Felicity Kendal to star in The Argument at Theatre Royal Bath

Felicity Kendal

Felicity Kendal

Theatre Royal Bath today announced The Argument by William Boyd, its third Summer Season production, with Felicity Kendal starring in the role of Chloe. The production, directed by Christopher Luscombe, will run in the Main House from 7 to 24 August with opening night for press on 12 August.

The Argument delves into what it is to dispute with those we love and offers a biting take on human dynamics. This is an often hilarious, darkly comic and compelling exploration of how it is the tone in which words are said which has such potency.

Pip and Meredith are having a disagreement about a film they’ve just seen when Pip’s phone rings and a full-scale row about their marriage breaks out. In the course of ten arguments, we follow the repercussions, as Meredith’s parents, Chloe and Frank, her best-friend Jane, and Pip’s best-friend Tony, take sides and end up embroiled in arguments of their own. Vitriolic, razor-sharp and veracious, the arguments rake over past prejudices, expose unjust judgements and reveal difficult truths.

The Argument will run in addition to the previously announced Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders as well as Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in which Rupert Everett makes his directorial stage debut and will also play the title role in a new version by David Hare. Further casting and the full summer programme will be announced in due course.

Felicity Kendal CBE is one of the UK’s best-loved actresses, best known for her role in the BBC sitcom The Good Life. She has appeared in previous Theatre Royal Bath productions, including A Room with a View, Hay Fever and Relatively Speaking. Her roles in Much Ado About Nothing and Ivanov at the Strand Theatre won her the 1989 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress. Other stage credits also include Waste and the Seagull (Old Vic), Indian Ink (Aldwych), Heartbreak House (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Tartuffe (Playhouse) and Arcadia, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Othello and Amadeus for the National Theatre.

Christopher Luscombe’s (Director) recent credits include The Nightingales and Nell Gwynn, winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Other productions includeLove’s Labour’s LostMuch Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night for The RSC, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Nell Gwynn for Shakespeare’s Globe and in the West End, Enjoy,When We Are Married and The Madness of George III. He is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

William Boyd OBE (writer) is a novelist, short story writer and screenwriter. His many novels include An Ice Cream War, Restless and Sweet Caress. His works have received several awards including the Whitbread Book award and Somerset Maugham Award for his novel A Good Man in Africa. His work Any Human Heart also won the Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His stage work also includes Longing, an adaptation of two Chekhov short stories.

The Argument is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

The Argument
By William Boyd
Directed by Christopher Luscombe
Wednesday 7 August – Saturday 24 August
Press night: Wednesday 12 August, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
(No matinee Thursday 8 August)
Tickets: Between £27.00 – £41.50


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.

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.


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.


Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
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 Scarlet Pimpernel to open at Theatre Royal Bath’s the egg theatre for Christmas co-presented with Pins & Needles Productions

The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel to open in Bath this Christmas, reuniting the award-winning team behind the festive hit production of Little Mermaid
  • At Theatre Royal Bath’s the egg theatre from 6 December to 13 January, with opening night on 12 December

This Christmas, Theatre Royal Bath’s the egg theatre and Pins & Needles Productions present a new adaptation of Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel in a comedic romp reuniting the award-winning production team behind last year’s critically acclaimed production of Little Mermaid. Recently named winners of the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, they will present this new production at the egg from 6 December to 13 January 2019, with opening night for press on 12 December 2018.

The Scarlet Pimpernel transports audiences to revolutionary Paris, for a colourful adventure packed with plenty of songs, outrageous fashion, intrigue and derring-do!

Paris, 1792 and the French Revolution is in full swing. Whispers are rife that a mysterious band of bounders, led by a flamboyant masked hero, are helping French poodles – and their owners – escape to England. But who is the elusive and reckless daredevil? This Christmas, visit the egg theatre to uncover the real identity of that master of disguise, the famed Scarlet Pimpernel! Horrible Histories meets Batman in this hilarious romp, jam-packed with elaborate hoaxes, buffoonery and nincompoops.

The Scarlet Pimpernel brings together Pins & Needles Productions’ Director/Designer duo Emma Earle and Zoe Squire, with co-direction from Les Enfants Terribles’ Associate Director Joe Hufton and original music from the Wardrobe Ensemble’s Jack Drewry in this adaption by award winning playwrightChristopher William Hill.

The full cast includes Dominic Allen, Emile Clarke, Phillipa Hogg, Laura Matthews and Dan Wheeler.

