One Voice – Maxine Peake curates One Hand Tied Behind Us at The Old Vic

maxine peake

The Old Vic today announces that Maxine Peake will curate One Hand Tied Behind Us, a One Voice performance of specially commissioned monologues to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which granted the first women in Britain the right to vote.

One Hand Tied Behind Us are six brand new monologues, written in response to the anniversary, which will be presented in a one-off performance at The Old Vic on Sunday 11 March following International Women’s Day. They will explore key moments in the history of women’s rights in the UK and look forward to the future of the fight for equality. Writers will include Peake, with further writers and casting to be announced.

Saturday 1 – Saturday 22 September 2018

As previously announced, The Old Vic will also be marking this anniversary year with Sylvia, the world premiere of a modern musical opening on 6 September with previews from 1 September. Sylvia combines dance, hip-hop, soul and funk, shedding a new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the women’s suffrage movement.

Co-written by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar with original music by Josh Cohen and DJ WaldeSylvia is a modern musical celebrating the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, her pivotal role in the campaign for women’s rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart. Sylvia is co-produced by The Old Vic, Sadler’s Wells and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company co-production, and co-commissioned by The Old Vic and 14-18 NOW.

The Old Vic celebrates its bicentenary on 11 May 2018. To mark 200 years of creative adventure, Artistic Director Matthew Warchus has programmed a season of world premiere productions, culminating in the production of Sylvia.

Our One Voice series, funded by the TS Eliot Estate, continues this theme of creating pioneering, fresh new work which, inspired by the past, responds to the issues of today. Further One Voice performances coming up in 2018 will include monologues to mark the 70th Anniversary of the birth of the NHS and 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Throughout The Old Vic’s response to the anniversary of women’s suffrage, we are proud to be supporting the Mayor of London’s Behind Every Great City campaign #BehindEveryGreatCity

Casting is announced for the West End transfer for Bob Dylan’s and Conor McPherson’s Girl From the North Country

Casting is today announced for the West End transfer for Bob Dylan’s and Conor McPherson’s Girl From the North Country, following a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at The Old Vic.

Brought to life by an exceptional company of actors and musicians, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse.

The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for. And, when a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return…

‘An instant classic’ The Times ***** ‘Piercingly beautiful’ The Independent ***** ‘Conor McPherson weaves magic with Bob Dylan’s songs’ The Observer ***** ‘Dylan’s songs expand the emotional palette: direct and gnomic, raging and desiring’ The Sunday Times ****

Girl from the North Country features a stellar cast:

Sheila Atim plays Marianne Laine. Recent theatre credits include Babette’s Feast (Coronet Printroom), The Tempest, Henry IV and Julius Ceasar as part of the Shakespeare Trilogy (Donmar Warehouse), Hopelessly Devoted (Paines Plough) and Les Blancs (National Theatre). Other theatre credits include Volpone, Love’s Sacrifice, The Jew of Malta (RSC), Black Lives Black Words – The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre), Rachel (Finborough Theatre) and Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre). Sheila’s television credits include I Live With Models and the upcoming second series of Harlots.

Hannah Azuonye is part of the ensemble. This production marks her professional and West End debut. Her theatre credits include Thick Skin (Poor Michelle Theatre Company) which won the Samuel French New Play Award at the National Student Drama Festival. Her recent screen credits include The Things I Will Not Miss.

Mary Doherty is part of the ensemble. Her recent theatre credits include Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Henry IV Trilogy, Anne Boleyn, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry VIII (The Globe), Inherit the Wind (Old Vic), Merry Wives the Musical (RSC), Two Cities (Salisbury Playhouse), Avenue Q (West End), Grease (UK Tour). Her film and television credits include Shakespeare Uncovered and True Stories. Her radio credits include How to Have a Perfect Marriage and The Saudi Prince and the Pauper.

Bronagh Gallagher plays Mrs Burke. Theatre credits include The Faith Machine, Dublin Carol (Royal Court), Every Good Boy Deser ves Favour and War Horse (National Theatre). Film credits include Sherlock Holmes, Tamara Drewe, Tristan & Isolde, Last Chance Harvey, The Commitments, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Television credits include You Me and the Apocalypse, The Street, The Accused.

David Ganly plays Mr. Burke. His theatre credits include On Blueberry Hill (Dublin Theatre Festival), Once (Olympia Theatre Dublin), Lonesome West (Tron Theatre), The Plough & the Stars (Abbey Theatre Dublin and Irish & US Tour), Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre), Threepenny Opera (Gate Theatre), King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith) Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible), The Lonesome West (Druid Theatre, The Royal Court, Sydney Festival and Lyceum, Broadway) Of Mice and Men (The Watermill), The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic)for which David received an OFFIE nomination for Best Actor, Chicago (Cambridge Theatre London), The Weir (Gate Theatre), Translations (National Theatre) and The Full Monty (Prince of Wales Theatre). His film and television credits include Citizen Charlie, Sunset Song, Body of Lies, Hippie Hippie Shake, Dorothy Mills, Widow’s Peak and Space Truckers.

Shirley Henderson plays Elizabeth Laine. Shirley’s career spans film, television and theatre; her extensive theatre credits include Shining Souls (The Old Vic), The Maiden Stone, Lions in the Streets (Hampstead Theatre), My Mother Said I Never Should (Royal Court), Entertaining Strangers, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest (National Theatre), Eurydice (Chichester Festival), Anna Weiss (Whitehall Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Citizens Theatre) and The Life of Stuff (Traverse Theatre). On screen, Shirley is best known for films Trainspotting, Bridget Jones and the Harry Potter series, and for her roles in television dramas Frozen and Southcliffe, she won the BAFTA Scotland Award for ‘Best Actress’ in both. Other television credits include Happy Valley, Jamaica Inn, Bob Servant Independent, Death In Paradise, Treasure Island, Crimson Petal and the White, Marple: Murder is Easy, Dr Who, The Taming Of The Shrew and Dirty Filthy Love, and her other film credits include Okja, Never Steady, Never Still, Love Song: Wolf Alice, Urban Hymn, The Tale Of Tales, The Caravan,

Set Fire To The Stars, Filth, The Look Of Love, Anna Karenina, Everyday, Wild Child and Marie Antoinette.

