Beverley Knight defends her casting of Emmeline Pankurst in musical

Beverley Knight has hit back at critics who said she shouldn't play Emmeline Pankhurst in a new stage production.

Speaking to Christine Lampard on Tuesday's Lorraine, the singer, 45, said the play - entitled Sylvia - is faithful to the suffragette's history in the script, but that people 'need to chill' over her portrayal. 

Addressing the critics, Beverley didn't hold back, adding that 'you can't please everyone' when it comes to diverse casting. 

Hitting back: Beverley Knight defended her casting of Emmeline Pankurst in a musical and argued the suffragette activist 'didn't sing her speeches' during Tuesday's Lorraine

Hitting back: Beverley Knight defended her casting of Emmeline Pankurst in a musical and argued the suffragette activist 'didn't sing her speeches' during Tuesday's Lorraine

When asked about the furor about her role, the musician explained that fans should always suspend their disbelief in the theatre, explaining 'the point is it’s a musical, its acting, it’s not real.'

'We’re being faithful to the script. Emmeline didn’t sing her speeches, so just chill' the songstress added. 

The Bodyguard star revealed she doesn't think too much when people send her negativity online. 

'You see it, you comment you move on, and that’s what we’re doing' the star continued. 

Star turn: Addressing the critics, the singer, 45, didn't hold back, adding 'you can't please everyone' when it comes to diverse casting (pictured in character, second left)

Star turn: Addressing the critics, the singer, 45, didn't hold back, adding 'you can't please everyone' when it comes to diverse casting (pictured in character, second left)

Calm down: Speaking to Christine Lampard on Tuesday's Lorraine, the singer said the play - entitled Sylvia - is faithful to the suffragette's history in the script, but that people 'need to chill'

Calm down: Speaking to Christine Lampard on Tuesday's Lorraine, the singer said the play - entitled Sylvia - is faithful to the suffragette's history in the script, but that people 'need to chill'

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Despite the controversy, Beverley said she was excited to step into the iconic activists' shoes, and described the play as a 'complex story within the fun world of a musical'. 

'This is a woman who is an icon for feminism for politics global politics, and is so important in the story of world history' the Come As You Are hitmaker added.  

Sylvia is due for release at London's Old Vic theatre next month and Beverley recently hit back at online who suggested she shouldn't play a white character. 

Beverley suggested that Emmeline, who was the mother of prominent suffrage leader Sylvia, would 'like' her casting as it included 'diversity and inclusivity'.

Last month, Beverley took the opportunity to respond to  one particular troll who suggested she shouldn't play the historical figure.

Imagine: Beverley suggested fans should always suspend their disbelief in the theatre, explaining 'the point is it’s a musical, its acting, it’s not real'

Imagine: Beverley suggested fans should always suspend their disbelief in the theatre, explaining 'the point is it’s a musical, its acting, it’s not real'

No worries: The Bodyguard star revealed she doesn't think too much when people send her negativity

No worries: The Bodyguard star revealed she doesn't think too much when people send her negativity

She said 'You mean like the hundreds of years of white actors ­playing Othello, Cleopatra, any number of Asian characters… like that? Sometimes it's better to keep quiet, eh?'

Appearing on BBC One's The One Show earlier this month, the Shoulda Woulda Coulda hit maker addressed the row over a black actress playing a white

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