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Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in VENUS IN FUR at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in VENUS IN FUR
Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in VENUS IN FUR

Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in VENUS IN FUR

TRH Productions have released the exclusive first image of Natalie Dormer and David Oakes prior the West End premiere of David Ives’ hit Broadway play Venus in Fur which will run for a strictly limited nine week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket run from 6 October to 9 December with opening night for press on 17 October.

Enigmatic actress Vanda Jordan appears unannounced for an audition with director Thomas Novachek. She’s determined to land the leading role in his new production – despite seeming wrong for the part. Over one evening in downtown Manhattan their charged meeting becomes a seductive dance to the end.

Directed by Patrick Marber, designed by Rob Howell with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and casting by Executive Producer Ilene StargerVenus In Fur is an intoxicating dark comedy of desire, fantasy and the innate love of fur.

Natalie Dormer is to play Vanda Jordan. Dormer is known globally for film and television roles including Margaery Tyrell in HBO series Game of Thrones, Anne Boleyn in The Tudors for ShowtimeCressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, Focus Features’ The Forest, Ron Howard’s Rush, and Ridley Scott’sThe Counselor. Upcoming, Dormer stars opposite Sean Penn and Mel Gibson in The Professor and the Mad Man, and the independent thriller In Darkness, which she also co-wrote. She is currently in production on FremantleMedia’s Picnic at Hanging Rock in Australia. Venus in Fur sees Dormer reunite with Patrick Marber, who wrote After Miss Julie (Young Vic) for which she received widespread critical acclaim in the title role. Her other stage credits include Sweet Nothings (also at the Young Vic) and .45 (Hampstead Theatre).

David Oakes is to play Thomas Novachek. Oakes is best known for portraying Juan Borgia in the Emmy Award-winning Showtime Original series The Borgias, for playing William Hamleigh in Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Pillars of the Earth, for BBC’s The White Queen in the role of George, Duke of Clarence and, most recently, on screen as Prince Ernest in ITV’s Victoria, for which he is currently filming the second series. Stage credits include Kit Marlowe in Shakespeare In Love (Nöel Coward Theatre) and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Oakes will also appear in the film adaptation of Albert Sánchez Piñol’s thriller Cold Skin set for release later this year.

Patrick Marber is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. His productions of his own work includes Dealer’s Choice (NT & Vaudeville), After Miss Julie (BBC TV), Closer (NT, Lyric & Music Box NY) Howard Katz (NT), Three Days in the Country (NT) Don Juan in Soho (Wyndhams). His other directing credits include Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory/ Apollo Theatre) The Caretaker (Comedy Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills (National Theatre), ‘1953’ (Almeida) and The Old Neighborhood (Royal Court Theatre). Other plays include The Red Lion, The Musicians, The School Film (all for NT) and Hoop Lane (BBC Radio 3). His film credits include Closer (directed by Mike Nichols), Notes on a Scandal (directed by Richard Eyre), Old Street and Love You More. For television his co-writing credits include The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge. More recently Ivo van Hove directed Marber’s version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler for the National Theatre starring Ruth Wilson. His plays have won Evening Standard, Olivier, Time Out, New York and London Critics’ Circle and Writers’ Guild Awards. His TV work has received BAFTA, British Comedy and Royal Television Society Awards. His screenplays have been nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Awards. He received the British Independent Film Award for Notes on a Scandal.

David Ives was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play for Venus In Fur, which has been produced all over the country and the world, and was turned into a film by Roman PolanskiHe is also well known for his evenings of one-act comedies All In The Timing and Time Flies. Other plays include New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de SpinozaThe Liar (adapted from Corneille); The School For Lies (adapted from Molière); The Metromaniacs (adapted from Alexis Piron); Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Ancient History, and Polish Joke. A Chicago native, he lives in New York City.

Rob Howell has worked extensively in costume and set design in theatre and opera within the UK and abroad including at the Royal Court, Almeida, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Welsh National Opera, Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera, New York as well as at numerous other West End and Broadway Theatres. Recent credits include The Ferryman (Royal Court) and Groundhog Day(UK and Broadway). He has received three Olivier Awards and multiple nominations for Tony and Olivier Awards for both Set and Costume Design, including the Olivier Award for Best Set Designer for Troilus and Cressida, Vassa and Richard III in 2000 and for Hedda Gabler in 2006. He received an Olivier Award in 2012 and a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony Award in 2013 and for his designs for Matilda the Musical in New York and London.

