Darius Danesh will play Rhett Butler in Trevor Nunn’s production of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel, Gone with the Wind
. He joins the previously announced
Jill Paice as Scarlett O’Hara, Edward Baker-Duly as Ashley Wilkes and Madeleine Worrall as Melanie. Other new additions to the cast include NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mammy and Jina Burrows as Prissy.
Danesh rose to fame on the hit British TV show Pop Idol. In 2006 he ended a second successful West End run in the musical Chicago playing Billy Flynn at the Adelphi Theatre and 2007 saw him star as Sky Masterson in Michael Grandage’s Olivier Award-winning production of Guys and Dolls. Danesh's professional stage career began playing a 10-year-old Trojan boy in Scottish Opera’s 1990 production of The Trojans and as a teenager he toured with the company in their critically acclaimed production of Carmen. His first self-penned single “Colourblind” entered the U.K. singles chart at number one and his debut album went Danesh has had five U.K. Top 10 singles.
Williams made her Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple. She previously starred off-Broadway in Dessa Rose and has toured the U.S. in All Shook Up, Seussical the Musical, Cinderella, Parade and The Goodbye Girl. Playing Mammy in Gone with the Wind will mark her U.K. stage debut.
Jina Burrows’ theatre credits include Boogie Nights, Aladdin, Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall and The Gospel According to Broadway at the Hackney Empire. She has performed with artists such as Mary J Blige, Jamiroquai and Jamelia and is currently touring with Soul 2 Soul.
Joining the principal cast is a company that includes Emily Bryant, Gareth Chart, Laura Checkley, Julian Forsyth, Kirsty Hoiles, Chris Jarman, Tober Reilly, David Roberts, Tom Sellwood, Ray Shell, Savannah Stevenson, Gemma Sutton, Sue Jane Tanner, Susan Tracy and Alan Winner. Final casting will be announced shortly.
Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestselling novel and the historic film adaptation, Gone with the Wind is set in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1860s and follows the story of the 17-year-old Scarlett O’Hara, the eldest of three daughters living a life of luxury on their father’s plantation until the onset of the Civil War threatens their idyllic existence. Scarlett’s incredible journey through both the war and the peace is mirrored in her turbulent relationship with Rhett Butler, whose actions always defy prediction. Their story spans 10 years and mingles romantic ecstasy with tragic grief, as the life these people once knew disappears.
As previously announced, the show, which features a book and score by Margaret Martin and adaptation by director Nunn, will play its first performance at the New London Theatre on 5 April and open on 22 April.