The London Cast of Your Lie in April: The Musical

At the start of June, I sat down with the 4 central solid members of the upcoming London manufacturing of Your Lie in April: The Musical, which begins a 12-week West Finish run from June 28 on the Harold Pinter Theatre. That is the English-language model of the musical, which initially opened in Tokyo in 2022. Its American composer, Frank Wildhorn, is planning to bring the musical to New York in the future.

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As many ANN readers know, Your Lie in April is the story of two teenage musicians. Kosei was as soon as a baby prodigy pianist, however now he is haunted by reminiscences of his lifeless mom, and he is unable to play a be aware. Till, that’s, Kosei encounters Kaori, an excellent violinist who wants a pianist to accompany her. She’s a free spirit, a counterpoint to Kosei’s neurotic perfectionism. Can she save him from his demons?

After all, there’s far more to the story, resembling the angle of Tsubaki, Kosei’s childhood buddy, who harbors her personal secret emotions for the boy. And what precisely is the lie in April referenced within the title?

Initially a manga by Naoshi Arakawa in Monthly Shonen Magazine, Your Lie in April was later tailored into an anime by A-Photos in 2014.

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from left to proper: Rachel Clare Chan, Dean John Wilson, Zheng Xi Yong, Mia Kobayashi.

The upcoming London manufacturing will characteristic Mia Kobayashi as Kaori, Zheng Xi Yong as Kosei, Rachel Clare Chan as Tsubaki, and Dean John-Wilson because the fourth main character, the varsity soccer star Ryota. Zheng Xi Yong is a classical pianist who performs reside on stage, whereas John-Wilson beforehand took the position of L in two London live performance performances of Death Note: The Musical in August 2023. Like Your Lie in April: The Musical, Dying Word: The Musical was composed by Frank Wildhorn.

Whereas that is Kobayashi’s stage debut, the opposite three actors beforehand appeared in the identical roles when Your Lie in April: The Musical had three “in live performance” performances final April at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Many of the following interview has minimal story spoilers. Nonetheless, as marked within the textual content, the final two questions embrace vital spoilers for the top of the story.

What are your backgrounds in musical theatre?

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ZHENG XI YONG (Kosei): I educated in musical theatre on the Royal Academy of Music in London. And in relation to this present, I began studying the piano after I was six. I watched Your Lie in April after the present was introduced. I simply noticed they introduced this anime musical the place the lead performs classical piano. There wasn’t even any information of any auditions but. I seemed on the classical items that Kosei performs within the anime and discovered them upfront in case I needed to play them within the audition, however I by no means did!

Mia, the opposite actors beforehand appeared within the London “live performance” performances of Your Lie in April, which performed briefly in April. How had been you chosen for the position of Kaori?

MIA KOBAYASHI (Kaori): It was by my agent; I acquired an audition for it. The primary spherical was to sing two songs that Kaori sings after which my very own pop music in my repertoire. I sang “Any individual to Love” from [the Queen musical] We Will Rock You – a little bit of a belter! I used to be known as again for the second spherical, which was two extra Kaori songs and a scene that was a very good back-and-forth with Kosei to see the chemistry. And I did a dance routine.

I used to be considering, “It is often a couple of rounds for these auditions,” so I hoped to get a name saying I would been requested to go to the subsequent spherical… [But] I simply acquired a cellphone name saying I would acquired the half. So it was solely two rounds and really fast. I used to be so stunned; it did not actually sink in.

Rachel, your musical expertise consists of Dying Word on stage.

RACHEL CLARE CHAN (Tsubaki): My first job out of drama college was Dying Word: The Musical in London. I used to be Sayu, Mild’s little sister. She has extra of a job within the musical than she does within the anime or manga. It was actually enjoyable.

Dean, you have had quite a lot of stage expertise, together with L in Dying Word: The Musical.

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DEAN JOHN-WILSON (Ryota): It was wonderful to create the position of L right here in London. It is great to work on anime characters, respiratory life into them, taking them off the web page, and permitting folks to see their human sides.

How do you see Your Lie in April, as a bit of musical theatre?

RACHEL CLARE CHAN: It brings classical music into the world of theatre. They’re so included into one another; it is actually distinctive. As a result of the story facilities round two classical musicians, it is a actually lovely factor to see parts of traditional music items ingrained by the storytelling. Whereas it does have staples like unimaginable duets and delightful, luscious melodies, I believe it has a sound that is fairly distinctive. And every character has a really particular person means of expressing themselves by music. They bring about their very own colours to the palette, and it is tremendous releasing.

ZHENG XI YONG: I believe what’s wonderful is how properly Frank has included classical music with pop. It is not only a present that goes pop, classical, pop, classical. There’s classical music woven into the pop songs he is written and even into the underscoring themes from Debussy, Chopin, and Beethoven.

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MIA KOBAYASHI: We did a little bit of a workshop with Frank Wildhorn by Zoom, and he was actually on about “Scratch all that musical theatre coaching.” That is a daring assertion, however it’s when it comes to how I had been educated to be by the ebook when studying a music—I am gonna hit this be aware now, that goes like “this,” that goes like “that.” However now it is like, “You hear the music, you let it movement, do no matter you need, and see the place it takes you.”