Pins & Needles Productions’ Director Emma Earle and Designer Zoe Squire said: “For this Christmas adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel we’ve added lots more derring-do, twists and turns to the original story. We wanted to take a known title and bring it up to date with an exciting design which reflects the elements of disguise in the plot. The costumes are going to be fantastical with a real punk-esque feel and puppets to match. We’ve had a lot of fun collaborating with Christopher on the nerd turned superhero idea, and the result is a very funny script packed with elaborate disguises, subterfuge and plenty of silliness that will entertain family audiences over the festive period.” 

Pins & Needles Productions is an award-winning theatre company, making work that is “highly original and deliciously quirky” (The Guardian). The company is passionate about telling stories in an innovative and imaginative way, including bold visuals and ambitious staging.  Previous work has reached audiences across the UK and internationally. Their family musical Mr Popper’s Penguins played in the West End and toured the USA extensively including New York. They have adapted two of Raymond Briggs’ classic children’s books; Father Christmas, which has played at Lyric Hammersmith for the past seven consecutive years, and The Bear.  Last year’s critically acclaimed Little Mermaid by writer Bea Roberts, scooped the 2018 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People.  Other productions include; Flies, Ernest and the Pale Moon and Gizmo Love. Pins and Needles Productions is a female-led Director/Designer partnership, run by Director Emma Earle and Designer Zoe Squire.

Tickets are on sale now for The Scarlet Pimpernel via the egg theatre on 01225 823409. Suitable for ages 6+ and families.

The egg and Pins and Needles Productions present
The Scarlet Pimpernel

Based on the book by Baroness Orczy
Co directed by Emma Earle & Joe Hufton
Designed by Zoe Squire
Adapted by Christopher William Hill
Composed by Jack Drewry
Sound Design by Jonathan Everett
Lighting Design by Chris Swain

the egg theatre, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET 
Dates: Thursday 6 December 2018 – Sunday 13 January 2019
Press night: Wednesday 12 December, 7pm
Performance schedule: Two performances daily. Times vary – please call egg reception for details.
No performances 9, 10, 17, 21, 25, 26 December 2018; 1 or 7 January 2019.
Prices: £18 adults / £12 children
Box Office: 01225 448844
egg reception: 01225 823409
Age guidance: Suitable for ages 6+

Full casting announced for Shakespeare in Love, brand new production and tour opening this Autumn

  • Full Casting announced for a brand new production of the hit West End Play Shakespeare In Love 
  • Critically acclaimed play, based on the oscar-winning film, embarks on a national tour this autumn
  • Opening at Theatre Royal Bath from 4 October, 2018 and currently touring to 24 November with further dates to be announced

Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Theatre Royal Bath Productions  today announced the full casting for a brand new production and UK tour of the critically acclaimed West End play Shakespeare in Love. As previously announced, the play will be directed by Phillip Breen and opens at Theatre Royal Bath on Thursday 4 October 2018 with press night on Thursday 11 October and will then embark on a national tour to Nottingham, Malvern, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Chichester, with further venues to be announced.

Pierro Niel Mee

Pierro Niel Mee

Pierro Niel-Mee will star as Will Shakespeare with Imogen Daines as Viola, Rob Edwards as FennymanGeraldine Alexander as the Queen, Edmund Kingsley as Kit Marlowe, Bill Ward as Wessex, Ian Hughes as Henslowe, Giles Taylor as Tilney and De Lesseps, Edward Harrison as Burbage and Philip Labey as Sam. The cast also includes Rowan Polonski as Ned Alleyn/Catling, Kevin N Golding as Lambert/Wabash, Joshua Richards as Frees/Ralph, Jonathan Blaydon as Nol/Valentine,Richard Rowe McGhie as Adam, Rosalind Steele as Molly, Toby Webster as Peter/Robin and Jazmine Wilkinson as Webster/Mistress Quickly.

The Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and starring Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow went on to win seven Academy Awards, including best screenplay, following its premiere in 1998. It was adapted for stage by Lee Hall, with music by Paddy Cunneen, and opened for a triumphant West End run in 2014 to both critical and public acclaim.

Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block… the deadline for his new play – a comedy called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter – is fast approaching, he’s struggling to finish the first line of a sonnet and he’s in dire need of inspiration. Then he meets the beguiling Viola de Lesseps, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant. Viola is prepared to do anything – including risking the frosty disapproval of Queen Elizabeth I – to fulfil her illicit dream of performing on the London stage and pursuing a passionate affair with the greatest playwright of the age.

Directed by Phillip Breen with design by Max Jones, lighting by Tina MacHugh, sound by Dyfan Jones, movement by Ayse Tashkiran, music by Paddy Cunneen and with Associate Producers Rebecca Stafford, Eilene Davidson and Mark Puddle.

