Message In A Bottle: cast and creative team announced for new Sadler’s Wells and Universal Music UK production
Sadler’s Wells and Universal Music UK today announce the cast and creative team for Message In A Bottle, a new dance theatre production by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Kate Prince, set to the music of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting.
Message In A Bottle receives its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells’ West End theatre, The Peacock, from Thursday 6 February - Saturday 21 March 2020, followed by a UK and international tour. Gravity-defying lyrical hip hop dance and breath-taking music combine in an uplifting story of humanity and hope. This is the first time Sadler’s Wells and Universal Music have collaborated to produce a show.
After its run at The Peacock, Message In A Bottle tours to Theatre de la Ville Luxembourg (26 - 28 March), The Lowry, Salford (1 - 4 April) and Birmingham Hippodrome (8 - 11 April), with further international dates to be confirmed.
Message In A Bottle sees a village alive with joyous celebrations suddenly come under siege. In the chaos, three siblings, Leto, Mati and Tana are separated from their parents; they undertake a perilous journey to new lands and set out on their own extraordinary adventures. Songs include Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Walking On The Moon, Englishman in New York, Shape of My Heart and Fields of Gold.
The production features exceptional dancers from ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, who come from all over the UK and from Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Sweden and Holland. In featured roles are Lukas McFarlane as Leto – winner of Sky 1’s Got to Dance (2013); Tommy Franzen as Mati – BBC One’s So You Think You Can Dance (2010) and the Tom Hooper-directed CATS, in cinemas winter 2019; and Natasha Gooden – Blak Whyte Gray (Boy Blue) and Strictly Come Dancing – as Tana. So You Think You Can Dance finalist and judge on CBBC’s Alesha’s Street Dance Stars, Lizzie Gough, also appears.
Franzen, Gough and Gooden are all renowned dancers with ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, currently performing in Some Like It Hip Hop on tour (which comes to The Peacock from Wednesday 23 October – Saturday 9 November). Also joining the Message In A Bottle cast from Some Like it Hip Hop are Kino McHugh, Michael Naylor, Aaron Nuttall, and Delano Spenrath. The rest of the cast includes Annie Edwards (Into the Hoods), Nestor Garcia Gonzalez (Strictly Come Dancing) and Gavin L Vincent (Soul Mavericks Crew), who are all seasoned performers with the company. Making their ZooNation debut are Samuel Baxter, Onyemachi Ejimofor, Anna Holmström, Emma 'Shortbread' Houston, Ajani Johnson-Goffe, Daniella May, Daniel Phung, and Hannah Sandilands.
They are joined by Nafisah Baba, winner of BBC One’s BBC Young Dancer (2017), who has recently performed in productions by Phoenix Dance Theatre (Windrush: Movement of the People), Alesandra Seutin (Boy Breaking Glass) and Sisters Grimm (INALA).
Alongside its outstanding choreographer and iconic composer, Message In A Bottle features a multi-award-winning creative team, including Alex Lacamoire (Music Supervisor and New Arrangements), Grammy and Tony Award winner for his work on musicals including Hamilton (2016), In The Heights (2008), Dear Evan Hansen (2017), Carmen La Cubana (2016) and The Greatest Showman (2017), and Emmy Award winner for Fosse/Verdon in 2019. Music production and additional arrangements for the show are by multi-Grammy Award winner Martin Terefe, who has written and produced for artists such as Jason Mraz, Sean Mendes, KT Tunstall, Tom Odell and Train.
Message In A Bottle has set design by Ben Stones (MEN 2011 Award winner for Best Design for Doctor Faustus at the Royal Exchange); video design by Andrzej Goulding (winner of the inaugural Theatre and Technology Award for Creative Innovation in Video Design for Room in 2017); costume design by Anna Fleischle (Olivier Award winner, 2016 for Hangmen); and lighting design by Natasha Chivers (Olivier Award winner, 2007 for Sunday in the Park with George).
Sound design is by David McEwan (Music Producers Guild Award winner (2011)); music co-production and mixing is by Grammy Award-winning Oskar Winberg; and dramaturgy is by Lolita Chakrabarti, whose writing credits include the critically acclaimed Life Of Pi and Olivier Award-nominated Red Velvet (2012). The Associate Choreographer is Lukas McFarlane (Strictly Come Dancing).
Kate Prince said: “I’m genuinely excited that this collection of talented beings has agreed to collaborate with me. The creative team for Message In A Bottle comes from a very diverse range of creative backgrounds.
“I am so inspired by this incredible international company of dancers. Their skill and ability are insane. The company has some of the best breakers and contemporary movers I’ve encountered during my 20 years of working in professional dance. Their dedication and discipline, agility, strength, stamina and their ability to tell stories through dance are both mind-blowing and exhilarating. I feel very fortunate that I get to tell this very important story with them and to create movement with their fantastically talented and expressive bodies.”
6 February - 21 March 2020 - The Peacock, London
26 - 28 March - Theatre de la Ville Luxembourg
1 - 4 April - The Lowry, Salford
7 - 11 April - Birmingham Hippodrome
Director and Choreographer Kate Prince
Music and Lyrics Sting
Music Supervisor and New Arrangements Alex Lacamoire
Music Producer and Arranger Martin Terefe
Set Designer Ben Stones
Video Designer Andrzej Goulding
Costume Designer Anna Fleischle
Lighting Designer Natasha Chivers
Sound Designer David McEwan
Music Co-Producer and Mixer Oskar Winberg
Dramaturg Lolita Chakrabarti
Robia Milliner Brown
Assistant Choreographers Tommy Franzen and Lizzie Gough