St Albans teenager sings track penned by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers on album

Asha Banks on stage at The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in...

Asha Banks on stage at The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in November 2019. Picture: Simon Hadley. - Credit: Simon Hadley

A talented teenage performer from St Albans appears on the original cast recording of a hit musical adapted from a David Walliams novel.

The Boy in the Dress album cover.

The Boy in the Dress album cover. - Credit: Supplied

Asha Banks, 17, sings a ballad on the cast album for The Boy in the Dress, which was released last week.

The stage show premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon last year, with songs written by Angels singer Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers.

Asha, who lives in St Albans and attends the Elstree Screen Arts Academy, played principal Lisa James in the Royal Shakespeare Company musical.

The Boy in the Dress ended its initial run in Stratford-upon-Avon in March 2020, just before the lockdown.

St Albans teenager Asha Banks appears on The Boy in the Dress soundtrack. Picture: A P Wilding

St Albans teenager Asha Banks appears on The Boy in the Dress soundtrack. Picture: A P Wilding - Credit: Archant

The original cast album was finally released on Friday, December 4, and Asha sings the ballad When Things Fall Apart on the recording.

The track is penned by the partnership of Robbie Williams and long-time collaborator Guy Chambers.

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Asha said: “The album is amazing! Listening to it brings back such fantastic memories for me.

“The whole cast is so proud of it – the music is so uplifting and just what we all need right now.”

Asha has been singing professionally since she was cast at seven years old in the West End show Les Misérables.

Since then she’s starred in a further five West End and UK tour musicals, playing parts such as Violet Beauregarde in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Pandora in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

The singer-songwriter and actor most recently played the lead role of Lisa James in The Boy in the Dress.

Asha added: “Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams are brilliant at writing songs and I am so honoured to be a part of this album.”

Asha Banks as Lisa James and Jackson Laing as Dennis in The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in...

Asha Banks as Lisa James and Jackson Laing as Dennis in The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Manuel Harlan - Credit: Manuel Harlan

The album contains all the songs from the popular musical based on the children’s book bestseller by Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, and raced straight to number two in the Soundtrack Charts on the day of its release.

It also features two bonus tracks by Robbie Williams himself, demo versions for If I Don’t Cry and A House Without A Mum.

The cast recording features musical supervision and arrangements by Bruce O’Neil and musical direction and arrangements by Alan Williams, with additional orchestrations from Tom Deering and Chambers.

The album release was originally planned to coincide with a transfer for the show to the West End, but due to the pandemic this has been postponed for now.

Robbie Williams at The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in November...

Robbie Williams at The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in November 2019. Picture: Simon Hadley. - Credit: Simon Hadley

The Boy in the Dress album is available to download / stream from iTunes, Spotify and YouTube Music.

You can also buy the CD at https://shop.rsc.org.uk/products/the-boy-in-the-dress-original-cast-recording-2019

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