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First look: Production images of Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo and the cast on stage in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

Rehearsal images released of Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo and the cast of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? ahead of the production’s first preview

Romola Garai will star as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough alongside Emma Cunniffe as the eponymous monarch in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Queen Anne

They will be joined by Jonathan Christie, Michael Fenton-Stevens, James Garnon, Richard Hope, Hywel Morgan, Beth Park and Carl Prekopp with further casting to be announced soon.

After originally opening at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2015, Queen Anne will transfer to Theatre Royal Haymarket for a thirteen week limited run from 30 June until 30 September, with a press night on 10 July. Tickets are now on sale. www.RSCQueenAnne.com.

Written by Helen Edmundson (The Heresy of Love, RSC) and directed by Natalie Abrahami (Happy Days, Young Vic), this gripping new play explores the life of one of England’s little-known sovereigns and her intimate friendship with her childhood confidante Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.

1702. William III is on the throne and England is on the verge of war.

Princess Anne is soon to become Queen, and her advisors vie for influence over the future monarch. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, a close friend with whom Anne has an intensely personal relationship, begins to exert increasing pressure as she pursues her own designs on power.

Contending with deceit and blackmail, Anne must decide where her allegiances lie, and whether to sacrifice her closest relationships for the sake of the country.

Romola Garai will play Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Romola is best known for appearing in films such as Amazing Grace, AtonementVanity Fair, Inside I’m Dancing, Glorious 39 and Suffragette, and in BBC series such as Emma, The Hour and The Crimson Petal and the White. She has been nominated for a BAFTA and twice for a Golden Globe Award.

In addition to her work on screen Romola’s theatre credits include Calico (West End; Evening Standard Theatre Award Outstanding Newcomer nomination), King Lear and The Seagull (RSC), The Village Bike (Royal Court), Three Sisters (Lyric Hammersmith), and Measure for Measure (Young Vic).

Emma Cunniffe will play Queen Anne. On stage, Emma won the UK Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in The Master Builder in 2000. Her other stage work includes Tales from Hollywood (Donmar), Losing Louis (Hampstead/West End), Women Beware Women (RSC), Proof (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Entertainer (Old Vic), Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola), A Doll’s House (The Lowry), Edward II,  Three Sisters, Major Barbara, Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange), Amongst Friends, The Glass Room (Hampstead). She was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award in 2011 for her role as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Emma has numerous TV credits including Unforgotten, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, George Gently, Waterloo Road, Father Brown, Coronation Street, Moving On, Southcliffe, Good Cop, The Other Child, Doctor Who, Poirot, A Place of Execution, The Genius of Mozart, Clocking Off, All The King’s Men, Great Expectations, and The Lakes.

Helen Edmundson’s plays include The Clearing, (Bush Theatre), Mother Teresa is Dead, (Royal Court), Mary Shelley,(Shared Experience at The Tricycle and on tour), and The Heresy of Love (RSC). Her other work includes Coram Boy (National Theatre and on Broadway), a new version of Calderon’s Life is a Dream (Donmar), a musical adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, written with composer Neil Hannon, (Bristol Old Vic, West End and on tour) and Thérèse Raquin (Bath Theatre Royal and on tour). She has written a number of adaptations for Shared Experience Theatre including Anna Karenina and Mill on the Floss, which toured nationally and internationally, and War and Peace, first staged at the National Theatre.

Helen has recently completed screenplays for See Saw Films and Potboiler Productions and her episodes of the Hat Trick television drama The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher were seen on ITV, as well as the film adaptation of An Inspector Calls on BBC television. Helen is currently working on a new play, commissioned by the National Theatre. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for drama 2015, a John Whiting Award for The Clearing, a TMA Award for Anna Karenina and Time Out Awards for Mill on the Floss and Coram Boy. She is an Associate Artist of Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Natalie Abrahami is a former Genesis Fellow and Associate Director at the Young Vic. Her Young Vic credits include Happy DaysAfter Miss Julie and Ah, Wilderness! and the short films MAYDAYThe Roof and Life’s a Pitch. As former Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, London, Natalie’s productions include Vanya and The Kreutzer Sonata which later transferred to La MaMa, New York.  Other credits include: Queen Anne (RSC), How the Whale Became and Other Tales (Royal Opera House), The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Headlong) and Pericles (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Natalie was also an Associate Artist at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton between 2013 and 2015 and Associate Director at Hull Truck in 2012 where she directed Yerma and Hitchcock Blonde. Natalie won the James Menzies-Kitchin Award for Directors in 2005 for her double-bill of Play and Not I (Battersea Arts Centre).

