Lisa Palfrey plays Big Mamma in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Young Vic at the Apollo Theatre, West End with Benedict Andrews directing. The Broadway hit Oslo opens at the National’s Lyttleton Theatre before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre, West End; Geraldine Alexander and Howard Ward join the London cast with director Bartlett Sher.
Gavin Spokes returns to The Almeida over the summer in Against, Christopher Shinn’s new play with Ian Rickson directing whilst Queen Ann opens at The Haymarket, West End for the RSC with Hywel Morgan reprising his role as Prince George. Andrew Koji is at Regents Park for A Tale of Two Cities directed by Tim Shearer whilst Graham Turner opens in Dessert a new play premiering at Southwark Playhouse which Trevor Nunn directs.
In Bath, Sam Alexander and Michelle Bonnard both join Jonathan Church’s revival of Racing Demon whilst in Manchester Natasha Gordon performs What If Women Ruled the World as part of the festival with Vicky Featherstone directing. Also in Manchester, new graduate Patricia Allison makes her professional stage debut in Our Town with Sarah Frankcom as director.
The Ferryman receives its West End opening with Eugene O’Hare in the cast, The Committee opens at The Donmar with Robert Hands, Jodie McNee and Sarah Malin continue in the astounding Anatomy of a Suicide at The Royal Court whilst David Seadon Young joins Rachel Kavanaugh for Oklahoma at The Royal Albert Hall as part of this years BBC Proms season.
David Seadon-Young will play the role of Adam in An American in Paris, the award winning Broadway musical opening at The Dominion Theatre in March 2017. Aleksandar Mikic reprises his role as The Lead in The Wish List directed by Matthew Xia at the Royal Court, Daniel Rabin opens in Robert Icke’s Mary Stuart at The Almeida, Howard Ward is in rehearsals for Wild Honey at the Hampstead Theatre, Gavin Spokes plays The Dame at this years Hackney Empire Panto Sleeping Beauty whilst Clemmie Sveaas returns to the Royal Opera House in Javier de Frutos’ production of Les Enfants Terribles. Laura Rogers will perform in Winter Solstice directed by Ramin Gray for The Orange Tree and Sarah Malin will play Prospero in The Tempest at the Southwark Playhouse directed by Amy Draper, whilst Arabella Neale takes over the role of Patricia in David Hare’s The Red Barn at The National’s Lyttleton Theatre from December.
Succesful openings include Tom Edden in Amadeus at The National Theatre, Stephen Kennedy in The Old Vic’s King Lear with Glenda Jackson, John Mackay in EV Crowe’s The Sewing Group at The Royal Court and Graham Turner in King Lear & Cymbeline for the RSC at The Barbican. Also transferring to London with the RSC are Sam Alexander and Peter McGovern in Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour’s Lost playing in rep at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
At The Sheffield Crucible Josie Walker will join the cast of the Everyone’s Talking About Jamie playing Jamie’s mum Margaret in the coming-of-age story of a teenage drag queen directed by Jonathan Butterell. Lisa Palfrey joins the cast of Headlong’s new Jack Thorne play Junkyard directed by Jeremy Herrin, RADA Grad George Caple is to join the fist resident Rep company at The Liverpool Everyman in 25 years where roles will include playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet directed by Nick Bagnall. Geoff Leesley has opened to excellent reviews in Trouble in Mind directed by Laurence Boswell at the Ustinov Studio Bath whilst Richard Dempsey plays JJ Silvers in Strictly Ballroom and Jenna Augen plays Grandma in The Witches, both opening at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Jason Callender meanwhile begins rehearsals for The Play That Goes Wrong Tour, Sandy Foster opens in Maria Aberg’s production of Fantastic Mr Fox touring the UK next year and Jude Monk McGowan takes Punchdrunks acclaimed London show Sleep No More to Shanghai.
In theatre news Tom Edden will play The Emperor in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus directed by Michael Longhurst for The National Theatre. Richard Teverson will play Sackville in Theatre Royal Bath’s production of The Libertine, directed by Terry Johnson coming to The Theatre Royal Haymarket in September. Stephen Kennedy joins the cast of Deborah Warner’s King Lear at the Old Vic this autumn with Glenda Jackson in the title role, Scott Karim returns to the Globe in Matthew Dunster’s Imogen and Amy Booth-Steel joins the company of Briony Kimmings’ musical A Pacifists Guide to The War on Cancer a co pro between The National Theatre and Complicite. At Regents Park, Tafline Steen and Jordan Mifsúd play Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, a revival of Deborah Bruce’s acclaimed production, this summer. Laura Rogers plays Dorothea in Tennessee William’s A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur at The Print Room. Derek Hutchinson, meanwhile, joins the cast of The Roundabout at The Park and Richard Dempsey plays Peter in Noel Cowards Home Chat at The Finborough theatre.
