St Albans teenager shares stage with Robbie Williams and David Walliams at musical's opening night

PUBLISHED: 22:18 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 04 December 2019

The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Picture: Simon Hadley.(c) RSC

The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Simon Hadley.(c) RSC

Simon Hadley/ www.simonhadley.co.uk

A teenager from St Albans performed in front of Robbie Williams and David Walliams at the opening night of the RSC's new musical.

The Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Picture: Simon Hadley, (c) RSCThe Boy in the Dress opening night at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Simon Hadley, (c) RSC

Asha Banks, 16, has a starring role in the musical adaptation of David Walliams' The Boy In The Dress.

She appeared at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon last night (Thursday) in front of Robbie Williams, David Walliams, Guy Chambers and a host of other celebrities, as one of the young stars of the new show.

Parmiter's School pupil Asha is one of three actresses who play the lead part of the fashion-savvy Lisa James in the Royal Shakespeare Company musical.

The heart-warming comedy is based on David Walliams' first children's book, with songs written by Angels superstar Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, and the book adapted for the stage by Mark Ravenhill.

Robbie Williams joins the cast on stage following the opening night of The Boy in the Dress at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Picture: Simon Hadley, (c) RSCRobbie Williams joins the cast on stage following the opening night of The Boy in the Dress at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Simon Hadley, (c) RSC

It is directed by the RSC's artistic director Gregory Doran.

Asha said: "Playing Lisa James in this show is a dream come true.

"I've always wanted to work with the RSC. And the creative team is just phenomenal.

"I was so excited to perform in front of Robbie Williams, David Walliams and Guy Chambers."

Asha Banks and the rest of The Boy in the Dress cast following the opening night performance at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Picture: Simon Hadley (c) RSCAsha Banks and the rest of The Boy in the Dress cast following the opening night performance at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Simon Hadley (c) RSC

The Boy In The Dress is about a cross-dressing boy who loves football.

Asha added: "This show is amazing!

"And I love the message that you can be whoever you want to be, even if that is different to the rest."

VIP guests at the opening night show included comedian and author David Baddiel, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones actor David Bradley, comedian and TV personality Alan Carr, Rocketman star Taron Egerton, actor Ray Fearon, Ayda Field, Dawn Harper, Torn singer Natalie Imbruglia, and Cerys Matthews.

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 HarlanAsha 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

The Boy In The Dress cast includes Rufus Hound, Irvine Iqbal, Natasha Lewis, Forbes Masson and Charlotte Wakefield.

They were joined on stage at the end of the opening night performance by Robbie Williams, David Walliams and Guy Chambers for a special reprise of Disco Symphony, one of the songs written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers for the production.

Last weekend this song had its world premiere play on radio, being played on BBC Radio 2 on the Elaine Page on Sunday show.

The track is sung by Asha and one of the four boys who plays Dennis, Ollie Crouch.

Robbie Williams attending the opening night of the Boy In The Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Jacob King/PA WireRobbie Williams attending the opening night of the Boy In The Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire

After the opening night show, the cast and creative team were joined by fellow company members and VIP guests for a gala party at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Boy in the Dress runs in the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until March 8, 2020.

For tickets and more information, visit the Royal Shakespeare Company website at www.rsc.org.uk

David Walliams and Robbie Williams attending the opening night of the Boy In The Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. The acclaimed comedy by David Walliams is being brought to the stage for the first time in a musical. Picture: Jacob King/PA WireDavid Walliams and Robbie Williams attending the opening night of the Boy In The Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. The acclaimed comedy by David Walliams is being brought to the stage for the first time in a musical. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Alan DaviesThe Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Picture: Alan Davies

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