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Cast and first look at world stage premiere of Marvellous at New Vic Theatre

Michael Hugo and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous. Credit Andrew Billington
Michael Hugo and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous. Credit Andrew Billington

Casting has been confirmed for the world premiere stage production of Marvellous.

Presented at the New Vic Theatre Marvellous is adapted for the stage by Neil Baldwin and Theresa Heskins from the book of the same name by Neil Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke

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The piece tells the remarkable story of Stoke City FC kit man, clown and all-round hero, Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin.

Featuring a seven-strong cast including neurodiverse actors, Marvellous will be performed by Suzanne Ahmet (Pride and Prejudice, Grosvenor Open Air Theatre Chester); Charlie Bence (Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Park Theatre London); Gareth Cassidy (The 39 Steps, The Prince and the Pauper, New Vic); Alex Frost (The Full Monty, UK Tour); Michael Hugo (Coppelia – A Mystery, The 39 Steps, New Vic); Jerone Marsh-Reid (The Strange Tale Of Charlie Chaplin And Stan Laurel, UK Tour) and Daniel Murphy, who will all play versions of themselves playing Neil Baldwin and a whole host of other characters.

Jerone Marsh-Reid and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous. Credit Andrew Billington.
Jerone Marsh-Reid and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous. Credit Andrew Billington.

A brand-new play commissioned especially for the New Vic, Nello’s local theatre, and created in conjunction with Neil Baldwin himself, the production takes to the stage at the New Vic from Friday 11 March to Saturday 9 April.

With words almost entirely Nello’s own, Marvellous combines a playful script with physical comedy and New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins’ inimitable directorial style, to bring to life this incredible story about how you can realise your dreams – even when society tries to limit you with a label.

New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “Through thick and thin, the prospect of staging the story of Nello’s inspirational life has given us cause to smile. His optimistic outlook and talent for happiness rubs off on everyone he meets. And Marvellous is going to do exactly the same.

Michael Hugo and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous-2. Credit Andrew Billington
Michael Hugo and Suzanne Ahmet in Marvellous-2. Credit Andrew Billington

“It’s a story of joy and sadness; of realising dreams; of belonging and othering; of how labels both limit us and protect us; of what constitutes a hero – and why we need them. It’s a play that is as straightforward, direct and sunny as Neil is: it will fill audiences with optimism, bring people together and spread happiness.”

Neil Baldwin added: “Theresa said, ‘I would like to make a play about you’ and I thought ‘why make a play about me?’ which is the same thing I said about the film! The cast are lovely, we’re friends already. I am really looking forward to seeing it all come together, I hope the theatre will be filled every night! It’s going to be great.”

Marvellous takes to the stage at the New Vic from Friday 11 March to Saturday 9 April 2022 with tickets on sale now from newvictheatre.org.uk.

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