West End star Steven Webb (Oliver!, Book of Mormon), will star as Kevin, a 40-year-old, has-been-who-never-was comedian in Here You Come Again, a rollicking and joyful new musical, fully authorised by Dolly Parton herself, when it visits Newcastle Theatre Royal (Tue 18 – Sat 22 Jun 2024).

Steven Webb began his career 30 years ago as the titular character in Sam Mendes’ production of Oliver! (London Palladium). Since then, he has appeared in a wide range of film, television and theatre. Steven played Elder McKinley in the West End run of The Book of Mormon, and his other theatre credits include The History Boys; I Want My Hat Back; On the Shore of the Wide World (National Theatre) and As Is (Trafalgar Studios). He also has many television credits, having previously played roles in the much beloved BBC series Miranda and E4’s The Inbetweeners.

Kevin has just separated from his long-time boyfriend, Jeremy, an investment banker, and is in quarantine in the attic bedroom of his childhood home in Yorkshire. Surrounded by precious belongings from his youth, he is reunited with a much-loved old record player and his cherished Dolly albums.

“I’m beyond excited to be bringing Kevin to life here in the UK. I grew up listening to Dolly and other country music as my dad was a big fan. Twenty years ago, I was in a similar state to Kevin. I was down, a relationship had come clattering to a halt and I felt aimless.” Steven Webb says.

“Then Dolly Parton played one night at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. So, I grabbed a ticket and took myself down there. Just like Kevin, I was inspired, galvanised and uplifted by Dolly and her message of love and perseverance. It was practically life changing. And that’s why she means so much to so many people. It’s no coincidence that the hashtag #WhatWouldDollyDo became a life motto for so many. Getting to sing and hear her biggest hits (and watch Tricia embody Dolly) every night is going to be the greatest gift a show could ever give.” He adds.

Packed with the iconic songs Jolene, 9 to 5, Islands in the Stream, I Will Always Love You, Here You Come Again and more, this lively and touching new musical makes its North East debut at Newcastle Theatre Royal and tells the story of a diehard fan whose imagined version of international icon Dolly Parton gets him through trying times.

Having enjoyed several successful performances across the United States, Here You Come Again was originally written by multi-Emmy award-winning comedy and songwriter Bruce Vilanch with Gabriel Barre (who also directs) and writer and actor Tricia Paoluccio (who co-writes and will reprise her celebrated role as ‘Dolly’ following US acclaim). It has now been adapted by acclaimed British screen and theatre writer Jonathan Harvey who has written hundreds of episodes of the popular soap Coronation Street as well as television sitcoms Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and Beautiful People.

With her wit, humour and charm, Dolly teaches her biggest fan a whole lot about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps…even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones!

Here You Come Again, a musical that is sure to make you smile, plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 18 – Sat 22 Jun. Tickets can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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