Jonathan Christie will play Arthur Maynwaring. He trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and won the National Theatre’s Michael Bryant Verse Speaking Award in his final year. He was also a runner-up in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Competition. His theatre credits include: Queen Anne (RSC), Love for Love (RSC), Twelfth Night (ETT), Pocket Henry V (Propellor), The After Dinner Joke (The Orange Tree), The Conquering Hero (The Orange Tree), The Song of Deborah (The Lowry), Oh To Be In England (Finborough), First Impressions (Margate Theatre Royal), Madness In Valencia (Trafalgar Studios), My Dad’s A Birdman (Sheffield Crucible), Miss Julie (Albany) and Thinking Aloud (ICA). His film credits include: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsCaptain WebbThe Green ParkWinterlong, whilst his television credits include: The Halcyon (ITV) and Vera Brittain: A Woman In Love and War (BBC).

Michael Fenton-Stevens will play Dr John Radcliffe. His recent stage credits include: Love for Love (RSC), Queen Anne (RSC & London), Yes Prime Minister (Apollo & Gielgud) and Stand (Battersea Arts). His long list of television credits includes the regular characters of ‘Sir Henry’ in Benidorm (ITV) and ‘Mr Griffith’ in My Family (BBC). He has also played roles in The Crown (Netflix), Carnage (BBC)Not Going Out (BBC), Parents (Sky), Josh (BBC), Starlings (Sky), Lead Balloon (BBC), Pete Vs Life (Channel 4), Mrs Biggs (ITV), Outnumbered (BBC)New Tricks (BBC), My Hero (BBC), Ladies of Letters (ITV) and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (BBC). His extensive work in radio includes playing ‘Paul Crawford’ in The Archers (BBC Radio 4) and doing 12 series of Old Harry’s Game (BBC Radio 4).

James Garnon will play Robert Harley. James has performed on stage in Richard III (Almeida), The Winter’s Tale, Pericles, As You Like It, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore, Dr Scroggy’s War, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tempest, Gabriel, Richard III, Twelfth Night, All’s Well That Ends Well, Anne Boleyn, Macbeth, A New World: The Life of Thomas Paine, The Storm, Romeo and Juliet, Dido Queen of Carthage (Shakespeare’s Globe); Down By The Greenwood Side (Brighton Festival), Much Ado About Nothing (Old Vic), King Lear (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Hamlet (The Factory/Bristol Old Vic) and Here Lies Mary Spindler (RSC/Latitude Festival). He has also appeared in the following films: Testament of Youth, The Real American: Joe McCarthy, Anonymous and The Brussels and his television credits include: The Crown (Netflix), Who Killed the Princes in the Tower (Channel 4), Foyle’s War, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (ITV) and Syntax Era (BBC 4).

Richard Hope will play Sydney Godolphin. He has performed on stage in Queen Anne (RSC), The History Boys (UK Tour), Orlando (Royal Exchange), King Lear (Almeida), Democracy (Sheffield Theatre and Old Vic), Dirty Dancing (West End), and The Swan, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each OtherA Prayer For Owen Meany, War and PeacePravda, Hamlet, The Government Inspector, Don Juan, Much Ado About Nothing (all at the National Theatre). Richard is an Associate Member of Complicite and his television work includes Poldark (BBC), Broadchurch (ITV), Unforgotten (ITV), and And Then There Were None (BBC). He has been in the following films: Harbour, Mr Morgan’s Last Love, Antonia and Jane, Bellman and True, Bloody Kids, Breaking Glass, Chromophobia, French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Last Post.

