NEWS: Full cast for @TheCentre @TigerBayMusical announced

tiger-bay-landscapeFull cast for Wales Millennium Centre’s Tiger Bay the Musical announced

 Wales Millennium Centre is thrilled to announce the full cast of Tiger Bay the Musical, which includes a 39-strong cast with many notable names from right here in Wales.

Tiger Bay the Musical – created by a multi-award-winning team composer, Daf James, writer Michael Williams and director, Melly Still – is set in the flamboyant multi-ethnic community of Cardiff’s Butetown in the early 1900s. Extreme poverty meets supreme wealth. Gangs of street children roam the docks. Coal is King, and in the notorious public houses and alleyways of the city’s underworld, a revolution is brewing

Tiger Bay the Musical follows a young woman’s determination to challenge society’s injustices, follow her heart and realise her dreams.

Joining the previously announced cast John Owen JonesNoel SullivanSuzanne PackerVikki Bebb and two local young girls, Louise Harvey and Ruby Llewellyn, will be:

Dom Hartley-Harris who will complete the lead cast as Themba, an African immigrant working the Cardiff docks to avenge his family. Dom most recently played Jagwire in the new musical Bat Out of Hell. His other theatre credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Accidental Brummie. 

Zolani Shangase (Lion King, West End and most recently Chico in the The Fugard Theatre’s production of West Side Story) will travel from South Africa to reprise the role of Yusef, following previews of the Musical in Cape Town earlier this year.

Also joining from Cape Town Busisiwe Ngejane (Isango Ensemble’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Carmen and A Man of Good hope) who will play lady of the night, Klondike Ellie and Luvo Rasemeni (Isango Ensemble’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Carmen and A Man of Good hope) as Felize. As well as Ernestine Stuurman as part of the ensemble.

Liz May Brice whose credits include (Torchwood: Children of EarthBad GirlsPeep ShowBlack Mirror) will play clairvoyant, Leonora Piper. Ian Virgo, (The Bastard Executioner, Weapon, Before The Fall, Holby City, Spooks, The BillAdam Vaughan (The Wind in the Willows – London Palladium, Carousel, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd) and Rhidian Marc (Les Misérables – West End, UK tour and film, Pippin, Scrooge)  will play donkeymen, Bosun and Arwyn and First Mate/Locke respectively.

The Centre has turned to Welsh performers to create the production’s ensemble including Zoe George (Wicked UK, Ireland and International tour as understudy for Elphaba and Nessarose), Lucy Elson (career debut) and Elin Llwyd (S4C presenter, Welsh National Theatre’s Lady from the Sea and Spring Awakening) who will play shop girls of the famed David Morgan department store.

 They will be joined by Jamal AndréasLee Dillon-StuartKit EsuruosoSoophia ForoughiDaniel GrahamCarl ManKayed Mohamed-MasonCilla SilviaJosh TonksEmma Warren and Stephanie Webber.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre said: “This is the biggest production to come from the Centre to date and we are proud to give people a snapshot of the history of our home and celebrate some of its richness and strength through music and performance.

“To capture the essence of the production, we were seeking a diverse cast so we are delighted to be able to announce our full cast includes talent from across the world as well as right on our doorstep.”

And to round it off, ten young Welsh actors and actresses will make up the water boys.

The gang of water boys are:

  • Amaree Ali, aged 12, Grangetown
  • Lefi Jô Hughes, aged 10, Canton
  • Lowri Elin Hughes, aged 14, Caerphilly 
  • Shakira Lorenza Ifill, aged 12, Butetown
  • Amelia Jenkins, aged 14, Bridgend 
  • Mimi Nanud, aged 13, Barry
  • Lauren Price, aged 11, Rhiwbina
  • Mallers Saltus-Hendrickson, aged 9, Butetown
  • Cadi-Gwen Sandall, aged 10, Whitchurch
  • Efan Williams, aged 9, Canton

 A fictional story of romance, revenge, heartbreak and hope, the world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre. Tickets are on sale now at www.tigerbaythemusical.com

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NEWS: @TheCentre casts @packersuzanne in @TigerBayMusical #Cardiff

Suzanne PackerWales Millennium Centre casts Suzanne Packer in Tiger Bay the Musical

Welsh actress, Suzanne Packer is the latest name to join the company of Wales Millennium Centre’s most significant production to date, Tiger Bay the Musicalpremiering in Cardiff this November.

