NEW MUSICAL TESS UNVEILS LEADING LADY
The iconic title role in the forthcoming album recording of new British musical TESS is to be played by West End star Siobhan Dillon.
The television favourite, who first rose to fame in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hunt for a Maria in The Sound of Music, has been unveiled as the eponymous heroine in the musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s iconic novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Siobhan’s first professional appearance was understudying Sandy in the 2007 revival of Grease (Piccadilly Theatre). She went on to tour the UK in Bill Kenwright’s Can’t Smile Without You and as Sally Bowles in Cabaret before playing the role of Vivienne in the Olivier award-winning Legally Blonde (Savoy), Claire in EX (Soho Theatre) and the leading role of Molly in Ghost The Musical (West End).
She recently played opposite Glenn Close in Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at English National Opera (Coliseum) and before that appeared as Ellen in Miss Saigon (Prince Edward).
Workshops include Jules in Bend It Like Beckham and Karen in From Here To Eternity, and her concert appearances include performing with Paul Gambaccini and the BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night.
TESS is a new, fully sung-through adaptation of the much-loved novel. Pre-production is already under way on the album, which will be produced by Sunim Koria with orchestrations by Michael Blore. Recording is scheduled for the summer of 2016.
BROADWAY LEADING MAN JOINS TESS ALBUM
Broadway and West End leading man Tam Mutu has signed up as one of three headline names on an album recording of new musical TESS.
Tam, who made his Broadway debut last year in the title role of Dr Zhivago (“utterly perfect” - Washington Times), is to sing the role of the villainous Alec d’Urberville in the new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s much-loved novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Written by Michael Blore and Michael Davies, the show is to be recorded as an original album later this year, with a fully staged production expected to follow.
On screen, Tam has appeared in TV’s Waking the Dead, Holby City, Doctors and Footballers Wives as well as the feature film The Butcher’s Shop. He’s also no stranger to radio, having appeared on the BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night, Masked Heroes and A Celebration of the Western.
Composer Michael Blore said: “To say it will be an honour to work with Tam is an understatement. He is dream casting and will bring not only his stunning talent but also an incredible wealth of West End and Broadway experience to the role of Alec d’Urberville. When we set out on planning an album of the show, it’s safe to say we never imagined that we could secure the services of so many truly wonderful performers. We really are in Dreamland.”
Two years in the writing, TESS is a fully sung-through new British musical. Recording is scheduled for the summer of 2016, with orchestrations by Blore and production by Sunim Koria. West End star Simon Bailey has already been announced to play Angel Clare, and the casting of the title role is due to be unveiled shortly.
Rice’s pedigree is unmatched in the world of musicals. From his early partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which produced global successes including Jesus Christ Superstar, he has gone on to work with pop luminaries such as Sir Elton John and Benny and Bjorn from Abba.
He described TESS as “based on a very strong story and the songs I have heard [are] very well crafted”, adding: “I wish you all the very best.”
Almost two years in the making, TESS is a sumptuous new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Three demo tracks are already available for free online at tessthemusical.com and the writers have announced that studio time has been scheduled in 2016 to record a full album version of the show.
BANBURY LITERARY FESTIVAL
TESS WEST END SHOWCASE
DUET GETS LONDON OUTING
ELAINE PAIGE ON SUNDAY
1ST WHAT'S ON STAGE ARTICLE
FIRST SONG PERFORMANCE
BBC HOST SINGS ON ALBUM
LEADING LADY UNVEILED
BROADWAY STAR JOINS ALBUM
TESS SCOOPS WEST END STAR
LATEST STAR ANNOUNCED
WEST END STAR SIGNS UP
CASTING GROBY & TRINGHAM
CASTING THE DAIRYMAIDS
FIRST CASTING FOR ALBUM
TIM RICE BACKS TESS
TESS ALBUM ANNOUNCEMENT
IN CONVERSATION WITH CTP
TESS ON THE BBC