Monday, 13 September 2021

Casting announced for VANARA - THE LEGEND at the Hackney Empire

A fantastic ensemble of West End and international talent will come together to launch the world premiere of Vanara - The Legend at Hackney Empire, including Matthew Croke (Aladdin, Prince Edward; Hair, London Palladium), Glenn Carter (Evita, UK tour; Jesus Christ Superstar, UK tour), Johnnie Fiori (The Sunshine Boys, Savoy Theatre/ Ahmanson Theatre, LA), Carole Stennett (Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre; The Bodyguard, UK tour), Cavin Cornwall (Jesus Christ Superstar, Barbican) and, phenomenal rising-star Emily Bautista (Les Misérables; Miss Saigon –Broadway), who will be making her London debut.

Further cast bringing Vanara – The Legend to life include Samantha Mercer (Les Misérables, West End; Jerry Springer the Opera, National Theatre), Kayleigh McKnight (Tina The Musical, West End; Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Joaquin Pedro Valdes (Heathers, West End; Miss Saigon, UK & International tour) and Shem Omari James (The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Leicester Curve). The production will play for a strictly limited London run before embarking on a UK-wide tour in 2022.

Highly anticipated following its lauded workshop performances and concept album, the ground- breaking production will be directed by Adam Lenson and Eleesha Drennan, who will also serve as Dramaturg and Choreographer respectively. Vanara – The Legend brings together an acclaimed international creative team, with a soaring score by Gianluca Cucchiara, lyrics by Andrew James Whelan, book by Michael Conley, conceived by Tony Cucchiara and produced and developed by Giovanna Romagnoli. Further creatives include set and costume design by

Libby Todd, with orchestrations by Jen Green, musical direction by Tamara Saringer and casting by Harry Blumenau.

The production will also feature an incredible ensemble with Jemima Brown, Chris George, Yuki Abe, Olivia Jones, Ella Martine, HIcaro Nicolai, Prem Rai, and Ebby Sama.

With a prevailing message of hope and call for unity, the production resonates with the chaos of today’s society and the earth ravaged by natural disasters. This fiery phenomenon has gained cult status among fans throughout its development process. With its blend of theatre, contemporary dance, and technical innovation, Vanara – The Legend is crafting a new language for musical theatre. It is an excitingly modern musical like nothing before.

As disaster threatens to destroy the world they know, two tribes are locked in an age-old battle. One young woman must make a choice: protect the traditions of her people or challenge everything she has been taught. With total devastation bearing down on them, will the two tribes reunite before it’s too late?

Producer Giovanna Romagnoli comments, We’re thrilled to bring together this incredible ensemble to premiere Vanara – The Legend in London. We can’t wait for audiences to witness the fantastic spectacle on stage, showcasing the talents of both the cast and creative team.

All tickets for the preview performance, Friday 22nd October, will be £20 (plus booking fee).
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