Hugh Vanstone has designed the lighting for over 200 productions and worked extensively with UK national companies and on Broadway. He has received many awards including three Oliviers, a Tony and a Molière. As associate artist at The Old Vic, he has recently lit Art, No’s Knife, Groundhog Day (UK and Broadway), The Caretaker, The Master Builder and Future Conditional. Other work includes: Dreamgirls (Savoy), Welcome Home, Captain Fox and Closer (Donmar); The Red Lion (National Theatre, Dorfman); Closer (Donmar and in New York); An Act Of God (New York & tour); Matilda (RSC and internationally); Strictly Ballroom(Australian tour); Don Quixote (Royal Ballet); Tanz Der Vampire (throughout Europe & Russia); Shrek The Musical (New York, West End & UK tour); Ghost (London and internationally).

Ilene Starger is a Casting Director and Producer. West End theatre credits include The Libertine (as Casting Director/Executive Producer for TRB and TRH); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (as U.S. Casting Director for 2009 TRH production; also for 2016 UK tour.) Broadway credits include Waiting for Godot, No Man’s Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Casting Director & Associate Producer), Marlene, The Elephant Man, Dance of Death, The Diary of Anne Frank, Dirty Blonde, Closer (Artios Award.) Film credits include Custody (also Associate Producer), The Rewrite, Pink Panther 1 & 2, Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks’ Notice, Night at the Museum (Artios Award),School of Rock (Artios Award), Sleepy Hollow, A Simple Plan, The Parent Trap, First Wives’ Club, Marvin’s Room, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, No Way Out. TV credits include: Witness to the Mob, The Great Gatsby, Earthly Possessions. Starger is a former VP of Casting for Walt Disney and Touchstone Pictures.

An adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel Venus in Furs that inspired the term masochism,Venus in Fur was first performed off-Broadway, New York in 2010 with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, before transferring to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway with Nina Arianda reprising the role of Vanda Jordan alongside Hugh Dancy as Thomas Novachek. Both productions were directed by Walter Bobbie and won Arianda multiple awards including the 2011/12 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. In 2012, Roman Polanski directed a film version of the play, in French, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

Anna Ledwich to Direct Groundbreaking West End Production Inspired by True Online Experiences of Cyber Bullying

Cookies TRH
Cookies TRH

Cookies TRH

The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust in partnership with the Pureland Foundation and children’s charity Kidscape present the world premiere of Emily Jenkins’ pioneering new play Cookies for two performances only at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 29th October 2017.

 “The internet is their battleground.
London their surround sound.
YouTube their statement maker
– their whatsit –
manifesto maker.” 

In a world of gaming, vlogging, instant messaging and streaming, the online and offline worlds of four teenagers collide when each are exposed to cyber bullying and a darker side to their digital lives.

Inspired by the online experiences of 120 students, Cookies by Fringe First Award winner Emily Jenkins, will take us on an astonishing digital journey that questions the effects and consequences of cyber bullying, and other sinister sides to the internet.

Anna Ledwich, 2015 Olivier Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate theatre, directs this stimulating, timely and significant new piece of theatre.

Cookies has been commissioned and developed for The Cyberscene Project; an inspirational theatre initiative created by The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust in partnership with Kidscape and generously funded by Pureland Foundation. The project aims to use theatre to support the health and well-being of young people affected by cyber bullying and to raise awareness of not only the dangers of being online, but also the positives too.

In October 2016, the Cyberscene team went into four London-based further education colleges and began scripting the play through a series of theatre based workshops. In this supportive environment, over 100 young students worked alongside theatre professionals to share their intimate experiences of being online; to learn from each other and to be part of an empowering initiative which aims to address the impact of cyber bullying and the wider digital realm. The final production will feature 25 of the original 100 students as an ensemble alongside a cast of established actors who will be announced at a later date.

It is through hearing the voices of these young students that Emily Jenkins was able to conceive Cookies, a bold, new play which directly addresses some of the issues brought up in the workshops through live performance.

Speaking about the play, Emily Jenkins said;

“For those who have grown up with the internet it has become almost as fundamental to daily life – as elemental as oxygen. We are still discovering the rules and intricacies of existing within this world; yet it is young people themselves who are most aware of the difference it makes.

This play has come directly from what young people shared with me about their daily online lives; and their extraordinary and terrifying online experiences. Before we tell them what they should do or how they should behave we need to listen to what they have to say. This is not my story. It’s theirs.”

The performance taking place at the Theatre Royal Haymarket is the first landmark in the project’s legacy. Blayne George, Programme Director at Masterclass commented;

“This project doesn’t end on 29th October; on the contrary that’s where it begins. Along with this important new play we will be collating our research into a free resource pack for schools and education providers across the United Kingdom as a way of helping to raise awareness and combat the ever-growing issues of cyber bullying and digital security.”