Suzanne, whose previous credits include Casualty, Stella and Vera, takes on the role of landlady, Marisha – a matriarchal figurehead in a vibrant multi-ethnic community fighting against the man at the height of the south Wales coal industry.

Suzanne joins West End and Broadway actor John Owen Jones (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera) as John Crichton-Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute, Hear’Say’s Noel Sullivan (BBC’s Ordinary Lives, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels UK Tour, We Will Rock You UK Touras Harbour Master, Séamus O’Rourke and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate, Vikki Bebb as valley girl, Rowena. More cast still to be announced.

Born and bred in Cardiff, Suzanne said: “I was drawn to Tiger Bay the Musical as it tells a particular untold story in a colourful and entertaining way. Growing up in Cardiff I knew a little about its multicultural history; its only now through the vibrancy of the music and captivating storyline that I am learning more about it. It’s far better than any history lesson.

“This musical has such a great sense of some of the local history but it’s a universal story. Nobody gets away from heartbreak and there are themes throughout – class divide, loss, conflict – that everyone will connect with.”

A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, Tiger Bay the Musical is a fictional story of revolution, reconciliation, courage and love set in 1900s Cardiff at a time of unrest between the workers heaving coal in the docklands and the Bute Dock Company they afforded.

Tiger Bay the Musical is written by Michael Williams, with music by Daf James and direction by Melly Still.

 The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical will take place on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre and will run until Saturday 25 November 2017. Tickets on sale now at tigerbaythemusical.com 

NEWS: @TigerBayMusical @VikkiBebb cast for #Cardiff premiere and tour with @johnowenjones

Tiger Bay the Musical’s leading lady cast for Cardiff premiere and tour with John Owen-Jones01

Wales Millennium Centre is delighted to confirm that Welsh musical theatre graduate Vikki Bebb has been cast in a leading role in the Centre’s most significant production to date, Tiger Bay the Musical, created by a multi-award-winning team led by composer, Daf James, writer Michael Williams and director, Melly Still.

Following her outstanding performance during previews in Cape Town, Vikki from Abercynon, will join Musical legend John Owen-Jones to lead the cast for the world premiere in Cardiff. Vikki will play Rowena Pryddy, a shop girl from the Welsh Valleys, who journeys to the big city, finding love in her quest for a place in society.

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama alumna impressed the musical’s creative team and cast so much that her co-star and Broadway actor, John Owen-Jones has invited her to join him on his home coming tour, Bring Him Home: A Collection of Musical Favourites this June.

Vikki, aged 26, said: “It is an absolute honour to play Rowena for the world premiere of this new musical in Cardiff and performing with John on his tour is a fantastic opportunity. I went to Cape Town looking to learn as much as I could from the extremely talented people around me, and being cast for Cardiff is beyond anything I expected.”

Award-winning and record breaking West End and Broadway performer John Owen-Jones, said: “The Bring Him Home tour will travel throughout Wales so it would be rude not to take Vikki along with me and showcase her amazing talent to a home audience before we perform together again in November.”

The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.  Produced in association with Cape Town Opera, the musical takes us back to the early 1900s in old Butetown, the docklands and Cardiff city centre at an extraordinary turning point in history, when coal was king and the industry booming.

Vivien Care, Head of Musical Theatre, RWCMD said: “Vikki is a star in the making, a wonderful ambassador for our professional Musical Theatre training at Royal Welsh College and deserves her place on the Wales Millennium Centre stage. She wowed the crowds in Cape Town and we have no doubt she will do it again in Cardiff in November.”

