The Magician's Elephant musical at the RSC – in rehearsals
The magical show opens next month
WhatsOnStage has an exclusive chat with the cast of the RSC's new musical The Magician's Elephant.
Nancy Harris provides book and lyrics for the piece, which also has music and lyrics by Marc Teitler. It follows the story of an orphan boy, whose whole world is transformed when a magician conjures an elephant from the sky.
The show is set to run from Thursday 14 October 2021 to Saturday 1 January 2022, and will be directed by Sarah Tipple.
The principal cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson (Matilda) as Gloria Matienne, Marc Antolin (Matilda) as Leo Matienne, Sam Harrison (Les Misérables) as Count Quintet, Forbes Masson (The Boy in the Dress) as Police Chief, Mark Meadows (Flowers for Mrs Harris) as Vilna Lutz, Alastair Parker (Matilda) as the Magician, Summer Strallen (Young Frankenstein) as Countess Quintet and Jack Wolfe (Pinocchio) as Peter Duchene.
Joining them is actor, writer and storyteller Renu Arora as Madame LaVaughn, alongside Amy Booth-Steel in the role of Narrator, Miriam Nyarko as Adele, Lauren Jones as Lisette and Chrystine Symone as the Lamplighter.
Further cast includes Sharif Afifi (Milliner), Alison Arnopp (Baker), Hannah Brown (swing), Michael Carolan (swing), Lucca Chadwick-Patel (Fishmonger), Stephen John Davis (Doctor), Zoe Halliday (The Elephant), Wela Mbusi (The Elephant), Suzanne Nixon (The Elephant), Wendy Somerville (Mrs Griswald) and Mandi Symonds (Sister Marie).
Actor, singer, composer, director and writer Arora has penned a variety of work across her career, and will take on the role of LaVaugh, who is paralysed by a magically conjured elephant. The actress acquired a disability in 2017, and has a 12-part arts podcast, The Burgundy Book, discussing the experience.
The Magician's Elephant is designed by Colin Richmond, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music supervision and direction by Tom Brady, vocal arrangement by Brady and Teitler, orchestrations by Sarah Travis and Teitler, sound by Paul Groothuis, movement by Francesca Jaynes, dramaturgy by Réjane Collard-Walker, puppetry direction by Mervyn Millar, puppetry design by Millar and Tracy Waller. John Bulleid acts as magic consultant, with video by Douglas O'Connell.