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Boogie back to the 1970s

The cast of Boogie Nights, from left, Andy Abraham, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Chico and Shane Richie Jr

The nation’s jukebox musical craze continues with Boogie Nights. This year’s show also includes a father and son theatrical first.

New jukebox musicals are springing up left, right and centre, with Save the Last Dance For Me and Soul Sister both arriving with a bang for theatre audiences in the last year.

See why the genre is such a hit with fans, as the original jukebox musical, Boogie Nights, kicks off its next UK tour in the county.

With 70 songs from the 1970s, the line up is among the show’s best ever with the Osmonds, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Andy Abraham and Chico all starring.

The Osmonds, from left, Jay, Jimmy and MerrillConceived by Jon Conway and Shane Richie in 1997, the heart-warming story follows Roddy O’Neil, who lives in a provincial British town in the height of the disco 1970s.

“I’m thrilled to once again be a part of the amazing energy of this great show,” said Jimmy Osmond, who first appeared in the show in 2004.

“My brothers, Merrill and Jay and I had so much fun on last year’s tour, I’m excited they have agreed to join in on the fun and continue the party. They are really looking forward to doing a little something different than our usual concert appearances.”

After delighting audiences in pantomime at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre this Christmas, Gareth Gattes has turned his attention to the role of heartthrob Dean. Having starred in UK tours of Les Misérables and Legally Blonde, the Pop Idol runner-up will have no trouble belting out disco classics If You Leave Me Now, Disco Inferno plus a cover of Donny Osmond’s Puppy Love.

“I’m really excited about getting back on stage to sing all the hits from this era, as a lot of the tracks are personal favourites of mine,” said Gareth.

“It’s going to be a fantastic show.”

Debs will be played by Louisa Lytton, best known for her time as Ruby Allen in EastEnders and for her stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2006. This will be her musical debut, performing numbers like I Will Survive and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

Two people who are no strangers to giving big performances are former X Factor contestants Andy Abraham and Chico. Andy will play tough guy soul singer Spencer and perform Barry White classics such as You’re My First, My Last, My Everything. Dancing on Ice finalist Chico gets to bring his dance moves to Le Freak.

The all-star line up is completed by a theatrical first, when Shane Richie Junior takes over the role of Roddy, created by his EastEnders actor father. It is the first time a role created by an actor has been inherited by his son and 22-year-old Shane Junior will prove to be a real chip off the old block as he powers through hits such as Blame It on the Boogie.

A cast of 15 musicians, singers and dancers will bring hits like YMCA, Happy Days, We Are Family and Boogie Wonderland to the stage.

Boogie Nights is at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre from Thursday, January 31 to Saturday, February 2. Tickets £27.50 to £35.50. Box office 01322 220000. It arrives at Folkestone’s Leas Cliff Hall on Tuesday, March 12. Tickets £32.50 to £35.50. Box office 0844 871 7627.

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