Cast announced for In The Heights at Southwark Playhouse


Full casting is announced today for Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights, which receives its London Premiere in a brand new production in The Large at Southwark Playhouse from Friday 9 May (press night Thursday 15 May at 8.00pm). Tickets are on sale now, with preview performances now sold out.


The cast features Nathan Amzi as Piragua Guy, David Bedella as Kevin, Josie Benson as Camilla, Damian Buhagiar as Sonny, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Daniela, Emma Kingston as Vanessa, Jonny Labey as Graffitti Pete, Sam Mackay as Usnavi, Christina Modestou as Nina, Sarah Naudi as Carla, Eve Polycarpou as Abuela and Wayne Robinson as Benny.


Nathan Amzi was recently seen competing in the current series of BBC’s The Voice. Theatre credits include Rock of Ages (Garrick Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe, LA and Broadway) and The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour). David Bedella is best known for his Olivier Award winning performance as Satan in Jerry Springer the Opera (National Theatre). Other recent credits include Putting It Together (St James Theatre), Torch Song Trilogy and Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre) and The Rocky Horror Show (Playhouse Theatre). Josie Benson’s recent credits include Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre and Adelphi Theatre), The Cradle Will Rock (Arcola Theatre), Porgy and Bess (Savoy Theatre) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre). Damian Buhagiar is making his professional stage debut. Credits whilst training include The Music Man, Soho Cinders and Movin’ Out (Arts Educational Schools). Victoria Hamilton-Barritt recently starred as Diana in the revival Broadway production of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. Other recent credits include Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy (Leicester Curve), Alex in Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Rizzo in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre). Emma Kingston has just finished playing Diva 1 in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour). Other recent credits include Miss Lynch in Grease (UK Tour). Jonny Labey recently graduated from Birds College, where credits include Sweet Charity and Joie de Vivre. Sam Mackay recently returned from filming his television debut in Game of Thrones for HBO. Stage credits include 5,6,7,8 (Royal Court Theatre), Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre). Christina Modestou has appeared in Aladdin (Cheltenham Everyman), The Confession Room (Landor Theatre) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). Eve Polycarpou’s stage credits include Mother Courage and Her Children (Manchester Library Theatre Company), The Bacchae and Palace of the End (Manchester Royal Exchange), and Threepenny Opera (National Theatre). Sarah Naudi recently graduated from Arts Educational School London where credits include The Producers. Work since graduating includes feature film Une Rencontre. Wayne Robinson is currently appearing in Stephen Ward (Aldwych Theatre). Other recent credits include Britney in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Seaweed in Hairspray (UK Tour) and Simba in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).


The cast also includes Courtney-Mae Briggs, Reiss Hinds, Holly James and Dex Lee.


Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, In The Heights is an exhilarating journey into Washington Heights, one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. With a gripping story and incredible Latin and hip-hop infused score, In The Heights is a groundbreaking 21st century musical about what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home.


In The Heights opened at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in February 2008. The production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


The London Premiere will be directed by Luke Sheppard, Associate Director of Matilda in the West End / Broadway, and also Singin’ In The Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre / Palace Theatre. Recent directing credits include Hundred and One Dalmatians at the Castle Theatre, Happy Never After at Pleasance Theatre, Peter Pan at the Beck Theatre, Mort at the Rose Theatre, Bed And Sofa at the Finborough Theatre and The Great British Soap Opera and Jet Set Go! at Jermyn Street Theatre.


It will be choreographed by Drew McOnie, whose recent work includes the critically acclaimed new production of Chicago at Leicester’s Curve Theatre and The McOnie Company’s inaugural production Drunk at the Bridewell Theatre. Other recent work includes a collaboration with Matthew Bourne for the Coronation Festival Gala at Buckingham Palace, West Side Story for NYMT at Victoria Warehouse, 13 directed by Jason Robert Brown at the Apollo Theatre, Laurel and Hardy at the Watermill Theatre and the UK Tour of James and the Giant Peach.


In The Heights is conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It is directed by Luke Sheppard with choreography by Drew McOnie, musical supervision by Tom Deering (From Here To Eternity, The Color Purple), design by takis, costume design by Gabriella Slade, lighting design by Howard Hudson and sound design by Gareth Owen. Casting is by Will Burton.  The London Premiere is produced by Runaway Entertainment Ltd and Paul Taylor Mills Ltd, and presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.