Ciaran Hinds plays Nick Laine. Ciaran has worked extensively for the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Gate Theatre and Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Theatre credits include Hamlet (Barbican), The Night Alive, Assassins (Donmar Warehouse), Juno and The Paycock, Burnt By The Sun, Machinal (National Theatre), Closer (National Theatre and Broadway), The Yalta Game (Gate Theatre), Our Few and Evil Days (Abbey Theatre Dublin), Simpatico (Royal Court) and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company). Broadway credits include The Crucible, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof and The Seafarer. Film credits include Justice League, Red Sparrow, Woman Walks Ahead, Bleed for This, Silence, Frozen, The Woman in Black, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Debt, The Eclipse, There Will Be Blood, Miami Vice, Munich, Road to Perdition, Veronica Guerin, Calendar Girls, Tombraider II, The Sun of all Fears and Persuasion. Television credits include The Terror, Game of Thrones, Political Animals, Above Suspicion, Rome, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Jane Eyre and Persuasion.

Adam James plays Dr. Walker. His recent theatre credits include Consent (National Theatre), An Enemy of the People (Chichester Festival Theatre), Bull (Young Vic), My Child (Royal Court), 13 (National Theatre) and King Charles III for which he received the Clarence Derwent Award for best supporting actor. Further theatre credits include Rapture, Blister, Burn and Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Wyndhams Theatre), The Pride (Broadway) for which he received Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role, Gethsemane, Blood & Gifts (National Theatre), Now or Later (Royal Court) and King Lear (Royal Exchange). His television credits include Home From Home, Eric, Ernie and Me, Doctor Foster, King Charles III, Endeavour, Grantchester, Coalition, The Game, The Crimson Field, Law & Order, Family Tree, Miranda, Doctor Who, Hustle, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Ashes to Ashes, Extras, England Expects, Love Soup, The Lost Battalion and Band of Brothers. His film credits include Johnny English III, Hunter Killer, A Little Chaos, Last Chance Harvey, Mother of Tears and Road To Guantanamo.

Claudia Jolly plays Katherine Draper. A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Gold Medial recipient). Claudia was recently seen in the BBC adaptation of NW and is soon to appear in the film On Chesil Beach. Claudia plays Mariarosa in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Ela Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.

Karl Johnson plays Mr Perry. His recent theatre credits include King Lear (Old Vic), Hamlet (Barbican Centre), Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse), Barking in Essex (Wyndham’s Theatre), Noises Off (Old Vic and West End), Frankenstein, The Seafarer, Tales From The Vienna Wood, Scenes From the Big Picture, The Walls (National Theatre). The Absence of Women (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Almost Nothing/At the Table, Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen, This is a Chair and The Night Heron (Royal Court). His television credits include King Lear, Mum, Born to Kill, Dickensian, Plebs, Atlantis, Call the Midwife, Merlin, The Trial of Tony Blair and Rules of Engagement. His film credits include Peterloo, Kaleidoscope, Mr Turner, The Deep Blue Sea and Close My Eyes.

Arinzé Kene plays Joe Scott. His theatre credits include One Night In Miami (Donmar Warehouse), Decade (Headlong), Been So Long (Young Vic Theatre), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Torn (Arcola Theatre). Arinzé’s television credits include Crazyhead, Our Girl, Youngers, EastEnders and Informer. His film credits include Been So Long, The Pass, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Freestyle.

Emmanuel Kojo is part of the ensemble. His recent theatre credits include Oklahoma! (BBC Proms 2017), Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Show Boat (Sheffield Theatre, West End), Kiss Me Kate  (Opera North) and The Scottsboro Boys (Garrick Theatre and Young Vic). His television credits include Oklahoma! and Walliams and Friends.

Debbie Kurup plays Mrs Neilsen. Her theatre credits include The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre), The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre and Adelphi Theatre), Sister Act (London Palladium), West Side Story (Prince of Wales Theatre London), Tonight’s The Night (Victoria Palace), Rent (Prince of Wales Theatre and UK), Boogie Nights (Savoy Theatre), Anything Goes (Sheffield Theatres and UK tour), Jack and the Beanstalk (Hackney Empire), East (Leicester Curve), Fame (UK tour), Guys and Dolls (Sheffield Theatres), Pal Joey (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Poison (Tricycle Theatre). Debbie’s film credits include 28 Weeks Later and Hollow.

Tim McMullan plays Reverend Walker. His theatre credits include over 15 shows at the National Theatre including Common, Twelfth Night, Man and Superman, The Cherry Orchard, Burnt by the Sun, Coram Boy, Dark Materials and The Three Sisters; and he is an associate of Complicité with who his work includes The Master and Marguerita, Mnemonic and Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol. Other theatre credits include The Tempest (The Globe), Hapgood (Hampstead Theatre), Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley (Comedy Theatre, West End), King Charles III (Wyndham’s Theatre), and As You Like It (Glove Theatre). Film credits include King Charles III, The Woman in Black, The Queen, Shakespeare in Love, The Fifth Element and Shadowlands. Recent television credits include Melrose, Fearless, The Witness for the Prosecution, Dr Thorne, Grantchester II, The Go-Between, Foyle’s War (in which Tim played the MI5 agent, Valentine, for two series), The Hollow Crown: Henry IV: Parts 1 & 2, and Parade’s End.

Sam Reid plays Gene Laine. His theatre credits include ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and One Night In November (Belgrade Theatre). Sam’s television credits include Tennison, Codes of Conduct, Astronauts Wives Club, Miss Marple: Greenshaw’s Folly, Hatfields & McCoys, Whitechapel, Endeavour, Spooks, MI-5 and All Saints. His film credits include Limehouse Golem, 2:22, Despite the Falling Snow, Serena, Tigers, The Riot Club, ’71, Belle and The Railway Man.

Jack Shalloo plays Elias Burke. Theatre credits include Groundhog Day (The Old Vic), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Snow Queen (The Nuffield Theatre), A Clockwork Orange (Stratford East Theatre Royal), Goodbye Barcelona (Arcola Theatre) and Our House (Birmingham Rep and Original UK Tour). Jack’s television credits include People Just Do Nothing, Dickensian, The Interceptor, Doctors, Miranda Hart’s New Year’s Eve Sketch Show, The Man Who Loved The Lakes, EastEnders, Out Of Control, Holby City, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Bill. His film credits include Fit, Kick-Off and Bashment.

Conor McPherson is an acclaimed writer and director. He was born in Dublin in 1971 and attended University College Dublin where he began to write and direct. Stage plays include Rum & Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Circle Awards), Dublin Carol, Port Authority, Shining City (Tony Award nominated), The Seafarer (Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard Award nominated), The Veil, and The Night Alive (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Olivier, Evening Standard and Lucille Lortel Award nominated). Adaptations include Franz Xaver Kroetz’s The Nest, and August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death. Screen credits include the screenplay for the BBC series Paula, broadcast earlier this year.

