The Old Vic has announced the cast of Sylvia, which premieres at The Old Vic on 11 September, with previews from 3 September. Director and choreographer Kate Price combines hip hop, soul and funk to tell the story of Sylvia Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement 100 years after the first British vote for women.
Beverley Knight takes the role of Emmeline Pankhurst, with Genesis Lynea as Sylvia Pankhurst, Delroy Atkinson as Winston Churchill, John Dagleish as Keir Hardie, Verity Blyth as Adela Pankhurst, Carly Bawden as Clementine Churchill and Annie Kenney, Jade Hackett as Lady Jennie Churchill and Edith Garrud, Izuka Hoyle as Emily Davison, Todd Holdsworth as H G Wells and Silvio Corio, Tachia Newall as Lloyd George and Lord Cromer, Maria Omakinwa as Ada, Karl Queensborough as Harry Pankhurst, Ross Sands as George Bernard Shaw and Richard Pankhurst, Witney White as Christabel Pankhurst and Elliotte Williams N’Dure as Flora Drummond and Jaye Marshall is the dance captain.
Kate Prince said: ‘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. Sylvia will be ZooNation’s third original musical (Some Like it Hip Hop, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party) and writing our own music has become just as much a part of the company as creating dance narratives. I’m working with long term collaborators Josh Cohen and DJ Walde on the music, set & costume designer Ben Stones, and Associate Choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, and I will be collaborating for the first time with the novelist Priya Parmar and lighting designer Natasha Chivers, Band Leader Joshua McKenzie and Vocal Arranger Michael Henry. Developing this piece at The Old Vic has been an incredibly positive experience and I’m very grateful for all the support. 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’.
Book by Kate Prince & Priya Parmar, Music by Josh Cohen & DJ Walde, Lyrics by Kate Prince, Josh Cohen & DJ Walde.