The show, which will run in rep in the Olivier with Hamlet (starring Rory Kinnear), celebrates Nigerian afrobeat musician and political activist Fela Kuti. It began life with a one month off-Broadway run in 2008 before opening at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre in October 2009, where it continues an open-ended run.
As previously reported, Sahr Ngaujah (who won an Obie Award for his performance as Fela Kuti) will lead a new cast for the London production, and will alternate the title role with Rolan Bell, whose West End credits include The Harder They Come.
They’ll be joined in the principal cast by Paulette Ivory and Melanie Marshall alongside: Lydie Alberto, Jonathan Andre, Cindy Belliot, Nandi Bhebhe, Ricardo Coke Thomas, Kwame Peter Crentsil, Scarlette Douglas, Jacqui Dubois, Poundo Gomis, Jazmine Jarret Thorpe, Aisha Jawando, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Sherinne Kayra Anderson, Nyron Levy, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Shelley-Ann Maxwell, Tamara McKoy Patterson, Catia Moto da Cruz, Pamela Okoroafor, Thierry Picaut, Jermaine Rowe, Craig Stein and Papson Sylla.
The show features many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T Jones’ Tony Award-winning choreography. It will be broadcast live from the Olivier Theatre via the NT Live scheme on 13 January.
Full casting has also been announced for the Landor Theatre’s forthcoming revival of British composer Laurence Mark Wythe’s musical Tomorrow Morning, which runs from 19 October to 13 November (previews from 12 October).
Joining West End stars Jon Lee (formerly of S Club 7) and Julie Atherton in the cast are Yvette Robinson, who was recently seen on stage in Priscilla at the Palace Theatre, and Grant Neal, whose last West End appearance was in Imagine This at the New London.
Tomorrow Morning revolves around two couples - one preparing to walk down the aisle, another about to divorce. As the clock strikes 12, it becomes clear that this is one couple separated by a decade and nobody is sure that they’re doing the right thing.
The show, which has book, music and lyrics by Wythe – premiered at Hampstead’s New End Theatre in 2006, when the cast comprised Emma Williams, Stephen Ashfield, Annette McLaughlin and Alistair Robins. This new version, helmed at the Landor by artistic director Robert McWhir, premiered in Chicago in 2008 with three new songs and a rewritten book. It went on to win Best Musical at the city’s 2009 Joseph Jefferson Equity Awards.
He will join Sheridan Smith, Denise Van Outen, Alex Gaumond, Siobhan Dillon, Susan McFadden, Aoife Mulholland, Carley Stenson and Peter Davison in the screen-to-stage hit, which is currently booking until 22 October 2011 at the Savoy Theatre.
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