Bob Dylan is one of our culture’s most influential and ground-breaking artists. Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941; self-taught on piano, guitar and harmonica, he travelled to New York City in 1961, quickly establishing himself as an explosive performer in the Greenwich Village music scene. More than half a century later, Dylan continues to perform almost 100 concerts each year. He has released more than 50 albums and written over 600 songs. He’s sold more than 125 million records  and is the holder of 11 Grammy Awards. His songs have been covered more than 6000 times by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Adele. He is also an accomplished visual artist and author, and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.


Further casting to be announced in due course.

Sony Music also announces the vinyl release of The Original London Cast Recording of Girl from the North Country. Released on the Silvertone label, and already available on CD, download and streaming services, the double vinyl will be available from 15th December. It is available to pre-order on Amazon now.

The Old Vic’s production of Girl from the North Country is produced by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment UK and David Mirvish.

The Old Vic and Sony Music Entertainment announce the release of the Official London Cast Recording of Girl from the North Country.

Girl From The North Country packshot
Girl From The North Country packshot

Girl From The North Country packshot

The Old Vic and Sony Music Entertainment today announced the release of the Official London Cast Recording of Girl from the North Country. Featuring lyrics and music by Bob Dylan, the album was recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios and will be available to buy, download, and stream on 29 September 2017.

Girl from the North Country opened at The Old Vic in July to 5-star reviews and runs until 7 October 2017.

 The album is available to pre-order now on Amazon.

 “A superb cast use Bob’s back catalogue to glorious effect in Conor McPherson’s astonishing cross-section of hope and stoic suffering in Depression-era Minnesota”

***** The Guardian

“This is not, just to set the record straight, Bob Dylan the Musical. You don’t need to know his songs to fall for this play by Conor McPherson, which includes 20 of them. But if you do know them well, as I do, then there are moments when you can just close your eyes and melt into the night”

***** The Times

“This is Dylan like we’ve never heard him before, 20 songs sculpted into plaintive but beautiful new arrangements by Simon Hale. Some numbers are familiar, others less so, but nearly all are delivered so hauntingly well by the 20-strong company that they send shivers down the spine as we hear the lyrics afresh”

***** Evening Standard

“Henderson’s rendition of “Like a Rolling Stone” is laceratingly lovely, performed with vocal might and moral heft”

***** The Independent

“Girl from the North Country is one of the most transporting shows I have seen in years…I came away feeling that Dylan has been writing not a series of songs but an unfolding chronicle”

***** The Observer

“Dylan’s songs expand the emotional palette: direct and gnomic, raging and desiring”

***** The Sunday Times

“The arrangements – by Simon Hale – are ravishing”

***** Time Out

“The effect, as dialogue and song bleed in and out of each other in a fluid, dream-like piece of theatre, is sublime”

**** Metro

“Ballads of Bob make for a Dylan delight”

**** Daily Mail

“The music really makes it. Dylan’s great songs will have you singing into the back of your hand…Dylan fans have no choice but to grab their tickets”

**** The Mail On Sunday

 “Dylan’s songs illuminate the action and the characters at various intervals…it works beautifully”

**** The Daily Express

 “You don’t need to be into Bob Dylan’s music to get bursts of pleasure from Conor McPherson’s new play. But if you do happen to be a Dylan fan, boy are you in for a treat”

**** Radio Times

Written and directed by Conor McPherson, Girl from the North Country is aptly set in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. It’s 1934 and a community who are living on a knife-edge soon huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no-one will account for. And, when a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return.

Brought to life by a 20-piece company of actors and musicians, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Conor McPherson said:

“I’m so delighted the brilliant talent of our cast will be captured at Abbey Road Studios. It’s been an honour working with them on Bob Dylan’s incredible songs. The reaction from audiences every night and the clamour for a recording has been overwhelming and is a true testament to their stunning voices.”

Girl from the North Country features songs from every period of Bob Dylan’s catalogue with new musical arrangements by Simon Hale.


  1. Sign On The Window
  2. Went To See The Gypsy
  3. Tight Connection To My Heart
  4. Slow Train Coming/License To Kill
  5. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Instrumental)
  6. I Want You
  7. Blind Willie McTell (Instrumental)
  8. Like A Rolling Stone/To Make You Feel My Love
  9. Like A Rolling Stone (Reprise)/I Want You
  10. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere/Jokerman
  11. Sweetheart Like You/True Love Tends To Forget
  12. Girl From The North Country
  13. Hurricane/All Along The Watchtower/Idiot Wind
  14. Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Instrumental)
  15. Duquesne Whistle/Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)/Is Your Love In Vain?/License To Kill
  16. Tight Connection To My Heart (Underscore/Reprise)
  17. Lay Lady Lay (Instrumental)/Jokerman (Reprise)/Clair De Lune
  18. Forever Young
  19. My Back Pages

Casting for Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at The Old Vic

The Lorax
The Lorax

The Lorax

‘I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!’

The Old Vic today announced full casting for Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, which returns to The Old Vic stage for a limited run opening on Tuesday 24 October, with previews from Sunday 15 October 2017, prior to international dates in Canada and the USA.

The irrepressible, big-hearted, moustachioed critter is back. This dazzlingly funny, moving, and inspiring show sees the go-getting Once-ler come face to face with the magical Lorax in a battle over the beloved truffula trees and the whole of Paradise Valley. Adapted for the stage by David Greig with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink and designs by multi-Olivier Award winning Rob Howell, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is a brilliant riot of eye-popping colour, gorgeous puppetry and infectious music to enchant adults and children alike.

Simon Paisley Day reprises his role as The Once-ler, and David Ricardo-Pearce will play The Lorax along with puppeteers Laura Caldow and Ben Thompson. The full cast includes Michael Ajao, Joseph Alessi, Josh Baker, Jack Beale, Hannah Fairclough, Owain Gwynn, Wendy Mae Brown, Kirsty Malpass, Kerri Norville, Ellena Vincent and Silas Wyatt-Barke.

Simon Paisley Day reprises his role as The Once-ler. His other theatre credits include Urinetown (West End), Shakespeare with The L.A. Phil (Hollywood Bowl), Taming of the Shrew & Timon of Athens (Shakespeare’s Globe), Private Lives (West End & Broadway), Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios), The Low Road & The Ugly One (Royal Court), Don’t Look Now (Lyric Hammersmith), The 39 Steps (West End), Cymbeline & Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park), The Philanthropist (Donmar), Twelfth Night, Anything Goes, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Coast of Utopia Trilogy, Hamlet, Speer, Candide, Money, Troilus And Cressida & Oh! What a Lovely War (National), and By Jeeves! (West End). Film credits include: Victoria And Abdul, Born A King, Beauty, Tommy’s Honor, The Program, The Falling, Madame Bovary, The Emperor, The Eagle, Mindgamers and Churchill The Hollywood Years. TV credits include The Crown, Victoria, Family Tree, Doctor Who, Musketeers, Sherlock, Doc Martin, Being Human, Hotel Babylon, Hustle, Space Race, Midsomer Murders, The Relief of Belsen and Titanic. Radio credits include Waterloo: The Ball At Brussels and Under The Net and numerous collaborations with BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra.

