The world premiere of Sylvia will take place at The Old Vic in 2023, with Beverley Knight set to lead the production.
Sylvia first appeared at The Old Vic in a workshop production in 2018. The hip hop musical will now receive its highly anticipated premiere for a limited season from January 27th until April 1st 2023.
Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, said:
‘At long last, we are delighted to deliver the completed version of this hugely uplifting show, which first appeared at The Old Vic in an embryonic workshop version four years ago. Even then, this thrillingly kinetic, fun and emotional show was a giant hit with audiences and I’d urge you not to miss the much-anticipated finished article.’
This revolutionary story celebrates the life of Sylvia Pankhurst – feminist, activist, pacifist, socialist, rebel – the lesser-known Pankhurst at the heart of the Suffragette movement, who changed the lives of working women and men across the world.
Beverley Knight returns to the production as Emmeline Pankhurst, having previously played the role in the 2018 workshop production. She said:
‘I am so happy to be reprising my role as Emmeline Pankhurst in the utterly brilliant Sylvia.The workshop version in 2018 pointed the way to what I believe will be a British musical theatre game-changer, both in the way the story is told through music and movement and in pulling in a different demographic to experience the joys of theatre.
Photo from 2018 workshop by Manuel Harlan
Joining Beverley in the cast is Kelly Agbowu as Mrs Drummond/Mrs Savoy, Verity Blyth as Clementine Churchill/Mrs Scurr, Kimmy Edwards as Emily Davison/Lillie Hardie/Mrs Watkins, Alex Gaumond as Keir Hardie, Jade Hackett as Lady Jennie Churchill/Mrs Payne, Todd Holdsworth as Silvio Corio, Stevie Hutchinson as Lloyd George/Lord Curzon, Kate Ivory Jordan as Mrs Parsons, Hannah Khemoh as Understudy Emmeline Pankhurst, Jaye Marshall as Ensemble, Razak Osman as Harry Pankhurst/Sir Almroth Wright, Jay Perry as Winston Churchill/George Lansbury, Sharon Rose as Sylvia Pankhurst, Kirstie Skivington as Adela Pankhurst and Ellena Vincent as Christabel Pankhurst. Additional parts will be played by members of the company and further casting to be announced.
An Old Vic and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company production in association with Sadler’s Wells, Sylvia is written, directed and choreographed by Kate Prince. She said:
‘As ZooNation celebrates our 20th anniversary this month, I’m incredibly grateful to be able to announce, together with The Old Vic, the premiere of our musical Sylvia, celebrating the story of Sylvia Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement – five years after I first started writing it, and four years after it was first shared with audiences as a ‘work in progress’. I’m particularly grateful for this second chance and to be able to finish what has been the most extraordinary creative challenge yet of my life! I’m over the moon that Beverley Knight is returning to the role of Emmeline Pankhurst and that Sharon Rose will be joining the cast as her daughter Sylvia. The musicians, performers and creatives collaborating together on Sylvia are all extraordinary. They inspire me every day. I’m truly excited to finally share this work and Sylvia’s wonderful, inspiring story.’
The Book for Sylvia is by Kate Prince with Priya Parmar, with Music by Josh Cohen & DJ Walde, Lyrics by Kate Prince, Directed & Choreographed by Kate Prince, Set & Costumes by Ben Stones, Lighting by Natasha Chivers, Sound by Tony Gayle, Video & Animation by Andrzej Goulding, Wigs, Hair & Make-up by Cynthia de la Rosa, Co-Music Supervisors are Mark Dickman & Leonn Meade, Casting by Stuart Burt CDG & Oliver Scullion, Dramaturg is Lolita Chakrabarti, Additional Music by Kate Prince, Additional Lyrics by Tachia Newall, Music Production by Josh Cohen & DJ Walde, Musical Director is Sean Green, Associate Director is Rhimes Lecointe, Associate Choreographer is Jade Hackett, Resident Director & Choreographer is Chris Alozie, Costume Supervisor is Tash Prynne, Musicians’ Contractor is Oli Briant and Creative Consultant is Beverley Knight.
To mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday 08 March 2023, there will be a Voices Off post-show talk with some of the Sylvia cast members who play iconic women from the Suffragette movement.
Tickets are on sale from www.oldvictheatre.com