News: First casting is announced for new musical Starter For Ten

Antic Productions, Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films and Playtone have announced initial casting for their major new musical Starter for Ten, introducing a new generation of young actors with a wealth of musical theatre talent between them. This bright, big-hearted show will receive its world premiere at Bristol Old Vic from 29 February – 30 March 2024 as part of Nancy Medina’s inaugural season as Artistic Director.

Based on the hilarious coming-of-age novel by David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow) and the popular 2006 film adaptation starring James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden and Rebecca Hall, this tale of love, class and growing up in the 1980s is set in Bristol against the backdrop of legendary British quiz show University Challenge.

Oliver Rosser, Feast Creative

Starring in the leading role, Adam Bregman plays the Southend-born, Bristol-bound undergraduate, ‘Brian’; making her stage debut, Eubha Akilade takes the role of ‘Rebecca’, Glasweigan rabble-rouser and Brian’s closest friend on campus; Stephenson Ardern-Sodje plays Brian’s childhood best friend ‘Spencer’; the Challenge team also features Miracle Chance in the role of ‘Lucy’, always calm in a crisis and a quiz fanatic; the role of ‘Alice’, student am-dram celebrity and Brian’s unrequited crush, is played by Emily Lane; Will Jennings plays ‘Patrick’, the Bristol Challenge team captain and Brian’s biggest critic.

Emma Hall and Charlie Parham said: “It is so exciting to be working with a new generation of extremely talented young actors. In exactly the same way that the film ‘Starter for 10’ was instrumental in launching the careers of so many young British stars (James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper and James Corden to name but a few!), we have seized this opportunity to champion and showcase the stars of tomorrow.”

Further casting to be announced later this year when the lead roles of Professor Bowman, Brian’s mum Irene Jackson, and the iconic quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne will be revealed.

David Nicholls, author of the bestselling novel Starter for Ten, said “20 years after publication, it’s such a thrill that Brian’s misadventures are being brought to the stage, and by such a brilliant, dynamic team.”

Starter for Ten has book and lyrics co-written by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham, Artistic Directors of Antic Productions. The 80s-inspired original score and lyrics are composed by queer, pop-punk composers Tom Rasmussen (who recently supported Rina Sawayama and Self Esteem on UK tour with their debut album, Body Building) and Hatty Carman. The production will be directed by Charlie Parham, choreographed by Shelley Maxwell, with set and costume design by Olivier Award-nominee Frankie Bradshaw, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Will Burton for GBC.

Starter for Ten is now on sale at
Sign up for more information on the show at

Fingers on buzzers! Here’s your Starter for Ten…

What is eighteen-year-old Brian Jackson’s proudest achievement to date? His A-level results. His idol? Kate Bush. His lifelong dream? To compete on legendary TV quiz show University Challenge. It’s 1985 and, leaving Southend to start his first year at Bristol University, Brian soon discovers that falling in love and growing up take a lot more than general knowledge…

Featuring an irresistible original soundtrack inspired by the riotous student scene of the 80s, Starter for Ten is a bright, big-hearted coming-of-age comedy about love, belonging and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *