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Beverley Knight to play Emmeline Pankhurst in Sylvia at the Old Vic
Beverley Knight will play Emmeline Pankhurst in the musical alongside John Dagleish (Sunny Afternoon) who will play campaigner Keir Hardie, Carly Bawden (Romantics Anonymous) who plays Adela Pankhurt and Delroy Atkinson who plays Winston Churchill.
With a book by Prince and Pryia Parmar, music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde and lyrics by Prince, Cohen and Walde, the musical combines hip-hop, funk and dance to tell the story of the Pankhursts at the centre of the movement to give women the vote.
The cast of the production also includes Verity Blyth, Jade Hackett, Todd Holdsworth, Izuka Hoyle, Genesis Lynea, Jaye Marshall, Tachia Newall, Maria Omakinwa, Karl Queensborough, Ross Sands, Witney White and Elliotte Williams-N’Dure.
Director-choreographer Prince, whose company ZooNation will produce the piece, said: ‘Politics and families are a tricky combination, and in the case of the Pankhursts, it severed ties between them. Ultimately we are telling the story of the price each of the Pankhurst family paid for their political purpose.’
Knight earned an Olivier Award nomination for her role in Memphis the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and has previously appeared in Cats at the London Palladium and The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre.
Old Vic artistic director said: ‘The Old Vic turns 200 this year and was originally established by two brilliantly tenacious and visionary women - Emma Cons and Lilian Baylis - so it is particularly gratifying to be celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst’s world-changing achievements in the advancement of democracy and equality during this anniversary’.
Sylvia tickets are available now.