David Ricardo-Pearce plays The Lorax. David’s theatre credits include Crossing Jerusalem (Park Theatre), The Middlemarch Trilogy (Orange Tree Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), The Sacred Flame (English Touring Theatre), Alfie (Bolton Octagon/Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Big Fellah (Gaiety Theatre/Lyric Hammersmith), Saint Joan (National Theatre) Privates on Parade (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Birmingham Rep) and Sweeny Todd (West End). Television credits include Trauma, The Spa, EastEnders, Outnumbered and Extras.

David Greig is an award-winning playwright whose work encompasses theatre, radio and film. He took up his post as Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Edinburgh, in June 2016. Plays include Cover My Tracks (The Old Vic), The Events (Traverse/Young Vic), The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Tron/National Theatre of Scotland), Midsummer (Traverse/Soho Theatre/Tricycle), Dunsinane (RSC at Hampstead Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland), Damascus (Traverse and Tricycle), Outlying Islands (Traverse/Royal Court), The American Pilot (RSC), Pyrenees (Paines Plough), The Cosmonaut’s Last Message To The Woman He Once Loved In The Former Soviet Union (Donmar Warehouse/Paines Plough) and The Architect and Europe (Traverse). Adaptations include The Suppliant Woman (Lyceum), Creditors (Donmar Warehouse), The Bacchae (Edinburgh International Festival), Tintin in Tibet (Barbican/Playhouse Theatre/UK tour), When the Bulbul Stopped Singing (Traverse/Amnesty International/Tapwater Award/Herald Angel), Caligula (Donmar Warehouse), Peter Pan (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse/Barbican) and the book for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Drury Lane). David’s work for children and young people includes The Monster in the Hall, Yellow Moon (TMA Award for Best Show for Children, and Young People and Brian Way Award for Best Children’s Play), and Dr Korczak’s Example for Tag Theatre Company, Glasgow, and Gobbo (National Theatre of Scotland).

Charlie Fink first became known as the frontman and songwriter for the band Noah and the Whale. The band’s four albums sold over a million copies collectively, and they headlined at notable venues around the world, including a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall. Charlie was the producer of Laura Marling’s Mercury Prize- nominated album Alas, I Cannot Swim, and has written and produced music for artists including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Foxes, Rhodes and Eliot Sumner. He has directed music videos and two extended short films, which were screened at music and film festivals in the UK and internationally. His music credits for theatre include Cover My Tracks, the first production in The Old Vic’s ‘Lates’ programme and in which he also performed (The Old Vic/Latitude/tour), and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (The Old Vic).

Max Webster is fast emerging as one of the most exciting young directors working in the UK and internationally. He was The Old Vic’s first Baylis Director, and is now an Associate Director at the theatre. Recent work includes Queers, Cover My Tracks, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (The Old Vic), The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum, Edinburgh), King Lear (Royal and Derngate, Northampton/UK tour), Mary Stuart (PARCO Productions, Tokyo), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe/international tour), Orlando, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Young and Foolish Heart (Manchester Royal Exchange), Opera Highlights (Scottish Opera/tour), James and the Giant Peach, My Generation (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Skewered Snails (Iron Oxide/Southbank Centre), Anna Karenina (Arcola), The Chalk Circle (Aarohan Theatre, Nepal), Carnival Under the Rainbow and Feast Kakulu (Hilton Arts Festival, South Africa). Upcoming work includes the commission Fanny and Alexander for The Old Vic.

Adapted for the stage by David Greig

Music and Lyrics: Charlie Fink

Director: Max Webster

Designer: Rob Howell

Choreographer: Drew McOnie

Lighting: Jon Clark

Sound: Tom Gibbons

Puppetry Director: Finn Caldwell for Gyre and Gimble

Puppetry Designers: Nick Barnes & Finn Caldwell

Musical Director/Arranger: Phil Bateman

Casting: Jessica Ronane CDG

This production of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax will transfer to the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, from 9 December 2017 – 21 January 2018. Later in 2018, with an American cast, the production heads to the USA at the Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, from 17 April – 10 June 2018 and The Old Globe, San Diego, from 3 July – 12 August 2018.

Rhys Ifans stars in A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic

Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans

Matthew Warchus directs Charles Dickens‘ timeless classic A Christmas Carol in a joyous new adaptation by Jack Thorne, starring Rhys Ifans as Ebenezer Scrooge, opening at The Old Vic on 29 November with previews from 18 November.

On a bitter Christmas Eve night a cold-hearted miser is visited by four ghosts. Transported to worlds past, present and future, Ebenezer Scrooge witnesses what a lifetime of fear and selfishness has led to and sees with fresh eyes the lonely life he has built for himself. Can Ebenezer be saved before it’s too late?

An uplifting story for families aged 11+, this essential festive treat is vividly brought to the stage in a big-hearted production full of music and cheer.

Rhys Ifans’ work as an actor encompasses stage, television and film. His theatre credits include King Lear (The Old Vic), Protest Song, Volpone and Under Milk Wood (National Theatre), Don Juan in Soho, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Bad Finger (Donmar Warehouse), Beautiful Thing (Duke of York Theatre), Thyestes (Royal Court), Smoke and Poison Pen (Manchester Royal Exchange). Film includes Snowdon, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dominion, Len and Company, Under Milk Wood, Serena, Another Me, The Amazing Spider- Man, The Five-Year Engagement, Anonymous, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Greenberg, The Boat that Rocked, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hannibal Rising, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Human Nature, The Shipping News, Hotel, The Replacements, Notting Hill (BAFTA nominated) and he will be appearing in The Parting Glass later in 2017. Television includes Berlin Station, Not Only But Always (BAFTA Award for Best Actor), Shakespeare Shorts, Trial and Retribution, The Two Franks, Judas and the Gimp, Nightshift, Spatz, Burning Love, Review and Gifted.

