NEWS: Beverley Knight, John Dagleish & Carly Bawden are cast in Suffragette musical Sylvia at The Old Vic

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The cast of SYLVIA at The Old Vic, which has its world premiere at The Old Vic on 11 September 2018 (previews from 3 September) will include Delroy Atkinson, Carly Bawden, Verity Blyth, John Dagleish, Jade Hackett, Todd Holdsworth, Izuka Hoyle, Beverley Knight, Genesis Lynea, Jaye Marshall, Tachia Newall, Maria Omakinwa, Karl Queensborough, Ross Sands, Witney White and Elliotte Williams-N’Dure.

One hundred years after the first women in Britain were granted the vote, Kate Prince combines dance, hip-hop, soul and funk to shed new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement.

SYLVIA is a modern musical celebrating the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, her pivotal role in the campaign for women’s rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart.

The musical has a book by director and choreographer Kate Prince and Priya Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, and lyrics by Prince, Cohen and Walde.

Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the invigorating company, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, onto the Old Vic stage. This exciting new production, SYLVIA, stands as the highlight in a range of projects celebrating the centenary of the first women in Britain getting the vote.

“The Old Vic turns 200 this year and was originally established by two brilliantly tenacious and visionary women – Emma Cons and Lilian Baylis – so it is particularly gratifying to be celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst’s world-changing achievements in the advancement of democracy and equality during this anniversary.”

Kate Prince added:

“Sylvia’s story was a compelling read from the moment I started looking into the Pankhurst family. I greatly admire her determination and I believe she hugely contributed to women getting the vote, just as much, if not more than, her mother. Politics and families are a tricky combination, and in the case of the Pankhursts, it severed ties between them. Ultimately we are telling the story of the price each of the Pankhurst family paid for their political purpose.

“To be given the opportunity to bring this idea to life in a year that is so important for women both historically and in terms of today’s women’s movement is brilliant. I hope we can do this extraordinary story justice.”

SYLVIA will be ZooNation’s third original musical (Some Like it Hip Hop, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party) and sees Prince working with long-term collaborators Josh Cohen and DJ Walde on the music, set and costume designer Ben Stones, and associate choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.

There will also be an exclusive performance extract from SYLVIA at Latitude festival over the weekend of 12-15 July.

Also in the creative team are designer Ben Stones, Natasha Chivers (lighting), Clement Rawling (sound), Jessica Ronane CDG (casting), Josh McKenzie (Band Leader) and Michael Henry (Vocal Arranger).


Delroy Atkinson (Winston Churchill). Theatre credits include Present Laughter (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Firm (Hampstead Downstairs); Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); I Can’t Sing! X Factor the Musical (London Palladium); All My Sons (Royal Exchange Theatre); The Amen Corner and Jerry Springer The Opera (National Theatre); Avenue Q (Gielgud); Bombitty of Errors (New Ambassadors Theatre); Rent (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Lautrec (Shaftesbury Avenue).

Carly Bawden (Clementine Churchill, Annie Kenney). Theatre credits include Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe); (National Theatre); McQueen (Haymarket Theatre); The Natives (Old Vic New Voices); Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory); Dead Dog in a Suitcase, Tristan & Yseult, The Beggars Opera (Kneehigh); My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible); The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (360 Theatre, Kensington); Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Leicester Curve/Gielgud Theatre, West End); Sleeping Beauty (Wakefield Theatre); Vice (Arcola Theatre); Whistle Down The Wind (No.1 Tour); Evita (No.1 Tour).

Verity Blyth (Adela Pankhurst). Theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard (Bristol Old Vic/Royal Exchange); 13 (Tobacco Factory Theatres); Americana (Stratford East Theatre/UK tour) and Iceland (Wardrobe Theatre).

John Dagleish (Keir Hardie). In 2015, Dagleish was presented with an Oliver Award for his performance in Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre. His other theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic); Common (The National); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic); The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade (The Garrick) and The Mother (Out of Joint, Royal Court).

Jade Hackett (Lady Jennie Churchill, Edith Garrud). Theatre credits include ZooNation’s Into The Hoods: Remixed (Peacock Theatre) and The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Roundhouse); Pied Piper (Barbican) and Blaze: The Show which performed in Berlin and Dubai.

Todd Holdsworth (H. G. Wells, Silvio). Theatre credits include Thriller Live and ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop.

Izuka Hoyle (Emily Davison). Hoyle graduated from the Arts Educational School in 2017. Her theatre credits are Working (Southwark Playhouse), Six (Arts Theatre) and The Selfish Giant (Vaudeville Theatre).

Beverley Knight (Emmeline Pankhurst). Theatre credits include Cats (London Palladium); Memphis The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre and Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto). Knight has released eight studio albums and recently took part in ‘Songs from the Stage’ released in November 2017.

Genesis Lynea (Sylvia Pankhurst). Theatre credits include The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd); Collective Rage (Southwark Playhouse); Six (Arts Theatre); Ode To Leeds (Yorkshire Playhouse); The Wild Party (The Other Palace); In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre); Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Theatre); Legally Blonde (Leicester Curve); Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre); The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre) and The Gospel According to Broadway (Hackney Empire/BBC).

Jaye Marshall (Dance Captain). Theatre credits include A Night with Boy Blue Entertainment (Barbican) and I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical (London Palladium).

Tachia Newall (Lloyd George, Lord Cromer and Company). Theatre credits include Scuttlers, Hamlet, Hoax: My Lonely Heart (Royal Exchange); Fatherland (Royal Exchange International Festival 2017); (Royal Exchange); ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop (Sadler’s Wells); Arabian Nights, The Manchester Lines (The Library Theatre) and Crystal Kisses (Contact Theatre).

Maria Omakinwa (Ada). Theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic); One Love (Birmingham Rep); Show Boat (New London Theatre/Sheffield Crucible); The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre); Soul Sister (UK Tour) and Avenue Q (Noël Coward).

Karl Queensborough (Harry Pankhurst). Theatre credits include The Little Matchgirl (Shakespeare’s Globe/Bristol Old Vic); Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic); Aladdin, Cinderella, Dick Whittington and Jack and the Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith/Traverse Theatre); The Machine Stops (Theatre Royal York/Pilot Theatre); Only the Brave (Soho Theatre/Wales Millennium Centre/Bird Song); A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre); Student 365 (National Theatre of Scotland); Ignition: Out of Reach (Frantic Assembly, Toynbee Studios) and Mind the Gap (Y Touring/Royal Albert Hall).

Ross Sands (George Bernard Shaw, Richard Pankhurst). Theatre credits include Into The Hoods (Novello Theatre); Thriller Live (Lyric Theatre); ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop (Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and UK Tour); Revolution (Theatre Royal); The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Royal Opera House).

Witney White (Christabel Pankhurst). Her theatre credits include Loserville (West End); Wonderland (National Theatre); Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre), Room (Stratford East/Dundee Rep/Abbey Theatre) and is also going to appear in the The Old Vic/Bristol Old Vic’s upcoming A Monster Calls.

Elliotte Williams N’Dure (Flora ‘The General’ Drummond and Company). Theatre credits include ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop (The Peacock); Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Royal Opera House/The Roundhouse); Unplugged and Sampled (Sadler’s Wells).

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Press Releases on Twitter
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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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