In addition to directly supporting young people, The Cyberscene Project is also about helping adults understand the complexities of cyber bullying and engage appropriately with younger generations. Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO of children’s charity Kidscape, said;

“It’s vital that as adults seeking to support children with bullying issues we strive to understand their lives and the situations they face.  This enthralling performance will challenge us to engage on a much deeper level with young people, many of whom stand in the front line in the war against cyber bullying and online abuse. It tests our assumptions, urging us to explore their realities and work with them to find new solutions.”

Cyberscene is generously supported by The Pureland Foundation and the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Bruno Wang, Chairman of the Pureland Foundation said;

“We all know the internet can be informative and entertaining, but it’s also a place where young people can be led to harm and, as such we are proud to be partnering with Masterclass and Kidscape on such a poignant, relevant and necessary project.”

Cyberscene has been created under the artistic guidance of renowned British theatre director, Jonathan Church CBE.

Dr Ellen Helsper, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Media and Communications Department at the LSE, is overseeing an evaluation of the project which links with her wider research into the subject area.

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.

Listings

Cookies

29th October 2017

3pm & 6:30pm – TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY

Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

Tickets: http://www.trh.co.uk/whatson/cookies/

Box Office: 020 7930 8800

Twitter: @MasterclassTRH / @TRH_London

#CookiesPLAY

Prices

From £7.50

For full details either visit www.trh.co.uk or call 020 7930 8800

 

Last chance to see Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo in Ian Rickson’s five star hit production of 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

Audiences have just over three weeks left to see this provocative and controversial box office hit production led by Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo, directed by Ian Rickson. The final performance of the strictly limited 12 week run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket will be held on 24 June.

Martin (Damian Lewis), a husband and successful New York architect with everything to lose, must confess to his wife Stevie (Sophie Okonedo) and son that he is having an affair and face the dizzying, explosive consequences. They are joined by Jason Hughes as Martin’s oldest friend Ross and newcomer Archie Madekweas their son Billy.

This deeply thought-provoking and rarely performed TONY® award winning masterpiece opened to public and critical acclaim at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 24 March.

The Olivier and Tony Award®-winning creative team includes Rae Smith (set and costume design), Neil Austin(lighting design) and Greg Clarke (sound design), with original music by PJ Harvey.

Listings:

Edward Albee’s
The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Directed by Ian Rickson

Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
www.TheGoatPlay.com
Box Office: 020 7930 8800

Twitter: @TheGoatPlay
Facebook: TheGoatPlay
Instagram: @TheGoatPlay

#TheGoatPlay

Final performance: 24 June 2017
MondaySaturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 3pm

There will be no performances from 29 May – 4 June 2017

Tickets from £15

Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in VENUS IN FUR at Theatre Royal Haymarket

TRH Productions will present Natalie Dormer and David Oakes in the West End premiere of David Ives’ hit Broadway play Venus in Fur this autumn for a strictly limited nine week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This critically-acclaimed two-hander will run from 6 October to 9 December with opening night for press on 17 October.

Enigmatic actress Vanda Jordan appears unannounced for an audition with director Thomas Novachek. She’s determined to land the leading role in his new production – despite seeming wrong for the part. Over one evening in downtown Manhattan their charged meeting becomes a seductive dance to the end.

Directed by Patrick Marber, designed by Rob Howell with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and casting by Executive Producer Ilene Starger, Venus In Fur is an intoxicating dark comedy of desire, fantasy and the innate love of fur.

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer is to play Vanda Jordan. Dormer is known globally for film and television roles including Margaery Tyrell in HBO series Game of Thrones, Anne Boleyn in The Tudors for ShowtimeCressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, Focus Features’ The Forest, Ron Howard’s Rush, and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor.  Upcoming, Dormer stars opposite Sean Penn and Mel Gibson in The Professor and the Mad Man, and the independent thriller In Darkness, which she also co-wrote. She is currently in production on FremantleMedia’s Picnic at Hanging Rock in Australia. Venus in Fur sees Dormer reunite with Patrick Marber, who wrote After Miss Julie (Young Vic) for which she received widespread critical acclaim in the title role. Her other stage credits include Sweet Nothings (also at the Young Vic) and .45 (Hampstead Theatre).

 

David Oakes

David Oakes is to play Thomas Novachek. Oakes is best known for portraying Juan Borgia in the Emmy Award-winning Showtime Original series The Borgias, for playing William Hamleigh in Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Pillars of the Earth, for BBC’s The White Queen in the role of George, Duke of Clarence and, most recently, on screen as Prince Ernest in ITV’s Victoria, for which he is currently filming the second series. Stage credits include Kit Marlowe in Shakespeare In Love (Nöel Coward Theatre) and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Oakes will also appear in the film adaptation of Albert Sánchez Piñol’s thriller Cold Skin set for release later this year.