Hywel Morgan will play Prince George. Hywel is from Cardiff and played Nye Bevan in This May Hurt a Bit (Out Of Joint) and Tony Blair in A Walk on Part: The Fall of New Labour (Live Theatre & Soho Theatre). For the RSC he has performed in The Alchemist, Love For Love and Queen Anne. Other theatre credits include: War & Peace, Mill on the Floss (Shared Experience) Blithe Spirit, Dancing at Lughnasa (Watermill), Surviving Spike, Our Man in Havana, (Kenwright) ONA$$I$ (Chichester), Indian Ink (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Importance Of Being Earnest, To Reach the Clouds, Feelgood and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (all at the Nottingham Playhouse). Morgan’s film credits include: Page Eight and W.E whilst his television credits include: Hinterland (BBC), The Tunnel (Sky), Skins (E4) Hollyoaks (Channel 4), Holby City (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Doctors (BBC) EastEnders (BBC) Pobol y Cwm (S4C) and Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People (BBC).

Beth Park will play Abigail Hill. Her theatre credits include: RevoltShe Said, Revolt Again (RSC), Queen Anne (RSC), The Harvest (Bath Theatre Royal/Soho Theatre), Exit The King (Bath Theatre Royal); The Dog, The Night and The Knife (Arcola), The Massacre At Paris (Rose Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Stephen Joseph Theatre); GallatheaThe Woman in the Moon (Globe at Glastonbury), Bus Stop (New Vic) and Arcadia (Manchester Library Theatre) whilst her television credits include being in Casualty (BBC).

Carl Prekopp will play Daniel Defoe. His recent theatre work includes performing in Bug (Found111), Love for Love and Queen Anne (both RSC), Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Rivals (Arcola Theatre), The Saints (Nuffield Theatre), Dealer’s Choice (Royal and Derngate) and Roots (Donmar Warehouse). His other theatre credits include Love On the Dole (Jagged Fence), Ruffian on the Stair (The Orange Tree Theatre), Richard III (Riverside Studios), Calendar Girls (Chichester/Noel Coward Theatre) and Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Norwich Playhouse). Carl has also appeared in the television series Call The Midwife (BBC), Doctors (BBC) and Lewis (ITV Studios).

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The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION.

The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.

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GUEST BLOG: Emma Manton: “Our job as theatre practitioners is to tell these stories and remember to imagine ourselves in their position – to practice empathy.”

Emma Manton
Emma Manton

Emma Manton

In 2014, I was cast in the RSC’s Winter Season, which involved spending 6 months in Stratford-upon-Avon. Fired up by the beauty of the place and having achieve a few good night’s sleep, away from my 6-year-old son, I agreed to join playwright Michelle Terry on a 2-mile run. I had no idea where that run would lead.

In the summer of 2015, the media was full with harrowing images of refugees washing up on the beaches of the Mediterranean. I wanted to find a way to help – so I contacted the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and, before I knew it, I’d agreed to run the London Marathon for them. Having no experience of fundraising, I called a few friends and realised that people were desperate to find a way to help the unfolding refugee crisis.

I curated Moving Stories in response to the current global refugee crisis and it was first performed at the National Theatre in 2016. David Edgar, Richard Bean, Phil Porter, Michelle Terry and other incredible playwrights wrote and donated material and 36 actors gave up time to perform. We raised nearly £15,000.

Since then, the danger and persecution faced by refugees around the world has only worsened, particularly in the light of Donald Trump’s postponement of the US refugee programme. The distress that the fear surrounding the confusion of ‘refugee’ and ‘terrorist’ runs the risk of blinding us to the simple fact that the vast majority of people displaced by wars are fleeing the same people that scare us in the West. We see the huge numbers and not the thousands of individual stories.

Nevertheless, our job as theatre practitioners is to tell these stories and remember to imagine ourselves in their position – to practice empathy. When we see the world from other people’s point of view, we are more able to work together to find answers.

To quote UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees) Ambassador Neil Gaiman, ‘It’s not just about financial support, although funds are desperately needed and every donation is deeply appreciated (please do donate!), it’s also about staying informed and helping tell the refugee story – to friends, to family, at school, at work, around the kitchen table.’

On Sunday 26th February at 4pm, I’m calling on you to join us at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and stand in solidarity with refugees. You’ll be treated to brilliantly funny and moving plays and some new writing for good measure. Also, Great British Bake-off’s Mel Giedroyc will be hosting and joined on stage by a host of British Theatre stars, including Rufus Hound (One Man, Two Guvnors), Denise Gough (People, Places, Things), Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories), Adjoa Andoh (Doctor Who), Lisa Dillon (Cranford), Edward Bennett (Photograph 51), Anna-Jane Casey (Billy Elliot), Caroline Sheen (Mary Poppins) and Evelyn Hoskins (Sound of Music Live).

