2 November 2018 at 8.03am | 14 Comments
Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae, Principal dancers of The Royal Ballet, have joined the cast of Universal Pictures and Working Title’s film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, directed by Academy Award-winner Tom Hooper.
Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare comments: ‘I’m delighted that Francesca has been asked to take the leading role in Cats which promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one which showcases her fantastic talent to a whole new audience. I have no doubt that she will shine in this role as she has done in so many productions with The Royal Ballet and look forward to her returning to the Company next spring.’
He adds: ‘It’s really exciting that Steven is joining the cast, alongside fellow Royal Ballet Principal Francesca Hayward, allowing him to showcase his fantastic versatility and theatrical flair on film.’
Based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, the film adaptation will be produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group and executive produced by three-time Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber and Angela Morrison.
Hayward is replaced in Alastair Marriott’s The Unknown Soldier by Principal dancer Yasmine Naghdi. Steven McRae will return to the Royal Opera House stage as Romeo in the spring and replacement casting for the Autumn and Winter Seasons will be announced in due course.
[This article has been amended to reflect the announcement on 8 November that Steven McRae will also take part in the film]