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Full cast announced for My Dad’s Gap Year at Park Theatre

My Dad's Gap Year - Park Theatre Cast © Michael Wharley
My Dad’s Gap Year – Park Theatre Cast © Michael Wharley

Former EastEnders and Coronation Street star Michelle Collins will join the cast of Tom Wright’s knockabout comedy My Dad’s Gap Year, alongside Adam Lannon, Alex Britt, Max Percy and previously announced Victoria Gigante. Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, My Dad’s Gap Year opens at Park Theatre on Wednesday 30 January 2019 for a strictly limited season.

This is the story of Dave (Adam Lannon), a dad in mid-life freefall who takes his repressed, gay teenage son William (Alex Britt) on a wild adventure to Thailand to lose his virginity. In the process, Dave finds a love of his own in Thai waitress Mae (Victoria Gigante) who dreams of owning her own bar, and William meets the incredibly charming Matias (Max Percy) who opens his eyes to sex, drugs and everything in-between. However, this is no ordinary summer romance as both William and Dave go on a journey of self-discovery, learning some hard home truths along the way. Michelle plays the role of William’s mother Cath – a woman who embarks on her own journey of self-discovery as she learns how to be single again.

My Dad’s Gap Year is a wickedly funny and heartfelt story based on true events. With gay love, straight love, trans love, buddy love and father/son love at its core, it’s a dizzying drama of drinking games, beer bellies, newfound freedom and midlife madness.

The production will be accompanied by a full supporting programme and outreach activity. Two post-show talks will take place each week during the run, covering a range of related topics. Three LGBTQ+ writers – Benjamin Salmon, Temi Wikey and Kamal Kaan – have been selected to further develop their work with support and guidance from Tom Wright and there will be a series of engagement workshops for young people from the LGBTQ+ community to create new work. Participants will also be given the chance to see the production free of charge.

Michelle Collins has worked extensively in TV and theatre over the last 30 years. Her television roles include two of Britain’s best-loved soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street, the hugely popular 2,000 Acres of Skye and The Illustrated Mum, which received an international Emmy Award. Theatre credits include: Calendar Girls (Phoenix Theatre); Rattle of a Simple Man (Comedy Theatre); Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury Theatre); The Glass Supper (Hampstead Theatre); A Dark Night in Dalston (Park Theatre); Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK Tour) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour).

Tom Wright is a London based playwright and theatre director. My Dad’s Gap Year was first workshopped at the Tristan Bates Theatre before being developed with Rikki Beadle-Blair of Team Angelica and showcased at the Bush Theatre, London. Tom’s second play I Ain’t Dumb premiered at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Rebel Song, his adaptation of Jamie O’Neill’s novel At Swim, Two Boys, was nominated for the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize and was selected as part of From Page To Stage to be performed at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace. Amongst his other work, Kweenship was developed with the Soho Theatre’s Young Company.

Rikki Beadle-Blair is a writer, director, composer, choreographer, designer, producer and performer. He has won several awards including the Sony Award for Best Documentary Feature for The Roots of Homophobia, and the Los Angeles Outfest Screenwriting and Outstanding Achievement awards. Past projects include several feature films and TV series including the American feature Blackbird starring Oscar-winning actress Mo’nique, Stonewall for Killer Films New York and BBC Films, Metrosexuality for Channel 4, Noah’s Arc for MTV Logo as well as Fit, Kickoff and Bashment for his own company, Team Angelica. He is one of the creative directors of the Visionary Youth Project for young European Film Activists. Rikki also works extensively in theatre and has written 28 plays in the last decade that have been performed in London and across the UK. In 2016, he was awarded an MBE for his services to drama.

Park Theatre is fast becoming recognised as a powerhouse of theatre. In five years, it has enjoyed four West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss and Pressure starring David Haig), two National Theatre transfers, ten national tours, two Olivier Award nominations, an Offie for Best New Play (The Revlon Girl) and a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage.

This production is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Directed By Rikki Beadle-Blair
Set and Costume Design by Sarah Beaton
Lighting Design By Derek Anderson
Sound Design By Benjamin Winter
Park Theatre, London
Wednesday 30 January – Saturday 23 February 2019

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