Life of Pi, the blockbuster epic-spiritual movie is a 2012 film directed and produced by Ang Lee and written by David Magee. Based on Yann Martel's book, it tells the fantastic (and, of course, fictional) story of a shipwrecked young man forced to journey across the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.


Lolita Chakrabarti’s West End stage adaption arrived in the West End in November 2021 and we were invited to celebrate the new cast of this brilliant show.


Nuwan Hugh Perera, who brilliantly plays Pi, is joined by Davina Moon as Ma, Ameet Chana as Father, Tanvi Virmani as Rani, Saikat Ahamad as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji,  Sakuntala Ramanee as Mrs Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Kevin Shen as Mr Okamoto, Phyllis Ho as Lulu Chen, Kazeem Tosin Amore as Cook/Voice of Richard Parker, Owain Gwynn, Rebecca Killick and Elan James as puppeteers and understudies Lilian Tsang and Mohit Mathur. 


Max Webster’s remarkable production is an impressive feast for the eyes, thanks also to the set immersive and versatile set designed by Tim Hatley. Designers Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes have created an army of animals, skilfully manoeuvred, who bring to life the story in a way that is difficult to imagine, and are worth the price of the ticket alone.


Life of Pi is a great theatrical experience, that captures the novel's simplicity and complexity on all levels. The show will close in the West End in January 2023. But there are big plans for the future of the show: a North American premiere in December 2022 through to January 2023 at the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as an anticipated transfer to Broadway, and separate productions in Asia, Australia and Mexico.


Photo: Ellie Krutzz