Strictly Come Dancing star Mark Benton will see his newly learnt moves come in useful when he joins the cast of Grease 2 tribute concert Cool Rider for its West End return next month.
Joining the previously announced leading pair Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell, Benton will play teacher Mr Stuart alongside fellow newcomer Niki Evans, who takes on the role of Ms Mason.
The brilliantly tongue in cheek homage to the 1982 cult musical brings its story of two unlikely lovers and their road to romance to the Duchess Theatre from 15 to 19 April.
The week-long residency follows Cool Rider’s huge success earlier this year when the concert performed for one-night only to rapturous public acclaim at the Lyric Theatre. The run will once again see the film’s cult soundtrack including songs Who’s That Guy?, Score Tonight, Cool Rider, Reproduction, Girl For All Seasons and Rock-A-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming) performed on stage.
Benton returns to the London stage for the production following credits including the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Richard III and The Front Page at the Donmar Warehouse. Soon to be seen leading the cast in this summer’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Hobson’s Choice, Benton is arguably best known for his many leading television roles in series including Waterloo Road, Northern Lights and Early Doors.
His forthcoming co-star Evans followed her profile-raising appearance on 2007’s X Factor with a long-running leading role in Blood Brothers, playing Mrs Johnstone in the West End and on tour.
The full cast for Cool Rider also includes West End performers Stewart Clarke (Loserville), Luke Fetherston (Singin’ In The Rain and Top Hat), Harry Francis (A Chorus Line), Hannah Levane (Flashdance and We Will Rock You), Lucinda Lawrence ( Love Never Dies), Bronte Barbe and Joshua Dowen.