Matthew Warchus is a director of theatre, opera and film who has directed award-winning productions for many of the major British theatre companies. He was an Associate Director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and was an Artistic Associate at The Old Vic before being appointed in 2014 to succeed Kevin Spacey as Artistic Director of the theatre. Matthew’s extensive theatre credits include ‘Art’, Groundhog Day (Olivier Award for Best New Musical), The Master Builder, The Caretaker and Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Matilda The Musical (RSC, West End and Broadway, 7 Olivier Awards, including Best Director and Best New Musical, and 4 Tony Awards), Ghost: The Musical and La Bête (West End and Broadway); Deathtrap (West End), The Norman Conquests (The Old Vic, West End and Broadway, Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), God of Carnage (West End and Broadway, Tony Award for Best Play and Best Direction of a Play), Boeing Boeing (West End, Broadway and UK tour, Tony Award for Best Revival of a play and Olivier nomination for Best Revival of a Play); Speed-the-Plow (The Old Vic); the theatrical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (also co-writer, West End), Buried Child  (National Theatre), Endgame (Albery Theatre), Our House (Cambridge Theatre, Olivier Award for Best Musical), Follies (Broadway), Life x 3 (National Theatre, The Old Vic and Broadway), True West (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway, Tony nominations for Best Director and Best Play), The Unexpected Man (RSC, West End and Broadway), ‘Art’ (Broadway, West End, Los Angeles, Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Play), Hamlet and Henry V (RSC), Volpone (National Theatre, Evening Standard Award for Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing (West End), Betrayal, Death of a Salesman, The Plough Beyond the Stars, Fiddler on the Roof and Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Opera credits include Falstaff and Così Fan Tutte (ENO) and The Rake’s Progress (ROH and WNO). Matthew directed feature films Pride (2014, BIFA Best British Independent Film, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated) and Simpatico (1999).

Jack Thorne’s recent work includes Woyzeck (The Old Vic), Junkyard (Bristol Old Vic), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (SFP Productions/Harry Potter West End Theatrical, Evening Standard, WhatsOnstage, South Bank Show and Olivier Award 2016-7), The Solid Life Of Sugar Water (Graeae Theatre Company, Edinburgh Festival & UK Tour), Hope (Royal Court), Let The Right One In (Dundee Rep/ Royal Court, NTS/Marla Rubin Ltd.), The Borough (Punchdrunk/Aldeburgh Festival), Stuart: A Life Backwards (adapt. Hightide/Sheffield Theatres – Edinburgh Festival & UK tour), Mydidae (Drywrite – Soho Theatre/ Trafalgar Studios), The Physicists (adapt. Donmar Warehouse), Bunny (nabokov – UK tour/New York), Red Car Blue Car, Two Cigarettes, When You Cure Me (Bush Theatre), Greenland (National Theatre), 2nd May 1997 (Bush/nabokov), Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (NT Connections), Stacy (Tron/Arcola/Trafalgar Studios) and Fanny and Faggot (Pleasance Edinburgh/Finborough/Trafalgar Studios).Television work includes National Treasure (Best Mini Series – BAFTA 2017, Royal Television Society Award 2017), The Last Panthers, Don’t Take My Baby (Best Single – Bafta 2016), Glue, The Fades (Best Drama Series – BAFTA 2012), This Is England ’90 (Best Serial – Bafta 2016, Royal Television Society Award 2016), This Is England ’88 (Best Mini-Series – BAFTA 2012) and This is England ‘86, Cast-Offs and episodes of Skins and Shameless. Films include Wonder, War Book, A Long Way Down and The Scouting Book for Boys, which premiered at the 2010 London Film Festival and won the Best British Newcomer Award.

Written by Charles Dickens In a new version by Jack Thorne Director Matthew Warchus Designer Rob Howell Lighting designer Hugh Vanstone Sound designer Simon Baker Composer and Arranger Christopher Nightingale

Further casting to be announced.

The Old Vic announces casting for Queers curated by Mark Gatiss

Cast of Queers at The Old Vic
Cast of Queers at The Old Vic

Cast of Queers at The Old Vic

The Old Vic today announced casting for Queers, a series of eight monologues curated by Mark Gatiss. Staged on 28 and 31 July at The Old Vic, they mark 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 began the decriminalisation process for homosexuality between men. Queers celebrates some of the most poignant, funny, tragic and riotous moments of British gay male history over the last century.

Mark Bonnar, Sara Crowe, Jack Derges, Ian Gelder, Kadiff Kirwan, Russell Tovey, Gemma Whelan and Fionn Whitehead will perform monologues written by Matthew Baldwin, Jon Bradfield, Jackie Clune, Michael Dennis, Brian Fillis, Mark Gatiss, Keith Jarrett and Gareth McLean. The monologues will be directed by Mark Gatiss and by Old Vic Associate Director Max Webster and Baylis Director Joe Murphy.

Queers is produced in partnership with BBC Studios, Pacific Quay Productions. The monologues were filmed earlier in the year, directed by Mark Gatiss and featuring many of the cast who will be appearing on stage at The Old Vic. These films will be screened on BBC Four this summer.

Queers is part of The Old Vic’s One Voice series, funded by the TS Eliot Estate, which celebrates the rawest of theatre forms – a single voice on a stage without scenery and with nothing to rely on but words.

The full line up is as follows:

Fri 28 Jul The Man on the Platform by Mark Gatiss, performed by Jack Derges
The Perfect Gentleman by Jackie Clune, performed by Gemma Whelan
I Miss the War by Matthew Baldwin, performed by Ian Gelder
Something Borrowed by Gareth McLean, performed by Mark Bonnar

Mon 31 Jul Missing Alice by Jon Bradfield, performed by Sara Crowe
Safest Spot in Town by Keith Jarrett, performed by Kadiff Kirwan
A Grand Day Out by Michael Dennis, performed by Fionn
Whitehead More Anger by Brian Fillis, performed by Russell Tovey

Matthew Baldwin is a writer and actor. In 2013 Matthew and his colleague Thomas Hescott developed The Act, for which they received OffWestEnd Award nominations for Best Actor and Best New Playwright before transferring to Trafalgar Studios. Matthew and Tom went on to write Outings which played at the Edinburgh Festival and went on a national tour and was performed at the Lyric Theatre for a celebrity gala performance. He is currently working on a new play, Casa Marco. Matthew’s other theatre work as an actor includes 46 Beacon (Hope Theatre), The Clouds (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Westward Ho (White Bear) and the 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic) as well as performing in the award-winning Above The Stag pantomimes. Film and TV work includes Love Bite, Material Girl, and The Dark Room.

Mark Bonnar’s theatre credits include The Duchess of Malfi (The Old Vic), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), The Cherry Orchard, Dido Queen of Carthage, Philistines (National Theatre), Novecento, Twelfth Night, Parade (Donmar Warehouse), Three Sisters (Royal Exchange) and Lost Highway (Young Vic) amongst many others. On television, he is a regular in the series Catastrophe and Shetland. Other television credits include Apple Tree Yard, Unforgotten, New Blood, Undercover, Jekyll and Hyde, Home Fires, Vera, Silent Witness, Grantchester, Line of Duty, Psychoville, Twenty Twelve and Doctor Who. Film work includes Take Down, Sunset Song, X-Moor and Camera Trap.

