Stratford East announces principal cast and creatives for The Big Life

Stratford East
Words: Sophia A Jackson
Published: 04 December 2023, 9:30pm

The Big Life Principal Cast Headshots Stratford East
The Big Life Principal Cast Headshots Stratford East

Stratford East today announce the cast and creative team for its revival of hit Windrush Ska musical The Big Life, with book by Paul Sirett and Tameka Empson, lyrics by Paul Sirett, and music by Paul Joseph. The production, which opens 20 years after it premiered at the venue and transferred to the West End, runs at Stratford East, Friday 16 February – Saturday 30 March 2024.

Tinuke Craig directs Tameka Empson reprising her role as Mrs Aphrodite from the original production, joined by Juliet Agnes (Kathy), Danny Bailey (Admiral/Eros), Gabrielle Brooks (Sybil), Nathanael Campbell (Bernie), Khalid Daley (Dennis), Beth Elliott (Jacqueline/Secretary), Leanne Henlon (Mary), Rachel John (Zulieka), Karl Queensborough (Lennie) and Ashley Samuels (Ferdy).

Completing the creative team are Jasmine Swan (Set and Costume Designer), Elliot Griggs (Lighting Designer), Emma Laxton (Sound Designer), Ian Oakley (Musical Director), Ingrid Mackinnon (Choreographer), Jacob Sparrow (Casting Director), Becky Livermore (Costume Supervisor), John Boqwana-Page (Production Manager), Vanessa Sutherland (Company Stage Manager), Emma Currie (Deputy Stage Manager), and Tayla Hunter (Assistant Stage Manager).
Further casting and musicians to be announced.

It’s 1950s London, and Ferdy, Bernie, Dennis and Lennie arrive from the West Indies full of expectations and aspirations.
Eager to make successes of themselves, they are optimistic about what the future holds, plus Dennis is certain that showing his brother’s posthumous medal from World War II will mean he is welcomed heartily. Building this new life will take focus and sacrifice, and the young men make the bold decision to forswear wine and women for three whole years and devote themselves to their future in London.
Sybil, Mary, Zulieka and Kathy have other ideas. They know that man cannot live by bread alone! So each one’s resolve is put to the test as the reality of life in a less-than-welcoming England, not to mention the weather, makes forgoing the warmth of female company hard to resist. Will the men stick with their idea of The Big Life, or will Cupid have the final say?

The Big Life is a joyful and uplifting musical where the story of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost meets that of the Windrush generation in a fun-packed Ska musical that’ll have you dancing in your seats.

NEED TO KNOW: The Big Life runs from 16 Feb to 30 March 2024 | see listing | see listing | BOOK TICKETS