News: Old Vic announces new musical Just For One Day

 The Old Vic by permission of The Band Aid Charitable Trust, announce the world premiere of Just For One Day, a new musical written by best-selling author John O’Farrell (Mrs DoubtfireSomething Rotten) and directed by Luke Sheppard (& JulietThe Little Big Things) in a limited run from 26 January to 30 March 2024.

Political unrest, social revolution, boom and bust. In a decade of neon and noise, one moment made the world stand still and brought 1.5 billion people together – and they all have a story to tell about ‘the day rock ‘n’ roll changed the world’.

Featuring the songs of Bob DylanDavid Bowie, The Who, U2, Queen, The Police, Elton John, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, The Cars, Status Quo, Paul Weller, Sade, The Boomtown Rats, Bryan Adams, Diana Ross, Ultravox and more, Just For One Day tells the story of Live Aid when 70 artists performed, for free, in front of an audience of 1.5 billion in a ‘global jukebox’ at Wembley Stadium, London, and John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, to raise $127 million for famine relief.

Since its formation in 1984, The Band Aid Charitable Trust has spent the past four decades working across Africa to support organisations dedicated to the prevention or relief of poverty and famine through charitable grants. 10% from the sale of every ticket for Just For One Day will be donated to the Trust to support their ongoing global relief efforts. 

Over the course of the production, The Old Vic will work with 79 school and community groups to offer free tickets and workshops through their award-winning education and community programmes Schools ClubTake the LeadCommunity Club and Matinee Idols.

Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, said:

‘I had the pleasure of working with Luke Sheppard on Matilda The Musical and I have always admired the witty brilliance of John O’Farrell’s writing – I am thrilled to have these two great forces uniting on The Old Vic stage alongside an excellently talented company. For those of us who were around in the ‘80s, Saturday 13 July 1985 I’m sure will be one of those days that is forever etched in our memories. We all remember where we watched Live Aid, who we watched it with, and the pure amazement at the feat that was unfolding before our eyes. It’s these memories and individual stories that are the beating heart of Just For One Day, and I can’t wait for audiences to share in a moment that galvanised the globe once again.’

Bob Geldof said:

‘From seeing Just For One Day throughout its development, if this musical encourages just one person to have a positive impact for the better, then it will be a job well done.

I’m looking forward to seeing it at The Old Vic… it better not be shit!’

The full creative team for Just For One Day is also announced: the Book is written by John O’Farrell and the Director is Luke Sheppard. The production features Musical Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestration by Matthew Brind, Choreography by Ebony Molina, Set by Soutra Gilmour, Costume by Fay Fullerton, Lighting by Howard Hudson, Sound by Gareth Owen, Video & Animation by Andrzej Goulding and Casting by Stuart Burt CDG.  

The cast of Just For One Day will include: Julie Atherton, Ashley Campbell, Jackie Clune, Craige Els, James Hameed, Naomi Katiyo, Hope Kenna, Freddie Love, Emily Ooi and Rhys Wilkinson with further casting to be announced in due course.

Book – John O’Farrell
Director – Luke Sheppard
Musical Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestration – Matthew Brind
Choreography – Ebony Molina
Set – Soutra Gilmour
Costume – Fay Fullerton
Lighting – Howard Hudson
Sound – Gareth Owen
Video & Animation – Andrzej Goulding
Casting – Stuart Burt CDG

Just For One Day is supported by Jamie Wilson Productions, Kevin McCollum, Sonia Friedman Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Kenny Wax Ltd and the Ambassador Theatre Group.

Tickets go on general sale at 12 noon on Friday 06 October, with priority booking from 12 noon on Monday 02 October.   

Image: LIVE AID at Wembley Stadium London 13 July 1985 – Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

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