THE West End comes to Rugby Theatre this week – in more ways than one.
The theatre’s version of the hit show Avenue Q opens for a week-long run on Saturday and among the cast is the town’s very own West End star.
Emile Ruddock, who lives in Rugby, will be on his hometown stage after being confirmed as returning to the cast of the acclaimed Olivier-nominated show The Scottsboro Boys which thrilled audiences at London’s Young Vic during the winter.
It only had a limited run, but was such a hit with audiences and critics it will transfer later this year to the Garrick Theatre with Emile reprising his role as Willie Roberson.
“The full cast hasn’t been announced yet, but the creative team is holding auditions now. I’ve done mine and I’m thrilled to say I’ve done enough to be asked back,” said Emile.
“Some of the stars of the original production are in different shows now; Kyle Scatliffe, one of the leads, is now in Les Miserables on Broadway.”
Former Avon Valley School pupil Emile has been in several previous productions at Rugby Theatre. He was Billy Lawlor in the Youth Project’s production of 42nd Street and starred in the popular production of Our House in 2012.
After teaching himself to tap dance watching You Tube videos of Fred Astaire, he was also part of the televised 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and a semi finalist in Sky One’s Got To Dance with the tap dancing troupe The Pulse Collective.
And he said he was delighted to be able to be back in Rugby to take on the part of Gary Coleman in Avenue Q.
“The cast and the rest of the team are all absolutely fantastic,” said Emile. “Rugby’s where it all started for me, so it has been a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this.”
Avenue Q is one of the most inventive and original musicals of recent years.
Described as a kind of Sesame Street for grown-ups, it stars a team of with puppets and humans interacting in a sparkling comedy full of catchy tunes and hilarious characters.
The show has only recently been released for amateur performance, but was a huge hit on Broadway – winning a string of Tony Awards – as well as in the West End. And due to the hire costs of the puppets involved the cast has only been rehearsing with them for the past few days, said director Alan Pavis.
Avenue Q runs until June 14. For tickets details see our what’s on page.