Belgrade’s new military musical stars Simon Bowman

Posted on 29 July 2013

The Belgrade Theatre and Inspire present
The Prodigals
Written by Ray Goudie and Joe Harmston
Directed by Joe Harmston
Fri 30 Aug to Sat 14 Sept 2013, Main Stage
Press night: Tues 3 Sept, 7pm at Belgrade Theatre

The Belgrade Theatre’s autumn season gets off to an explosive start as its new musical The Prodigals: A Man Had Two Sons bursts on to the Main Stage from Fri 30 Aug to Sat 14 Sept, starring West End actor Simon Bowman.

With its roots in the biblical tale of the Prodigal Son, The Prodigals follows the story of Colonel Luke Gibson, a father who tries to balance his love for his two very different sons. One has been fighting for Queen and country in Afghanistan, whilst the other has hit rock bottom after touring the country with his drug fuelled band.

The Prodigals is developed version of a workshop production that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011. It will feature a range of eclectic, original songs with each character reflecting a particular style of music – from the high energy, electronic beats of Kyle’s band, to the epic, rock ballads of his father, Colonel Gibson. The choreography covers a range of styles and includes sequences of dramatic street dance.

After directing Strindberg’s The Father in April 2012, Joe Harmston returns to the Belgrade to direct The Prodigals, which he also co-wrote alongside creative producer Ray Goudie.

Joe 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 role of Colonel Luke Gibson will be played by Simon Bowman who created the role of Chris in the original West End production of Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Some of his other West End credits include Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mack & Mabel and Blondel.

The cast also includes Greg Oliver as Kyle Gibson, whose theatre credits include After the Turn at The Courtyard Theatre and Spring Awakening at The Broadway Theatre Studio and Sam Ferriday as his brother Mike Gibson, whose theatre credits include the musical Maya at Barons Court Theatre and the No 1 UK tour of Over the Rainbow – The Eva Cassidy Story. Sarah Watson, who performed in hit musical Loserville at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on the West End, will play the role of Kyle’s band mate Kelly Byrne.

Supporting them is an ensemble of eight actors, dancers and musicians, including four previous cast members from the Edinburgh Festival workshop production. Reprising their roles are Sarah Wilkie (We Will Rock You, European tour), Simeon John-Wake (A Christmas Carol and Black Beauty, national tour), Omari Bernard (Starlight Express, Mehr Entertainment) and Emma Franklin (Luv Esther, UK tour).

Completing the ensemble is James William Marshall (Starlight Express, UK tour and Grease, Piccadilly Theatre, West End), Jamie Ray-Hartshorne (Jesus Christ Superstar, international Arena tour and Robinson Crusoe, Birmingham Hippodrome), Melanie Brown (Jesus Christ Superstar, Liverpool Empire) and Louise Chapman (Millennium Performing Arts Fusion at the Cochrane Theatre and the Bloomsbury Theatre).

Set design is by Sean Cavanagh, lighting design is by Ben Cracknell, sound design is by Ben Harrison and the musical supervisor is Matt Smith. Choreography is by Natalie Murdoch.

Tickets for The Prodigals are available now from the box office on 024 7655 3055 priced from £18.25 to £31.25 or online where cheaper tickets are available.


For further media information or images please contact Ruth Saunders on T: 024 7684 6715 E:

  • Production photograph features previous cast members.
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