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.

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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