Full casting has been announced for Caroline, Or Change, the musical written by Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America, with a score from Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, which will run at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019.
As previously announced, the cast will be led by Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D. Clarke in a critically-acclaimed performance as Caroline Thibodeaux. She will be joined by Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Keisha Amponsa Banson, Alastair Brookshaw, Me’sha Bryan, Angela Caesar, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Sue Kelvin, Teddy Kempner, Ako Mitchell, Abiona Omonua, Vincent Pirillo, Tanisha Spring and Lauren Ward with Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Zalika Henry, Laura Medforth, Timothy Quinlan and Teddy Wills.
Nine young performers have been cast in the roles of Noah, Jackie and Joe. Isaac Forward, Aaron Gelkoff and Jack Meredith will alternate the role of Noah, Mark Mwangi, Kenya Sandy and Jeremiah Waysome will alternate the role of Jackie and the role of Joe will be alternated by Josiah Choto, David Dube and Raphael Higgins-Hume.
Directed by Michael Longhurst, this five-star production received critical praise when it opened with sold-out engagements at Chichester Festival Theatre and again at the Hampstead Theatre.
Also in the creative team are designer Fly Davis, choreographer Ann Yee, musical director Nigel Lilley, lighting designer Jack Knowles, sound designer Paul Arditti, casting director Charlotte Sutton CDG and children’s casting director Debbie O’Brien.
Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Caroline, Or Change is a “playful, funny, and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval, set to an uplifting and profound score of soul, blues, classical and traditional Jewish folk music”.
Olivier Award-winner Sharon D. Clarke is to reprise the role of Caroline Thibodeaux. Clarke has enjoyed a long established stage career with credits including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). On TV, Clarke is known for playing Lola Griffin in BBC’s Holby City and from 7 October 2018 will guest star in the brand new series of Doctor Who.
Naana Agyei-Ampadu’s theatre credits include Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre), Che Walker’s The Frontline and Measure for Measure (Shakespeare’s Globe), Been So Long and Feast (Young Vic).
Keisha Amponsa Banson’s previous West End credits include Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre/Old Vic/Shaftesbury Theatre), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).
Alastair Brookshaw’s previous theatre credits include A Little Night Music (The Watermill), She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Theatre), The Grand Tour (Finborough Theatre) and De Profundis (Leicester Square Theatre).
Me’sha Bryan is a singer, songwriter and actor whose recent theatre credits include As You Like It (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Desire Under The Elms (Sheffield Crucible), The Lion King (UK tour), The Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre).
Angela Caesar’s theatre credits include Orlando and the Three Graces, Clown, and Into the Forest, (Theatre Peckham), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (UK tour) Carmen Jones (Royal Festival Hall), An African Cargo (Nitro Theatre Company). Opera credits include Heart of Darkness (ROH), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne), Varjak Paw (The Old Vic) and The Silent Twins (Almeida Theatre).
Dujonna Gift-Simms made her West End debut in Motown: The Musical.
Sue Kelvin’s theatre credits include Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Private Lives (Gielgud Theatre), Travelling Light and A Streetcar Names Desire (National Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre and Adelphi Theatre), Beau Jest (Hackney Empire), Oliver! (London Palladium), Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) and Les Misérables (Palace Theatre).
Teddy Kempner’s theatre credits include Driving Miss Daisy (Theatre Royal Bath/ UK Tour), The Trial and The Bourgeois Gentilhomme (National Theatre), A Month in the Country, How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Chichester Festival Theatre), Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse), Measure for Measure and Habeas Corpus (Peter Hall Company), Nicholas Nickleby (RSC, London and New York), The Three Sisters, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, The Suicide (all RSC), and Snoopy in Snoopy (Duchess Theatre: Olivier Award nomination).
Ako Mitchell is an actor and filmmaker whose theatre credits include Guys and Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Wild Party (The Other Palace), Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre), Fences (Duchess Theatre) and the role of Mufasa in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).
Abiona Omonua’s theatre credits include Guys and Dolls (Manchester Royal Exchange), Hamlet (Tara Arts), Soul (Royal & Derngate and Hackney Empire), Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre), Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Hairspray (original UK tour) and Hot Mikado (The Watermill).
Vincent Pirillo is an actor and Opera singer whose theatre credits include She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre), Inherit the Wind (The Old Vic) and Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield Crucible/ Savoy Theatre).
Tanisha Spring‘s theatre credits include Tina (Aldwych Theatre), Big Fish (The Other Palace), One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep) and Beautiful (Aldwych Theatre).
Lauren Ward’s theatre credits include Matilda (Cambridge Theatre and RSC/Courtyard Theatre), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Philadelphia Story (The Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Camelot (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Winter’s Tale and Pericles (RSC). Broadway credits include Matilda (Shubert Theatre: Tony Award nomination), Follies (Balasco Theatre) and 1776 (Gershwin Theatre).