In its 30th anniversary year, internationally renowned theatre company Complicite come to the Liverpool Playhouse to present Lionboy, their first show for young people and families. The show, inspired by Zizou Corder’s bestselling trilogy, will be at the Liverpool Playhouse from June 4 to 8.
Lionboy tells the story of Charlie Ashanti, who is a perfectly normal boy, except for one thing: he can speak to cats. He lives in a perhaps not too distant future where oil has run out, asthma is an epidemic and the world is run by the sinister Corporacy. Charlie’s parents are ground-breaking scientists, and when they are kidnapped he sets off on a rescue mission – with a little help from a floating circus and its pride of performing lions.
Zizou Corder is the pen name of novelist Louisa Young and her daughter Isabel Adomakoh Young, who wrote the Lionboy novels together when Isabel was still at school. This year is the tenth anniversary of the first book of the critically acclaimed trilogy being published.
Directing Marcelo Dos Santos’ adaptation is Complicite founder member Annabel Arden, whose previous credits for the company includes The Visit and A Winter’s Tale. The production will be designed by Jon Bausor, whose previously acclaimed work at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse has included Ghost Stories (2009), No Wise Men (2010) and Kursk (2010) as well as the Paralympics Opening Ceremony 2012.
The lead role is taken by Adetomiwa Edun, who is known to audiences as Sir Elyan in the BBC television show Merlin and as Sey in The Hour. Edun was last seen at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2008’s Proper Clever, while his other theatre credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Also making a return to the Liverpool Playhouse is Robert Gilbert (Blood and Gifts, National Theatre), who played the role of Prince Charming in 2011’s rock and roll panto Cinderella. Other cast includes Femi Elufowoju Jr. (Borgen, BBC 4; Wire in the Blood, ITV), Victoria Gould (Artistic Collaborator on Complicite’s A Disappearing Number), Lisa Kerr (Cinderella, Tobacco Factory), Clive Mendus (The Master and Margarita, Complicite), and Dan Milne (The Comedy of Errors, RSC). The production will also feature original live music from percussionist Stephen Hiscock (Ensemble Bash).
Lionboy is a Complicite co-production with Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and Warwick Arts Centre.