That feels like a mirrored image of how your character Kaori performs music.

MIA KOBAYASHI: It’s. I began off as Kosei, being by the ebook, and now I’ve utterly flipped!

Some readers could have seen the musical in London in April. How will the upcoming model be completely different?

DEAN JOHN-WILSON: We now have a recent physique within the room, which can instantly change the three who’ve already performed the roles. We have got an extended interval to rehearse so we will flesh sure moments out, issues that had been perhaps brushed over or not fleshed out as a lot within the quick run. There is a greater finances, so there’s going to be a lot of cool projections and superior stuff with set design, lighting, and costumes. It is a greater present.

Is there dancing within the new model?

ZHANG XI YONG: Some characters dance greater than others; it simply relies on the story. The ensemble members…

MIA KOBAYASHI: The ensemble have a sick routine!

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RACHEL CLARE CHAN: They do wonderful choreography; it is actually enjoyable to look at.

Have been any of you acquainted with Your Lie in April earlier than this manufacturing?

MIA KOBAYASHI: I grew up with a Japanese mom. Though I used to be born and raised right here in England, I’d go to Japan for a couple of weeks yearly, all the time in April. I grew up with Studio Ghibli stuff like Totoro and Ponyo. However each time I went to Japan I’d see these posters of a lady with a violin and a boy with a piano. As quickly I heard in regards to the present, I googled it and that picture I all the time noticed was there.

Rachel, your character Tsubaki has a major crush on Kosei within the anime and manga. Is that also the case within the musical?

RACHEL CLARE CHAN: Very a lot so. I believe she’s so relatable as a result of everybody has that have of being head over heels for any person and perhaps not having these emotions returned. I believe it is what makes her so endearing: watching her journey, having grown up with Kosei, and wanting to specific her emotions. I believe within the musical she has a little bit bit extra of a resolve with it than we see within the anime. We see her take a distinct strategy to letting him know. That is actually enjoyable and attention-grabbing to get to play with.

Dean, is your character Ryota just like the anime character?

DEAN JOHN-WILSON: Yeah, I believe we have taken some factors from the supply materials, remaining true to that. Ryota is the soccer captain of his college. He’s an absolute womanizer; he simply needs to be cherished by each lady, or not less than he thinks he’s. That is form of what I’ve began to play with; not less than he thinks he’s. He thinks he is cooler than he really is and feels he can simply get anybody on the drop of a hat, and that is why he thinks he can get Kaori.

[The last questions have MAJOR SPOILERS for the end of Your Lie in April.]

Some viewers would possibly surprise about Kaori spending all her time supporting Kosei, regardless of all the things we later find out about what she’s going by herself. What do you’re feeling about that?

MIA KOBAYASHI: I assume each particular person has their very own outlook on life. If you end up advised you solely have a restricted time left, you do all of the stuff you wish to do in life, like skydiving and swimming with sharks. You reside life to the fullest earlier than it is over, and for Kaori, that was enjoying with Kosei. And I believe as a substitute of frowning on that, let’s have a good time the truth that she is so selfless. Though it is limiting time for her, she is considering of another person and desirous to spend her final time with him; that’s what makes her really feel like she’s lived life.

ZHENG XI YONG: It is such an altruistic sense of goal of life, to assist somebody she cares about a lot. But additionally the present talks about music and the reminiscence of you residing on by different folks’s music. So, in a means, she will get to reside additional as a result of she has affected Kosei and adjusted his life.

The manga author Naoshi Arakawa talked about that he “wavered” in regards to the story’s ending (as talked about in an ANN interview carried out by Deb Aoki at Anime Expo 2016). Do you’re feeling the ending may have been happier?

RACHEL CLARE CHAN: I believe all people can solely want for a happier ending; I believe all people will get so connected to those characters, so it is actually heartbreaking to see the way it resolves. However it’s a phenomenal reflection of actual life; your life has ups and downs and heartbreaks, and all people will encounter them in a single kind or one other. I believe that is why it has the next it has, as a result of it would not draw back from tackling these issues head on.

MIA KOBAYASHI: After I first watched the anime, it was a bit like, “Oh, two deaths. First, the mom…” I used to be like, “Is Kosei going to reside?” It is rather heartbreaking. However I really feel the explanation why Kaori is so front-footed is she is aware of what she needs, and there is not time, however no person is aware of. Within the anime, it is so attention-grabbing how her persona switches, and he or she goes from RAW-RAW-RAW to all completely satisfied. And it is as a result of at the back of her head, time is ticking, and he or she needs to get this achieved.

I really feel like if all of it labored out and so they lastly performed collectively and he or she lived, it could be like, “Oh, that was a blip. Let’s reside life!” It would not actually work. The ethical of the story is she had a time restrict; she knew what she wished; she acquired by it; time is up after which that is it.

ZHANG XI YONG: I simply suppose it is lovely that she was somebody so younger who knew find out how to reside life with out regrets. And I believe that is a crucial ethical in itself, to reside life to the fullest.