See you there, folks!

Emma Manton

Romola Garai and Emma Cunniffe to star in the West End transfer of Queen Anne

Romola Garai (Sarah, Duchess of Malborough) and Emma Cunniffe (Queen Anne) in Queen Anne. Credit Darren Bell
Romola Garai (Sarah, Duchess of Malborough) and Emma Cunniffe (Queen Anne) in Queen Anne. Credit Darren Bell

Romola Garai (Sarah, Duchess of Malborough) and Emma Cunniffe (Queen Anne) in Queen Anne. Credit Darren Bell

Romola Garai will star as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough alongside Emma Cunniffe as the eponymous monarch in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Queen Anne. After originally opening at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2015, Queen Anne will transfer to Theatre Royal Haymarket for a thirteen week limited run from 30 June until 30 September, with a press night on 10 July.

Priority booking for RSC Patrons and Members will open on 6 February and RSC Members priority booking will open on 9 February. Tickets will be on general sale from 13 February at www.RSCQueenAnne.com.

Written by Helen Edmundson (The Heresy of Love, RSC) and directed by Natalie Abrahami (Happy Days, Young Vic), this gripping new play explores the life of one of England’s little-known sovereigns and her intimate friendship with her childhood confidante Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.

1702. William III is on the throne and England is on the verge of war.

Princess Anne is soon to become Queen, and her advisors vie for influence over the future monarch. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, a close friend with whom Anne has an intensely personal relationship, begins to exert increasing pressure as she pursues her own designs on power.

Contending with deceit and blackmail, Anne must decide where her allegiances lie, and whether to sacrifice her closest relationships for the sake of the country.

Romola Garai will play Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Romola is best known for appearing in films such as Amazing Grace, AtonementVanity Fair, Inside I’m Dancing, Glorious 39 and Suffragette, and in BBC series such as Emma, The Hour and The Crimson Petal and the White. She has been nominated for a BAFTA and twice for a Golden Globe Award.

In addition to her work on screen Romola’s theatre credits include Calico (West End; Evening Standard Theatre Award Outstanding Newcomer nomination), King Lear and The Seagull (RSC), The Village Bike (Royal Court), Three Sisters (Lyric Hammersmith), and Measure for Measure (Young Vic).

Emma Cunniffe will play Queen Anne. On stage, Emma won the UK Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in The Master Builderin 2000. Her other stage work includes Tales from Hollywood (Donmar), Losing Louis (Hampstead/West End), Women Beware Women (RSC), Proof (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Entertainer (Old Vic), Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola), A Doll’s House (The Lowry), Edward II,  Three Sisters, Major Barbara, Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange), Amongst Friends, The Glass Room (Hampstead). She was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award in 2011 for her role as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Emma has numerous TV credits including Unforgotten, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, George Gently, Waterloo Road, Father Brown, Coronation Street, Moving On, Southcliffe, Good Cop, The Other Child, Doctor Who, Poirot, A Place of Execution, The Genius of Mozart, Clocking Off, All The King’s Men, Great Expectations, and The Lakes.

Helen Edmundson’s plays include The Clearing, (Bush Theatre), Mother Teresa is Dead, (Royal Court), Mary Shelley,(Shared Experience at The Tricycle and on tour), and The Heresy of Love (RSC). Her other work includes Coram Boy (National Theatre and on Broadway), a new version of Calderon’s Life is a Dream (Donmar), a musical adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, written with composer Neil Hannon, (Bristol Old Vic, West End and on tour) and Thérèse Raquin (Bath Theatre Royal and on tour). She has written a number of adaptations for Shared Experience Theatre including Anna Karenina and Mill on the Floss, which toured nationally and internationally, and War and Peace, first staged at the National Theatre.

