Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About London's New Musical Sylvia, Starring Beverley Knight? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About London's New Musical Sylvia, Starring Beverley Knight?

The West End The Bodyguard and The Drifters Girl star leads the company as feminist activist and suffragette Emmaline Pankhurst.

Beverley Knight and Sharon Rose in Sylvia at The Old Vic Manuel Harlan

The world premiere of the new musical Sylvia officially opened at London's The Old Vic February 14, and the reviews are in. The run, which began January 27, will continue through April 1. See what critics had to say about the new musical below.

With a book by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, lyrics by Prince, and additional lyrics by Tachia Newall, Sylvia focuses on the Suffragette Movement, specifically English feminist activist Sylvia Pankhurst. The Bodyguard and The Drifters Girl star Beverley Knight, also a creative consultant on the production, leads the cast as Emmeline Pankhurst, alongside Sharon Rose in the title role.

The cast also features Kelly Agbowu as Mrs. Flora 'The General' Drummond/Mrs. Savoy, Verity Blyth as Clementine Churchill/Mrs. Scurr/Kitty, Bradley Charles as Lord Cromer/Richard Pankhurst/Alan, Kimmy Edwards as Emily Davison/Lillie Hardie/Mrs. Watkins, Alex Gaumond as Keir Hardie, Jade Hackett as Lady Jennie Churchill/Mrs. Payne/Edith Garrud, Stevie Hutchinson as Lloyd George/Lord Curzon, Kate Ivory Jordan as Annie Kenney/Norah Smyth, Kandaka Moore as Mrs. Parsons/Sophia Singh, Razak Osman as Harry Pankhurst/Sir Almroth Wright/Asquith/King George V, Jay Perry as Winston Churchill/George Lansbury, Kirstie Skivington as Adela Pankhurst/Mrs. Bird, Sweeney as Silvio Corio, and Ellena Vincent as Christabel Pankhurst.

Read the reviews here.

BroadwayWorld (Aliya Al-Hassan)

Evening Standard (Nick Curtis)

The Guardian (Arifa Akbar)

London Theatre (Marianka Swain)

The Reviews Hub (Maryam Philpott)

The Stage (Sam Marlowe)*

The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)

Time Out London (Alice Saville)

The Times (Clive Davis)

WhatsOnStage (Gareth Carr)

*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

The ensemble includes Sinead Long, Jaye Marshall, Antoine Murray-Straughan, and Malachi Welch, with Emmeline understudy Hannah Khemoh rounding out the company.

Prince is directing and choreographing the production, which also features music direction by Sean Green; scenic and costume design by Ben Stones; lighting design by Natasha Chivers; sound design by Tony Gayle; video and animation by Andrzej Goulding; wigs, hair, and make-up by Cynthia de la Rosa; orchestrations by Josh Cohen, Mark Dickman, Leonn Meade, and DJ Walde; music supervision by Dickman and Meade; and music production by Cohen and Walde. Casting is by Stuart Burt and Oliver Scullion, with Lolita Chakrabarti serving as dramaturg and Marius Arnold-Clarke as company stage manager.

The musical first played The Old Vic in 2018 as a work-in-progress, also with Knight starring. This run is co-presented by The Old Vic and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, in association with Sadler's Wells.


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