Cast for UK tour of new musical Tokyo Rose

Edinburgh Fringe hit musical Tokyo Rose, featuring an all-female cast, is returning for a UK tour

Tokyo Rose cast
Cara Baldwin, Maya Britto, Kanako Nakano, Lucy Park, Amy Parker and Yuki Sutton

Casting has been announced for the tour of Edinburgh Fringe hit musical Tokyo Rose this autumn.

They will include Maya Britto who is returning in the title role of Iva Toguri who stood trial for treason after being accused of spreading Japanese propaganda over the airwaves during World War Two.

Her aunt will be played by Kanako Nakano who has an extensive background in West End and touring musicals including Miss Saigon and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

The cast also includes Cara Baldwin, Lucy Park and Yuki Sutton who were part of the original cast that premiered the show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019 as well as Amy Parker whose recent credits include musical Ride at London’s Vault Festival.

Developed by Burnt Lemon Theatre and directed by Hannah Benson,  Tokyo Rose is an electrifying new musical about one of America’s most controversial trials, examining a real-life story of scaremongering and scapegoating.

It provides a female-centric view of a male-dominated period of history, examining xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment – still relevant today. It celebrates a community whose point of view is not only overlooked in history but also underrepresented on stage and screen.

The tour is produced in association with MAST Mayflower Southampton, where it starts from 16 to 18 September, and Birmingham Hippodrome, where it ends from 28 to 30 October.

It will be at Southwark Playhouse in London from 23 September to 16 October, with opening night on 28 September.

It will also be at Curve in Leicester from 18 to 20 October, The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford from 21 to 23 October, and Newbury’s Corn Exchange from 25 to 27 October.

It features music by William Patrick Harrison and a book and lyrics by Maryhee Yoon and Cara Baldwin plus additional book input from Jonathan Man, Hannah Benson and William Patrick Harrison and work by dramaturgs Haruka Ueda, Hannah Benson and Jonathan Man.

Maryhee Yoon said: “The most important part of Tokyo Rose is that Iva Toguri D’Aquino lived. She was here. I hope to tell Iva’s story in a way that she would have wanted, honouring her heartbreaks, her fight, her family, and her joys to honour our collective fight and radical joy.

“Just like Iva, our community is here and it is thriving. I hope that Tokyo Rose can serve as a love letter to this vibrant community.”

Cara Baldwin, who is also co-artistic director of Burnt Lemon, added: “The cast and creative team have gone on such an incredible journey together, shining a light on a side of history some would rather forget.

“While Iva Toguri survived a tidal wave of turmoil, the greatest thing we’ve learnt is that Iva’s life is not one to lament, but celebrate.”

Originally a one-act show, it has been extended into a new two-act full-length format.

The creative team also includes producer Tanya Agarwal, set designer Luke W Robson, lighting designer Holly Ellis, costume designer Erin Guan and publicity designer Rebecca Pitt, with production management by LBRDR.

About Mark Ludmon 237 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre as well as hospitality and drinks after starting out on regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He has also been on the judging panel for the Olivier Awards. He can be found tweeting as @MarkLudmon and writing about theatre at https://markludmon.com.