Patrick Marber is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. His productions of his own work includes Dealer’s Choice (NT & Vaudeville), After Miss Julie (BBC TV), Closer (NT, Lyric & Music Box NY) Howard Katz (NT), Three Days in the Country (NT) Don Juan in Soho (Wyndhams). His other directing credits include Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory/ Apollo Theatre) The Caretaker (Comedy Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills  (National Theatre), ‘1953’ (Almeida) and The Old Neighborhood (Royal Court Theatre). Other plays include The Red Lion, The Musicians, The School Film (all for NT) and Hoop Lane (BBC Radio 3). His film credits include Closer (directed by Mike Nichols), Notes on a Scandal (directed by Richard Eyre), Old Street and Love You More. For television his co-writing credits include The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge.  More recently Ivo van Hove directed Marber’s version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler for the National Theatre starring Ruth Wilson. His plays have won Evening Standard, Olivier, Time Out, New York and London Critics’ Circle and Writers’ Guild Awards. His TV work has received BAFTA, British Comedy and Royal Television Society Awards. His screenplays have been nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Awards. He received the British Independent Film Award for Notes on a Scandal.

David Ives was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play for Venus In Fur, which has been produced all over the country and the world, and was turned into a film by Roman Polanski. He is also well known for his evenings of one-act comedies All In The Timing and Time Flies. Other plays include New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza; The Liar (adapted from Corneille); The School For Lies (adapted from Molière); The Metromaniacs (adapted from Alexis Piron); Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Ancient History, and Polish Joke. A Chicago native, he lives in New York City.

Rob Howell has worked extensively in costume and set design in theatre and opera within the UK and abroad including at the Royal Court, Almeida, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Welsh National Opera, Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera, New York as well as at numerous other West End and Broadway Theatres. Recent credits include The Ferryman (Royal Court) and Groundhog Day (UK and Broadway). He has received three Olivier Awards and multiple nominations for Tony and Olivier Awards for both Set and Costume Design, including the Olivier Award for Best Set Designer for Troilus and Cressida, Vassa and Richard III in 2000 and for Hedda Gabler in 2006. He received an Olivier Award in 2012 and a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony Award in 2013 and for his designs for Matilda the Musical in New York and London.

Hugh Vanstone has designed the lighting for over 200 productions and worked extensively with UK national companies and on Broadway. He has received many awards including three Oliviers, a Tony and a Molière. As associate artist at The Old Vic, he has recently lit Art, No’s Knife, Groundhog Day (UK and Broadway), The Caretaker, The Master Builder and  Future Conditional. Other work includes: Dreamgirls (Savoy), Welcome Home, Captain Fox and  Closer (Donmar); The Red Lion (National Theatre, Dorfman); Closer (Donmar and in New York); An Act Of God (New York & tour); Matilda (RSC and internationally); Strictly Ballroom (Australian tour);  Don Quixote (Royal Ballet); Tanz Der Vampire (throughout Europe & Russia); Shrek The Musical (New York, West End & UK tour); Ghost (London and internationally).

Ilene Starger is a Casting Director and Producer. West End theatre credits include The Libertine (as Casting Director/Executive Producer for TRB and TRH); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (as U.S. Casting Director for 2009 TRH production; also for 2016 UK tour.) Broadway credits include Waiting for Godot, No Man’s Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Casting Director & Associate Producer), Marlene, The Elephant Man, Dance of Death, The Diary of Anne Frank, Dirty Blonde, Closer (Artios Award.) Film credits include Custody (also Associate Producer), The Rewrite, Pink Panther 1 & 2, Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks’ Notice, Night at the Museum (Artios Award), School of Rock (Artios Award), Sleepy Hollow, A Simple Plan, The Parent Trap, First Wives’ Club, Marvin’s Room, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, No Way Out. TV credits include: Witness to the Mob, The Great Gatsby, Earthly Possessions. Starger is a former VP of Casting for Walt Disney and Touchstone Pictures.

An adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel Venus in Furs that inspired the term masochism, Venus in Fur was first performed off-Broadway, New York in 2010 with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, before transferring to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway with Nina Arianda reprising the role of Vanda Jordan alongside Hugh Dancy as Thomas Novachek. Both productions were directed by Walter Bobbie and won Arianda multiple awards including the 2011/12 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. In 2012, Roman Polanski directed a film version of the play, in French, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

LISTINGS

Website: www.VenusOnStage.com
Twitter: @VenusOnStageLDN
Facebook: facebook.com/VenusOnStageLDN

Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT

www.trh.co.uk
Box Office: 020 7930 8800

First performance on 6 October
Final performance on 9 December
Opening Night for Press on 17 October

Performances
MondaySaturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 3pm

Prices
From £15
For full details either visit www.trh.co.uk or call 020 7930 8800

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW

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.