Simon Bowman leads cast in new prodigal son musical

(Photo: Keith Pattinson)
Simon Bowman in rehearsal for The Prodigals

A contemporary musical retelling of the tale of the prodigal son is set to open at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry at the end of this month.

The Prodigals: A Man Had Two Sons is rooted in the New Testament parable and stars West End actor Simon Bowman in the lead role of Colonel Luke Gibson.

Gibson is battling to balance his love for his two different sons, one, Captain Mike Gibson, who has been fighting for Queen and country in Afghanistan, and the other, Kyle who has hit rock bottom after touring the country with his drug fuelled band.

Behind the production are writer Joe Harmston and creative producer Ray Goudie, the latter being well known in church circles for his Christian music ministry NGM and his work on the soundtrack to the Luv Esther musical.

Harmston said, "We are so pleased to be opening The Prodigals at the Belgrade. It is the perfect theatre and audience for the piece and its record as the starting place for so much exciting work is building season by season.

"To have all the support of The Belgrade and now this incredibly talented cast led by Simon is the perfect start to this adventure.

"The show was very well received at The Edinburgh Festival and we hope this new and greatly developed version will inspire and challenge audiences even more."

The Prodigals musical evolved from a workshop production that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and features original songs and choreography in a range of styles.

Simon Bowman as Chris Scott in Miss Saigon

Bowman is an established musical actor, having played Chris in the original West End production of Miss Saigon, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, and the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera.

Commenting on his latest role in The Prodigals, he said: "With The Prodigals I had the same gut feeling as I've had accepting other roles in the past after reading the script and listening to the music. It excited me to want to be involved in an innovative new show."

Joining him on the cast are Greg Oliver as Kyle Gibson, Sam Ferriday as his brother Mike Gibson, and Sarah Watson as Kyle's band mate Kelly Byrne.

The Prodigals runs at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry from 30 August to 14 September.

Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 024 7655 3055 or via www.belgrade.co.uk

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