Theatre News

Death Note musical announces lead casting for European premiere

The show will play two concerts at The London Palladium

Frances Mayli McCann, Dean John Wilson and Joaquin Pedro Valdes, photos supplied by the production
Frances Mayli McCann, Dean John Wilson and Joaquin Pedro Valdes, photos supplied by the production

EXCLUSIVE: Lead casting has been announced for the English language premiere of Death Note: The Musical.

The show, based on the popular Japanese manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, will be presented in two concerts at the London Palladium on 21 and 22 August.

The winner of the Best Musical award at the Korea Musical Awards, Deat Note features a score by Frank Wildhorn (known for Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula and Bonnie and Clyde) with lyrics by Jack Murphy and a book by Ivan Menchell. Nick Winston will direct the production, which is produced by Carter Dixon McGill Production and Indie Theatrical.

Death Note: The Musical follows the story of Light Yagami, a dissatisfied high school student in Tokyo who discovers a discarded notebook owned by Ryuk, a god of death. Light realizes that he can kill anyone by writing their names in the notebook, leading him to take justice into his own hands by targeting wanted criminals. However, his actions catch the attention of the enigmatic detective known only as ‘L,’ who starts tracking him down.

WhatsOnStage and Olivier Award nominee Frances Mayli McCann (Bonnie and Clyde) will portray the model Misa in the musical. Her stage credits include roles in Chess, Heathers the Musical, Evita, Our Ladies of Perpetial Succour and Les Misérables.

Dean John-Wilson will play the role of ‘L,’ the international consulting detective. He has previously appeared in the West End productions of Aladdin, The King and I, and From Here to Eternity. Other credits include Aquino in the National’s Here Lies Love.

Joaquin Pedro Valdes will portray Light. He has covered and played Simba on the recent UK tour of The Lion King and was seen as Ram Sweeney in Heathers at The Other Palace. Valdes has also appeared in international tours of The King and I and Miss Saigon.

The creative team includes director and choreographer Winston, associate director and choreographer Alex Sarmiento, costume designer Kimie Nakano, musical supervisor Katy Richardson, musical director Chris Ma, orchestrator Jason Howland, designer Justin Williams, lighting designer Ben Cracknell, sound designer Ben Harrison, and casting director Harry Blumenau. The artwork for the production is created by Rebecca Pitt Creative.

Death Note: The Musical premiered in Tokyo, Japan in 2015, and a Korean production in 2022 received four awards at the Korea Musical Awards.

Wildhorn said today: “Death Note: The Musical has been the most unique, strange, edgy, and  wonderful musical journey for me. It’s been a dream of mine to bring this show from Asia to the West End of London, and here we are!”

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale on June 2 at 10am.

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