Complete casting has been announced for ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company’s world premiere of the new musical Sylvia, which will begin previews at London's Old Vic September 3 prior to an official opening September 11.
Kate Prince will direct and choreograph a cast that includes Genesis Lynea as English suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and Beverley Knight as her mother and fellow suffragette leader, Emmeline Pankhurst.
The musical will also feature Delroy Atkinson as Winston Churchill, Carly Bawden as Clementine Churchill and Annie Kenney, Verity Blyth as Adela Pankhurst, John Dagleish as Keir Hardie, Jade Hackett as Lady Jennie Churchill and Edith Garrud, Todd Holdsworth as H. G. Wells and Silvio Corio, Izuka Hoyle as Emily Davison, 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 ‘The General’ Drummond. Jaye Marshall serves as dance captain.
Sylvia has a book by Prince and Priya Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, and lyrics by Prince, Cohen, and Walde.
The new musical celebrates 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.
The upcoming production will also have designs by Ben Stones, lighting by Natasha Chivers, and sound design by Clement Rawling. The band leader is Josh McKenzie with vocal arrangements by Michael Henry.
Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, said in a statement, “I am delighted to be welcoming the invigorating company, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, onto the Old Vic stage. This exciting new production 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.”
Prince added, “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.”