New tale of Dalmatians story in Birmingham

Steve Orme

Birmingham REP associate director Tessa Walker will take the lead when she directs Debbie Isitt’s adaptation of Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Walker and designer Jamie Vartan, who collaborated on the REP’s 2015 production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, are teaming up again to bring the canine tale to the stage.

Walker said, “The Hundred and One Dalmatians is a story every family knows and loves. That’s why it’s so exciting to be bringing it to life in a new production at the REP.

“Using a blend of exciting theatrical methods such as puppetry, a cast of 14 and a beautiful design partnered with Debbie Isitt’s brilliant adaptation, we want to introduce young and old to this classic tale in a new way sure to capture their imagination.”

Graduate of the University of Birmingham Gloria Onitiri plays Cruella de Vil, Jo Servi is Horace de Vil, Nadi Kemp Sayfi plays Mrs Dearly and Morgan Philpott takes the role of Mr Dearly. They are joined by Oliver Wellington (Pongo), Emma Thornett (Missus), Lewis Griffin (Jasper Baddun and Patch), Luke Murphy (Saul Baddun and Lucky), Mei Mac (Persian Cat and Roly) and Lakesha Cammock (Perdita).

The band which will be led by musical director and composer James Frewer features Lemuel Knights on tuba and sax, Sufia Manya on sax and clarinet and Jack Chamberlain on drums.

Movement director is Lucy Cullingford. Puppets are designed and directed by Jimmy Grimes. Lighting design is by Simon Bond and sound design by Emma Laxton.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians runs at Birmingham REP from Thursday 30 November until Saturday 13 January.

During the run, the REP will be raising funds for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People which trains dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss.