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Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett announced in opening plays of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season by Artistic Director Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season, today announced the opening shows for its 2019 programme which will see much-loved British comedian Jennifer Saunders star as Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit directed by Richard Eyre, and Rupert Everett making his directorial stage debut in Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in which he will also play the title role in a new version by David HareBlithe Spirit will run from 13 June to 6 July with opening night for press on 19 June, followed by Uncle Vanya from 18 July to 3 August with opening night for press on 24 July, both in the Main House. Further casting and the full summer programme will be announced in due course.

Theatre Royal Bath is also delighted to announce it is extending its tenure with Jonathan Church as Artistic Director of the Summer Season by a further three years through to 2022. It follows Jonathan Church’s inaugural summer season in 2017 and a hugely successful 2018 programme with two West End transfers including the critically acclaimed production of Arthur Miller’s The Price currently playing at Wyndham’s Theatre, and Switzerland at the Ambassadors Theatre.

BLITHE SPIRIT
Thursday 13 June – Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June

Jennifer Saunders, one of the UK’s most popular comic actors, makes her Theatre Royal Bath debut as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s classic comedyBlithe Spirit. The production brings together a distinguished and multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Richard Eyre with design byAnthony Ward and lighting by Howard HarrisonLisa Dillon will also star as Ruth Condomine, with further casting to be announced.

Written in 1941, Coward’s inventive, witty and meticulously engineered comedy proved light relief and a popular distraction at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright’s most popular works.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated.

Jennifer Saunders is well known as one half of the comedy duo French and Saunders, for which she and Dawn French received a BAFTA fellowship in 2009, and for the hit comedy series and subsequent film, Absolutely Fabulous, which she also wrote and starred in. She has received numerous awards including two Emmys, five BAFTAs and four British Comedy Awards. Other recent credits include Lady Windermere’s Fan (West End) and the BBC series Jam and Jerusalem.

Lisa Dillon starred as Mary Smith in the BBC series Cranford. Her stage credits include Richard Eyre’s Private Lives in the West End, the RSC’s The Roaring Girl and The Taming of the Shrew, A Flea in Her Ear and Design for Living at the Old Vic and The Knot of the Heart and When the Rain Stops Falling at the Almeida.

Noël Coward was an English playwright, composer, actor, producer and director. His dramas include Hay Fever and Private Lives. For filmhe wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning In Which We Serve and the screenplay for Brief Encounter.

Richard Eyre was at the helm of the National Theatre for 10 years and is the winner of five Olivier Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award. His numerous hugely-acclaimed productions include Guys and DollsThe Invention of Love and Private Lives. His award-winning film and television work includes Iris, Tumbledown and The Children Act.

Anthony Ward has designed numerous productions including the Tony Award-winning Mary Stuart, the Olivier Award-winning Oklahoma! and What’s on Stage Award winner Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Howard Harrison is a two-times Olivier Award-winning lighting designer whose recent works include Impossible and Mamma Mia! (London, Broadway and worldwide).

Blithe Spirit is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.

 

UNCLE VANYA
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August
Press Night: Wednesday 24 July

Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath where he last appeared in The Judas Kiss in 2012 and which went on to transfer to the West End, and following recent critical acclaim as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince which he also wrote and directed. Everett will direct his first stage play and lead the cast in Anton Chekhov’s theatrical masterpiece Uncle Vanya, a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, in a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare.

It’s late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil.

Rupert Everett rose to fame in Another Country which earned him his first BAFTA nomination. Since then he has played many leading roles including in the multi-award-winning filmMy Best Friend’s Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Dance With A Stranger, The Madness of King George and St Trinian’s. His stage credits include Blithe Spirit on Broadway and Pygmalion and The Judas Kiss in the West End.

Anton Chekhov was a leading playwright and author of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the Russian realist school. His plays include The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

David Hare’s award-winning plays include Racing Demon, Plenty, Skylight, Amy’s View and The Judas Kiss. He received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hoursand The Reader.

LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Website: www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Blithe Spirit
By Noël Coward
Directed by Richard Eyre
Designed by Anthony Ward
Lighting Design by Howard Harrison
Presented by arrangement with Lee Dean
Thursday 13 June – Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm (no matinee 13 or 15 June)
Tickets: £25.50 – £39.50 (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

Uncle Vanya
By Anton Chekhov in a new version by David Hare
Directed by Rupert Everett
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August
Press night: Wednesday 24 July, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm (no matinee 20 July)
Tickets: £25.50 – £39.50 (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

The Price West End transfer announced, starring David Suchet and Brendan Coyle

David Suchet and Brendan Coyle ©NOBBY CLARK
David Suchet and Brendan Coyle ©NOBBY CLARK

David Suchet and Brendan Coyle ©NOBBY CLARK

The 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s riveting drama The Price is today announced for a West End transfer in February 2019 following a critical and publicly acclaimed reception in Bath earlier this summer. Eminent British actor David Suchetand Olivier Award winner and BAFTA and Emmy nominated Brendan Coyle will both reprise their star roles, as furniture dealer Gregory Solomon and New York cop Victor Franz, respectively, in Jonathan Church’s exemplary revival with Adrian Lukis and Sara StewartThe Price will run at Wyndham’s Theatre from 5 February to 27 April with opening night for press on 11 February 2019.

Two brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, one a New York cop nearing retirement, the other a successful surgeon, meet for the first time in sixteen years to sell their family furniture stored in the attic of a condemned New York brownstone. Revelation follows stunning revelation as each brother realises the price they have paid for heart breaking decisions made decades earlier. Overseeing the psychological battlefield is the wily veteran appraiser, Gregory Solomon, who has his own demons to conquer as well as securing the best possible price for the Franz family possessions.

David Suchet, revisiting the work of Arthur Miller after his legendary award-winning performance in All My Sons, plays Gregory Solomon. Brendan Coyle, well known as Mr Bates in Downton Abbey, will reprise his role as Victor Franz, and will return to the stage straight from his hit one-man show St Nicholas. Original cast member Adrian Lukis will return to play Victor’s brother, Walter Franz, with Sara Stewart as Esther Franz, Victor’s wife.

First seen on Broadway in 1968, The Price was nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Play. It was also recently revived in New York in 2017, starring Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito. This 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s richly affecting play – which, like his better known works, mines his preoccupation with the pleasures and perils of the American Dream – transfers from a sell-out run at the Theatre Royal Bath where it was hugely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

Arthur Miller’s plays include All My SonsDeath of a SalesmanThe CrucibleA View from the Bridge, After the FallThe Priceand Finishing the Picture. Other works include Focus, a novel, The Misfits, a screenplay, Timebends, an autobiography and the novella, Homely Girl. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949 for Death of a Salesman.

David Suchet, well known for playing Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, has credits across film, television and theatre, most recently seen in the BBC 1 drama Press and on stage in the Pinter at the Pinter season.  Theatre highlights include Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Apollo Theatre), All My Sons (Apollo Theatre), as well as The Last Confession (West End, Chichester Festival Theatre) andAmadeus (West End, London and Broadway).  Film credits include Effie, The Bank Job, Act of God, Foolproof, The In-Laws, Live From Baghdad, Sabotage, Wing Commander, A Perfect Murder and Sunday. Additional television credits include Great Expectations, Richard II, Hidden, Going Postal, Flood, Henry VIII, Victoria & Albert, RKO281, Seesaw and Solomon.

Brendan Coyle’s extensive television credits include John Bates in Downton Abbey, for which he won 3 SAG Awards for Outstanding Ensemble and received Emmy, BAFTA & IFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Most recently, Brendan starred in BBC and Netflix series Requiem, and on stage in Conor McPherson’s chilling one-man show St Nicholas for the Donmar Warehouse and Dublin Theatre Festival. Other television credits include Spotless, Starlings and Lark Rise To Candleford. Brendan starred in the original production of The Weir (Royal Court, West End and Broadway); winning both the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor & New York Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and has also appeared in Mojo (Harold Pinter), The Late Henry Moss(Almeida) and Buried Child (National Theatre). His film credits include upcoming Working Title epic Mary Queen of Scots and Me Before You.