Jon Bradfield is the co-writer and songwriter of London’s longest-running and most popular alternative pantomime series, having created eight adult Christmas shows for Above The Stag Theatre including most recently Beauty on the Piste and Tinderella – Cinders Slips It In, each of which played 50 sold-out performances. With the same co-writer, Martin Hooper, he wrote the play A Hard Rain which has been performed in London and New York. He also wrote the music and lyrics and co-wrote the book for the musical Get Em Off. Jon has contributed to the long-running topical sketch show News Revue at the Canal Cafe Theatre. He has written articles for the Guardian, Attitude and Exeunt. Jon is also a theatre marketer and graphic designer.

Jackie Clune is a writer, actress and singer who lives in East London. She has published numerous features for The Guardian (Weekend magazine), The Daily Mail (Femail), The Mail on Sunday (YOU magazine), The Observer, The Independent, Red magazine, and The Scotsman. In 2012 she had her own column in Top Sante magazine. In 2004 she published her first novel Man of the Month Club (Quercus UK, Penguin USA) and in 2006 Extreme Motherhood – The Triplet Diaries (Macmillan, serialised in Femail). She has recently written a monologue for BBC2, and is currently writing a one woman play. Jackie is a regular contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, and has also contributed to various BBC Radio 4 arts programmes (Front Row, Woman’s Hour, Loose Ends). She is currently writing her second novel for the young adult market.

Sara Crowe’s theatre credits include Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Noises Off (Mercury Theatre), The City Madam (RSC), Bedroom Farce (Duke of York’s), Less Than Kind (Jermyn St Theatre), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward), Life X 3 (Watermill Theatre), The Corstophine Rd Nativity (Festival Theatre Edinburgh), Dames at Sea (Ambassadors Theatre), Hay Fever (Albery Theatre), My Best Friend (Hampstead Theatre), Relative Values, Plunder (Savoy Theatre), Henceforward (Vaudeville Theatre), Twelfth Night (Playhouse Theatre), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Regents Park), Who’s the Daddy?, A Right Royal Farce (King’s Head) and Private Lives (Aldwych Theatre) for which she received the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Variety Club Best Actress Award, and the Critics Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award. She has also performed in UK tours of Don’t Dress For Dinner, Miss Crush the Musical, Fallen Angels, Radio Times, Absurd Person Singular and Donkey’s Years. This Autumn, Sara will tour the UK in Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves, directed by Alan Strachan. Television credits include Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Eastenders, Skins, Gil Mayo and The Green Green Grass. Her film credits include Carry on Columbus, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Steal.

Michael Dennis is an experienced Company Stage Manager whose work includes Occupational Hazards and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre), Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Oppenheimer (RSC), The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse) and The James Plays (National Theatre of Scotland, NT, Edinburgh International Festival). His first play, Dark Sublime, is currently under consideration.

Jack Derges’s theatre credits include The Boys in the Band (West End & Park Theatre), The Sweethearts (Finborough Theatre) and Territory (Pleasance London). On television he regularly appears in EastEnders playing Andy Flynn. Other television credits include regular roles in Humans and WPC56, and guest roles in Episodes, Crims, The Royals, Cucumber, Holby City, Switch, Casualty and Skins. Film work includes Freak of Nurture and Dungeons and Dragons:The Book of Vile Darkness and Captain Grant in AUX (Revolutionary Films).

Brian Fillis wrote the screenplay for Against the Law which opened this year’s BFI Flare Festival. Brian’s past TV work includes The Curse of Steptoe and his TV debut was his adaptation of his cult comic play Fear of Fanny which was nominated for a string of awards including a Broadcast Award for Best Single Drama and an RTS Award for Julia Davis. Brian was himself nominated for the Breakthrough Talent Award by BAFTA in 2007. In February 2009, An Englishman in New York had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival followed by a broadcast on ITV1. In 2010, Excluded, a single drama for BBC Two, was seen by 1.4 million viewers as part of the channel’s School Season and in 2011 he created and wrote three episodes of Sirens. Brian has several projects in development, including Endangered, a returning series at Channel 4, and a feature biopic I (Who Have Nothing). He recently worked on episodes for Simon Beaufoy’s upcoming series Trust, and Tatau, a BBC Three drama which aired in 2015.

Mark Gatiss is an actor, writer and producer. He first found success with The League of Gentlemen, with whom he won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1997, and went on to enjoy a radio series and three TV series on the BBC and big screen outing in 2005. He has written nine episodes of Doctor Who since its return to television in 2005 and has appeared in the show twice. He is perhaps best known as the co-creator and co- writer of the award-winning global phenomenon Sherlock in which he also plays Mycroft Holmes. Other notable television credits include London Spy, Wolf Hall, Coalition, Mapp and Lucia, The Crimson Petal and the White, Nighty, Night, The Wind and the Willows and Sense and Sensibility. Film credits include The Knot, Denial, Absolutely Fabulous, Dad’s Army, Our Kind of Traitor, Bright Young Things and Starter for Ten. Theatre credits include Coriolanus, The Recruiting Officer, The Vote (Donmar Warehouse), All About My Mother (The Old Vic), Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), 55 Days (Hampstead), and Three Days in the Country (National Theatre), for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Ian Gelder’s theatre credits includes Racing Demon (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Treatment, King Lear (Almeida Theatre), Human Animals, The Low Road, Fireface (Royal Court Theatre), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe), Gods & Monsters (Southwark Playhouse), Roots, Good, Front Page (Donmar Warehouse), Definitely the Bahamas (The Orange Tree), Company, Racing Demon (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Precious Little Talent (Trafalgar Studios), Lingua Franca (Finborough Theatre/59E59 Theatre, New York), The Power of Yes, Henry IV, His Dark Materials, Stuff Happens (National Theatre), Serious Money (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), The Sound of Music (Palladium), The Crucible, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice (RSC/world tour), The Taming of the Shrew (RSC/US tour), A Passage to India, Anna Karenina (Shared Experience), Mouth to Mouth (Albery Theatre), Three Sisters (Chichester Festival), Beyond a Joke (UK tour), Marvin’s Room (Comedy Theatre), Poor Superman (Traverse Theatre/Hampstead Theatre), Martin Yesterday (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and Entertaining Mr.Sloane (Greenwich Theatre). Film includes Pope Joan, King Ralph, Jinnah, Little Dorrit and The Fool. Television work includes Snatch, Riviera, Game of Thrones, Mr. Selfridge, Endeavour, Fallen Angel, Robin Hood, The Commander, Poirot, Kavanagh QC McCallum, Ripper Street, EastEnders, Torchwood, Psychoville, The Fades, Silent Witness, Absolutely Fabulous, The Day Today, Holby City, Casualty and Blackeyes.

