Clarke And Gabrielle To Star In PUSS IN BOOTS At Hackney Empire
Today Hackney Empire announces the principal cast of its brand new pantomime, Puss in Boots. Written and directed by Susie McKenna with music by Steven Edis, the cast will include Kat B as Puss in Boots, Sharon D Clarke as Queen Talulah, Josefina Gabrielle as the witch Evilena and Stephen Matthews as Dame Nettie Knowall. In true Hackney style this rarely performed classic Perrault pantomime will be reimagined for today's audience, packed with show-stopping songs, dazzling dance routines and side-splitting comedy.
When Thomas (Matt Dempsey), a poor miller's son receives a cat as his inheritance he sees no way out of his troubles, but luckily for him this is no ordinary cat. Join this cunning feline and his master on an adventure that takes them to the merry Kingdom of Hackneyonia E8, where Puss in Boots is determined to find wealth for Thomas.
Kat B returns to take on the title role, Puss in Boots. His previous Hackney Empire credits include Dick Whittington, Cinderella, The Wiz, Mother Goose, A Christmas Carol, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Kat and Tameka Show. Kat is best known for his antics on MTV Base where he has presented numerous shows around the world. His film and television credits include Waterland andStreet Wise (BBC) and The Richard Blackwood Show (Channel 4). Kat is also the Artistic Director of Real Deal Comedy Jam and a regular on the Jongleurs Circuit.
Sharon D Clarke will play Queen Talulah the Hoo Ha. Her previous Hackney Empire credits includeMother Goose, Cinderella and Once on this Island. She recently appeared in The Amen Corner at The National Theatre and has had a prolific theatre career starring in some of the biggest West End musicals including Ghost, Guys & Dolls, Rent, The Lion King, We Will Rock You and Hairspray. She is most popularly known for her role in the BBC medical drama, Holby City in which she played Doctor Lola Griffin. Other television credits include The Shadow Line and Waking the Dead (BBC).
Josefina Gabrielle makes her Hackney Empire debut as the evil witch, Evilena. She has starred in numerous West End musicals including Merrily We Roll Along, Sweet Charity, Chicago and The Witches of Eastwick. Other theatre credits include Oklahoma on Broadway, Me and My Girl (Sheffield Crucible) and The 39 Steps (West End). Television credits include Doctors and Miranda (BBC).
Stephen Matthews makes his Hackney Dame debut as Dame Nettie Knowall. He has previously appeared at Hackney Empire in Mother Goose, A Christmas Carol and Aladdin. Other theatre credits include The Lion King, The Producers, Oliver! and Les Miserables (West End). He also appeared in theLes Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall and the 2013 film of the same musical.
Matt Dempsey returns for his sixth Hackney pantomime as Puss in Boots' master, Thomas. His West End theatre credits include Enron, Romeo & Juliet and The Witches of Eastwick. Film credits includeGreat Expectations, Dark Shadows, Gulliver's Travels, Dorian Gray, The Duchess, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Sweeney Todd.
Other cast members include Tony Timberlake (Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables), Amy Lennox (Legally Blonde The Musical), Darren Hart (Dick Whittington, Hackney Empire), Allyson Ave-Brown (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Tom Andrew Hargreaves and Leon Sweeney (Jack & the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, Hackney Empire).