EastEnders’ star Cheryl Fergison plays a loyal and abused wife Teresa. Her bullying and bigoted husband Jose is played by Nicholas Ransley and Connie Jackson plays their daughter Cristina. Cristina’s love interest, Duarte is played by Kit Esuruoso and the flamboyantly camp drag queen Carmen by Tom Whalley.
The embittered Maria is played by Liz Watts-Legg and her ex-husband and former dance champion, Andre by Davis Brooks.Playing other roles and ensemble will be Lauren Alexandra, Curtis Brown, Aarron McCauley, Myles Cork, Vicky Hoyles, Jamie-Leigh Nelson, Ryan Ogden and Penelope Simons, who also choreographs.
Carnival Dreams the Musical,with book and lyrics by Norman Mark and music by Robert Orledge, will be directed by Andrew Lynford and produced by Stuart Morrison. Michael Lovelock is Musical Director; Cleo Pettitt is Designer and Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson is Lighting Designer.
Cheryl Fergison became a household name for her award-winning performance as Heather Trott in EastEnders but her credits include a host of other TV appearances including Little Britain, The IT Crowd as well as numerous celebrity shows. She is also a hugely experienced stage actress and has appeared in the West End and with the RSC as well as starring in several pantomimes.
Nicholas Ransley’s varied career has taken him all over the world. He has many acting credits including Neil Armstrong in Man On The Moon for Channel 4 and Mike in the BBC’s award-winning Flashmob-The Opera.
He has also performed in around forty operas. Connie Jackson is a graduate of the Bird College and was seen in the original cast of Jackie the Musical in Dundee, Kit Esuruoso graduated from Mountview last year and has just completed a run of Showboat at Sheffield Crucible. Tom Whalley has just completed a successful pantomime run in Sunderland, where he received rave reviews; Davis Brooks was born in Ottawa but is now based in London. His credits include the award-winning production of Assassins at the Union Theatre. Liz Watts-Legg‘s many credits include the West End production of Les Miserables and she also presented Play School and Play Days for BBC.
Carnival Dreams is set in Argentina where a small community dance group is preparing for the Carnival’s annual Samba competition, the story marries the vibrancy of Carnival with a strong social message.
Whilst fighting his own inner demons, former dance champion Andre tries to instill a passion to succeed but senior dance tutor Jose’s bullying and bigotry does little to raise morale. Jose is consumed with contempt for the people who surround him. A bible-quoting misogynist who physically and mentally abuses his wife Teresa, Jose delights in trying to humiliate the flamboyantly camp drag queen Carmen and is determined to quash the growing romance between his daughter Cristina and Duarte, whose only crime is the colour of his skin. When the embittered Maria persuades Teresa and Cristina to escape Jose’s clutches, a heart-wrenching tragedy unfolds. Can the dance troupe survive and win against this adversity? Carnival Dreams will make you laugh and cry, it will shock and inspire and most importantly it reminds us to fight injustice and prejudice and embrace our wonderfully diverse communities.
Gets tickets to Carnival Dreams
Carnival Dreams the Musical runs at the Ashcroft Theatre Croydon from Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th February 2016.Evenings at 7.30pm with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Box Office: 020 8688 9291.
After this initial run, the producers intend to tour and hopefully launch a London production.