Cast announcement for West End premiere of Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Rehearsals began this week for the highly anticipated West End premiere of Life of Pi, Lolita Chakrabarti’s dazzling stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s award-winning book. It will begin performances at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London on Monday 15 November 2021, with a Press Night on Thursday 2 December at 7:00pm. For the first time ever, the historic Wyndham’s Theatre will be transformed to fully accommodate the magnificent elements of the production that left audiences mesmerised.

Simon Friend, the producer of the acclaimed Life of Pi, is thrilled to announce the full cast of the celebrated and multi-award winning Sheffield Theatres production.

Hiran Abeysekera makes a welcome return to the show in the central role of Pi, alongside Mina Anwar as Ma, Nicholas Khan as Father, Payal Mistry as Rani, Tom Espiner as Father Martin and Commmander Grant-Jones, Raj Ghatak as Mamaji and Pandit-Ji, Syreeta Kumar as Mrs Biology Kumar and Zaida Khan, David K.S. Tse as Mr Okamoto, Kirsten Foster as Lulu Chen, Habib Nasib Nader as Cook and Voice of Tiger.

They are joined by: Fred Davis (Tiger Head), Daisy Franks (Tiger Heart), Romina Hytten (Tiger Heart), Tom Larkin (Tiger Head), Scarlet Wilderink (Tiger Heart), and Tom Stacy (Tiger Hind).

Nuwan Hugh Perera is Pi alternate, and understudies are Alex Chang and Deeivya Meir.

Simon Friend commented: “I am delighted to announce the cast for this show – most of whom were in the original production in Sheffield, alongside some brilliant new cast members who have joined us on our journey. After an incredibly difficult year for so many people I hope this truly captivating production about how we deal with life’s toughest challenges will particularly resonate with audiences.”

The production is directed by Max Webster, Set and Costume designer is Tim Hatley, the Puppet and Movement Director is Finn Caldwell, the Puppet Designers are Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, the Video Designer is Andrzej Goulding, the Lighting Designer is Tim Lutkin, the Sound Designer is Carolyn Downing, the Composer is Andrew T Mackay, Dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley, the Casting Director is Polly Jerrold, the Associate Director is Hannah Banister, the Associate Set Designer is Ross Edwards, the Costume Supervisor is Sabrina Cuniberto and the Props Supervisor is Ryan O’Connor.

For all information, please see www.lifeofpionstage.com

Based on one of the best-loved works of fiction – winner of the Man Booker Prize, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide – Life of Pi is a breath-taking new theatrical adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope.

After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a single lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen year-old boy and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?

Award winning writer Yann Martel’s works include The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (1993), Self (1996), We Ate the Children Last (2004), Beatrice and Virgil (2010) – a New York Times Bestseller and a Financial Times Best Book, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister (2012) – a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada; and The High Mountains of Portugal (2016).

Lolita Chakrabarti OBE is an award-winning playwright and actress. Her writing credits include: Red Velvet which opened at the Tricycle Theatre in London in 2012, returning in 2014 before transferring to New York and the West End; Red Velvet was nominated for nine major awards including two Olivier Awards. Lolita won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, The Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the AWA Award for Arts and Culture; She adapted Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities for MIF in 2019 a collaboration with 59Productions and Rambert; her play Hymn was live streamed in February 2021 from the Almeida, before opening to audiences later in July; she was dramaturg on Message in a Bottle for ZooNation and Sadler’s Wells; she curated The Greatest Wealth for Old Vic, a series of monologues marking the 70th birthday of the NHS. Acting credits include: Vigil, The Casual Vacancy (BBC), Riviera, Delicious (Sky), Born to Kill, My Mad Fat Diary (Ch4), Criminal (Netflix), Fanny and Alexander (The Old Vic), Hamlet (RADA). She can soon be seen in Showtrial for the BBC and Wheel of Time for Amazon Prime.

Max Webster was the inaugural Baylis Director at the Old Vic and is now an Associate Director at the theatre where his work includes Fanny and Alexander, Cover My Tracks and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. Selected other stage work includes the forthcoming The Merry Widow (ENO), The Jungle Book (Northampton/Fiery Angel UK tour), The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum, Edinburgh), and King Lear (Royal and Derngate, Northampton/UK tour).

The extraordinary animals are brought to life by Puppet & Movement Director Finn Caldwell, who began his career in the original company of the National Theatre’s international phenomenon War Horse. He is the Artistic Director of his own company Gyre & Gimble, for whom work includes: co-director/puppet designer of The Four Seasons: A Reimagining (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Hartlepool Monkey (UK tour) and The Elephantom (National Theatre & West End). His other work includes: director of puppetry/movement for Angels in America (National Theatre & Broadway), The Light Princess (National Theatre), War Horse (West End & Internationally) and Groundhog Day (Old Vic & Broadway).

Life of Pi is produced by Simon Friend in association with Playing Field and Tulchin/Bartner.