Keith Jarrett is a former UK poetry slam champion and Rio International Poetry Slam Winner 2014. He was a Fiction Fellow at Lambda Writers’ Retreat in Los Angeles, 2015. His short stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines, including Attitude and Tell Tales IV. Keith is a PhD scholar at Birkbeck University, where he is completing his first novel. His poetry collection, Selah, was published this May.

Kadiff Kirwan’s theatre credits include Teddy Ferrara, The Vote, City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Home and the Dorfman Theatre Opening Gala (National Theatre). On screen he has appeared in Chewing Gum, Drunk History, Black Mirror: Nosedive, Drifters, The Vote, Crims, Call the Midwife and has roles in forthcoming series Timewasters and The Strike Series – Cuckoo’s Calling.

Gareth McLean trained as a journalist and has written for The Scotsman, the Guardian, Radio Times, Attitude and Buzzfeed. He began working in television in 2013, as a storyliner on Coronation Street, where he worked for two-and-a-half years. During that time, he helped kill Hayley Cropper. After a stint on Emmerdale he started writing his own scripts and working in drama development for companies such as Playground Entertainment. Something Borrowed is his first script commission.

Joe Murphy is a freelance director with experience working in London, on the West End, Broadway and internationally. He was Artistic Director of nabokov theatre company from 2010 to 2015, during which time the company presented the work of 88 playwrights and 496 artists across three continents. He took up his role as The Old Vic’s Season Two Baylis Director in September 2016. Theatre credits as a director include Woyzeck, No’s Knife and Associate Director on Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic), What I Learned from Johnny Bevan (Soho Theatre/UK tour), Incognito (Bush Theatre), Blink, Bunny (Soho Theatre/UK tour/off-Broadway), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Chichester Festival Theatre/UK tour), The Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe/international tour). His Associate Director credits include Wolf Hall (RSC/West End/Broadway), This House (National Theatre), Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe/UK tour) and Ghost Stories (West End/Moscow).

Russell Tovey can currently be seen playing Joe in the landmark production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America at the National Theatre. His other theatre credits include A View from a Bridge (Broadway), The Pass, A Miracle, Plasticine (Royal Court), Sex with a Stranger (Trafalgar Studios), The History Boys, His Dark Materials, Henry V (National Theatre), The Sea (Theatre Royal), A Respectable Wedding (Young Vic), Tintin (Barbican) and The Recruiting Officer (Chichester Festival Theatre). His extensive television credits include lead roles in series of The Job Lot, Him & Her, Being Human and Sherlock as well as Quantico, Rebekah, The Night Manager, Banished, Looking, Talking to the Dead, What Remains, Walking the Dogs, New Cross-Coming Up, Ashes to Ashes, Doctor Who, Little Dorrit, Mutual Friends and Gavin and Stacey. His film work includes Mindhorn, The Lady in the Van, The Pass, Pride, The Muppets, Blackwood, Effie Gray and The History Boys.

Max Webster is fast emerging as one of the most exciting young directors working in the UK and internationally. He was The Old Vic’s first Baylis Director and is now an Associate Director at the theatre. Recent work includes Cover My Tracks, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (The Old Vic), The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum, Edinburgh), King Lear (Royal and Derngate, Northampton/UK Tour), Mary Stuart (PARCO Productions, Tokyo), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe/international tour), Orlando, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Young and Foolish Heart (Manchester Royal Exchange), Opera Highlights (Scottish Opera/tour), James and the Giant Peach, My Generation (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Skewered Snails (Iron Oxide/Southbank Centre), Anna Karenina (Arcola), The Chalk Circle (Aarohan Theatre, Nepal), Carnival Under the Rainbow and Feast Kakulu (Hilton Arts Festival, South Africa). Upcoming work includes the commission Fanny and Alexander for The Old Vic.

Gemma Whelan’s theatre credits include Radiant Vermin, Dark Vanilla Jungle (Soho Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (Theatre Royal Haymarket/National Theatre), Stephen and the Sexy Partridge (Trafalgar Studios) and Shakespeare for Breakfast. Her recent television credits include the BBC drama The Moorside, Decline and Fall, later this year she reprises her role in Series 2 of Upstart Crow, can be seen again playing Yara Greyjoy in the hotly anticipated Series 7 of Game of Thrones and in The End of the Fucking World on Channel 4 and Netflix. Other on-screen credits include Uncle, Morgana Robinson’s The Agency, Asylum, Mapp and Lucia, Hetty Feather, Horrible Histories, The Persuasionists, Murder in Successville, Not Safe for Work, Siblings, Badults, The Harry & Paul Show and Threesome. Film work includes Prevenge, Gulliver’s Travels and The Wolfman. As a comedian Gemma created and often performs as the character Chastity Butterworth brining the character to series 3 of Live at the Electric as well as recording a chat show for BBC Radio 4 The Chastity Butterworth Show. In 2010 Gemma won a Funny Women Variety Award for her stand-up comedy.

Fionn Whitehead makes his feature film debut as the lead role of Tommy in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk this summer. He will next be seen on the big screen in the drama The Children Act directed by Richard Eyre and starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. On television he starred in the ITV miniseries Him. Earlier this year, he earned critical acclaim for his performance in Glenn Waldron’s play Natives (Southwark Playhouse).




Charlie Fink, Cover My Tracks Interview: “There is a lot of things in the realm of gig-theatre, but I feel like we’ve made something truly unique.”


Maria Friedman: “I want to fill my life with creativity, family and friends and make the most of each day.”

Maria Friedman
Maria Friedman

Maria Friedman

Maria Friedman is a musical theatre goddess—straight off the top of Mt. Olympus— who never seems to run short of energy or surprise with her artistic endeavours.

Friedman is a FOUR time Olivier Award winning, NINE TIME NOMINATED, West End and Broadway luminary and is right in the middle of her exclusive SOLD OUT THREE WEEK RESIDENCY at Brasserie Zedel. Tickets are understandably like gold dust. We are talking ahead of her critically acclaimed concert coming to The Capitol in Horsham later this month.

So, if I was to come to a Maria Friedman concert what would I expect? “I know that you would experience excellent music and wonderful lyrics,” she says. “Best of all, I am accompanied by my good friend, the renowned musical director and Tony Award nominee Jason Carr. He is a genius; he makes orchestrations that are dazzling. We breathe together, we think together, we make music as one.”

