Simon Friend Entertainment announces casting for Lolita Chakrabarti’s dazzling Olivier Award-winning stage adaption of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel Life of Pi, starring an extraordinary life-size puppeteered Bengal Tiger. Beginning its first-ever tour of the UK and Ireland at the Sheffield’s Lyceum theatre this August 2023, where it runs from 29 August to 16 September 2023, Divesh Subaskaran is confirmed to make his professional debut in the central role of Pi.
He is joined by Antony Antunes, who performs as Tiger Hind / Cook / Father Martin, Adwitha Arumugam as Pi Alternate, Bhawna Bhawsar as Lulu Chen/Mrs Biology Kumar, Ralph Birtwell as Mamaji/ Admiral Balbir Singh, Kriss Dosanjh as Father, Sebastian Goffin as Tiger Head, Akash Heer as Tiger Head, Romina Hytten as Tiger Heart and Hind, Katie Kennedy-Rose as Tiger Heart and Hind, Aizah Khan as Tiger Heart and Hind, Chand Martinez as Pandit-ji, Keshini Misha as Rani,
Goldy Notay as Amma, Sharita Oomeer as Lulu Chen / Mrs Biology Kumar, Kate Rowsell as Tiger Heart and Hind, Lilian Tsang as Mrs Okamoto/Zaida Khan/Ships Captain, Peter Twose and Tiger Head/Voice of Richard Parker/Cook/Father Martin.
Following it’s Sheffield engagement, the tour will then continue to Milton Keynes Theatre; Norwich Theatre Royal; Woking, New Victoria Theatre; Southend Cliffs Pavilion; Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff; Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Alhambra Theatre, Bradford; Chichester Festival Theatre; The Lowry, Salford; Leeds Grand Theatre; Bristol Hippodrome; Newcastle Theatre Royal; Birmingham Hippodrome; Grand Opera House; Belfast, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin; Theatre Royal Plymouth; Curve Leicester; Churchill Theatre, Bromley; Hull New Theatre; Derngate Theatre, Northampton; Coventry Belgrade; Nottingham Theatre Royal; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre; Liverpool Empire; Severn Theatre Shrewsbury; Mayflower Theatre, Southampton; Hall For Cornwall, Truro; Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham; Glasgow Theatre Royal; and finally the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in June 2024.
Life of Pi, which concluded its West End run on 15 January 2023, first opened to critical acclaim at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield in 2019. International commitments for the show include its North American Premiere at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University where it ran from 4 December 2022 to 29 January 2023, followed by its Broadway premiere at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater where it opened on 9 March 2024. A European tour will follow the tour of the UK and Ireland and there are plans underway for a tour of Australia and Asia.
Life of Pi won five Olivier Awards in April 2022. As well as Best New Play, and Best Actor for Hiran Abeysekera (the original Pi); in an historic first for the Olivier Awards – the seven performers who puppeteer the Tiger ‘Richard Parker’ were collectively awarded Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The production also picked up awards for set (Tim Hatley, Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell), and lighting design (Tim Lutkin and Andrzej Goulding).
Opening to celebratory reviews on Broadway in March the production is nominated for five Tony Awards in the following categories: Best Direction (Max Webster), Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. This year’s awards will be held on 12th June (01.00 BST).
The production is directed by Max Webster, Set and Costume Designer is Tim Hatley, the Puppet Designers are Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, the Puppet and Movement Director is 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 Leigh Toney, the Associate Puppetry and Movement Director is Scarlet Wilderink, the Associate Set Designer is Ross Edwards, the Associate Puppet Designer is Caroline Bowman, the Costume Supervisor is Sabrina Cuniberto and the Props Supervisor is Ryan O’Conner.
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).