Quasimodo - Steven Webb to play title role
CASTING has been announced for Quasimodo, the last unproduced musical by Oliver! composer Lionel Bart, which receives its world premiere at the King’s Head Theatre (March 20 to April 13, 2013), 50 years after it was written.
Based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel Notre Dame de Paris, Quasimodo is set in 15th-century Paris and tells of the love between the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame and the beautiful gypsy girl Esmerelda.
In the title role will be Steven Webb, with Zoe George as Esmerelda, Helen Sheals (Robert Chevara’s Vieux Carré, Charing Cross Theatre) as Pacquette, Iestyn Arwel, Melanie Bright, James Hume, Sean Paul Jenkinson and James Wolstenholme.
Steven Webb’s West End credits include Posner in The History Boys (National Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre) and Cooper in Betwixt! (Trafalgar Studios). As a child actor in 1999, he appeared in the title role in Lionel Bart’s Oliver! at the London Palladium.
Director Robert Chevara said of the hunt for Quasimodo, which included open auditions: “We need a young man who has the vulnerability of Charles Laughton and the animal magnetism of a young Tom Hardy, but who can also sing like Tom Jones.
“Quasimodo is the most complex character in Lionel Bart’s most ambitious score. Like The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, Quasimodo is an iconic role. He is like a young bull and the part is incredibly physically and emotionally demanding. He must be able to embody the isolation of the total outsider, with whom Lionel Bart identified and have the duality of both ferocious power but also a child-like inner joy.
“His scenes with Esmeralda fizz with sexuality and electricity and as in Beauty and the Beast, the audience should question their prejudice of what being ugly, or beautiful, really means.”
As well as playing Martha in the Welsh National Theatre production of Spring Awakening, Zoe George has appeared in the musical The Last 5 Years.
Read more about Quasimodo.