Adrian Lukis has appeared in several television series, including BBC dramas Collateral, Silk, Silent Witness, Doctors and Spooks.His stage credits include The Seagull (National Theatre), Versailles (Donmar Warehouse), Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company), Pygmalion (Theatre Royal Bath) and Arthur and George and The Winslow Boy at Birmingham Repertory.

Sara Stewart has appeared on screen in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat, the Emmy Award Winning series Sugar Rush, and most recently in BBC dramas Doctor Foster and The Night Manager. Her film credits include Face of an Angel, Philomena, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Sightseers and the latest Transformers film. Her most recent theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard (Nottingham Playhouse) and Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties (Southwark Playhouse).

Jonathan Church is Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season where his directing credits include the upcoming In Praise of Love and, recently, The Price, An Ideal Husband as seen in the West End, Racing Demon and The Lady in the Van. He was previously Artistic Director for the Salisbury Playhouse (1995-99), Birmingham Rep (2001-05) and Chichester Festival Theatre (2006-16). His directing credits include acclaimed productions such as Singin’ in the Rain (Chichester, West End), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester, West End) and Taken at Midnight (Chichester, West End). He received a CBE for Services to Theatre in 2015.

The Price is presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Jonathan Church Productions, and directed by Jonathan Church with design by Simon Higlett, lighting design by Paul Pyant, sound design by Mike Walker, composition by Matthew Scott, associate direction by Emma Butler and casting by Gabrielle Dawes CDG.

LISTINGS

THE PRICE
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Jonathan Church
Designed by Simon Higlett
Lighting Design: Paul Pyant
Sound Design: Mike Walker
Composer: Matthew Scott
Associate Director: Emma Butler
Casting: Gabrielle Dawes CDG

Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DA

First performance: Tuesday 5 February
Opening Night: Monday 11 February
Final performance: Saturday 27 April

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm

Box Office details:
Website: www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk 
Box office number: 0844 482 5151
Prices from £20

Twitter: @TheatreRBath
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath

 

Full casting announced for The Lady In The Van at Theatre Royal Bath

Lady In The Van

Lady In The Van

Lady In The Van

Theatre Royal Bath Productions announces full casting for Alan Bennett’The Lady in the Van, directed by Jonathan Church, which today began rehearsals ahead of its run at Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 17 August to Saturday 2 September.

Olivier Award-winner Sara Kestelman will star as Bennett’s beloved character Miss Mary Shepherd. Kestelman will be joined by Sam Alexander as Alan Bennett, William Gaunt as Underwood and James Northcote who will share the role of Alan Bennett. The full cast will also include Emma AmosLia Burge,Paul HickeyGabrielle LloydDavid Shaw ParkerSteve Simmonds and Cat Simmons.

In 1974, Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman, temporarily moved her clapped out Bedford van into Alan Bennett’s front garden at Gloucester Crescent, Camden. She remained parked there for the next fifteen years.

Sara Kestelman’s (Mary Shepherd) extensive theatre credits include Filthy Business and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Michael Frayn’s award-winning Copenhagen (National Theatre/West End) and her Olivier Award-winning role as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret (Donmar Warehouse).

Sam Alexander (Alan Bennett) was most recently seen in the RSC’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing. Other credits include Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead Theatre), The Christmas Truce (RSC) andOne Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre / Theatre Royal Haymarket).

William Gaunt (Underwood) is best known for his roles as Bob Marriott in Sergeant Cork, Arthur Crabtree inNo Place Like Home and Richard Barratt in The Champions. Stage credits include Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Crucible (Old Vic Theatre) and The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse).

James Northcote (Alan Bennett) has recently starred in films including A United Kingdom with Rosamund Pike and The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch. Theatre credits include Pride and Prejudice(Sheffield Theatres) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester Festival Theatre).

The production will have design by Robert Innes Hopkins, lighting by Tim Mitchell, music by Matthew Scott and sound by Mike Walker.

The Lady in the Van will conclude Jonathan Church’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s 2017 summer season. The programme of five plays opened on 21 June with David Hare’s Racing Demon, followed by Sand in the Sandwiches by Hugh Whitemore from Tuesday 11 July – Saturday 15 July. The remaining productions in the season will be the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, adapted for the stage by Carolyn Burns from Friday 21 July – Saturday 12 August and Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks from Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September.

