The highly anticipated West End premiere of Life of Pi the musical comes to life! Lolita Chakrabarti’s dazzling stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s award-winning book has roared into the West End. Performances have begun at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London. As Darling editors, we were delighted to be some of the first to view this incredible show. Its effects are just brilliant and the staging was magnificent. Life of Pi is sure to become a national fan favourite.
For the first time ever, the historic Wyndham’s Theatre has been transformed to fully accommodate the magnificent elements of the production. Audiences were left mesmerised when it first opened in Sheffield and we experienced the same feeling.
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?
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 Commander Grant-Jones, Raj Ghatak as Mamaji. Also, Pandit-Ji, Syreeta Kumar as Mrs Biology Kumar and ZaidaKhan, 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), Tom Stacy (Tiger Hind) and Scarlet Wilderink (Tiger Heart).
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.
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).
Behind the Musical
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. Additionally, she adapted Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities for MIF in 2019 a collaboration with 59Productions and Rambert and her play Hymn was live streamed in February 2021 from the Almeida. 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.
Edwardian Hotels London is proud to be the official hotel partner of Life of Pi in the West End.
For all information, please see www.lifeofpionstage.com