Helen has recently completed screenplays for See Saw Films and Potboiler Productions and her episodes of the Hat Trick television drama The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher were seen on ITV, as well as the film adaptation of An Inspector Calls on BBC television. Helen is currently working on a new play, commissioned by the National Theatre. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for drama 2015, a John Whiting Award for The Clearing, a TMA Award for Anna Karenina and Time Out Awards for Mill on the Floss and Coram Boy. She is an Associate Artist of Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Natalie Abrahami is a former Genesis Fellow and Associate Director at the Young Vic. Her Young Vic credits include Happy DaysAfter Miss Julie and Ah, Wilderness! and the short films MAYDAYThe Roof and Life’s a Pitch. As former Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, London, Natalie’s productions include Vanya and The Kreutzer Sonata which later transferred to La MaMa, New York.  Other credits include: Queen Anne (RSC), How the Whale Became and Other Tales (Royal Opera House), The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Headlong) and Pericles (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Natalie was also an Associate Artist at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton between 2013 and 2015 and Associate Director at Hull Truck in 2012 where she directed Yerma and Hitchcock Blonde. Natalie won the James Menzies-Kitchin Award for Directors in 2005 for her double-bill of Play and Not I (Battersea Arts Centre).

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION.

The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.

West End Charity Makes History by Securing Place in the Virgin Money London Marathon for the First Time

Theatre Royal Haymarket Chairman, Arnold Crook & Poppy Corbett
Theatre Royal Haymarket Chairman, Arnold Crook & Poppy Corbett

Theatre Royal Haymarket Chairman, Arnold Crook & Poppy Corbett

For the first time in their history, the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust (Masterclass) has been offered a place in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.
As one of only 500 charities with the opportunity to have someone running the famous 26.2 mile on their behalf, today Masterclass has announced that playwright Poppy Corbett will represent them at this year’s marathon.
Corbett holds strong ties with Masterclass having staged the West End debut of her play, Hatchling, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket as a winner of the prominent ‘Pitch Your Play’ scheme. Ahead of the marathon, Corbett will return to the Haymarket in February to host a Masterclass with fellow playwright Polly Stenham on 7th February.

Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Team

Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Team

Speaking about the opportunity Corbett commented;
“I’ve always believed in helping people further down the ladder and running the marathon for Masterclass would give me the opportunity to do so in a practical way. Masterclass changed things for me and I’d like to change things for them too.”

The arts have been one of the sectors most affected by government cuts. As youth groups close and university fees go up, it is encouraging to see organisations such as Masterclass, The Lyric and Chickenshed featuring in the largest fundraising event of the year.
All of the opportunities available through Masterclass remain free for young people aged 16-30, allowing them to fully realise their potential regardless of income or background. However the only way organisations, such as Masterclass, are able to continue their work is through the generous in-kind and financial backing from our supporters.

Blayne George, Programme Director at Masterclass, added;
“We are delighted to have finally secured a place in the London Marathon and are equally overjoyed to have Poppy run for us! Masterclass stands firm as a place which will always support young people in the early stages of their theatrical career.”

Mel Giedroyc will host the all-star cast of ‘Moving Stories’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Moving Stories
Moving Stories

Moving Stories

Moving Stories is curated by actress Emma Manton (RSC Love’s Labour’s Lost & Much Ado About Nothing) in response to the current global refugee crisis and was first performed at the National Theatre in 2016.

Commenting on the significance of the piece Emma Manton said;

“I have been blown away by the response of the theatrical community to this event. All the writers and performers have offered their services for free to show support for refugees around the world. It’s very humbling.”

Some of the UK’s finest writers have written and donated material for the event, including Richard Bean, David Edgar, Phil Porter, Michelle Terry and Jenifer Toksvig. The cast will include Adjoa Andoh (Doctor Who), Edward Bennett (RSC), James Bolam (New Tricks), Anna-Jane Casey (Mack and Mabel), Natalie Casey (Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps), Lisa Dillon (RSC), Ray Fearon (Coronation Street), Rufus Hound (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Evelyn Hoskins (Sound of Music Live), Andy Nyman (Hangmen), Caroline Sheen (Mary Poppins) and Zubin Varla (Dara). All appearances subject to availability.

All profits from the performance will be donated to the UNHCR to provide much needed support and assistance to refugees caught up in the current global refugee crisis – the most overwhelming since the Second World War. Tickets, priced from £15, are available from the Theatre Royal Haymarket box office.

http://www.trh.co.uk/whatson/moving-stories-sunday-26th-february-4pm/

Mr Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR Representative to the UK said;

“Over the past months, we have seen an extraordinary outpouring of public support in the UK for the plight of Syrian refugee families, including wonderful initiatives such as the ‘Moving Stories’ benefit event. UNHCR is deeply grateful to the organisers, the contributing performers and to the audience. With your support, we will be able to continue our life-saving work to protect and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable refugee families.”

Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo to be joined by Jason Hughes and newcomer Archie Madekwe in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia
Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia

Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia © Uli Weber

Full casting for Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? is announced today. Joining Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo, who play husband and wife Martin and Stevie in Ian Rickson’s production, will be Jason Hughes as Martin’s oldest friend Ross and Archie Madekwe as their son Billy.

Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? will play a strictly limited 12 week season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 24 March to 24 June 2017. In the play, a husband and successful New York architect with everything to lose must confess to his wife and son that he is having an affair and face the dizzying, explosive consequences.

Ian Rickson will be joined by an Olivier and Tony Award®-winning creative team in Rae Smith (set and costume design), Neil Austin (lighting design) and Greg Clarke (sound design), with an original score by PJ Harvey.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

Jason Hughes

Jason Hughes

JASON HUGHES is perhaps best known for his television work, which includes playing lawyer Warren Jones in the BBC TV series This Life and as Detective Sergeant Ben Jones in Midsomer Murders from 2005 until 2013. A respected stage actor, previous work includes Our Country’s Good and Look Back in Anger opposite Michael Sheen at the National Theatre, Violence and Son and 4.48 Psychosis for the Royal Court and US tour, Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre, Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse and Design for Living at Theatre Royal Bath.

Archie Madekwe

Archie Madekwe

ARCHIE MADEKWE makes his professional stage debut as Billy. Prior to this he trained at LAMDA. Previous work includes Fresh Meat and Casualty, as well as the films Legacy and Second Coming. Archie also appeared in National Youth Theatre’s 2013 production of Pope Joan at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

DAMIAN LEWIS OBE won unanimous international acclaim for his role in Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama Homeland. Lewis starred as Sergeant Nicholas Brody opposite Claire Danes and was awarded the 2013 Golden Globe® for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series and a 2012 Primetime Emmy Award® for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series among other accolades for his role. Most recently Lewis has starred in Showtime series Billions. With an expansive list of diverse film, theatre and television credits Damian Lewis has evolved into one of this generation’s most respected and sought- after actors.

Prior to his role in Homeland, Lewis first came to the attention of international audiences in 2001 with his Golden Globe®-nominated performance in the award-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Tom Hanks. He also starred as Soames Forsyte in the acclaimed British production of The Forsyte Saga and Charlie Crews in Life. In 2015 Lewis starred as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall opposite Mark Rylance in the BBC Two television miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker-Prize winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Prior to American Buffalo in 2015, Lewis starred as Alceste in Martin Crimp’s 2009 adaptation of The Misanthrope opposite Keira Knightley. After training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Lewis joined the British theatre community and appeared in a number of plays between 1993-98, primarily as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. During that time, he starred as Laertes in Jonathan Kent’s Broadway production of Hamlet opposite Ralph Fiennes. In 2003, Lewis returned to the London stage opposite Helen McCrory in Five Gold Rings at the Almeida Theatre. In 2005 he starred in the National Theatre’s production of Ibsen’s Pillars of the Community.

In addition to his illustrious work on stage, Lewis has appeared on film in Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of Romeo and Juliet which starred Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld in the titular roles, The Sweeney, David Gordon Green’s Your Highness, and Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert opposite Nicole Kidman.

SOPHIE OKONEDO OBE was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She has worked in a variety of media including film, television, theatre, and audio drama. Okonedo began her film career in 1991 in the British coming-of‐age drama Young Soul Rebel before appearing as Wachati Princess in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) and Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (2002). She received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, a Golden Globe® nomination for the miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) and BAFTA TV Award nominations for the drama series Criminal Justice (2009).

Okonedo made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun for which she won the Tony Award® for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In 2016 she received a second Tony® nomination for her portrayal of Elizabeth Proctor in Ivo van Hove’s Broadway production of The Crucible which also starred Ben Whishaw, Saoirse Ronan and Ciarán Hinds.