UPDATED LISTINGS

THE LADY IN THE VAN
By Alan Bennett
Directed by Jonathan Church

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET

First performance            Thursday 17 August
Final performance           Saturday 2 September
Press performance           Wednesday 23 August, 7pm
Performance schedule    Monday – Saturday7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday2.30pm (No matinee 17 August)

Box office details
website                                www.theatreroyal.org.uk
telephone                            01225 448844

Prices  from                         £15

Facebook:                            TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter:                                @TheatreRBath

Casting announced for the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest

Rehearsals are underway for the UK premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, directed by Simon Phillips as part of Artistic Director Jonathan Church’s inaugural Summer Season of five plays for Theatre Royal Bath which runs from Friday 21 July – Saturday 12 August with opening night on Monday 31 July.

Jonathan Watton will star as Roger O. Thornhill, the role Cary Grant played in the 1959 film.  The full cast will also include, Angus Brown, Christopher Chilton, Tom Davey, Olivia Fines, Kieran Gough, Nick Harris, Joanna Van Kampen, Gerald Kyd, Abigail McKern, Roddy Peters and Nick Sampson.

Following its world premiere in Melbourne, Alfred Hitchcock’s supreme comedy of suspense North by Northwest receives its UK premiere at Theatre Royal Bath in a new stage adaptation of Hitchcock’s film byCarolyn Burns, directed by Simon Phillips.

Roger O. Thornhill is a suave and successful advertising executive, abducted by thugs who insist he is a man called George Kaplan. There’s obviously been a mix up. When they don’t believe him, that’s infuriating. When they try to kill him, that’s frightening. And when they pin a murder on him, then it’s time to run!

Canadian actor Jonathan Watton (Roger O. Thornhill) is known at home for playing Darcy Garland in CBC network series Murdoch Mysteries. He has directed short films Last of the Snow and The PamplemouseNorth by Northwest marks Watton’s British stage debut.

Carolyn Burns’ latest work includes the stage adaptation of Australian novel Ladies in Black and Good Peoplewhich was performed at the International Playwriting Festival in South London.

Simon Phillips is a New Zealand-Australian director and former Artistic Director of Melbourne Theatre Company. Previous theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Broadway and Love Never Dies in Melbourne.

North by Northwest forms part of Jonathan Church’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s annual Summer Season. The programme of five plays will also include Racing Demons until Saturday 8 July, Sand in the Sandwiches by Hugh Whitemore from Tuesday 11 July – Saturday 15 July,Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks from Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van from Wednesday 16 August – Saturday 2 September.

LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Website: www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Main House

North by Northwest
Adapted for the stage from Alfred Hitchcock’s film by Carolyn Burns
Directed by Simon Phillips
Dates: Friday 21 July – Saturday 12 August
Press Night: Monday 31 July, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm
Prices: £21.50 – £37.50 (Previews: £15 – £25)

Racing Demon
By David Hare
Directed by Jonathan Church
Dates: Wednesday 21 June – Saturday 8 July
Press Night: Wednesday 28 June, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No Matinee 22 June)
Prices: £19.50 – £35.50 (Previews: £15 – £25)

Sand in the Sandwiches
By Hugh Whitemore
Directed by Gareth Armstrong
Dates: Tuesday 11 July – Saturday 15 July
Performance schedule: Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Wednesday & Saturday 2.30pm
Prices: £19.50 – £35.50

The Lady in the Van
By Alan Bennett
Directed by Jonathan Church
Dates: Wednesday 16 August – Saturday 2 September
Press Nights: Wednesday 23 August, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No matinee 17 August)
Prices: £19.50 – £35.50  (Previews: £15 – £25)

Ustinov Studio

Looking at Lucian
By Alan Franks
Directed by Tom Attenborough
Designed by Carla Goodman
Dates: Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September
Press Night: Thursday 10 August, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No matinees 3 or10 August)
Prices: £24.50 / £17.50 concessions (Previews: £15)

 

Full casting announced for Racing Demon at Theatre Royal Bath

Racing Demon
Racing Demon

Racing Demon

Theatre Royal Bath Productions has announced the full casting for David Hare’s Racing Demon, directed by Jonathan Church, which today began rehearsals ahead of its run at Theatre Royal Bath fromWednesday 21 June to Saturday 8 July.

