Full casting has been announced for the West End premiere of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, previewing at London’s Noël Coward Theatre from next month.
As first reported by Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail, recent drama school graduate Sam Tutty will play the lead role of Evan Hansen. Tutty, a graduate of Italia Conti Academy, recently appeared in British Theatre Academy’s ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, which played on the main stage at Southwark Playhouse last month. Tutty told Bamigboye that when he was offered the role, he ‘put the phone on silent and screamed for 35 seconds.’ Tutty plays the role that won original Evan, Ben Platt, a Tony Award in 2017.
Also among the main cast, 2019 Mountview graduate Lucy Anderson plays the role of Evan’s love interest, Zoe Murphy, in her West End debut. Meanwhile, RADA graduate Doug Colling plays Zoe’s brother Connor Murphy (West End debut). Colling recently appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s 2019 film, All Is True.
Rebecca McKinnis, currently starring as Margaret New in the West End production of EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, will play the role of Evan’s mother Heidi. McKinnis’ West End credits include roles in MAMMA MIA!, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN and VIVA FOREVER! Bamigboye was told that the casting team ‘knew they had found Heidi the minute Ms McKinnis walked into the room.’
Lauren Ward and Rupert Young will appear as Cynthia and Larry Murphy, the parents of Zoe and Connor. Ward, an American actress, is known for originating the title role in the musical VIOLET, and appearing as Miss Honey in the original RSC, West End and Broadway productions of MATILDA THE MUSICAL. Young’s recent stage credits include lead roles in PLENTY at Chichester Festival Theatre, TWELFTH NIGHT at the Young Vic and HIGH SOCIETY at the Old Vic. Young’s onscreen credits include People Just Do Nothing, Shameless, and a recurring role in BBC’s Merlin.
Jack Loxton will play Evan’s friend Jared whilst Nicole Raquel Dennis features as classmate Alana. Loxton’s stage credits include leading roles in the National Theatre productions of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME and WAR HORSE. Dennis recently left the original West End cast of WAITRESS and has previously appeared in DREAMGIRLS, THE BOOK OF MORMON and THE LION KING.
Marcus Harman will alternate the role of Evan Hansen, playing the part at certain performances, whilst also covering the roles of Connor and Jared.
David Breeds will cover the roles of Evan, Connor and Jared, Alex Thomas Smith will cover Evan and Jared, Natalie Kassanga and Courtney Stapleton will cover Zoe and Alana, and Tricia Adele-Turner and Hannah Lindsey will cover Heida and Cynthia. James Winter, Haydn Cox and Mark Peachey will make up the ensemble.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN begins previews at London’s Noël Coward Theatre from October 2019. The musical, which features a book by Stephen Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and direction by Michael Grief, originally premiered in Washington DC in 2015 before transferring to Broadway the following year. The musical follows Evan Hansen, a high school student who suffers from social anxiety. Evan fabricates a series of letters and messages from a deceased member of his class to make a connection with his peers and to become closer to the boy’s family.
The musical has been a massive success since its arrival on Broadway, where it won six Tony Awards in 2017 including Best Musical. The show has amassed a huge cult following and continues to play to sell-out houses in New York and on tour in the US. A novelisation of the musical was recently released and a film adaptation is currently in development. DEAR EVAN HANSEN also famously made a huge star out of its original lead Ben Platt, who has since scored lead roles in the Netflix series The Politician and Richard Linklater’s multi-year film project Merrily We Roll Along.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN previews at London’s Noël Coward Theatre from 29th October 2019 with opening night scheduled for 19th November 2019. The production is currently booking to 4th April 2020. Tickets are on sale now.