Okonedo was last on the London stage in Jeremy Herrin’s Haunted Child at the Royal Court in 2011. Previous work at the Royal Court includes Katie Mitchell’s Nightsongs, I Just Stopped by to See the Man, Been So Long and Women and Sisters. At the National Theatre Okonedo has appeared in Troilus and Cressida and Money, and has had roles in numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company including Tamburlaine The Great, The Changeling, A Jovial Crew and The Odyssey.

Film work includes Hotel Rwanda; Tom Harper’s drama War Book; After Earth with Will Smith; The Secret Life of Bees alongside Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning; Stormbreaker and Skin opposite Sam Neill and Alice Krige.

Most recently on television, Okonedo starred in Peter Moffat’s political thriller Undercover for the BBC opposite Adrian Lester and played Queen Margaret in BBC One series The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench and Phoebe Fox. Other television credits include the role of Winnie Mandela in the BBC drama Mrs. Mandela; Clocking Off; the Doctor Who episodes “The Beast Below” and “The Pandorica Opens”; BBC series Extraordinary Women; miniseries The Slap; Sky1’s Sinbad; BBC One’s Mayday; and The Escape Artist.

IAN RICKSON was the artistic director of the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, where he directed Jerusalem (also West End at the Apollo Theatre), The Winterling, The Night Heron and Mojo (also Chicago), all by Jez Butterworth; Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen and This is a Chair by Caryl Churchill; Dublin Carol and The Weir by Conor McPherson (also Dublin, Chicago, West End and Broadway); The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (also Broadway); Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett; Alice Trilogy by Tom Murphy; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball by Rebecca Gilman; Fallout by Roy Williams; The Day I Stood Still by Kevin Elyot; The Lights by Howard Korder; Pale Horse and Some Voices by Joe Penhall; Ashes and Sand by Judy Upton; Killers by Adam Pernak; Sab by Michael Cook and Wildfire by Jonathan Harvey. In the West End Rickson directed Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams in Old Times by Harold Pinter (Harold Pinter Theatre); Betrayal by Harold Pinter, also with Kristin Scott Thomas, and Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss in The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman (both Comedy Theatre); and at the National Theatre, Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn and The Red Lion by Patrick Marber. Productions at the Young Vic include Hamlet starring Michael Sheen, Now We Are Here and The Nest. Work on screen includes Fallout by Roy Williams (Company Pictures for Channel 4) and Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (BBC4) and on radio includes In Therapy with Susie Orbach (BBC Radio 4). Rickson also works with PJ Harvey and Kate Tempest on their music and poetry shows.

EDWARD ALBEE was born on 12th March 1928 and began writing plays 30 years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The Death of Bessie Smith (1959), The Sandbox (1959), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62, Tony Award®), Tiny Alice (1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award®), All Over (1971), Seascape (1974, Pulitzer Prize), Listening (1975), Counting the Ways (1975), The Lady from Dubuque (1977-78), The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981), Finding the Sun (1982), Marriage Play (1986-87), Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize), Fragments (1993), The Play about the Baby (1997), The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award®), Occupant (2001), At Home at the Zoo: Act 1, Homelife. Act 2, The Zoo Story. (2004), and Me, Myself & I (2008). Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980. In 1996 he received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded a special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement.

PLAYFUL PRODUCTIONS – PRODUCER
As Producer and General Manager productions include: No Man’s Land (UK tour and Wyndham’s); Kinky Boots (Adelphi); Hangmen (Wyndham’s); American Buffalo (Wyndham’s); The Audience (Broadway, Apollo and Gielgud, which was also a record- breaking, worldwide digital broadcast with NT Live and subsequently resulted in an Executive Producer position on the Netflix TV series of The Crown); Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2 (Broadway); Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies (Aldwych); Shrek the Musical (UK & Ireland tour); The Weir (Wyndham’s); South Downs/The Browning Version (Harold Pinter); Sweeney Todd (Adelphi); Hay Fever (Noël Coward); Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Yes, Prime Minister (Gielgud, Apollo, Trafalgar Studios and three UK tours); Krapp’s Last Tape (Duchess); Enron (Noël Coward); Red (Broadway); Hamlet (Broadway); Mary Stuart (Apollo and Broadway); Don Carlos (Gielgud) and Frost/Nixon (Gielgud and Broadway) and the forthcoming Don Juan in Soho (Wyndham’s Theatre, March 2017)

