Starter For Ten, a new musical coming to the U.K.'s Bristol Old Vic next year, has released a sneak peek music video for "Touched by an Angel," introducing the core company ahead of the musical's world premiere engagement running February 29, 2024 through March 30.
Based on the novel by David Nicholls and the 2006 film adaptation starring James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch, the 1980s-set coming-of-age story explores love and social class against the backdrop of the legendary British quiz show University Challenge.
Said composers Tom Rasmussen and Hatty Carman upon release of the track: “When we began thinking about the music that would soundtrack our adaptation of David Nicholls’s Starter For Ten, we started in the pages of the book. It’s a text totally rich with music from when the book is set—1985—and each character has their own specific musical tastes, which, as music does, illuminates their internal worlds so brilliantly. It made sense that Brian, our lead and a could-be working class hero, is into The Cure, The Smiths, Kate Bush.
"Yes, it’s ‘80s — and it’s British. So often when we think of ‘80s music we think of gloss, of late ‘80s glamour. But Starter For Ten is a total love letter to the subcultures of the early '80s, from post-punk to the New Romantics. It’s about experimental synths, drum machines, and of course—the musician’s greatest weapon—the guitar.
"The first track we’re releasing from the show—'Touched by an Angel'—is when Brian sees the supposed girl of his dreams for the first time. It’s the punk ballad of a lovesick Essex Boy, one who loves to quote Brontë.”
The musical stars Adam Bregman as the Southend-born, Bristol-bound undergraduate Brian (Sing Street), and Eubha Akilade as Rebecca. They are joined by Stephenson Ardern-Sodje as Spencer (Disney’s The Lion King, Hamilton), Miracle Chance as Lucy (The Witches), Emily Lane as Alice (Frozen), and Will Jennings as Patrick, (Les Miserables, The Mousetrap).
Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Starter For Ten features a book and lyrics co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, and music and additional lyrics by Rasmussen and Carman. The production will be directed by Charlie Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Will Burton for GBC.
For more information, visit BristolOldVic.org.uk.