Theatre Royal Bath announces Jonathan Church’s Summer Season 2018

Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season, today announced the full 2018 programme. Some of the country’s most prolific actors will star in a selection of both UK premieres and renowned classics in the theatre’s historic Main House and the intimate Ustinov Studio.

Opening the season in the Main House will be Jonathan Church’s production of Oscar Wilde’s witty drama An Ideal Husband (18 July – 4 August), which transfers from a critically acclaimed West End run, followed by Arthur Miller’s The Price (9 – 25 August). The Main House season will conclude with the 10th anniversary production of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage (29 August – 15 September), directed by Lindsay Posner.

The summer season in the Ustinov Studio will open with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s new production of Henry V (21 June – 21 July), directed by Elizabeth Freestone. As a hub for new writing, the studio will then host the UK Premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith’s thrillerSwitzerland (1 August – 1 September), which premiered in Australia. The final production in the season will be Terence Rattigan’s compelling drama In Praise of Love (3 October – 2 November), directed by Jonathan Church who makes his Ustinov Studio debut.

Jonathan Church succeeded Peter Hall as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s annual summer season in 2017. His inaugural season included David Hare’s Racing Demon, Hugh Whitemore’s Sand in the Sandwiches, the stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Alan Franks’Looking at Lucian and Alan Bennett’s classic The Lady in the Van. Church was previously Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing more than 100 productions including Taken atMidnightENRON, Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy.

Introducing his new season, Jonathan Church said: “It’s a great pleasure to announce such a diverse and rich season of drama this summer and in particular to welcome this exceptional group of actors, directors and writers to the beautiful Theatre Royal Bath and Ustinov Studio. Alongside the well known work in the Main House there is an adventure to be had in the Ustinov with the rarely performed Rattigan play In Praise Of Love, the UK premiere of Joanna-Murray Smith’sSwitzerland and the extraordinary Bristol based company Shakespeare at The Tobacco Factory tackling Henry V in their own unique style.  My memories of the summer in Bath are powerfully linked to the work that Peter Hall created here so it’s a real treat to welcome his grandson Ben Hall to the season playing Henry V.”

Ustinov Studio
Thursday 21 June – Saturday 21 July
Press night: Thursday 28 June

Innovative theatre company Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory will launch their brand new production of Henry V at the Ustinov Studio prior to a UK Tour. Directed by Elizabeth Freestone, Shakespeare’s play is a thrilling examination of the nature of power, the burden of leadership and the myth of heroism.

Ben Hall (The Durrells, Coriolanus) will star in the title role. He will be joined by Rosie ArmstrongAlice BarclayMelody BrownAlan CoveneyChris DonnellyLuke Grant,Heledd GwynnJoanne HowarthDavid OsmondZachary PowellAmy Rockson andCorey Montague-Sholay.

Main House
Wednesday 18 July – Saturday 4 August

An Ideal Husbanddirected by Jonathan Church will transfer direct from a critically acclaimed West End season at the Vaudeville Theatre. Oscar Wilde’s sharp and witty drama explores corruption, blackmail and honour when a damning secret threatens to ruin ambitious politician Sir Robert Chiltern’s career and marriage.

The production will star real-life father and son duo, BAFTA winner Edward Fox (The Audience, The Day of the Jackal) and Freddie Fox (The Judas Kiss, Cucumber). They are joined by Susan Hampshire (The Forsyte Saga, Monarch of the Glen), Olivier-Award winner Nathaniel Parker(Wolf Hall, This House), Frances Barber (Silk, Antony and Cleopatra) and Sally Bretton (Not Going Out, King Lear).

Ustinov Studio
Wednesday 1 August – Saturday 1 September
Press night: Thursday 9 August

Lucy Bailey will direct the UK premiere of Joanna Murray Smith’s award-winning psychological thriller Switzerland. The play paints a portrait of one of the great writers of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith, famed for writing The Talented Mr Ripley, Strangers On A Train and The Price of Salt. When a mysterious gentleman visits Patricia to persuade her to pen one final instalment of the bestselling Tom Ripley series it soon becomes clear the stranger has a far more sinister mission.

Switzerland premiered in Australia in 2015 where it won Best New Australian Work at the Sydney Theatre Awards. Casting to be announced in due course.

Main House
Thursday 9 August – Saturday 25 August
Press night: Wednesday 15 August

Jonathan Church will direct the 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s riveting dramaThe Price in Theatre Royal Bath’s Main House. One of Britain’s most celebrated actors, David Suchet, will star as furniture dealer Gregory Solomon with further casting to be announced.

