Leading Broadway and West End stars Lena Hall and Oliver Tompsett to star in new musical at Leeds Playhouse
Leading Broadway and West End musical theatre actors Lena Hall and Oliver Tompsett are to star in the new musical In Dreams, written by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning and Olivier Award-nominated David West Read (Writer and Executive Producer Schitt’s Creek, Author & Juliet) which will premiere at Leeds Playhouse from 3 July – 5 August.
Multi-award winning Luke Sheppard, fresh from directing new musical & Juliet, earning the production nine Tony Award nominations, three Oliviers and six What’s On Stage awards, will direct this exciting new production which will feature music legend Roy Orbison’s most iconic songs. The story revolves around the former lead singer of a country rock band who, at a critical moment in her life, throws a party in a family-run Mexican restaurant to reconnect with old friends, while keeping her deeper motivations a secret.
Broadway star and Tony Award-winning actor Lena Hall will play lead singer Kenna. San Francisco-born Lena has vast amounts of musical theatre experience with a number of stand-out roles including Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which saw her win a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.
Lena will play opposite Oliver Tompsett as Ramsey, a fiery and passionate drummer who crashes back into Kenna’s life after a long time apart. Leeds Playhouse audiences will fondly remember Oliver as Phil Davis in the musical White Christmas. He is best known for playing Fiyero in Wicked and Galileo in We Will Rock You in the West End, and recently created the role of Shakespeare in the multi-award winning new musical & Juliet.
Director Luke Sheppard said: “This show is a celebration of the power of people coming together, and what an incredible cast we have joining us to do just that. With extraordinary talent from both sides of the Atlantic, this company are going to lift the roof of Leeds Playhouse with music and laughter. It’s a privilege to have them join us and I can’t wait to get started.”
Manuel Pacific plays restaurant owner Oscar. Manuel appeared as Chino in West Side Story at Manchester Royal Exchange, and recently in the Donmar Warehouse production of City Of Angels at the Garrick Theatre. Gabriela García will play Oscar’s long-time girlfriend Nicole. Gabriella recently finished a successful run in A Streetcar Named Desire at London’s Almeida Theatre and also starred with Manuel as Maria in West Side Story at Manchester Royal Exchange.
Starring alongside them as married lyricist Jane and guitarist Donovan will be Sian Reese-Williams and Noël Sullivan. Sian is known as DI Cadi John, the lead role in the BBC hit detective show Craith, and as series regular Gennie Walker in Emmerdale. Her previous starring role at the Playhouse was in Alan Bennett’s Enjoy. Starring opposite Sian is Welsh singer Noël Sullivan, who first found fame on the ITV reality show Popstars as part of the winning band Hear’Say. Noël has starred as rock superstar Dewey Finn in the West End’s School of Rock and in the National Tour of We Will Rock You.
Alma Cuervo joins the company from New York as Oscar’s grandmother Ana Sofia with widower George played by Richard Trinder, best known as Augustus Rockwood in the acclaimed Harry Potter movies The Order Of The Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as well as Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! in London and Leon Craig as Head Chef of the restaurant Tom. Leon joins the company following starring in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Ahmanson Theatre Los Angeles and Apollo London. Further casting to be announced.
Leeds Playhouse CEO and Artistic Director James Brining said: “What an honour to have such talented and experienced performers from the West End and Broadway here at the Playhouse for this exciting world premiere. We pride ourselves on producing exceptional musical theatre and we are building a reputation for showcasing world-class musicals here in Leeds.
“In Dreams will be an incredible feel-good musical that will speak to the experiences of a huge amount of people on the universal themes of love, loss and the legacy we leave behind. Roy Orbison’s music is so beloved around the world that, when it’s teamed with this amazing company, audiences are guaranteed a wonderful evening out. This production promises to be very special indeed”
Working with David West Read and Luke Sheppard is Choreographer Fabian Aloise, best known for his Olivier Award nomination for Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Musical Revival of Evita, WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Bring It On and more recently Winner of Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award for Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder.
Set design will be by Tony Award nominated Arnulfo Maldonado whose A Strange loop is soon to open at the Barbican theatre, London.
Fay Fullerton will provide costume design. Fay’s work recently included the world premiere of new musical Mandela at the Young Vic and The Drifters Girl in the West End
Lighting Design will be from Howard Hudson, winner of WhatsOnStage’s Best Lighting Design and has been nominated for Best Lighting Design for a Musical at the 2023 Tony Awards for his work on & Juliet. He won the 2020 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Lighting Design and was also nominated for an Olivier Award.
Catherine Jayes joins the creative team as Music Supervisor. Catherine was previously Musical Director on The Color Purple at Bernard Jacobs on Broadway and US tour which won The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical 2016 and The Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album 2017 and was last here at the Playhouse as MD on Animal Farm in 2008.
Completing the creative team will be Sound Designer Tom Marshall; Musical Director Patrick Hurley; Video Designer George Reeve; Casting Director Annelie Powell CDG; Stephen Kopel Casting Director (US). Their associates include: Tania Azevedo; Associate Director; Paris Green Associate Choreographer; Oscar Escobedo Associate Designer (US); Verity Sadler Associate Designer (UK); Laura Hunt Costume Supervisor; Callum Wills Sound Associate; and Alice Walters Casting Assistant.