The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre. Tickets are on sale now at www.tigerbaythemusical.com

NEWS: New musical from @TheCentre gives platform to local community @TigerBayMusical

New musical from Wales Millennium Centre gives platform to local communitytiger_bay_the_musical

The arts and creative team behind Wales Millennium Centre’s next significant production, Tiger Bay the Musical, has developed an immersive creative learning programme for those who live in Butetown and the wider community.

 Tiger Bay the Musical, produced in association with Cape Town Opera, is a Welsh story of courage, reconciliation and love, built from the thriving multicultural community which still exists in Butetown today.

In keeping with this theme, the Centre will come together with the community over the next nine months to ensure the people of Butetown and Cardiff are involved in the production – starting with Performance Platfform, weekly creative sessions for 10 to 14-year-olds.

Already underway, Performance Platfform is led by industry professionals and teaches young people from the area audition techniques as well as providing them with opportunities to perform as part of Tiger Bay the Musical.

On Sunday 19 March the creative team, key cast and young people from the local community and further afield came together as part of Performance Platfform for a backstage tour and a joint rehearsal session. For many of the young people taking part, this was the first time they had set foot on a stage of such size.

Elan Isaac, Creative Learning Producer at Wales Millennium Centre, said, “This is the first time we have put on a creative learning programme attached to an in-house production, so we are really excited to deliver it with our local community and explore the different ways of involving them in the production.

 “The creative workshops are in full swing and the young people are really enjoying the sessions. We hope to find some raw talent for the production from these sessions, but the main purpose is to give participants an opportunity to learn new life skills, build confidence and resilience through the performing arts.”

 Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre, added, “Our ambition is to co-create a programme of activity around Tiger Bay the Musical that explores some of the themes of the show that will be as prevalent today as it was then. We have an opportunity to share experiences past and present, generation to generation so that the project resonates with our local community, Cardiff and Wales.”

 tiger_bay_the_musicalTiger Bay the Musical takes us back to the early 1900s in old Butetown, the docklands and Cardiff city centre at an extraordinary turning point in history, when coal was king and the industry booming.

Set to a rousing score from award winning Welsh composer Daf James, a cast of shop girls, sailors, donkeymen, suffragettes, immigrants and raggedy water boys will bring the atmosphere and sounds of old Tiger Bay to life. The musical recounts the story of growing conflict between the powerful Bute Dock Company and the Butetown community.

For information on developments in the Tiger Bay the Musical creative learning programme, visit www.tigerbaythemusial.com. The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Tickets are on sale now at wmc.org.uk.

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NEWS: @TheCentre casts local musical theatre graduate in principal role for @TigerBayMusical @VickyBebb #Wales #Cardiff

A Wales Millennium Centre Production06.jpg
in association with Cape Town Opera
Tiger Bay the Musical

Wales Millennium Centre casts local musical theatre graduate in principal role for Tiger Bay the Musical

Wales Millennium Centre is delighted to announce the casting of Welsh musical theatre graduate Vikki Bebb in its most significant production to date, Tiger Bay the Musical. Vikki, a valleys girl from Abercynon and graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, will play the character of Rowena Pryddy, also a valleys girl, fighting for her place in the world, looking for true love and aspiring for prosperity. This will be Vikki’s professional début in a major role in musical theatre.

A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, Tiger Bay the Musical takes us back to the early 1900s in old Butetown, the docklands and Cardiff city centre at an extraordinary turning point in history, when coal was king and the industry booming.

In this epic tale of opulent wealth and grinding poverty, Rowena longs for a future away from David Morgan’s shop floor and its boarding house in central Cardiff. Drawn to the vibrant cosmopolitan community in Butetown, Rowena rails against the social and racial prejudices held by everyone above and below the canal bridge.

Spotted by producers whilst performing at a special gala concert for The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Vikki was invited to audition for the principal role of Rowena and was overjoyed when the creative team selected her as their leading lady. In her first big break, she will perform alongside an exceptionally talented Welsh cast including award-winning and record breaking West End and Broadway actor & singer John Owen-Jones who will play the role of John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute.

