Former Eastenders' Letitia Dean in Disney's High School Musical.

Former Eastenders' Letitia Dean in Disney’s High School Musical.

Former Eastenders' Letitia Dean will play the role of Ms Darbus in the new stage musical based on the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, from 28 June to 31 Aug 2008 at Apollo Hammersmith

Letitia Dean is probably best known for her long-running portrayal of Sharon Watts in BBC One’s EastEnders and for her recent run in TV’s Strictly Come Dancing (she came fourth in December 07) and the subsequent live arena tour of the show.

Commenting on her casting she said: “I am absolutely delighted to be playing Ms Darbus. She has a great love of theatre and the arts and adores her pupils and wants them to succeed. She’s firm but fair and takes no nonsense. Musical theatre is my first love and this will be the first time I have been on a musical stage since I was in Annie when I was 13. I grew up with Judy Garland and Calamity Jane so this is a joy for me and I loved dancing in Strictly Come Dancing...”

Due to the "huge public demand" for the current UK tour, this second UK production will have an entirely new cast and a production designed specifically for the venue.

Disney’s High School Musical has book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini), and a score including all songs from the original movie soundtrack.

It is directed by Jeff Calhoun with choreography by Lisa Stevens.

Produced by Stage Entertainment in co-operation with Disney Theatrical Productions.

A contemporary musical comedy about Troy, a popular high school basketball star, and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer, who discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up to audition together for the lead roles in the school musical it threatens East High's rigid social order and sends their peers into uproar. In an attempt to maintain the status quo, the ‘jocks’ and ‘brainiacs’, and even the drama club regulars, are soon hatching convoluted plans to separate the pair and keep them offstage. Defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, and each other, the couple inspires the other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.

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