The play tells the story of two long-estranged brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, meeting in their former childhood home following the death of their father. When Gregory Solomon, a silver-tongued used furniture dealer, arrives to close a deal he hasn’t counted on the brothers being there to confront each other.

First seen on Broadway in 1968, The Price was nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Play. It was most recently revived in New York in 2017, starring Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito.

Main House
Wednesday 29 August – Saturday 15 September
Press night: Wednesday 5 September

Lindsay Posner directs the 10th anniversary production of Yasmina Reza’s award-winning farceGod of Carnage. Starring two much-loved actors from hit television series, Elizabeth McGovern(Downton Abbey) and Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), the play is a ruthlessly comic study of middle-class parenting.

Originally written in French, God of Carnage was translated by Christopher Hampton in 2008. The production went on to win the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the Tony Award for Best New Play.

Ustinov Studio
Wednesday 3 October – Saturday 3 November
Press night: Monday 15 October

Jonathan Church will make his Ustinov Studio directorial debut with Terence Rattigan’s final play In Praise of Love. Olivier Award and Tony Award winner Robert Lindsay (My Family, Me and My Girl) and Tara Fitzgerald (Waking the Dead, Hamlet) will star in the closing production of Church’s season.

A perceptive and powerful drama about the concealed truths and veiled emotions in a marriage, In Praise of Love sees a series of heart-breaking revelations change a couple’s relationship forever.


Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Priority booking opens Saturday 19 May
General online booking opens Wednesday 30 May
General Telephone booking opens Monday 4 June

Henry V
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Elizabeth Freestone
Location: Ustinov Studio
Dates: Thursday 21 June – Saturday 21 July
Press Night: Thursday 28 June, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm; Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm
Prices: £24.50 / £17.50 discounts (Previews and Mondays £15)

An Ideal Husband
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Jonathan Church
Designed by Simon Higlett
Location: Main House
Dates: Wednesday 18 July – Saturday 4 August
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm; Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
Prices: £25.50 – £41.50

By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Lucy Bailey
Designed by William Dudley
Location: Ustinov Studio
Wednesday 1 August – Saturday 1 September
Press Night: Thursday 9 August, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm (no matinee 1 Aug)
Prices: £27.50 / £24.50 discounts (Previews and Mondays £22.50)

The Price
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Jonathan Church
Designed by Simon Higlett
Location: Main House
Dates: Thursday 9 August – Saturday 25 August
Press Night: Wednesday 15 August, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm (No matinee 9 Aug)
Prices: £22.50 – £38.50

God of Carnage
By Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Lindsay Posner
Designed by Peter McKintosh
Location: Main House
Dates: Wednesday 29 August – Saturday 15 September
Press Night: Wednesday 5 September, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm (No Matinee 30 Aug)
Prices: £15 – £38.50

In Praise of Love
By Terence Rattigan
Directed by Jonathan Church
Location: Ustinov Studio
Dates: Wednesday 3 October – Saturday 3 November
Press Night: Monday 15 October, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm (No matinee 3 Oct)
Prices: £34.50 / £29.50 discounts

Further DUSTY casting released on Dusty Springfield’s Birthday

Katherine Kingsley © Dominic Nicholls
Katherine Kingsley © Dominic Nicholls

Katherine Kingsley © Dominic Nicholls

  • Further casting announced, including Rufus Hound and Roberta Taylor, for the new musical charting the life of Dusty Springfield
  • They join Katherine Kingsley, previously announced in the title role
  • Dusty will premiere in June at Theatre Royal Bath, before playing at  Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Newcastle  Theatre Royal and The Lowry, Salford

To celebrate the birthday of Dusty Springfield (born 16 April 1939) further casting has been announced today for DUSTY, the landmark new musical about her life which will have its world premiere at Theatre Royal Bath in June 2018 before dates at The Lyceum in Sheffield, Newcastle Theatre Royal, and The Lowry in Salford.

Joining the previously announced Katherine Kingsley (Piaf, Singin’ in the Rain) in the title role will be actor, comedian and presenter Rufus Hound (Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsThe Wind in the Willows) as Dusty’s manager Billings and Roberta Taylor (The Bill, EastEnders) as Dusty’s mother Kay.

The full cast will include Ishmail Aaron, Jenny Bolt, Alex Bowen, Esther Coles, Joelle Dyson, Joanna Francis, Paul Grunert, Ella Kenion, Adam Lyons, Lisa Mathieson, Katharine Pearson, Micha Richardson, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Hampus Lee Strand and Chad Wilder, with further casting still to be announced.

With a fiercely funny and emotionally charged script from BAFTA and Olivier nominated writer Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful ThingCoronation Street), DUSTY is directed by Olivier Award-winner Maria Friedman (Merrily We Roll AlongStepping Out).

