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The Book Thief musical reveals world premiere company

Markus Zusak's novel heads for the stage

The leading cast members for The Book Thief
© Andy Brown, Simon Mayhew, Kevin Patzke and Phil Sharp

Complete casting has been unveiled for the world premiere stage adaptation of The Book Thief, playing in Bolton from next month.

Markus Zusak's seminal novel is set during the Second World War and follows a young girl who befriends a Jewish man who is concealed by her foster parents.

Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper) and Timothy Allen McDonald (James and the Giant Peach) have penned the book, with the piece featuring music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (Central Park).

The titular role of Liesel will be shared by young performers Bea Glancy and Niamh Palmer, while the role of Rudy will be shared by Alfie Corbett and Charlie Murphy.

Leading the cast will be Ryan O'Donnell (The Serpent) as the Narrator, Jack Lord (West Side Story) as Hans Hubermann, Danielle Henry (After Life) as Rosa Hubermann, and Daniel Krikler (Present Laughter) as Max Vandenburg.

The ensemble is completed by Purvi Parmar (The Jungle Book), Katy Clayton (The Band), Victoria Brazier (Pride and Prejudice), Ida Regan (4 Walls), Duane Gooden (The Smartest Giant in Town), Andrew Whitehead (A Christmas Carol) and Matthew Heywood (Zorro).

The show plays at Bolton Octagon from 15 September to 15 October, directed by the venue's artistic director Lotte Wakeham.

Wakeham said today: "I am delighted that we've assembled such an exceptional cast for the world premiere production of The Book Thief. We were truly amazed by the outstanding level of talent we saw throughout the audition process and I am incredibly excited to work with this incredibly gifted company of actors.

"They have outstanding theatre credentials from the West End to international touring, and I'm also thrilled that so many of them hail from Greater Manchester – we've been fortunate to draw from an extraordinary talent pool. Casting our young performers in the crucial roles of Liesel and Rudy has also been a real joy and I think audiences will be blown away by them."

The show is choreographed by Tom Jackson Greaves (Amélie), with musical direction and orchestrations by Matthew Malone (Coming to England) and design by Good Teeth (aka James Perkins and Victoria Smart – The Winter's Tale). It also features lighting design by Nic Farman (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice), puppet design by Samuel Wilde (The Fir Tree) and sound design by Andy Graham (The Upstart Crow).

Also part of the project are associate director Georgia Wang Murphy (Cyrano de Bergerac), associate musical director George Strickland (The Regulars), casting director Jacob Sparrow (City of Angels), assistant casting director Olivia Barr (Kes) and production manager Dan Turner (The Ocean at the End of the Lane).

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