As previously announced Olivier Award-winner David Haig will star as Lionel Espy in the multi-award winning play. He will be joined by Sam Alexander, Michelle Bonnard, Anthony Calf, William Chubb, Paapa Essiedu, Ian Gelder, Andrew Fraser, Rebecca Night, Amanda Root and Ashley Russell.

Four clergymen seek to make sense of their mission in inner-city London whilst facing their own personal crises. There’s Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle; tabloid-hounded gay vicar Harry Henderson; ‘Streaky’ Bacon, a genial reverend with a taste for tequila, and a charismatic young curate, Tony Ferris whose arrival is set to fan the flames, whilst his sexual relationship with his lover turns to ash. The day of judgement is at hand for all.

Racing Demon is the first production in Jonathan Church’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s annual Summer Season. The programme of five plays will also include Sand in the Sandwichesby Hugh Whitemore from Tuesday 11 July – Saturday 15 July, the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest from Friday 21 July – Saturday 12 August, Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks from Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van from Wednesday 16 August – Saturday 2 September.

David Haig (Lionel Espy) has previously performed at Theatre Royal Bath in The Madness of George III andKing Lear. Other recent theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic),Blue/Orange (Young Vic), Guys & Dolls (Savoy Theatre) and Our Country’s Good (Royal Court), for which he won the Olivier Award. Notable film and television credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Witness for the Prosecution, The Thick of It and Mo.

Jonathan Church succeeds Peter Hall as Artistic Director, who established the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season in 2003 with his company’s annual residencies. Church was previously Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing over 100 productions including Taken at Midnight, ENRON, Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. Following his departure from Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Church set up his own independent production company, which he will continue to lead alongside his new position at Theatre Royal Bath.

David Hare is one of the UK’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters with plays including The Judas Kiss, Skylight, Amy’s View and Plenty. He received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hoursand The Reader.

LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Website: www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Racing Demon
By David Hare
Directed by Jonathan Church
Dates: Wednesday 21 June – Saturday 8 July
Press Night: Wednesday 28 June, 7pm
Performance schedule: MondaySaturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No Matinee 22 June)
Prices: £19.50 – £35.50 (Previews: £15 – £25)

Theatre Royal Bath announces Jonathan Church’s inaugural Summer Season 2017

Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church

Artistic Director Jonathan Church’s complete programme for Theatre Royal Bath’s annual Summer Season is today announced. Church’s inaugural season of five plays will open with David Hare’s Racing Demons from 21 June, followed by Sand in the Sandwiches by Hugh Whitemore, the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van.

Jonathan Church succeeds Peter Hall as Artistic Director, who established the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season in 2003 with his company’s annual residencies. Church was previously Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing over 100 productions including Taken at Midnight, ENRON, Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. Following his departure from Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Church set up his own independent production company, which he will continue to lead alongside his new position at Theatre Royal Bath.

Jonathan Church says: ‘Having regularly seen the work at Theatre Royal Bath under Peter Hall’s directorship, I’m extremely proud to be the new Director of Bath’s summer seasons and hope to continue Peter’s tradition of bringing great artists to Bath and to balance the familiar with the new. A summer season for me always needs an element of festival and celebration about it and I hope that with this programme of work we are celebrating a number of iconic storytellers  – David Hare, Alan Bennett, Hugh Whitemore and Alfred Hitchcock, alongside a group of extraordinary actors.’

RACING DEMONS
Wednesday 21 June – Saturday 8 July

Jonathan Church will direct Olivier Award-winner David Haig as Lionel Espy in David Hare’s multi-award winning play Racing Demons, which tackles the role of the clergy and the church’s role in modern Britain. Further casting will be announced in due course.

David Haig has previously performed at Theatre Royal Bath in The Madness of George III and King Lear. Other recent theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Old Vic), Blue/Orange (Young Vic), Guys & Dolls(Savoy Theatre) and Our Country’s Good (Royal Court), for which he won the Olivier Award. Notable film and television credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Witness for the Prosecution, The Thick of It and Mo.