DUSTY features many of the singer’s blazingly soulful pop hits, including I Only Want to Be with YouSon of a Preacher Man and You Dont Have toSay You Love Me. 

London born Dusty Springfield’s career started in the late 1950’s. She soon became known across the world for her soulful voice and iconic look with hits spanning four decades. Dusty was recently voted one of the most influential women of the last 100 years in a poll by BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme. Her 1969 masterpiece ‘Dusty In Memphis’ is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and Dusty has been inducted into both the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame.

DUSTY draws on the memories of her close friend, manager and authorised biographer Vicki Wickham, her lifelong personal assistant Pat Rhodes, and friend and record company executive Tris Penna.

Rufus Hound is a well-known actor, comedian and presenter equally at home with roles on screen including Doctor Who, Cucumber, Hounded and on the stage including What The Butler Saw (Theatre Royal Bath / Leicester Curve), Don Quixote (RSC), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre London). He returns to The Lowry following his award-winning role as Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows. Prior to DUSTY, he will be playing opposite Katherine Kingsley in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Roberta Taylor is best known as series regulars Inspector Gina Gold in The Bill and previously Irene Raymond in EastEnders. Further screen credits include Luther, Shakespeare & Hathaway, Bleak House. Alongside her television work her numerous roles onstage include an acclaimed and memorable performance as Phoebe Rice in John Osborne’s The Entertainer (Manchester Royal Exchange).

Katherine Kingsley has received widespread critical acclaim and multiple Olivier and WhatsOnStage Award nominations. Theatre credits include playing Marlene Dietrich in Piaf (Donmar Warehouse), Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre London)/ Manchester Opera House / Aylesbury Waterside Theatre), Helena in Michael Grandage Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Noël Coward Theatre), Lina Lamont in Singin’ In The Rain (Palace Theatre London / Chichester Festival Theatre) and The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre). On screen credits include the film Genius as well as appearances on The Bill, Casualty and Bad Education. 

Jonathan Harvey wrote his first play in 1987, and has since written over 15 more, including BabiesBoom Bang-A-Bang and Beautiful Thing, which was later made into an acclaimed film. He has been the recipient of the Evening Standard, George Devine and John Whiting Awards, and his work has been both Bafta- and Olivier-nominated. Jonathan’s extensive television writing includes Coronation Street, on which he has worked since 2004, Beautiful People and Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. He has also written for shows as diverse as RevShamelessAt Home With The BraithwaitesThe Catherine Tate Show and Tracey Ullman’s Show. He has also published five novels and been hailed as ‘the new theatrical voice of his generation’.

Best known as a three-time Olivier Award winning star of the musical stage, director Maria Friedman made an astonishing directorial debut in 2012 with a hugely acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along which won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards 2013, the Olivier Awards 2014 (for which Maria was also nominated for Best Director of a Musical), and the Critic’s Circle Award 2013. She went on to direct High Society at The Old Vic in 2015 and recently Stepping Out at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Full cast and creative team biographies can be downloaded here.

DUSTY is produced by Eleanor Lloyd Productions in association with Tris Penna and Vicki Wickham. Set and Costume Design is by Tom Pye with Choreography by Tim Jackson, Lighting Design by Bruno Poet, Sound Design by Richard Brooker, Video Design by Finn Ross, Orchestrations and Vocal Arrangements by Steve Sidwell and Musical Supervision and Vocal Arrangements by Tim Sutton. Music Consultant is Tris Penna, Casting Director is Ellie Collyer-Bristow CDG and Hair, Wigs and Make Up are by Carole Hancock.

Book by Jonathan Harvey
Directed by Maria Friedman

Designer Tom Pye
Choreographer Tim Jackson

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Saturday 23 June – Saturday 7 July 2018
THEATRE ROYAL BATH | 01225 448844
Tickets from £23.00
Evenings performances at 7.30pm
Matinee performances on Saturday 30th JuneThursday 5th July and Saturday 7th July at 2.30pm.(no performance Monday 25th June)

Wednesday10 July – Saturday 14 July 2018
Tickets from £18.00
Evening performances at 7.45pm
Matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm

Tuesday 17 July – Saturday 21 July 2018
Tickets from £19.50
Evening performances at 7.30pm
Matinee performances on Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm

Tuesday 24 July – Saturday 28 July 2018
THE LOWRY, SALFORD | 0843 208 6000
Tickets from £14.50
Evening performances at 7.30pm
Matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm


First Look: Production images: The Open House, a Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio and Print Room at the Coronet co-production

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.


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
telephone                            01225 448844

Prices  from                         £15

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