Full Casting Announced for SYLVIA at the Old Vic
The Old Vic today announces the cast of SYLVIA, which will have its world premiere at The Old Vic on 11 September, with previews from 3 September. The cast includes Delroy Atkinson, Carly Bawden, Verity Blyth, John Dagleish, Jade Hackett, Todd Holdsworth, Izuka Hoyle, Beverley Knight, Genesis Lynea, Jaye Marshall, Tachia Newall, Maria Omakinwa, Karl Queensborough, Ross Sands, Witney White and Elliotte Williams-N'Dure.
Votes for Women and a fractured family at a momentous hour in British history.
100 years after the first women in Britain were granted the vote, Kate Prince combines dance, hip hop, soul and funk to shed new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement. SYLVIA is a modern musical celebrating 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.
Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director of The Old Vic said: 'I am delighted to be welcoming the invigorating company, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, onto the Old Vic stage. This exciting new production, SYLVIA, 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.'
Kate Prince said: '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.
SYLVIA will be ZooNation's third original musical (Some Like it Hip Hop, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party) and writing our own music has become just as much a part of the company as creating dance narratives. I'm working with long term collaborators Josh Cohen and DJ Walde on the music, set & costume designer Ben Stones, and Associate Choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, and I will be collaborating for the first time with the novelist Priya Parmar and lighting designer Natasha Chivers, Band Leader Joshua McKenzie and Vocal Arranger Michael Henry. Developing this piece at The Old Vic has been an incredibly positive experience and I'm very grateful for all the support. To be given the opportunity to bring this idea to life in a year that is so important for women both historically and in terms of today's women's movement, is brilliant. I hope we can do this extraordinary story justice.'
In its 200th Birthday year The Old Vic is marking the 100th anniversary of the first women in Britain being given the vote with the world premiere of SYLVIA. Earlier in 2018 The Old Vic also commissioned a set of monologues for One Hand Tied Behind Us, curated by Maxine Peake, as part of its Bicentennial One Voice Season.
Supporting the Mayor's #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign to celebrate the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote and tackle gender inequality in London.
On 4 March 2018 some of the cast of SYLVIA took to the stage at Trafalgar Square to welcome the 5,000 women and men who marched from the Houses of Parliament in support of gender equality.
On 24 April 2018 some of the cast of SYLVIA took performed at Parliament Square as part of the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett Statue - the first female statue in Parliament Square.
There will also be an exclusive performance extract from SYLVIA at Latitude festival over the weekend of 12 - 15 July.