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Casting announced for Sylvia at The Old Vic

Beverley Knight

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for the world premiere of ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company’s Sylvia, which runs at The Old Vic from Monday, September 3 to Saturday, September 22, 2018.

The line up includes 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.

A 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.

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.”

Beverley Knight (pictured top) plays Emmeline Pankhurst. Her theatre credits include Cats (London Palladium); Memphis The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), for which she received an Olivier Award Nomination as Best Actress in a Musical, and The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre and Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto). She has released eight studio albums, and her latest album Soulsville was released in June 2016 and went straight into the UK Top 10. Additionally, she recently took part in Songs from the Stage released in November 2017.

Knight has won three MOBO Awards, been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the Mercury Music Prize and was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2007 for services to British music and charity.

Genesis Lynea

Genesis Lynea (pictured right) plays Sylvia Pankhurst. Her 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 (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Legally Blonde (Leicester Curve); Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre); The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre) and The Gospel According to Broadway (Hackney Empire/BBC).

Lynea also plays Maddie Harper in CBBC show The 4 O’Clock Club.

Sylvia has a book by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, lyrics by Kate Prince, Josh Cohen and DJ Walde and is directed and choreographed by Kate Prince.

Design is by Ben Stones, lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Clement Rawling, casting by Jessica Ronane CDG and vocal arrangements are by Michael Henry. Band Leader is Josh McKenzie.

Mood Music continues at The Old Vic until June 16. It will be followed – from June 18 to June 30 – by the acclaimed Paines Plough production of Sea Wall, performed by Andrew Scott.