David Hare is one of the UK’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters with plays including The Judas Kiss, Skylight, Amy’s View and Plenty. He received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hours andThe Reader.

SAND IN THE SANDWICHES
Tuesday 11 July – Saturday 15 July

Following an acclaimed sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, triple BAFTA winner Edward Fox will return to Bath in the celebrated one-man play exploring the life and work of poet John Betjeman. Written by Hugh Whitemore and directed by Gareth Armstrong, Sand in the Sandwiches celebrates a man famous not only for light verse and laughter, but for his passions, his sense of purpose and his unforgettable poetry.

Edward Fox’s distinguished career counts iconic British films including the Oscar winning Ghandi, The Day of the Jackal, A Bridge Too Far, Oh! What a Lovely War, The Dresser, The Go-Between and James Bond’s Never Say Never Again. His stage credits include: The Audience, Four Quartets, Hamlet, An Evening with Anthony Trollopeand Letter of Resignation.

Hugh Whitemore, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is an award-winning writer whose work spans stage and screen. Theatre credits include As You Desire Me, Stevie, Pack of Lies and The Best of Friends. Films credits include Jane Eyre (1996) and 84 Charing Cross Road. With over 70 television credits, Whitemore has written for broadcasters in both the UK and USA, winning two Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards and two Emmy Awards.

Gareth Armstrong specialises in solo performance and has helped to create a dozen such theatre pieces, including Hugh Whitemore’s My Darling Clemmie and his own dramatisation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, called Wilde Without the Boy.

NORTH BY NORTHWEST
Friday 21 July – Saturday 12 August

Following its world premiere in Melbourne, Alfred Hitchcock’s supreme comedy of suspense North by Northwest will receive its UK premiere at Theatre Royal Bath in a new stage adaptation of Hitchcock’s film byCarolyn Burns, directed by Simon Phillips.

Carolyn Burns’ latest work includes the stage adaptation of Australian novel Ladies in Black and Good Peoplewhich was performed at the International Playwriting Festival in South London.

Simon Phillips is a New Zealand-Australian director and former Artistic Director of Melbourne Theatre Company. Previous theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Broadway and Love Never Dies in Melbourne.

Casting will be announced in due course.
LOOKING AT LUCIAN
Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September

Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio will stage the World Premiere of mesmerising fly-on-the-wall drama Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks, directed by Tom Attenborough. Olivier Award winner Henry Goodman will star as Lucian Freud, widely regarded to be the greatest living portrait painter of our time, as he works in his Kensington Studio, painting a portrait across the course of ten months.

Henry Goodman’s extensive career includes seasons with the RSC and National Theatre. His awards include both the Olivier Award and Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actor for Trevor Nunn’s The Merchant of Venice and the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Assassins. Other acclaimed performances include Hysteria in which he played Lucian Freud’s grandfather, Sigmund Freud, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Broken Glass and Jonathan Church’s production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Alan Franks was a feature writer and columnist for The Times for 30 years, interviewing numerous international stars from the world of music, theatre and literature. Franks’ playwriting credits include The Mother Tongue, The Edge of the Land and A World Elsewhere.

Tom Attenborough is the Artistic Director of Rhapsody of Words Productions, Associate Director of the Watermill Theatre and Artistic Associate of HighTide Festival Theatre. Attenborough’s directing credits includeBurbage’s Farewell (Minerva Theatre Chichester), Twelfth Night, Bell Book & Candle (US & UK Tour), Untold Stories (Watermill) and The 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic).

THE LADY IN THE VAN
Wednesday 16 August – Saturday 2 September

Jonathan Church will direct the closing production of the 2017 Summer Season, Alan Bennett’s classic play The Lady in the Van. Casting will be announced in due course.

Originally a memoir, a radio series, and recently a film, The Lady in the Van is the touching, uplifting and wonderfully funny story of Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman, who temporarily moved her clapped out Bedford van into Alan Bennett’s front garden at Gloucester Crescent, Camden. She remained parked there for the next 15 years.

Alan Bennett’s extensive credits include Single Spies, Talking Heads, The Madness of King George, The History Boys and Enjoy.