Former Hollyoaks star Charlie Clapham and award-winning actress Rakie Ayola join the principal cast in the West-End concert premiere of For Tonight at the Adelphi Theatre on the 5 September.
Rakie (Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Bear Ridge, National Theatre Wales, Royal Court) who wiil play Mrs. Parry and Charlie who will play Durriken Deram, join the previously announced principal cast led by Amy Di Bartolomeo (SIX, We Will Rock You), Jacob Young (Mamma Mia, Heathers), Dale Evans (Jesus Christ Superstar) and BAFTA award-winning actress Emily Burnett (CBBC’s So Awkward, The Dumping Ground) on the first day of rehearsals this week. Also announced in featured roles are Leo Andrew (West End productions of Chess, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph, Phantom of the Opera, Now And Then and Groundhog Day at Old Vic Theatre) as Mr. Parry, Joey Cornish (Jersey Boys) as Wyn Lewis, Charlotte-Hannah Jones as Mali Llewellyn (Hairspray, Magic At The Musicals), and Otilia Panainte as Syeira Deram.
The ensemble of For Tonight includes Emily Bull, Cassius Hackforth, Ediz Ibrahim, Jay Jobarteh, Nathan Kiley, Sophia McAvoy, Mared Williams and Celeste Williamson.
The cast are also accompanied in the concert premiere by the Trinity Laban Choir who include Grace Clifford, Lois Odell, Mali Wen, Nadia Harper, Jasmine Cole, Matthew Waters, Aidan Cross, Joseph Birch-Scanlan, Evangelos Papadimitriou and Zach Lillis.
This new musical uniquely blends, for the first time on stage, the rich and distinct traditions, language and culture of the Welsh and Romani peoples in a stirring journey exploring the power and meaning of home.
Inspired by true events, with its origins in the writer Spencer Williams’ own third great-grandfather’s handwritten journal, For Tonight’s timeless love story, one of difference and divide, is propelled by a riveting, foot stomping, atmospheric score incorporating traditional Welsh choral, indie-pop, folk, and Romani style melodies and rhythms.
Set in 1832, the story begins at the Parry farm in Trelawnyd, a small town in North Wales where a Romani family find shelter and friendship, but soon after their arrival, an unknown disease brings tragedy. Blame falls on the Romani travellers who are forced to flee and the three Parry children, Tomos, Haydn and Nettie, have to grow up fast after losing their parents.
Tomos, Haydn and Nettie’s lives twist and turn along different paths but fate reunites them with the traveller community from long ago. The Parry siblings encounter love, joy and friendship, as well as pain, prejudice and struggle before finally being forced to face their past, and their biggest fears.
This one-night only concert will be the first opportunity for UK audiences to see the full show following the release of the concept album in 2021 which has had over 100k streams to date, and a UK development workshop in 2022. Prior to this, For Tonight has been in development at New York Musical Theatre Festival, New York Theatre Barn, Queensbury Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Michigan State University and Isle of Man’s Gaiety Theatre.
The team behind For Tonight come with solid musical theatre and theatre credentials including Tony award-nominated producer Blair Russell, who brought Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris to Broadway, Sweeney Todd, the critically-acclaimed immersive show to off-Broadway and Lizard Boy from the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester and the Edinburgh Fringe to Off-Broadway. Welsh Director Nick Evans whose musical theatre credits include Mary Poppins, Bat Out of Hell, Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages and Jesus Christ Superstar joins forces with Welsh musical director and musical supervisor lestyn Griffiths (Bat Out of Hell – World Tour), West End choreographer Kevan Allen (Jesus Christ Superstar – World Tour) and writers Shenelle Salcido and Spencer Williams. Award-winning poet and playwright Raine Geoghegan provides cultural script consultancy.
Co-writer Spencer Williams says: “This musical is rooted in my Welsh family history, but like the Romani peoples has journeyed far and wide in the course of its development. I can’t wait for UK audiences to experience this timeless tale that showcases the distinct music, movement, and language of the Welsh and Romani cultures.”
Raine Geoghegan, cultural script consultant adds: “This musical is really like no other. In both the Welsh and Romany culture there is an abundance of story, song, music that touches the soul, nowhere is that more apparent than in the title song ‘For Tonight’, I love the balance of word, music and song, not forgetting dance and movement. These are ancient cultures that carry voices from the past, there is something for everyone. “
For Tonight’s 2021 concept album has already hit 100k streams and is available to download on all major platforms HERE