Erin Doherty and Sophie Melville cast in Theatre503’s Wolfie, by Ross Willis

Theatre503 has announced ERIN DOHERTY and SOPHIE MELVILLE as the cast for 503Five playwright Ross Willis’ debut play Wolfie. Erin was recently featured by the Evening Standard as a ‘rising star’ and plays Princess Anne in the forthcoming series of Netflix hit The Crown. Sophie’s credits include Iphigenia in Splott, for which she received The Stage Award for Acting Excellence and Wales Theatre Award for Best Female Performance, and nominations for Evening Standard Award for Best Actress and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

 A spiralling odyssey of dizzying theatricality, Wolfie is a bold, fantastical fairytale following two twins separated at birth and asks who is truly responsible for society’s most vulnerable children.

Ross Willis is one of the 503Five resident playwrights. He was recently announced as one of three writers to receive the new Kudos and Royal Court Theatre Fellowship (a £10,000 bursary which support three writers already establishing a career in order to focus purely on their writing for six months).

Ross Willis, playwright, Wolfie: “Wolfie started out as a tiny idea. Which became a howl. Which became a roar. It is inspired by the way I was raised and the way I live now because of it. I’m from a background where I felt like I had never been listened to and if I rarely was the words never came out clearly enough – but in writing they did. I am so excited for Theatre503 to stage it. Lisa Spirling is a fearless director and I can’t wait to see how she is going to realise its rage, its magic and some insane stage directions! I’m thrilled to be working with Sophie and Erin who I consider to be the greatest actresses of their generation.”

Lisa Spirling, director, Wolfie: “Wolfie is a play like no other. Ross’ writing breaks your heart with wit and wonder and then makes it sparkle. It is a play that Theatre503 is thrilled to have developed over the last two years – from initial idea, a seed commission, early drafts, and now through to full production. We are immensely proud to have been a part of that journey and to introduce the game-changing ideas and writing of Ross Willis to our audiences.”

Playwright Dennis Kelly on Wolfie: “Wolfie is the best new play I’ve read in years. Ross Willis tears this play out of his soul for us and in doing so offers us a glimpse of something both agonising and beautiful.

Directed by Theatre503’s Artistic Director Lisa Spirling, the creative team includes designer Basia Binkowska, lighting by Rajiv Pattani, sound by Richard Hammarton and movement by Belinda Chapman.

503Five is Theatre503’s flagship writers’ residency, supported by The Carne Trust and The Orseis Trust. Since the scheme was launched in 2011, it has supported the development of twenty writers and their plays. 503Five is a proven launchpad for playwrights, with many going on to receive awards and high profile commissions including: Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, 2017 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); Charlene James (Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Award  Alfred Fagon Award and George Devine Award); Vinay Patel (BAFTA winning Murdered By My FatherDoctor Who); Beth Steel (Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award);Chris Urch (Bruntwood Prize, Manchester Theatre Award, Off West End Award Best New Play); and Brad Birch (Harold Pinter Commisison, Royal Court). Applications for the 2019/20 503Five open on 1 March 2019.