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Closer to Heaven - Above the Stag Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Jonathan Harvey and with music and lyrics by the Pet Shop Boys, Closer to Heaven runs at Above the Stag Theatre (Main House) from July 3 to August 31, 2019.

Dave is a young dancer from Ireland, new in London and ambitious to make his name. When he takes a job bartending in a Soho nightclub, he’s surprised to find himself at the heart of a new and very unconventional family. But as drink and drugs begin to take over his life, his future as a dancer begins to disappear into the haze. Can he drag himself back from the edge and truly shine?

Both comic and tragic, Closer to Heaven is a bittersweet ode to London nightlife, broken dreams and dark desires.

Originally scheduled to run to August 4, Closer to Heaven has been extended to August 31 due to phenomenal demand.

The cast includes Adele Anderson as Billie Trix, Christopher Howell as Vic Christian and Ian Hallard as Bob Saunders, with further casting to be announced.

Adele Anderson is best known as a member of the acclaimed cabaret group FASCINATING AIDA and co-writes much of their material with founder member Dillie Keane. They have been nominated for the Perrier Award, the Olivier Award (three times) and the New York Drama Desk Award.

Christopher Howell’s many West End theatre credits include 42nd Street (Theatre Royal Drury Lane – WhatsOnStage Award nomination); Cinderella (London Palladium); Made In Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre); Stephen Ward (Aldwych Theatre); Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre); Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre – Broadway World Award nomination); Hairspray (Shaftsbury Theatre); The Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales Theatre); and Fame (Victoria Palace Theatre).

Ian Hallard’s theatre credits include The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre/West End) for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a Play at the Whatsonstage Awards; Hogarth’s Progress (Rose Theatre, Kingston); Scenes from an Execution and Great Britain (National Theatre); and most recently Tumulus (Soho Theatre). He has also appeared on screen in Sherlock, Poirot, Doctor Who and The Crown (TV); Mary Queen of Scots (film).

Closer to Heaven is directed by Steven Dexter, whose credits for Above The Stag Theatre include Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club, Beautiful Thing, When Harry Met Barry (2017), The Sins of Jack Saul and Fanny & Stella: The Shocking True Story. His work elsewhere includes world premieres of the Olivier Award winning Stiles and Drewe musical Honk! (Watermill Theatre Newbury) and the Olivier Nominated musical Loserville (YMT/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Garrick Theatre).

Jonathan Harvey’s plays include Beautiful Thing, Boom Bang-A-Bang and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club, all recently revived at Above The Stag Theatre. His writing for television includes Gimme Gimme Gimme and Coronation Street.

Pop duo Pet Shop Boys have sold 100 million records worldwide and have had 22 UK top 10 singles including four number 1s.

Produced by Peter Bull for Above The Stag Theatre, Closer to Heaven has choreography by Ashley Luke Lloyd, musical direction by Aaron Clingham, design by David Shields and lighting by Jack Weir.

Tickets: £26 – available online at www.abovethestag.com/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday at 6pm (no performance on July 6 or August 2).

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one interval.