As General Manager productions include: Groundhog Day (Old Vic); Wicked (Apollo Victoria, original UK & Ireland tour and now a further UK & Ireland tour in 2018); Blithe Spirit (Gielgud); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Dirty Dancing (Aldwych, two UK tours and Piccadilly); Shrek the Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Million Dollar Quartet (Noël Coward); Clybourne Park (Wyndham’s) and the forthcoming An American in Paris (Dominion, March 2017). www.playfuluk.com

TOM KIRDAHY – PRODUCER

Tom Kirdahy is currently producing the musicals Anastasia and Bandstand on Broadway and John Kander’s new musical Kid Victory Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. He was the lead producer of the 2015 Broadway hit It’s Only a Play, the five-time Tony® nominated Broadway premiere of The Visit and the Off-Broadway smash and NYTimes Critic’s pick, White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Tom has previously been nominated for Tony Awards® for Mothers and Sons and After Midnight, as well as his revivals of Ragtime and Master Class. He is also a founding director of Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc. Kirdahy studied politics and dramatic literature at New York University and is a graduate of NYU School of Law. As an attorney, Kirdahy spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Board of the NYC LGBT Center. He currently serves as the Chair of the Broadway League Government Relations Committee.

HUNTER ARNOLD – PRODUCER

Hunter Arnold is the CEO of ARTech Holdings, a company dedicated to bringing best in class technologies to the live arts. He is also a founder of the New Musicals Creative
Collective, an organization committed to aiding the development of new musical works from emerging artists. Broadway: Kinky Boots (Tony Award®), Dear Evan
Hansen, Disaster!, Allegiance, Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony® Nomination), The Visit (Tony® Nomination), It’s Only a Play, Mothers and Sons (Tony® Nomination), The Bridges of Madison County, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell and Chinglish. Upcoming: Anastasia. Upcoming Film/Television: Hello Again and A Little More Alive.

Judi Dench Backs Powerful West End Theatre Project to Fight Cyber Bullying

Cyberscene Project

Cyberscene Project

The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust (Masterclass) are partnering with anti-bullying charity, Kidscape, to create Cyberscene – an innovative project which will use theatre to support the health and well-being of young people affected by cyber bullying.

 The digital age has seen social behaviours change dramatically and the ways in which young people communicate and socialise is shifting. 87% of 16-24 year olds now access the internet via a mobile device and can spend up to 3 hours a day just on social media. With such remarkable developments, are our children and younger generations appropriately educated and equipped to use the internet and digital technology safely?

Ahead of Anti-Bullying Week (14th – 18th November) Masterclass and Kidscape are proud to announce Cyberscene: an essential new theatre project that will work with students from South Thames College, Leyton Sixth Form College, Hackney Community College and Barnet and Southgate College to create a powerful new play which explores the impact of technology, social media and cyber bullying.

Working with director, Guy Unsworth, and writer, Emily Jenkins, the play will be scripted through a series of theatre based workshops. In this supportive environment, young people can share their stories, learn from each other and be part of an empowering project which aims to address the impacts of cyber bullying and the wider digital realm. The final production will be staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in March 2017.

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench DBE has endorsed the project and notes that theatre can play a significant role in addressing the issue of cyber bullying;  

“As a Patron of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, I am delighted to lend my support to a worthwhile project which will harness the power of theatre to bring together a community of young students to address the issues associated with cyber bullying.”

The heart of the project is about giving young people a voice, creating an exciting platform to support their experiences and to raise awareness of the issue to a much wider audience.

Peter Bradley, Director of Services at Kidscape said;

“We are proud to be partnering with Masterclass. We know the internet can be exciting, informative and fun – yet it’s also a world where young people are bullied, exploited and led to harm. There’s a vital need for this project – what you will see on stage is what’s happening in our schools and colleges. Cyberscene will provide a new insight into how young people live their digital lives.”

Cyberscene is generously supported by The Pure Land Foundation and the Theatre Royal Haymarket and will be created under the artistic guidance of renowned British theatre director, Jonathan Church CBE.

For more information on the Cyberscene project, please visit the Masterclass website here or watch the information video here

 Additional links and support

If you or someone you know is experiencing cyber bullying and you would like some additional support please visit Kidscape’s website for further guidance.