The full cast has been announced for the UK tour of Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo in an adaptation by Samuel Adamsonas rehearsals start on Monday. Originated by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, when it won a prestigious UK Theatre Award, before receiving its London premiere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, we're delighted to be welcoming back the production as the UK tour starts in Chichester on 10 February.
Three of our CFYT members will embark on the tour as original cast members Darcy Collins (Frank, the baby orangutan), Romina Hytten (orangutan Mani's Head), and Fred Davis (Mani's Body) return to puppeteer roles in the production.
The lead role of Lilly will be shared by three young actresses, Jemima Bennett, India Brown and Annika Whiston. Dad/Red Bandana will be played by Kazeem Toisin Amore, Grandma by Liz Crowther, Mahout/Kaya by Stephen Hoo. Dr Geraldine by Corinna Powlesland, Mr Anthony by Jack Sandle and Mum will be played by Balvinder Sopal.
Also as puppeteers for Oona the elephant will be Elisa de Grey (Oona Trunk), James Charlton (Oona Head), Michael Peters (Oona Heart), and Wela Mbusi (Oona Hind). Gareth Aled and Scarlet Wilderink join the cast as alternate puppeteers.
Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’. Originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this epic production complete with spectacular life-size puppets, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment.
Running Wild is co-directed by CFT’s Education Director Dale Rooks and Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Timothy Sheader, with set and costume design by Paul Wills, puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, original songs and composition by Rod Paton, additional music by Nick Powell and Louise Anna Duggan, sound score by Nick Powell, lighting design by James Whiteside, sound design by Nick Sagar and movement direction by Georgina Lamb. Casting director for the UK Tour is Polly Jerrold, with original casting for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre by Jessica Ronane CDG.