waldron.
Starting in 1941 at an engagement party at Grey Gardens, the Bouvier’s mansion in East Hampton, Long Island, the musical tracks the progression of the two women’s lives from American aristocrats to reclusive social outcasts living in such squalid conditions, in a home overrun by cats, that the Health Department deemed the mansion ‘unfit for human habitation’.
Grey Gardens has a Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie.
It is the latest show to come from the hugely successful Tarento Productions and the creative partnership of producer Danielle Tarento and director Thom Southerland, the award-winning team behind Grand Hotel, Titanic, Parade and Mack & Mabel.
It will open for a six-week season in The Large at Southwark Playhouse from January 2-February 6.