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Casting Announced for KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE at Southwark Playhouse

Kiki is back! Following a critically acclaimed, sold-out festive run at Southwark Playhouse, Kiki's Delivery Service returns to The Large for a limited summer season.

Kiki is a 13 year old witch and, as tradition dictates, it is time for her to leave home and family to make a new life for herself. Equipped with her ability to fly and accompanied by Jiji, her faithful feline companion, she sets out to find a place where she can use her powers for the greater good and that one day she might call home.

A magical tale of growing up and finding acceptance, Kiki's Delivery Service is a story for everyone aged 7 and up.

Kiki's Delivery Service is adapted from the bestselling and award-winning book by Japanese author Eiko Kadono. The book has previously been adapted in to a live action film and most notably an award winning animation by Studio Ghibli. This world premiere of the stage adaptation played at Southwark Playhouse for five weeks over Christmas 2016 where it was the best-selling play in the theatre's history.

Matthew Durkan plays Tombo. His theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), Nell Gwynn (Apollo Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Sherman Theatre) and The History Boys (UK Tour). Television includes #HoodDocumentary (BBC).

Thomas Gilbey plays Jiji. He trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Theatre credits include Joey in War Horse (National Theatre), Michael Morpurgo's King Arthur (Story Pocket), Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Erasmus Theatre), Babe - The Sheep Pig (Polka Theatre), Goosebumps Alive (The Vaults), The Comedy of Errors (Bedouin Shakespeare), TimePlays at Hampton Court (HRP), The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Nuffield Theatre and Forest Forge), Romeo and Juliet (Sh*tfaced Shakespeare), Dick Whittington (DK Productions), Dickie Parrot in Colonel Blood and the Raven (Oxford Shakespeare Company), Kipper's Snowy Day (Slot Machine) and Absent (DreamThinkSpeak).

Jennifer Leong plays Kiki. Jennifer has visited 189 countries over two years with Shakespeare's Globe's world tour production of Hamlet, playing Ophelia and Horatio. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Theatre credits include From Shore to Shore (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Hamlet (Shakespeare's Globe and World Tour).

Kanako Nakano plays Kokiri. She was born and raised in Japan, has lived in the UK since 1997 and graduated in performing arts from Millennium Performing Arts (formerly Millennium Dance 2000) as Best Performer of the Year. Theatre credits include Miss Saigon (West End, UK tour and Tokyo and Japan tour), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (West End), Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall (UK tour and Geneva), West Side Story (Grange Park Opera, HMP Erlestoke), Madam Butterfly (ENO), South Pacific (UK tour), The King and I (Helix, Dublin). Television credits include Peep Show (Channel 4), Another Sky (Japan TV). Film includes Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary.

Charleen Qwaye plays Osono. She trained at London Studio Centre. Theatre credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (West End), The Taming of the Shrew, Doubt (Landor Theatre), 4:48 Psychosis (Edinburgh Festival), The Full Monty (Charing Cross Theatre), Elephant Man. The Peculiar Tale of Pablo Picasso and The Mona Lisa (Brockley Jack Theatre), Classical Spectacular (Royal Albert Hall), Chicago, Chess the Musical, I Can't Stop Loving You, Oh! What A Night! and Viva La Diva (UK tour), The Blues Brothers (European Tour) and This Is The Night, (Richmond Theatre). Television credits include Crimes Stories for ITV.

Stevie Raine plays Okino. He trained at Royal Welsh College of Music And Drama. Theatre credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Richard Burton Theatre), White Sky (Gate Theatre), The Sweethearts (Finborough Theatre), Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre), The Love Girl and The Innocent (Southwark Playhouse), Hope (Liverpool Royal Court Theatre), Troilus and Cressida, Sonnet Walks, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titus Andronicus, A Clockwork Orange (Action To The Word), Romeo and Juliet (Shanghai Expo) and As You Like It and Comedy Of Errors (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival).

Playwright Jessica Siân is a South-African born playwright and actor based in London. Her first full-length play Klippies ran at Southwark Playhouse in 2015. Jessica has acted at the Bush Theatre, Latitude Festival, Southwark Playhouse and Theatre503. She trained on the Royal Court Young Writers program. Previous work includes short pieces for Theatre503's Rapid Write Response and Papercut Theatre's XY at Edinburgh Festival.

Director Kate Hewitt returns to Southwark Playhouse after directing the original production of Kiki's Delivery Service and the Papatango Award-winning play Tomcat, by James Rushbrooke, in 2015. She was recently awarded the inaugural RTST Director Award 2016, for which she'll direct Nina Raine's Tribes at the Crucible Studio Theatre as part of Sheffield Theatres' 2017 spring season. Prior to that she won the prestigious JMK award, leading to her production of Caryl Churchill's Far Away at The Young Vic. She was the Associate Director of Sam Mendes' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane and for the Bob Marley musical One Love at the Birmingham Rep, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Kate trained as a performer with the NYT and has two years' Lecoq physical theatre training from LISPA, a BA (Hons) in drama and theatre arts from Goldsmiths University London and received a Jerwood Assistant Director Award (2012). Selected directing credits Romeo & Juliet (Ambassador's Theatre), Portrait (Edinburgh Festival & UK Tour), Epic Stages Project (National Youth Theatre), Far Away (Young Vic) and staged readings of Comment is Free and Twins by James Fritz (The Miniaturists, Arcola). Selected associate director credits include Medea directed by Mike Bartlett (Headlong) and Electra directed by Carrie Cracknell (Gate and Latitude Festival).

Author of Kiki's Delivery Service Eiko Kadono is a Japanese author of children's literature, picture books, non-fiction and essays. In 1960, she emigrated to Brazil for two years where she wrote a nonfiction story called Brazil and My Friend Luizinho based on her experience at that time. Most of her works are books for children. Her first successful children's book published Ôdorabô Bula Bula shi (The Robber Bla-Bla) was published in 1981. In 1985, she published Majo no Takky?bin (Kiki's Delivery Service), which was later adapted into the Hayao Miyazaki animated film with the same title. The book was awarded the Noma Children's Literature Award, the Shogakukan Children's Publication Culture Award, and the IBBY Honor List.

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