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Stars line up to play Chess

Published April 17, 2008

Marti Pellow, David Bedella and Clarke Peters have been added to the star-studded line up of Chess In Concert, a two-night concert performance of Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson’s musical at the Royal Albert Hall on 12-13 May.

The trio joins a cast that already contains Wicked leading ladies Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis, recording artist Josh Groban and Broadway star Adam Pascal. Also now confirmed in the cast are Tiffany Graves, Debbie Kurup, Leila Benn Harris and Aoife Mulholland.

Pellow (who plays The Arbiter) is the lead singer of pop band Wet Wet Wet, whose string of hits came predominantly in the 1980s and 90s. Among those chart-toppers, the band’s 1994 hit Love Is All Around spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK singles charts, after which Pellow allegedly asked for it to be removed from sale.

Bedella (Molokov) is best known in the West End for playing Satan in the National Theatre production of Jerry Springer – The Opera in 2003, for which he won the 2004 Best Actor in a Musical Laurence Olivier Award, and Frank N Furter in the 2006 revival of The Rocky Horror Show. Bedella is also known to Holby City viewers for playing short and sexy surgeon Carlos Fashola in the hospital soap.

Peters (Walter) was last in the West End playing Porgy in Trevor Nunn’s production of Porgy And Bess at the Savoy in 2006. His extensive list of previous West End credits includes The Witches Of Eastwick, Chicago, Simply Heavenly, The Iceman Cometh and Five Guys Named Moe, which he also wrote, winning the 1991 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment.

Among their many London stage credits Graves and Kurup have both played the role of Velma in Chicago in the West End. Mulholland is also a Chicago veteran, having played Roxie in December 2006. The actress first became known for taking part in the reality television programme How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and is currently playing Maria in The Sound Of Music for two performances a week. Benn Harris is the current Christine in The Phantom Of The Opera and has previous London stage credits including Fame and Evita.

Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’s 1986 musical Chess centres on a romantic triangle between two players at a World Chess Championship and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. This two-night concert performance, produced by Rice himself, streamlines the story and transforms the musical into a rock show, featuring the 50-piece City of London Philharmonic, a 100-strong choir and the Royal Albert Hall’s pipe organ.

CB

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