Speaking of her new role, Vikki said, “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had landed the role of Rowena. She is such a unique and interesting woman and she comes from the village just a stone’s throw from where I live! Starring alongside one of the biggest names in musical theatre, John Owen-Jones is a dream come true…I doubt he remembers, but I’ve actually sung with him before and I can’t wait to be sharing a stage with him again.”

Vikki, who was awarded a scholarship from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, will take on the role when the musical rehearses and previews at Artscape, Cape Town, South Africa in April and May.

Vivien Care, Head of Musical Theatre, RWCMD said, “We are terrifically proud that Vikki will be starring in Tiger Bay the Musical, and representing our professional Musical Theatre training at Royal Welsh College. Everyone who worked with Vikki thought she was special; she has a glorious voice, acts with integrity and detail, is a hard worker and wonderful person to have around in a company, and she grew up minutes from where this story is set! The casting feels so perfect for her, we’re delighted and so glad she was spotted at our gala evening. The musical theatre training at the Royal Welsh College focuses on being ready for any challenge the industry requires, so we are so excited for this next step in her career and can’t wait to see the show.”

Tiger Bay the Musical is a Welsh story of courage, reconciliation and love built from the multicultural community which still exists in Cardiff Bay today. Set to a rousing score from award winning Welsh composer Daf James – a cast of shop girls, sailors, donkeymen, suffragettes, immigrants and raggedy water boys will bring the atmosphere and sounds of old Tiger Bay to life. The musical recounts the story of growing conflict between the powerful Bute Dock Company and the Butetown community.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre said, “It is really important that we involve the community every step of the way in this production. Hand in hand with that is our desire to cast local actors so the story of Tiger Bay is told authentically, with knowledge and passion. The Centre has a huge role to play in promoting local talent; we want to showcase the best that Wales has to offer to the world. Last month we announced the casting of our two young ‘Iantos,’ Louise and Ruby, both from south Wales and now we are thrilled to have found Vikki who we know will represent Rowena and Wales exceptionally.”

The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and will preview in Cape Town in April and May.

Tickets are on sale now at wmc.org.uk. For all the latest news, follow @TigerBayMusical or go to www.tigerbaythemusical.com

tiger-bay-landscape

NEWS: Welsh schoolgirls land leading role in @TigerBayMusical @TheCentre #Cardiff #Wales

Welsh schoolgirls land leading role in Musical

l-r-ruby-llewelyn-and-louise-harvey_2
Ruby Llewelyn and Louise Harvey

Wales Millennium Centre announced two young locals who have secured one of the leading roles for its next original stage production, Tiger Bay the Musical.

 

Plucked from an open audition process in Butetown in December 2016, Louise Harvey, 9 from Rhiwbina and Ruby Llewelyn, 11 from Llantrisant will share the part of Ianto – an orphan boy, who is really a girl, dreaming of a better life.

While Ruby has previous acting experience, this will be Louise’s first ever foray into the performing arts. They will take to the Wales Millennium Centre stage in November for the world premiere following two months rehearsing and preview performances at Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, South Africa.

Louise, who attends Ysgol Y Wern in Llanishen, said “I was so shocked when I got offered the part as it was my first audition. I am so very grateful. I am very excited to visit South Africa. I can’t wait to start the official rehearsals and meet the rest of the cast!”

Ruby, who attends Cowbridge Comprehensive and is a keen musician studying cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said: “I found out I had got the role the night before Christmas Eve, which was the best Christmas present. At first it was like I’d won a competition but it is starting to sink in now that I am going to Cape Town and be in a musical. It’s just a dream come true.”

Tiger Bay the Musical will bring to life the rich cultural history which helped shape the future of the Capital. The role of Ianto is pivotal within the storyline as it explores intergenerational and class relationships in the early 1900s when Cardiff Bay was one of the busiest and multicultural ports in the world.

Graeme Farrow,  Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre said: ‘We held open auditions in Butetown to give local talent a really good chance of attending the auditions. Finding Ruby and Louise who only live a few miles away is a gift to us and will help us tell the awe inspiring story of Tiger Bay in the early 1900s with authenticity and passion.’

