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Photo credit: Bring It On (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

The ‘Bring It On: The Musical’ cast on West End debuts and their favourite parts of the show

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Occasionally, actors stay in the same production for decades. For example, Phillip Griffiths starred in The Phantom of the Opera for 30 years. But London's theatre scene is filled with shows that also celebrate West End newcomers and regularly changing casts, allowing as many people as possible to appear in West End shows.

There'll be many West End debuts and new stars to watch out for in Bring It On: The Musical. A fresh-faced cast of quadruple threats (singers, dancers, actors, and acrobats) will show off their latest tricks in this high-energy cheerleading musical. There's something — and someone — for everyone in Bring It On too: the Bring It On actors include Olympians, reality TV stars, and stars of tomorrow.

If you want to see actors at the start of their careers, then Bring It On is the show for you. We spoke to some of the Bring It On cast about how they bring themselves to their roles, as well as their favourite moments in the show that spark joy.

Bring It On is at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Bring It On tickets are sale now.

Louis Smith and company (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

"It's really cool that this is my first show and the first musical character I'm stepping into," says Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, who makes his musical theatre debut as basketball player Cameron in Bring It On. "I'm not jumping into 1000 lines that I need to remember and I haven't got crazy vocal solos. I'm very lucky that this company, this show, and this role has come along. This type of show is perfect for me."

Alicia Belgarde, who plays cheer captain Eva, couldn't be more excited to be making her West End debut in the musical. "Eva is the most wonderful part I've ever played," said Belgarde. "She's got so many dimensions and goes through such a journey. She makes such an arc through the show. It's really fun to get the full on experience."

When performing, cast members have to tap into their character's mindset. But it's clear this cast are similar to their Bring It On characters. In fact, Amber Davies played Campbell in Bring It On during her professional training. "I think I've had a lot of life experience since I last played Campbell," said Davies. "I played the role completely differently. Obviously, I had the extra step forward [in this production] because I knew the songs and the heart of the script. But I think of it all differently now because I've had a huge transformation in my life. So I use it to my advantage."

Vanessa Fisher, who plays hip-hop dancer Danielle, believes she's so similar to her character that she said: "If I couldn't be Danielle, I think I'd hate her because she's quite similar to me." Smith identifies with his character too. "I am Cameron. That's 100% me" said Smith. "I'm not an extrovert or an introvert. I saw sport as a way out and loved dancing and messing around with my friends. I went to a school like Jackson and sport was my everything."

Vanessa Fisher and company. (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

One thing was clear from sitting in the Bring It On rehearsal room. This is a fun, joyful musical that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. When the cast and creatives shared their favourite parts of the show, they couldn't hide their love for the show. 

Fisher's favourite moment comes at the start of the musical: "My favourite song is 'What I Was Born to Do.' I love the moment where they're going crazy behind Amber and Amber's belting the last section. I have a lot of fun in 'We Ain't No Cheerleaders' [too] because I get to be mean to Amber [Laughs] but it's just fun because we're not like that in real life."

Meanwhile, Davies has the most fun when she's in the middle of a dance routine, a new challenge for her as she's never danced in a show before and doesn't have dance training. "My favourite part of the show is "Cross the Line," which is crazy because it's a six minute dance number," she says. "I love the song and the choreography."

Belgarde loves performing her solo, "Killer Instinct."  "I just get to have so much fun," she says. "Working with [the director] Guy Unsworth, we've gone to town and it's brilliant. The stunt scenes and tumbling are an adrenaline rush. I come down from them and I'm like "yeeeeah!" 

Book Bring It On tickets now.

Photo credit: Bring It On (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

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