Theatre Gossip: Samantha Barks leads Bend It Like Beckham The Musical workshop alongside Frances Ruffelle & Richard Fleeshman

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The Daily Mail has revealed that the creative team behind the musical adaptation of Bend It Like Beckham held a workshop performance last week. Samantha Barks, who recently starred in the Les Miserables film, played Jules (the role Keira Knightley famously played in the 2002 film).
Tara Divina starred alongside Samantha as Jess. The cast also included: Frances Ruffelle, Shobna Gulati, Ex-Eastenders actress Preeya Kalidas and Richard Fleeshman (pictured above with Samantha during rehearsals). Baz Bamigboye reports that no cast deals went beyond the workshop. He claims that the company were instructed not to talk or tweet about their participation in the performance which was directed by Gurinder Chadha (who directed and co-wrote the film) as the producers do not want a repeat of Viva Forever which created too much hype too early on.
Composer Howard Goodall and lyricist Charles Hart will now continue to work on the score while the book will be tightened and a choreographic workshop will be held later this year. According to sources, producers want to open Bend It Like Beckham in late 2014 or early 2015. No contracts or theatres will be confirmed until the score and book have been tweaked to near-perfection.