Vanara musical world premiere – cast interviews

The show is playing now

Kayleigh McKnight, Shem Omari James and Samantha Mercer
Kayleigh McKnight, Shem Omari James and Samantha Mercer
© Jane Hobson
Vanara – The Legend – a new musical has opened at Hackney Empire and WhatsOnStage meets the cast.

Appearing in the show are Jacob Fowler, Glenn Carter, Johnnie Fiori, Carole Stennett, Cavin Cornwall and Emily Bautista, who makes her London debut after appearing in Les Misérables on Broadway.

Also in the cast are Samantha Mercer, Kayleigh McKnight, Joaquin Pedro Valdes and Shem Omari James. The production will also feature an ensemble composed of Jemima Brown, Chris George, Yuki Abe, Olivia Jones, Ella Martine, HIcaro Nicolai, Prem Rai, and Ebby Sama.

With a score by Gianluca Cucchiara, lyrics by Andrew James Whelan, and book by Michael Conley, the piece is set "on another earth in another time" and follows two tribes battling it out as disaster threatens to destroy their planet. The production will be co-directed by Adam Lenson and Eleesha Drennan, who will also take on the roles of dramaturg and choreographer, respectively. Joining them on the creative team are set and costume designer Libby Todd, musical director Tamara Saringer, orchestrator Jen Green, casting director Harry Blumenau and producers Giovanna Romagnoli and Gianluca Cucchiara.

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