A FAMILY musical will take to a UK stage for the very first time when it premieres in Stevenage over the Easter holiday.

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The Gordon Craig Theatre hosts Disney’s My Son Pinocchio, Geppetto’s Musical Tale in a retelling of the children’s classic.

Written by Stephen Schwartz, the man behind the worldwide smash hit Wicked, the production boasts a cast of actors with West End experience, as well as performers from across the county.

Heading the cast as Geppetto is Stephen Dean, the brother of EastEnders star Letitia Dean.

He shares the stage with actress Clare Rickard as the Blue Fairy.

Clare is no stranger to the Gordon Craig having played Fairy Goodapple in the 2010-2011 pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as appearing in the West End in Mary Poppins and Oliver!

Also making a return to the theatre is Rakesh Boury, who has previously starred in Titanic: The Musical directed by pantomime legend Paul Laidlaw and has since gone on to star in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London.

They will be joined by Stevenage actor Robert Paice and Harriet Lomax, from St Albans, who will be in familiar surroundings.

Both have professional experience, as well as holding drama academies and holiday activity days with the theatre.

Completing the cast will be performers from the surrounding area and 30 children from across Hertfordshire, some of who have never set foot on stage before.

The musical is filled with spectacular costumes and sets, a new score that includes the classic songs I’ve Got No Strings and When You Wish Upon a Star and dance routines choreographed by Philip Joel, who has been behind productions on Broadway and the O2 Arena in London.

Disney’s My Son Pinocchio, Geppetto’s Musical Tale runs from Wednesday, April 11, until Sunday, April 15, with performances at 7pm on Wednesday and Friday at 1.30pm and 4.30pm on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets start from £15 for the opening night, and then £15.50 or £17.50 for all other performances, with a family ticket available for £55.

To book, contact the box office on 01438 363200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk

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