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Photo credit: Eva Noblezada and Chris Cowley (Photo courtesy of Vanara the Musical)

‘Vanara’ world premiere musical to open at Hackney Empire

A limited run of performances will take place in October 2021.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Hackney Empire will be home to the world premiere of a brand new musical. Titled Vanara, the mystical musical will play at Hackney Empire from 22 - 31 October, and will be the first musical at the off-West End venue since theatres shut in March 2020.

Set on another planet, Vanara follows two tribes who are locked down in battle. One tribe knows how to use fire, with their rivals trying to acquire the skills. It's down to one woman if she protects her life or burns it down.

Vanara blends traditional elements of musical theatre, as well as contemporary dance and technical elements to create what press material states will "craft a new language for musical theatre."

Casting for the upcoming Vanara production includes Matthew Croke, Glenn Carter, Johnnie Fiori, Carole Stennett, Cavin Cornwall, Emily Bautista, Samantha Mercer, Kayleigh McKnight, Joaquin Pedro Valdes and Shem Omari James.

The production Vanara also ran a competition, with the winner featuring on the upcoming London cast recording. The winner was 21-year-old Brandon Gille from Portland, Oregon, who will sing on the new Vanara cast recording. A Vanara concept album released in 2019. The concept album cast includes Eva Noblezada as Ayla, Rob Houchen as Mohr, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Sindah and Francis Ruffelle as Moon, which you can listen to below.

Vanara is at Hackney Empire from 22 - 31 October.

Photo credit: Eva Noblezada and Chris Cowley (Photo courtesy of Vanara the Musical)

Article Originally Published: 19 February 2021

Originally published on

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