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Harman has the X Factor

First Published 30 August 2013, Last Updated 3 September 2013

Nigel Harman will take on the role of I Can’t Sing – The X Factor Musical’s leading judge in the forthcoming production’s premiere next year, a decision, according to the Daily Mail, the role’s real life inspiration had a part in approving.

Harmon will play the fictitious, outrageously vain and egocentric talent show critic in Harry Hill and Steve Brown’s new, witty theatrical take on the globe-conquering television phenomenon, alongside fellow musical theatre star Cynthia Erivo as the young singer at the centre of the show.

With direction by The Ladykillers’ Olivier Award nominated Sean Foley, promises of more crazy judges and even a talking dog to come, I Can’t Sing – The X Factor Musical will take a peek behind the microphone and under the judges’ desk to reveal the (not necessarily accurate) story of heartache and laughter that keeps millions tuning in every week.

Talking to The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, X Factor creator Simon Cowell confirmed that while he was not involved in the piece creatively, he had attended workshops and was initially bemused as to how they would find someone “who’s good-looking, talented and can look like me?”

The full package was discovered in Olivier Award-winning actor Nigel Harman, last seen on the London stage in Trevor Nunn’s production of A Chorus Of Disapproval and Shrek The Musical, which, alongside his award success, won Harman both pubic and critical acclaim for his hilarious take on the story’s vertically challenged Lord Farquaad.

Arguably still best known to many for his long-running role in BBC drama EastEnders, Harman’s other stage appearances include West End musical Guys And Dolls, and London productions of The Caretaker, The Common Pursuit and Three Days Of Rain. In contrast, his future co-star Erivo is a relative newcomer to the London stage, taking her first leading role in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s acclaimed recent production of The Color Purple which followed smaller roles in musicals Lift at Soho theatre and Kneehigh theatre company’s The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg.

I Can’t Sing – The X Factor Musical is set to begin previews at the London Palladium from 27 February with further casting and details about the production to be announced soon.


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