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Life of Pi announces UK and Ireland tour

The award-winning show is currently in its final months in the West End – but will be out on the open road next year

The original West End cast of Life of Pi
© Johan Persson

Multi-award-winning play Life of Pi will embark on a major tour from next summer, it has been revealed.

The show, which is also gearing up for a North American premiere (and a subsequent Broadway run), is currently entering its final months at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End.

Telling the story of a teenager marooned on a lifeboat with a variety of animals (including a Bengal tiger), it is adapted from Yann Martel's celebrated novel by Lolita Chakrabarti (Red Velvet), with direction by Max Webster (Henry V at the Donmar Warehouse).

The tour will open in Sheffield, the very city where the show first premiered in 2019 (going on to win the 2020 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play).

Chakrabarti said today: ‘It is incredible to begin this tour at Sheffield Theatres, where Life of Pi began its journey, and to start the tour across the country from this great city. It has been an extraordinary year in the West End and the success of the play has been both a privilege and a delight - from all the amazing awards to the standing ovations we get every night.

"It is testament to Yann Martel's beautiful and moving story. I am so grateful for his trust and generosity in sharing it with me and allowing our amazing creative team to tell his story our way."

The show will play at the Sheffield's Lyceum theatre from 29 August to 16 September 2023, before visiting Milton Keynes, Norwich, Southend, Cardiff, Canterbury, Bradford, Chichester, Salford, Bristol, Newcastle, Brighton, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Plymouth, Curve, Hull, Coventry, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Cheltenham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Northampton.

Life of Pi also has its sights on runs in Australia and Asia, with European tour dates also to be revealed.

The set and costume designer is Tim Hatley, the puppet designers are Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, the puppet and movement director is Finn Caldwell, the video designer is Andrzej Goulding, the lighting designer is Tim Lutkin, the sound designer is Carolyn Downing and the composer is Andrew T Mackay, while dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley, the casting director is Polly Jerrold, the associate director is Leigh Toney, the associate puppetry and movement director is Scarlet Wilderink, the associate set designer is Ross Edwards, the associate puppet designer is Caroline Bowman, the costume supervisor is Sabrina Cuniberto and the props supervisor is Ryan O'Conner.

Casting for the tour is yet to be announced.

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