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Royal Shakespeare Company's The Magician's Elephant musical announces first casting

Keisha Amponsa Banson ((c) John Walker), Marc Antolin ((c) Michael Shelford), Jack Wolfe ((c) Leigh Lothian), Summer Strallen ((c) Jon Holloway)

First casting has been confirmed for Royal Shakespeare Company’s upcoming new musical for The Magician’s Elephant.

Based on the novel by prize-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo, the new piece features a book and lyrics by Nancy Harris and music and lyrics by Marc Teitler

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The world stage premiere of The Magician’s Elephant will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from Thursday, 14 October 2021 to Saturday, 1 January 2022 after its original run was postponed due to the pandemic.

The principal cast will include Keisha Amponsa Banson (Gloria Matienne), Marc Antolin (Leo Matienne), Sam Harrison (Count Quintet), Forbes Masson (Police Chief), Mark Meadows (Vilna Lutz), Alastair Parker (Magician), Summer Strallen (Countess Quintet) and Jack Wolfe (Peter Duchene).

Joining them are Sharif Afifi (Milliner), Alison Arnopp (Baker), Hannah Brown (Swing), Michael Carolan (Swing), Lucca Chadwick-Patel (Fishmonger), Stephen John Davis (Doctor), Zoe Halliday (The Elephant), Wela Mbusi (The Elephant), Suzanne Nixon (The Elephant), Wendy Somerville (Mrs Griswald) and Mandi Symonds (Sister Marie).

Further casting is to be confirmed.

The Magician’s Elephant tells the story of orphan Peter Augustus Duchene, who lives a frugal life in the lonely town of Baltese. Then one day, a magician conjures an elephant from the sky. The animal’s appearance sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that it changes Baltese forever.

Peter is catapulted into the quest of his life, overturning everything he ever thought he knew, and discovering that happiness can come from the most unexpected places.

Tickets are on sale now from rsc.org.uk/the-magicians-elephant.

The production will mark the re-opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre following the pandemic and the return of audiences to indoor performances at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The production is directed by Sarah Tipple with feature design by Colin Richmond, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music supervision and musical direction by Tom Brady, orchestrations by Sarah Travis and Marc Teitler, vocal arrangements by Tom Brady and Marc Teitler, sound by Paul Groothuis and movement by Francesca Jaynes.

Dramaturgy is by Réjane Collard-Walker. Puppetry direction is by Mervyn Millar with puppetry design by Mervyn Millar and Tracy Waller. The Magic Consultant is John Bulleid and video is by Douglas O’Connell.

Pictured: Keisha Amponsa Banson ((c) John Walker), Marc Antolin ((c) Michael Shelford), Jack Wolfe ((c) Leigh Lothian), Summer Strallen ((c) Jon Holloway)

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