Michelle Ryan shot to fame in 2000 with her portrayal of troubled teen Zoe Slater in Eastenders and won widespread acclaim for her traumatic and heartbreaking scenes with Jessie Wallace as she discovered the woman she thought was her sister was actually her mother. Touted as the next big thing she made the leap to the US and beat out thousands of girls to play the lead in the reboot of the hit 1970s Lindsay Wagner show The Bionic Woman. The highly promoted 2007 show failed to win a large enough following however and was unceremoniously dumped after just one season. Since then Ryan has kept a fairly low profile in the UK although has had roles as an evil sorceress in Merlin in 2008 and in the 2009 Doctor Who special Planet Of The Dead. Autumn last year saw her star in Cockneys vs Zombies, a comedy horror about a group of bank robbers fighting the undead.
Her stage credits include Who's The Daddy? at the King's Head theatre in 2005 and a stage version of The Talented Mr Ripley at the Royal Theatre in Nottingham in 2010. Cabaret will be Ryan's West End and musical debut. She has previously undergone dance training which she credited as helping her with the tough physicality of her Bionic Woman role, and has had vocal training for the last two years partly in preparation for her role in upcoming Britflick The Man Inside. Ryan has described the role of Sally Bowles as "a gift".
Multiplatinum Pop Idol winner Will Young has already been cast in the Cabaret revival and will play Emcee, the Master Of Ceremonies. He made his feature film debut in the 2005 burlesque film Mrs Henderson Presents starring Dame Judi Dench and his stage debut at Manchester's Royal Exchange in a well-received revival of The Vortex in 2007. This latest Cabaret incarnation will be choreographed by Olivier award-winning Javier de Frutos. The show will open at the Savoy Theatre on 3 October after a 4 week national tour.
The original Broadway production of Cabaret opened in 1966 and has enjoyed numerous revivals on both sides of the pond. The most recent West End version was staged between 2006 and 2008 and featured a host of famous faces during its run including Julian Clary, Alistair McGowan, Kim Medcalf, Amy Nuttall and Honor Blackman. A two year national tour followed that featured Wayne Sleep as the Emcee. The show's 1972 film adaptation made numerous changes to the original piece but brought the show to a wider audience and gave Liza Minnelli her signature role. It was listed at number five on the 2006 American Film Institute's list of best musicals.
Cabaret tickets will be on sale very soon!
[posted by James, 25/05/2012]