The Book Thief begins the first of two planned U.K. runs at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre September 11, with performances continuing through September 16. The production will move to Leicester's Curve Theatre afterwards for a run September 29–October 14. Based on the Markus Zusak novel, the work features a book by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and a score by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.
Leading the cast are Obioma Ugoala (Frozen the Musical, Hamilton) as Narrator, Mina Anwar (The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Worst Witch) as Rosa Hubermann, Jack Lord (West Side Story, War Horse) as Hans Hubermann, and Daniel Krikler (Jersey Boys, The Secret Life Of Bees) as Max Vandenburg.
The company also includes Matthew Caputo (Hamilton) as Referee, Katy Clayton (The Band) as Liesel’s Mother, Oonagh Cox (Matilda: The Musical) as Nurse, Mark Dugdale (Les Misérables) as Alex Steiner, Michał Horowicz (The Band’s Visit) as Max’s Mother, Thomas-Lee Kidd (Beauty and the Beast) as Mayor Hermann, Corinna Powlesland (Grease) as Social Worker, Purvi Parmar (The Jungle Book) as Barbara Steiner, Wendy Somerville (Billy Elliot) as Ilsa Hermann, Edwin Ray (Chicago) as Walter Kugler, Lee V G (Only Fools & Horses: The Musical) as Gravedigger, and Russell Wilcox (The Producers) as Wolfgang Edel.
Liesel Meminger is played by Tilly-Raye Bayer (Frozen The Musical), Mollie Casserley (The Sound of Music) and Eirini Louskou (Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and Rudy Steiner is played by Thommy Bailey Vine (Matilda: The Musical), Preston Cropp (professional debut), and Oliver Gordon (Newsies).
Rounding out the company as swings are Anu Ogunmefun and Simon Oskarsson.
Taking place in 1930s Nazi Germany, the story follows young, illiterate orphan Liesel, who steals an abandoned book and gains an appetite for them, learning the power of words—and kindness—from the Jewish boxer her foster family hides in the basement.
Octagon Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham is back to helm the two engagements after staging the 2022 world premiere. In fact, the entire creative team is reunited, including choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, musical director and orchestrator Matthew Malone, scenic and costume designer Good Teeth, lighting designer Nic Farman, sound designer Andy Graham, video designer Dick Straker, and puppet designer Sam Wilde. Casting is by Abby Galvin for Jessica Ronane Casting. Andy Fox and Lee Batty of Setting Line Production serve as production managers.
The Book Thief is produced by Deus Ex Machina Productions with Writer's Cage, Christopher Ketner, and Andrew Paradis, and in association with Belgrade, Coventry.