LISTEN: Counting down to Tiger Bay musical premiere, starring John Owen-Jones in Cardiff

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Less than a month to go until the official world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical! Specially commissioned by Wales Millennium Centre and with a 39-strong cast led by Welsh musical superstar John Owen-Jones, Tiger Bay has a strictly limited season at Cardiff’s iconic venue from 13 to 25 November 2017, with a press night on 15 November. Catch up on casting and have a listen to sample tracks – then get booking!

At the dawn of the 20th century in the flamboyant multi-ethnic community of Cardiff’s Butetown, extreme poverty meets supreme wealth, gangs of street children roam the docks, coal is King, and in the notorious public houses and alleyways of the city’s underworld, a revolution is brewing.

Bringing to life on stage this epic story of romance, revenge, heartbreak and hope will be a 39-strong cast, led by West End and Broadway star John Owen Jones (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera) as John Crichton-Stuart, Third Marquess of ButeHear’Say’s Noel Sullivan (BBC’s Ordinary Lives, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels UK Tour, We Will Rock You UK Tour) as harbour master, Séamus O’RourkeSuzanne Packer (Casualty, Stella) as landlady Marisha, recent graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Vikki Bebb as valley girl, Rowena with Ruby Llewellyn and Louise Harvey, two young girls from Cardiff sharing the role of Ianto.

John Owen-Jones at Wales Millennium Centre. © Huw John

They will be joined by Dom Hartley-Harris, who completes the principal cast as Themba, an African immigrant working the Cardiff docks to avenge his family. Dom most recently played Jagwire in the new musical Bat Out of Hell. His other theatre credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Accidental Brummie.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre said:

“This is the biggest production to come from the Centre to date, and we are proud to give people a snapshot of the history of our home and celebrate all its richness, efforts and feats through music and performance. To capture the essence of the production, we were seeking a diverse cast so we are delighted to be able to announce that our full cast includes talent from across the world as well as right on our doorstep.”

Tiger Bay the Musical is presented by Wales Millennium Centre in association with Cape Town Opera. The musical had preview performances earlier this year in South Africa, where it also cast several of roles. In Cardiff, the premiere follows last year’s Wales-originated production of World War II-set new British musical Only the Brave.

Tiger Bay the Musical has book and lyrics by Michael Williams, an original score from award-winning Welsh composer Daf James and is directed by Melly Still whose credits include productions for Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Glyndebourne, Bristol Old Vic and on Broadway.

Sample tracks


Full cast

In addition to the principals above, Tiger Bay the Musical also features:

Zolani Shangase (Disney’s The Lion King, West End and most recently Chico in the Fugard Theatre’s production of West Side Story) will travel from South Africa to reprise the role of Yusef, following previews of the musical in Cape Town earlier this year. Also joining from Cape Town are Busisiwe Ngejane (Isango Ensemble’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Carmen and A Man of Good hope) who will play lady of the night, Klondike Ellie and Luvo Rasemeni (Isango Ensemble’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Carmen and A Man of Good hope) as Felize, as well as Ernestine Stuurman as part of the ensemble.

Newcomer Vikki Bebb, recently graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, stars as valley girl Rowena

Liz May Brice (Torchwood: Children of Earth, Bad Girls, Peep Show, Black Mirror) will play clairvoyant, Leonora Piper. Ian Virgo (The Bastard Executioner, Weapon, Before The Fall, Holby City, Spooks, The Bill), Adam Vaughan (The Wind in the Willows – London Palladium, Carousel, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd) and Rhidian Marc (Les Misérables – West End, UK tour and film, Pippin, Scrooge) will play donkeymen, Bosun and Arwyn and First Mate/Locke, respectively.

Wales Millennium Centre has turned to Welsh performers to create the production’s ensemble including: Zoe George (Wicked UK, Ireland and International tour as understudy for Elphaba and Nessarose), Lucy Elson in her career debut and Elin Llwyd (S4C presenter, Welsh National Theatre’s Lady from the Sea and Spring Awakening) who will play shop girls of the famed David Morgan department store.

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They will be joined by Jamal Andréas, Lee Dillon-Stuart, Kit Esuruoso, Sophia ForoughiDaniel Graham, Carl Man, Kayed Mohamed-Mason, Cilla Silvia, Josh Tonks, Emma Warren and Stephanie Webber.

Ten boisterous young Welsh actors and actresses have been cast as the gang of water boys: Amaree Ali aged 12 from Grangetown, Lefi Jô Hughes aged 10 from Canton, Lowri Elin Hughes aged 14 from Caerphilly, Shakira Lorenza aged 12 from Butetown, Amelia Jenkins aged 14 from Bridgend, Mimi Nanud aged 13 from Barry, Lauren Price aged 11 from Rhiwbina, Mallers Saltus-Hendrickson aged 9 from Butetown, Cadi-Gwen Sandall, aged 10 from Whitchurch and Efan Williams aged 9 from Canton.

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
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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