RSC transfers to the West End include Sam Alexander with Much Ado about Nothing and Peter McGovern in Love’s Labours Lost. Coming to The Barbican are Nicholas Lumley in Maria Aberg’s Doctor Faustus and Hywel Morgan with Polly Jerrold’s The Alchemist. Graham Turner meanwhile opens in Stratford as The Fool in Greg Doran’s King Lear prior to a Barbican run this autumn.
Out of town Geraldine Alexander heads to The Royal Exchange to play Sarah Turing in Breaking The Code directed by Rob Hastie, Rhys Rusbatch will play Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals at Bristol Old Vic, Eugine O’Hare plays Sir Clifford in Sheffield Crucible’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover directed by Phillip Breen, Jason Callender joins the company of The Play that Goes Wrong on tour, and NYT graduate Melissa Vaughan plays Dora in Night Must Fall directed by Luke Sheppard and touring.
Robert Hands plays the Lord Chamberlain in Mrs Henderson Presents, directed by Terry Johnson and transferring to the Noel Coward Theatre, West End from February. Sophie Stone plays Michelle in a revival of the Simon Stephens’ play Herons at the Lyric Theatre directed by Sean Holmes. Charlotte Lucas revives her role as Ellen Tree in the critically acclaimed Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti as part of The Kenneth Branagh Season at The Garrick. Josie Walker continues her run at The National as Mrs Purdy in Husbands and Sons. Peter McGovern will play Ned in The Globe’s transfer of Nell Gwynn to the Apollo Theatre, West End whilst Dan Rabin continues at The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opening in The Winters Tale. Molly Logan, meanwhile, plays Viola in Twelfth Night director Bill Buckhurst also for The Globe. Graham Turner returns to the RSC playing the Fool to Tony Sher’s Lear in Greg Doran’s new production as well as Belarius in Melly Still’s Cymbeline. Nicholas Lumley is also returning to Stratford in Maria Aberg’s Dr Faustus and Angus Jackson’s Don Quixote.
Laura Rogers and Richard Teverson take a new production of Private Lives on a tour for Ambassadors, directed by Tom Attenborough, Penny Beaumont plays Camilla in Make Bartlett’s King Charles III touring the UK and then Australia whilst Geoff Leesley returns to PW’s An Inspector Calls. Natalie Radmall-Quirke and Chris Gordon both appear in Winter’s Tale for Cheek By Jowl touring Paris, Madrid and Italy and Scott Karim will play Edmund in the Philip Frank’s directed King Lear starring Michael Pennington. In a year for Lear’s Thomas Coombes will be playing Oswald in Michael Buffong’s version for The Royal Exchange whilst Sévan Stephan begins rehearsals for Breakfast At Tiffanys which will tour prior to opening at The Haymarket Theatre, West End.
Jodie McNee has opened GAME at The Almeida Theatre with terrific reviews
****4 Stars from The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish who calls it a ’dark, riveting drama packed with ideas, and it makes guilty peeping-toms of us all’
Thomas Coombes has opened to great reviews at The Trafalgar Studios in Laurie Slade’s version of Strindberg’s The Father
****4 Stars from The Times’ Kate Maltby The Father, has been triumphantly revived at Trafalgar Studios. Abbey Wright’s crisp, clear production is the tale of a crumbling marriage and a father desperately fighting for control of his child.
Graham Turner has opened in Mark Rosenblatt’s Uncle Vanya at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Colm Gormley starts his run as Ted Narracott in the National Theatre’s West End production of Warhorse this month.
Scott Karim (Dara at National Theatre), Daniel Coonan (Treasure Island National Theatre) Richard Dempsey (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Theatre Royal Drury Lane) Tom Edden (Les Misérables Queens Theatre). On tour Matt Rawle plays Billy Crocker in Sheffield Theatre’s Anything Goes and Geraldine Alexander plays Siobhan in The National Theatre’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night Time.
Scott Karim returns to the National in Shahid Nadeem’s ‘Dara’ directed by Nadia Fall. Jodie McNee starts rehearsals for Mike Bartlett’s provocative new play GAME directed by Sacha Wares in an imaginative restaging by designer Miriam Buether at The Almeida. Ferdy Roberts will headline the Vaults festival in Filter Theatre’s interpretation of Macbeth in which he plays the title role.
Thomas Coombes will play Nojd in Strindberg’s The Father directed by Abby Wright at The Trafalgar Studios whilst Colm Gormley joins the West End production of The National Theatre’s War Horse playing Ted Narracott. Angela Terence meanwhile is at The Gate in The Chronicles of Kalki directed by JMK winner Alex Brown.
