The world premiere of the musical will begin performances at the Bristol Old Vic from the 29th February 2024.

(c) Oliver Rosser

Antic Productions, Bristol Old Vic, Longshot Films and Playtone have announced initial casting for the upcoming world premiere of its musical Starter for Ten, based on thecoming-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.

The musical is set to be led by Adam Bregman (currently training at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) who will play Brian, alongside Eubha Akilade (stage debut) as Rebecca, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje (Rock Follies, Chichester Festival Theatre) as Spencer, Miracle Chance (Heathers, The Other Palace) as Lucy, Emily Lane (Frozen, West End) as Alice, and Will Jennings (Les Miserables, West End) as Patrick.

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.

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.

This stage adaptation features a book and lyrics by Emma Hall and Charlie Parham who 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.”

The musical also features music and lyrics by Hatty Carman and Tom Rasmussen, direction by Charlie Parham, choreography by Shelley Maxwell, set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw and sound design by Gregory Clarke.

Talking about the production 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 will run at the Bristol Old Vic from the 29th February until the 30th March 2024. To book tickets visit:


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