David Hunter, who has spent the holiday season playing the role of Horton the Elephant in the Flaherty and Ahrens musical Suessical at London's Arts Theatre, will lead the cast in a workshop of the epic new Welsh historical musical, My Land's Shore, at RADA from January 7 to 18. Hunter was a semi-finalist in Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a Jesus in ITV's "Superstar" during the summer of 2012 and his West End credits include roles in the recent concert of The Who's Tommy at the Prince Edward Theatre and in One Man, Two Guv'nors at The National Theatre.
My Land's Shore (with music & lyrics by Christopher J. Orton and book & lyrics by RoBert Gould) is a musical re-telling of the story of the first Welsh working class martyr, Richard Lewis (aka Dic Penderyn), set during the infamous Merthyr Rising of 1831. A studio cast recording of highlights from the score of the show was released by SimG Records in February 2012 to great popular acclaim and Olivier Award-winning songwriters Stiles and Drewe described the score as "soaring, passionate and hauntingly melodic", while director/choreographer Craig Revel Horwood called it a "Les Mis for Wales".
Other principals in the workshop cast will include Hal Fowler (London Road, Les Miserables, Carousel), Rebecca Trehearn (Ghost, Love Story, We Will Rock You), Kelly-Anne Gower (Blood Brothers, Les Miserables, We Will Rock You), Will Barratt (The Phantom Of The Opera), Aled Powys Williams (of Classic Brit Award winning choir Only Men Aloud), Lisa Anne Wood (Steel Pier, Les Miserables), Ryan Gibb (Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph And the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Matthew Barrow (Merrily We Roll Along, The Wizard Of Oz, Sweet Charity,) Carly Marie Owen, Louise Stanton (Jekyll And Hyde, The Blues Brothers) and ten-year old Sonny Chatters.
The ensemble for the workshop will include Alison Arnopp, Charlotte Bradford, David Brewis, Stephanie Callow, Jordan Lee Davies, Drew Jaymson, Andy Keelan, Jodie Beth Meyer, Kira Morsley, James Ballanger, Michael Risely, Joe Sterling, Elizabeth Ruth Webb.
The My Land's Shore workshop, which will conclude with a performance to an invited industry audience on Friday January 18, will be directed by Timothy Welton (associate director for Blood Brothers and Cabaret in the West End and National Tours, director of Trainspotting for York Theatre Royal), with musical direction by Huw Evans (Merrily We Roll Along at Theatre Clwyd, Rent at Greenwich Theatre), assistant musical direction by Scott Alder (Rent at Greenwich Theatre, Jekyll & Hyde at the Union Theatre) and orchestrations by former BBC Proms Young Composer Award winner Tom Curran (The Prince And The Pauper at the Unicorn Theatre, Jekyll & Hyde at the Union Theatre).