What makes her get out of bed in the morning? “I feel that as I get older I want to take every opportunity that comes my way,” she says. “I just want to fill my life with creativity, family and friends and make the most of each day.”

Her career is quite extraordinary, but if someone had told her at 16 that she’d be doing this as a living now, would she have believed them? “No! I would have hoped they were telling the truth…” she pauses. “But I wouldn’t have believed them for one second. I was very bewildered at 16. I hadn’t got a clue.”

After three decades as one of Britain’s most renowned actresses, Friedman moved into directing them. In recent years she has gained a highly respected reputation as a theatre director, most notably for the Olivier-winning production of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and of Cole Porter’s High Society at The Old Vic, both received fantastic reviews.

Friedman’s feel-good production of Richard Harris’ play Stepping Out is currently playing at the Vaudeville Theatre and stars Amanda Holden. I tell her that I haven’t seen it yet as Amanda Holden makes me feel anxious. “She’s genuinely funny – I wouldn’t be anxious, Carl,” she tells me firmly. “As a director I look to cast slightly older women, because life gets much harder for middle aged actresses. You’ve got a bunch of hilarious and talented people on stage. We are one of the few shows in the West End getting a standing ovation night after night.”

We duly talk about what to expect from one of her concerts. “I hope you would laugh a lot. I can guarantee that you will have an enormous amount of fun. We navigate our way around the bigger emotions: happiness, sadness, love and loss. It’s a real potent mix.”

I ask what, in 2017, a Maria Friedman fan looks like? “Well, it’s really very mixed – because of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat film I get a lot of young people who are/were fans and those kids grew up,” she says. “I guess there are the real passionate theatre goers and of course the EastEnders lot! It’s so lovely that I get them all in a room together. It feels very much like coming around to my house for a sing song.”

Maria’s concert explores the work of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, comparing and contrasting songs from their catalogues, as well as their masterpiece West Side Story. Songs include ‘New York, New York’, ‘I Can Cook Too’, ‘Losing My Mind’ and ‘Send In The Clowns’. On May 28 she will be making a very special appearance in Horsham, for one night only.

“I’d like to encourage people to come and see me perform in Horsham and make music with me. Please come so that other artists like me want to perform there,” she says. “Take a leap of faith.”

Maria Friedman is at the Capitol in Horsham on May 28.

Stepping Out runs at the Vaudeville Theatre until 17 June.

The Old Vic Additional Programming – Voices Off, One Voice and additional programming for Families



The Old Vic today announced new events in its Voices Off and One Voice series’ as well as additional programming for Families. Tickets go on general sale on Friday 5 May at 12pm

The previously announced Cover My Tracks, a new production with live music starring Charlie Fink and Jade Anouka, with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, book by David Greig and directed by Max Webster, will also be performed on the main stage from Monday 5 to Saturday 17 June at 10pm, as part of Lates at The Old Vic.


Monologues funded by the TS Eliot Estate

One Voice celebrates the rawest of theatre forms – a single voice on a stage without scenery, without costume and with nothing to rely on but words. This series of monologues is specially commissioned by The Old Vic with one-off performances from renowned actors.



Tickets: £10 & £15

Queers marks and celebrates some of the most poignant, funny, tragic and riotous moments of British gay male history over the last century. 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 decriminalised private homosexual acts between men aged over 21, this series of eight monologues will be staged across two evenings at The Old Vic.

Queers is curated by Mark Gatiss and produced in partnership with the BBC, with short film versions of the monologues to be screened on BBC Four later this summer. The writers are Matthew Baldwin, Jon Bradfield, Jackie Clune, Michael Dennis, Brian Fillis, Mark Gatiss, Gareth McLean and Keith Jarrett. The monologues will be directed by Mark Gatiss and Old Vic Associate Directors Joe Murphy and Max Webster.

Casting will be announced soon.


Voices Off is a series of talks, conversations, debates and workshops which explore the themes raised by the productions on the main stage.


Fighting Trauma: PTSD and the Military 

Tue 30 May, 5.15pm

Baylis Bar
Tickets: £6

Should the army be doing more to support soldiers, both on active duty and at home? While the Armed Forces Covenant sets out a promise to treat them fairly, what exactly does ‘fair’ mean? Many argue that there still remain large gaps in the care system and PTSD and other psychological trauma are not yet classed as official wounds of war. 

On Nature

In Association with Mishcon de Reya

Thu 15 Jun, 5pm

Tickets: £6

‘Really I don’t like human nature unless all candied over with art’ Virginia Woolf

A panel led by Anthony Julius (Deputy Chairman, Mishcon de Reya) will consider Jack Thorne’s adaptation of Büchner’s Woyzeck in the context of 19 century modernism, culture and psychoanalysis, and consider its presentation of the darker side of human nature. 

This talk marks the launch of The Old Vic’s creative collaboration with Mishcon de Reya LLP, an Associate Sponsor of The Old Vic’s Voices Off series.

On Nurture: How to Make a Difference 

Mon 19 Jun, 5.15pm

Baylis Bar
Tickets: £6

‘If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other’ Mother Teresa

In the face of growing inequality in the UK today, a panel of activists and policy makers discuss what we can do to protect the most vulnerable, to try to ensure no one gets left behind. 


Queers: The Next 50 Years

Thu 27 Jul, 5.30pm

Rehearsal Room 

Tickets: £6

‘And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love’ Lin-Manuel Miranda 

On 27 July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act began the decriminalisation process for homosexuality between men. While much has changed since then, how equal are LGBTQ people in the UK today? And are some of the hardest-won liberties now under threat?

On the day of the Act’s 50th anniversary, we will ask what the next 50 years should look like for LGBTQ rights – where do we go from here, and, more importantly, how do we get there?

Girl from the North Country

Can Lyrics be Literature?

Thu 28 Sep, 6pm

Rehearsal Room

Tickets: £6

‘Songwriters are not poets’ Simon Armitage

Did Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature win redefine the boundaries of literature? Or do we, by calling it poetry, deny music a place as its own unique art form? A group of poets, musicians and performance artists discuss the relationship between lyrics and poetry. 


Tales from the Shed

7 Sep – 5 Oct 

Every Thursday at 10am (for schools), 11.15am (for general public), 1.30pm (for schools)

Mark’s Bar

Tickets: £6 | Babies under 6 months go free

Recommended for ages up to 6

Running time: 50 minutes

Chickenshed return to The Old Vic this autumn with their hugely popular Tales from the Shed. This vibrant, interactive show full of colourful puppets, live songs and enchanting stories, is perfect for young children.

Every show is fun, amazingly engaging and has plenty of music and magic. Children are always encouraged to use their imaginations, make lots of noise and be part of the story.