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Hiran Abeysekera will star in the leading role in Life Of Pi. Photo by: Helen Maybanks

London Theatre News Today: Friday 31 January

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 31 January 2020, Last Updated 3 February 2020

The full casting for Life Of Pi was announced today with Hiran Abeysekera in the leading role. 

The Sheffield Theatres production will be transferring to the Wyndham’s Theatre from Sunday 28 June and leading the cast will be Hiran Abeysekera whose performance in the lead role of Pi won him universal critical acclaim.

Joining him in the cast is: Mina Anwar (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Sagar Arya (Casualty), Alex Chang (Golden Shield), Fred Davis (Ocean At The End Of The Lane), Tom Espiner (Berberian), Kirsten Foster (Much Ado About Nothing), Daisy Franks, Raj Ghatak (The Kite Runner), Nuwan Hugh Perera (Side Show), Romina Hytten (The Lorax), Sarah Kameela Impey, Tom Larkin, David K.S Tse (Chimerica), Syreeta Kumar, Deeivya Meir, Habib Nasib Nader and Scarlet Wilderink.

Lolita Chakrabarti’s beautiful adaption of Yann Martel’s award-winning book follows the story of five survivors stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen year-old boy named Pi and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. With time and nature against them, who will survive?

Wyndham’s Theatre will be transformed for the first time ever, bringing to life the beautiful elements of the production including state-of-the-art visuals and breathtaking puppetry. To find out more about Life Of Pi and to book your tickets, hit the button below!

Hiran Abeysekera will star in the leading role in Life Of Pi. Photo by: Helen Maybanks

Hampstead Theatre announces Hampstead Classics for its Spring/Summer 2020 season to mark its 60th anniversary.

The programme will include four plays from the theatre’s archive that will be performed in chronological order and staged by a number of British directors. Audiences can look forward to: Noble Prize-winning writer Harold Pinter’s timeless black comedy, The Dumb Waiter; Tennessee Williams’ contemporary and partly autobiographical work, The Two Character Play; Alfred Fagon’s The Death Of A Black Man, a tribute to the culture of London’s King Road in the 1970s; and Marsha Norman’s ground-breaking play ‘night, Mother.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, said: “Selecting only four plays from Hampstead Theatre’s massive backlist of world premieres was a real challenge and it really hit home just what a powerhouse this modest theatre is. The range, diversity and singularity of the voices is extraordinary, as is how often they bring untold stories into the light.

“Hampstead has always supported established writers and launched new ones by creating a space for artists to experiment and be heard. May the next sixty years continue this wonderful tradition.”

Keep your eyes peeled on Hampstead Theatre’s website as public booking opens on 5 February!

We caught a first look at rehearsal images for the brand-new Puccini double-bill Opera Undone: Tosca & La Boheme.

Playing at Trafalgar Studios 2 from 5 February to 7 March, Opera Undone breaks traditional conventions with its new sixty-minute format and features gender-swapped roles in a show that is sung entirely in English! So whether you’re an opera newcomer or enthusiast, these two classical tales of love, heartbreak and deception are well worth checking out!

Lucy Moss, co-director of show-stopping musical Six has entered the record books as the youngest female director to direct a Broadway musical.

The smash-hit British musical which is about to open on Broadway sees the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their stories, retelling 500 years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.

Lucy said: “I don’t know what to say other than…wow?!?!!!! I turned 26 two weeks ago and honestly I’ve been grieving the loss of my early twenties ever since. But this news has really made me feel like a spring chicken again! So just a huge shout out to the patriarchy and historic oppression of female-identifying people for making me feel super young and glam!!!!!

“Lol but no – obviously this means the absolute world to me. I can barely get my head around it. It is extremely humbling and I hope it inspires and, more importantly, opens the door for many other young women to come and smash this record. It’s about time!”

Receiving five nominations at the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard – including Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (for the Six Queens) – Six is a must-see musical. Luckily, it’s playing at the Arts Theatre through to next year, so you’ve got plenty of time to check this gem out. 

Lucy Moss and Author Toby Marlow in New York. Photo by: Connor Santos.

Shakespeare’s Globe today announced its full casting for Globe On Tour Summer 2020.

Directed by Brendan O’Hea, the company of eight actors will embark on an adventure around the world offering audiences a trio of plays, which this year, explore the relationship between humankind and Mother Nature. Audiences will cast their votes for either A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It or The Tempest and the full cast will include: Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, Tom Chapman, Anna Crichlow, Mark Desebrock, Emma Ernest, Sara Lessore, Katy Secombe and Deka Walmsley.

To find out more, head to Globe On Tour.

The Barbican revealed some exciting productions coming up in March. 

Playing from 4 to 7 March is Cheek by Jowl’s first Italian show, Piccolo Teatro, The Revenger’s Tragedy which explores intrigue, corruption, lust and the thirst for power. Following the murder of his fiancee by the Duke, Vindice is drawn into a punishment that throws his identity into crisis. Written at a time of growing social unease, the play presents us with a government involved in deceit and a society obsession with money, social status and fame.

And if you’re a fan of Ballet Black, the Barbican has just the thing for you – Artistic Director Cassa Pancho is back with a double bill from 26 to 29 June. Then Or Now by The Royal Ballet’s Olivier Award-winning choreographer Will Tucket combines classical ballet, music and poetry while Mthuthuzeli November questions the purpose of life in The Waiting Game, featuring sensational solos, seductive duos and fierce dynamic pieces.

For more information, head to the Barbican’s website.

The Revenger’s Tragedy, Barbican. Credit: Barbican Theatre Press.

Winners of the Stage Awards 2020, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, we today announced at the Royal Opera House. 

Highlights include the following:

  • Theatres of the year included: London Theatre: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch; Regional Theatre: Sheffield Theatres; and Fringe Theatre: Bunker Theatre, London.
  • ATG Productions won Producer of the Year, sponsored by PRG. In particular, it was praised for its Pinter at the Pinter Season and its impressive undertaking of the much-loved Ian McKellen On Stage tour.
  • Sheffield Theatres’ critically acclaimed Life of Pi production was named the first ever winner of the Achievement in Technical Theatre award, sponsored by ETC.
  • Artistic Directors of the Future took home the Innovation Award, sponsored by Charcoalblue.
  • Leeds Playhouse won Theatre Building of the Year, sponsored by TAIT, following its £15.8million redevelopment.
  • Selladoor Worldwide’s global expansion is recognised with the International Award.
  • Front of house assistance and ‘kiosk queen’ Mary Joseph was revealed as theatre’s unsung hero as she celebrates 25 years at the Almeida Theatre.

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arts theatre Carly Moss Hampstead Theatre Hiran Abeysekera Life of Pi Lolita Chakrabarti Opera Undone six the musical the barbican trafalgar studios 2 wyndham's theatre

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