Tiger Bay the Musical is being produced in association with Cape Town Opera, maintaining the long-standing relationship with South Africa born from one of the Centre’s original philanthropists, South African businessman, Sir Donald Gordon.

Tiger Bay the Musical will premiere in Cardiff in November 2017. Tickets are on sale now: wmc.org.uk. For all the latest news, follow @tigerbaymusical
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NEWS: @TheCentre announces the world premiere of #TigerBay, a major #Welsh musical in 2017

Wales Millennium Centre announces the world premiere of Tiger Bay, a major Welsh musical

tiger-bay-portraitSurvival, romance and atonement in a diverse community: Tiger Bay, a new musical, takes place in what was once the most cosmopolitan port in the world, Cardiff Bay. A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, this brand new show takes us back to the dawn of the twentieth century at the height of South Wales’s coal trade with characters drawn from the melting pot of Cardiff’s famous docklands.

Wales Millennium Centre has assembled an experienced creative team to craft the production, to premiere in November 2017. Directing is Melly Still, having just directed Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican and renowned for her Coram Boy at the National Theatre and on Broadway, and co-director Max Barton, Artistic Director PIGDOG and recently Associate on Stephen Schwartz’s Schikaneder, with a colourful original score by award-winning Welsh composer Daf James, book and lyrics by Cape Town Opera’s Michael Williams and design by Olivier award-winning Anna Fleischle.

Set at an extraordinary turning point in history, Tiger Bay tells of a time when Coal was King yet grinding poverty confronted opulent wealth. Valley girl, Rowena Pryddy, longs for a future away from David Morgan’s shop floor and its boarding house in central Cardiff. On the outskirts of the city, a man arrives in Tiger Bay looking for an escape from his past to find refuge in the city’s underworld of public houses, immigrants and street urchins. Above them all, in the Zodiac Room of Cardiff Castle, the Third Marquess of Bute grapples with his own seemingly insurmountable troubles and ironically it will be a lowly Water Boy who inspires the richest man in the world to leave a legacy for everyone.

Amongst a cast of unforgettable characters, the role of John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute, will be played by John Owen-Jones – best known as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway – with further principals to be announced. Completing the cast will be a diverse ensemble to portray the rich multicultural community of the period plus a talented children’s chorus.

Graeme Farrow, Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director, said “2016 has been a defining year for Wales Millennium Centre having created and delivered several landmark projects. I am immensely proud that 2017 will see us realise our next significant piece of work, Tiger Bay, a musical born from the history of our culturally diverse home in Cardiff’s former docklands which has relevance to the world we live in today. I hope that our latest venture will bring a great Welsh story to the world in a time when arts and culture must be a uniting force in our communities.”

Directors Melly Still and Max Barton said “Expect a gritty spectacular and a real thriller that draws on the lives and losses of the people from Tiger Bay, with a healthy dose of romance thrown in. This is a celebration of all that is unique about an extraordinary community, and we’re delighted to be involved with the community itself. And, doing justice to Tiger Bay’s celebrated music history, there are some belting numbers to boot.”

Michael Williams, writer and Managing Director at Cape Town Opera said, “First and foremost I have honoured the musical as an art form, although much of what found its way into the story is actually based on fact. Inspiration came from the complex mix of class, race and cultural diversity of this unique place in turn-of-the-century Britain. In writing Tiger Bay, the process of embedding myself in all things Welsh was made even more compelling when I uncovered my own Welsh roots; my grandfather worked in the Salvation Army in Cardiff and my mother was born there so, for me, the strong partnership between Cape Town and Cardiff began years ago.”

Alongside Tiger Bay, the Centre will be producing an extensive programme of musical theatre workshops, bringing leading artists to collaborate with young people from Cardiff’s Butetown and the historic Tiger Bay area.

The world premiere of Tiger Bay will be Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (preview performance on Tuesday 14 November) and the production will run for two weeks until Saturday 25 November 2017.

Booking opens on Monday 28 November 2016. Tickets will be available £7-£39 and can be booked online at www.wmc.org.uk or via the Centre’s Ticket Office in person or by calling 029 2063 6464.

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