Out of London Geraldine Alexander continues touring with The Curious Incident of The dog in The Night Time and Gavin Spokes plays Francis Henshall in One Man Two Guvnors both for the National Theatre. At The West Yorkshire Playhouse Graham Turner plays Telegin Waffles in Mark Rosenblatt’s Uncle Vanya.
Natasha Gordon starts rehearsals for The Low Road at The Royal Court, Bruce Norris’s new play which outgoing Artistic Director Dominic Cooke will direct. Opening in the Court’s main house in March, it is preceded by If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep in which Ferdy Roberts appears. Over at The Old Vic, Richard Teverson starts rehearsals for Lindsay Posner’s revival of The Winslow Boy also opening March. Derek Hutchinson, meanwhile, will transfer to the West End in Cocktail Sticks, as part of the National’s Alan Bennet double bill performing at The Duchess Theatre. Amy Cudden continues in the roles of Rachel/Roscoe Crabbe In One Man 2 Guvnors now playing opposite Rufus Hound at The Haymarket whilst Roger Sloman and Jess Murphy round off their runs at The National in The Magistrate and People respectively.
Out of town Graham Turner continues in Orphan of Zhao at RSC, Stratford and Mark Stobbart takes the role of Issac in The Hired Man , Colchester/Leicester Curve co-production with Daniel Buckroyd directing. Also Benjamin Davies begins rehearsal with Blackwatch for The National Theatre of Scotland. Msimis Dlamini continues in the UK tour of Soul Sister and Emma Handy opens in Thursday as part of The Adelaide Festival.
The Orphan of Zhao has opened at the RSC to high praise. Graham Turner’s heartfelt performance as the country doctor has been singled out by many critics in Greg Doran’s first production as new Artistic Director. The piece is variously described as an “extraordinary theatrical event” (Guardian) “an emotionally piercing marvel” (The Times) and a “gripping production… of an unseen classic” (The Telegraph).
Also opening last week at The Print Room was Lot and His God , the UK premiere of Howard Barker’s take on the Genesis story in which Hermione Gulliford takes the role of Lot’s wife. The Telegraph writes “Gulliford performs the part mesmerisingly. In a dusty, dirty, dark bar in Sodom she meets the angel Drogheda, who is there to convince her and her husband to flee their home. Gulliford rolls the language around her mouth, easily and playfully and the result lays bare the many layers of meaning and intention in Barker’s script – no easy feat.”
Over at The National Theatre, Alan Bennett’s People featuring Jess Murphy was another opening last week to 4 and 5 star reviews. It now plays in rep in The Lyttelton Theatre alongside Scenes From An Execution (Robert Hands, Jay Simpson) which opened to excellent reviews in October. Previewing now and opening next week is The Magistrate which sees Roger Sloman return to The National in Pinero’s classic. And Derek Hutchinson returns too in another Alan Bennett play Cocktail Sticks which Nick Hytner directs as a companion piece to People.
Looking forward, Lynn Gardner (Guardian) tips Ignorance at Hampstead Downstairs a new play from Steve Waters as one to watch. Daniel Rabin is cast as part of a small-town postwar US community struggling to accept a foreigner in their midst.
Jay Simpson is in rehearsals at The National for Howard Barker’s Scenes From An Execution with director Tom Cairns. Graham Turner joins the RSC for their Winter Season at The Swan, Stratford where his casting includes the leading role of Dr Cheng in The Orphan of Zao, directed by Greg Doran.
Lisa Palfrey plays Gloria in Before It Rains which will mark the re-opening of Bristol Old Vic whilst Ferdy Roberts takes his devised Filter Theatre Co’s ‘Water’ to the Sidney Festival, Australia. Natasha Gordon will be joining Indhu Rubasingham’s cast of Red Velvet in her first production as Artistic Director at The Tricycle.
Michelle Bonnard joins the cast of The Fear, World Productions dark new thriller set in underworld Brighton. She will be playing the regular role of DS Janice Goodchild with Michael Samuels directing.
Naomi Bentley meanwhile shoots The Poison Tree – a 2 part drama for ITV based on the book by Erin Kelly with Marek Losey directing. Benjamin Davies will be filming The Fast and the Furious for Universal this summer, the sixth film in Vin Diesel’s popular action franchise with Justin Lin directing. Jay Simpson and Vincenzo Nicoli film Run described as a brilliantly dark new 5 part drama for Channel 4 helmed by Charles Palmer whilst Graham Turner films a guest role in the ever popular Dr Who.