"Sylvia is educational as well as entertaining"
It would be true to say that when we heard we were going to see a show based on the story of Sylvia Pankhurst, part of the Suffragette Movement in the early part of the 20th Century, set to the Hip Hop music we were, let’s say, sceptical! Votes for women set to the rhythms of hip hop, funk and soul shouldn’t work – but amazingly the combination adds to the telling of the story!
Sylvia, written by Kate Prince and Priya Palmer, with music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde has essences of the rhythms of Hamilton with the woman-power of Six.
Production photographs and advertising promote Beverley Knight and Sharon Rose as show leads, playing mother and daughter Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst. In reality this is truly an ensemble number, filled with strong women performers and very supportive male cast. So many of the cast deserve a mention including Ellena Vincent (Christabel Pankhurst) Kristie Skivington (Adela Pankhurst) and Jade Hackett (as Lady Jennie Churchill). As does Jay Perry who plays Winston Churchill. Which leads us nicely to name the blind casting: Most of the historically white characters are played by black actors. If we had been sceptical about this before we saw the show we can truly say the colour of the actor did not matter, their skills carried the day. You are told this is Winston Churchill – and it is!