Noel Sullivan and Suzanne Packer Join TIGER BAY THE MUSICAL at Wales Millennium Centre
Wales Millennium Centre in association with Cape Town Opera presents the world premiere of brand new musical TIGER BAY THE MUSICAL this autumn, bringing the atmosphere and stories of Cardiff Bay's vibrant past at the height of the South Wales coal trade to life on stage at Wales Millennium Centre from 13 to 25 November with opening night for press on 15 November.
Casualty actress Suzanne Packer has been cast to play Landlady, Marisha, joining the previously announced West End and Broadway actor John Owen Jones (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera) as John Crichton-Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute, Hear'Say's Noel Sullivan (BBC's Ordinary Lives, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels UK Tour, We Will Rock You UK Tour) as Harbour Master, Séamus O'Rourke and recent graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Vicki Bebb as valley girl, Rowena with Ruby Llewellyn and Louise Harvey, two young girls from Cardiff sharing the role of Ianto. Further casting still to be announced.
Set to a rousing musical score, shop girls, coal miners, donkeymen, sailors, suffragettes, immigrants, and a lively gang of raggedy urchin Water Boys all believe that through hard work they too may prosper from King Coal. But when unionism imperils profits, the ambitious Harbour Master, the Bute Dock Company and the merchants of the Coal Exchange threaten their livelihoods and dreams of a brighter future. High above them, in the Zodiac Room of Cardiff Castle, the Third Marquess of Bute, stares into his Crystal Gazing machine seeking answers from Shadowland to his own seemingly insurmountable troubles.
A fictional story of revolution, reconciliation, courage and love, the award-winning creative team, including composer Daf James, writer Michael Williams and director Melly Still, have remained sympathetic to the sights and sounds of the bawdy public houses and alleyways of old Butetown, Cardiff, Britain's flamboyant multi-ethnic community at the dawn of the 20th Century.
Born and bred in Cardiff, Suzanne Packer said: "I was drawn to Tiger Bay the Musical as it tells a particular untold story in a colourful and entertaining way. Growing up in Cardiff I knew a little about its multicultural history; its only now through the vibrancy of the music and captivating storyline that I am learning more about it. It's far better than any history lesson. This musical has such a great sense of some of the local history but it's a universal story. Nobody gets away from heartbreak and there are themes throughout - class divide, loss, conflict - that everyone will connect with."
Noel Sullivan, whose grandfather worked on Cardiff's docks, has said: It is time Cardiff and Wales were recognised on the world stage for its musical theatre talent. A production like Tiger Bay the Musical, conceived, created and produced in Wales, deserves all its hopes for a bright future. I'm very honoured to be on that journey."