Star of the Disney smash-hit musical takes Wembley Park for a peek behind the curtain
Disney's Newsies at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre has captivated audiences with its compelling storyline that strikes a chord with modern viewers. The production's mesmerising dance routines, which earned an Olivier Award for Best Choreography, have been an integral part of its success. With the Broadway production receiving an impressive eight Tony Award nominations and two wins for Best Choreography and Best Original Score, Newsies has unquestionably become a modern-day smash hit. Ryan Kopel, who plays Davey, opened up to Park Life about the show.
Can you give a quick history of the show?
Newsies tells the true story of the 1899 New York newsboys’ strike. It’s based on the Disney film from 1992, starring Christian Bale, called The News Boys here in the UK. The show came to Broadway in 2012 but this is the first time Newsies has come to the stage in the UK.
Why is Newsies relevant today?
With so many strikes now taking place, the show is incredibly relevant. Its themes of unity and standing together are striking a major chord with audiences.
Newsies has been extended twice, now running to July 2023. What makes it so successful?
UK Newsies fans have waited so long – there’s been real anticipation. The show has a powerful dance element. The time and effort that went into the music, choreography and direction is superb. Every move and detail maps to every beat, with so much intention and thought behind it. The talent of the dancers and the way they move their bodies to tell the story is incredible.
How do you feel “playing Wembley”?
I love Wembley Park. It’s a great place to work and enjoy. This is a highlight of my career; I really like playing Davey – he’s a great character, from his story to his accent. I play a scene from Funny Girl featuring Barbara Streisand before each show, to channel her super-fast-talking New York accent!