The entertainment industry is one which is filled with competition, rejection and uncertainty, and as such, attracts a certain type of individual; not everyone can handle life in the limelight. It’s unusual then to see multiple members of one family working in the industry, all having not only made the decision to follow such a bumpy career path, but actually found their way to success. Hollywood has the four Baldwin brothers (Alec, Daniel, William and Stephen), who have all become actors, but we have something even better here in the UK: The Strallen sisters.
Scarlett, Summer, Zizi and Saskia are the four Strallen siblings who are the latest talents in a musical theatre dynasty that extends to their parents, Sandy Strallen and Cherida Langford, and their aunt, renowned TV and theatre actress Bonnie Langford. The stagey family are practically royalty in the musical theatre industry, with a huge assortment of theatre credits between them: Sandy, Cherida and Bonnie were all part of the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats, which Summer and Zizi have also performed in, and between them, the Strallen sisters have appeared in such musicals as Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain, A Chorus Line, Candide, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Sound of Music, Love Never Dies, Top Hat, Rock of Ages, Merrily We Roll Along, Chicago and Hairspray, and many more.
This month, musical theatre fans have the unique opportunity to see three out of the four sisters performing together, as the three eldest Strallens star in a one-night-only concert in the heart of the West End. If that’s not enough to make your toes tingle with excitement, it gets better – they will be joining forces with another set of talented siblings as the Casey sisters, Anna-Jane and Natalie, also perform alongside them for a never-before-seen myriad of musical theatre entertainment. First-born Anna-Jane Casey has an extensive list of stage credits to her name, including Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, Starlight Express, West Side Story, Chicago, Sunday in the Park with George, The Comedy of Errors, Spamalot, Billy Elliot and Forbidden Broadway. She is perhaps best recognised for her stage work while younger sister Natalie first became known as a TV actress, appearing in such programmes as Hollyoaks and Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps. She’s also performed in the West End in such musicals as Fame, Legally Blonde, Abigail’s Party, and 9 to 5.
The two families are set to collide with a eye-dazzling blast of musical talent, presented under the name of Unwrapped – May Contain Strallens & Musical Nuts at the Leicester Square Theatre on Sunday 19th April 2015. They’ll take to the stage together for a one-night-only performance offering ‘a varied delight of music, comedy and chat’, accompanied by MD Joe Louis Robinson and featuring special guests ‘from all directions’, including renowned Italian guitarist Giulio Romano Malaisi.
In a recent online interview, Anna-Jane Casey spoke about the upcoming concert as an opportunity for both the Strallens and Caseys to show another side of themselves, saying: “There’s no point in Summer and Zizi just coming on and shouldering their legs for half an hour, and Natalie and I doing Northern comedy – we’ve got some group numbers, we’ve got some solos, some guests, video links…it’ll be an interesting, camp funny evening.”
Any musical theatre fan would be hard-pressed to find a stagier event in the West End than a double-feature performance of Strallens and Caseys. Over 2 hours of that much musical talent on one stage may just blow the roof off the Leicester Square Theatre!
Unwrapped – May Contain Strallens & Musical Nuts takes place at the Leicester Square Theatre on Sunday 19th April 2015
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Tuesday 14th April 2015