Full Casting Announced for Peter Morgan’s The Audience, a  Nuffield Southampton Theatres Production

 left to right Faye Castelow, Paul Kemp, Lizzie Hopley and Sharon Singh

left to right Faye Castelow, Paul Kemp, Lizzie Hopley and Sharon Singh

With SS Mendi, a co-production with Isango Ensemble, opening this week at Royal Opera House, Director of Nuffield Southampton TheatresSamuel Hodges, today announced the full cast for a new staging of Peter Morgan’s The AudienceSamuel Hodges directs Lizzie Hopley as Margaret Thatcher and Bobo MacDonald, Paul Kemp as all other Prime Ministers, Sharon Singh as The Equerry and Fay Burwell and Maddie Farmer share the role of Young Elizabeth, joining the previously announced Faye Castelow as Queen Elizabeth II. The production opens on 30 May, with previews from 24 May, and runs until 22 June.

65 Years. 13 Prime Ministers. One Queen.

For 65 years, the Queen has met her Prime Minister every week in an Audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties agree never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses.

What is discussed? What secrets are shared? Does her Majesty have her favourites?

Sometimes intimate, often confessional, occasionally explosive, The Audience imagines the private moments that define a changing Britain. One head of state. Endless heads of government. This play asks where the real power lies.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Director Samuel Hodges directs an intimate and re-worked production of the smash hit play from Peter Morgan, the writer of the critically acclaimed TV series The Crown and the Oscar award winning film The Queen.

Samuel Hodges, Director of Nuffield Southampton, said today, “This is a play that interrogates where power lies. Is it in the parade of middle aged, almost entirely male prime ministers or the unchanging, unwavering woman they meet with? For that reason I knew I wanted to cast one actor to play all of the male PMs from the start.

 I’m really pleased to have such a strong local presence in the cast with Sharon, who grew up minutes from our new theatre, and both of our young Elizabeths from the local area, one a member of our youth theatre.”

Peter Morgan’s other work for theatre includes Frost/Nixon. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Faye Castelow plays Queen Elizabeth II. Her theatre credits include The Rover, The Witch of EdmontonThe White DevilThe Roaring Girl (RSC), Man and SupermanAfter the DanceTime and the Conways (National Theatre), NijinskyThe Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), How to be Another Woman (Gate Theatre), Mountain Hotel and The American Clock (Orange Tree Theatre). Her television credits include Pure and Rellik.

Lizzie Hopley plays Margaret Thatcher and Bobo MacDonald. Her theatre credits include The Taming of the Shrew (US tour), Roaring Girls (RSC), Tis Pity She’s a Whore (international tour), Abigail’s PartyTwelfth Night (UK tour) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Young Vic). For television, her credits include The Long SongLittle Boy BlueLutherCall the Midwife and Randall & Hoprick Deceased II; and for film, Day of the FlowersJane EyreNowhere Boy and Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman.

Paul Kemp plays the Prime Ministers: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, John Major and Harold Wilson. His theatre credits include Imperium (Gielgud Theatre), Richard III (Arcola Theatre), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Ghost Stories (Arts Theatre), The Lady in the Van (UK tour), Seven Year TwitchHow to be Happy (Orange Tree Theatre), The Lady form the Sea (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Crucible (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), My Wonderful Day (Stephen Joseph Theatre/59E59, New York/UK tour), Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph Theatre/Vaudeville Theatre). For television his credits include Maxwell, The Trial of Tony BlairLife on Mars; and for film, When Saturday Comes.

Southampton’s Sharon Singh plays The Equerry. Her theatre credits include Arabian Nights (Hoxton Hall), The Game of Love and Chai (Tara Arts/UK tour), Death of Kings, The Misanthrope (Conservatoire National Supérieur D’art Dramatique), Cyrano de Bergerac (New Vic Theatre), Hamlet (Bussey Building), Titus Andronicus, Othello (UK tour) and Holes (Arcola Theatre); and for television, Vera.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST include The Shadow FactoryDedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, and The Glass Menagerie. Previously he founded the HighTide Festival Theatre in 2007 and was the Artistic Director for five years, during which time he produced over 25 new plays, co-producing with the National Theatre, The Old Vic and the Bush Theatre, amongst others. Between 2012 and 2014, he ran the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, for whom he curated a late-night programme and a one-off summer season of new work to celebrate the London Olympics.

www.nstheatres.co.uk

@NSTheatres

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