Sheffield Theatres: Full cast announced for Eugene ONeill’s Desire Under The Elms

Desire Under The Elms

Desire Under The Elms

Artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announced the full cast for Eugene O’Neill’s, Desire Under the Elms, in his inaugural season. Sam Yates directs the previously announced, Olivier Award-winner, Matthew Kelly in the role of Ephraim, and joining him will be Claudia Cadette (Woman), Colin Haigh (Old Farmer/Sheriff) and Tim Dewberry (Man). The company will also include Me’sha Bryan (Young Girl),  Emma Darlow (Fiddler), Aoife Duffin (Abbie Putnam), Theo Ogundipe (Peter), Sule Rimi (Simeon) and Michael Shea (Eben). The production will open on the 25 September with previews from the 20 September and will run until 14 October.

‘If I could, in my dyin’ hour, I’d set it afire an’ watch it burn…’

Ephraim Cabot’s sons work from morning till night, believing his farm will one day be theirs. But everything changes when the old man returns from town with a new wife. This haunting and erotic tragedy is one of the great American plays from Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill.

Eugene O’Neill (1888 – 1936) was one of the greatest American playwrights. His many works for the stage includeBeyond the Horizon, The Emperor Jones, Anna Christie, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936.

Aoife Duffin plays Abbie Putnam. Her theatre work includes Chekhov’s First Play (Dead Centre Theatre Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Girl is a Half Formed Thing (Corn Exchange and Young Vic), Spring Awakening (Headlong) and The Crucible (Lyric Theatre Belfast). Her television work includes Resistance and Moone Boy; and for film Earthbound, Out of Here What Richard Did, Behold the Lamb and Joy.

Matthew Kelly returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ephraim. His previous work for the company includesThe History Boys. For theatre, his credits include Toast (Park Theatre & UK tour), VolponeLove’s SacrificeThe Jew of Malta (RSC), Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman), To Sir With Love (Royal & Derngate and UK tour), The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), God of Carnage(Nuffield, Southampton), Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory and Edinburgh Festival), Legally Blonde, Spamalot (UK tours), Buried Child (Curve Leicester), Waiting For Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Sign Of The Times and Lend Me A Tenor – The Musical (both West End), Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Trafalgar Studios), Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe), Victory (Arcola Theatre), Amadeus (Wilton’s Music Hall), Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Endgame (Liverpool Everyman), Forgotten Voices (Riverside Studios) and Of Mice and Men(Birmingham Repertory Theatre and West End – Olivier Award for Best Actor). For television, his work includes Cold Blood, Bleak House, Egypt: The Pharaoh And The Showman and The Temple Of The Sands, Moving On, Benidorm, MI High, My Family At War, Forensic Casebook, City Hospital and Stars in their Eyes; and for film, Showreel, Tribute, Two Stops To Bank and Tortoise.

Theo Ogundipe plays Peter. For theatre, his work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The Old Vic); for the RSC, Cymbeline, King Lear, Hamlet, King Lear and Julius Caesar (also West End and Broadway); and Brave New World(Royal and Derngate). For film his work includes Julius Caesar and Stud Life.

Sule Rimi plays Simeon. His theatre work includes Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mary Stuart, They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida Theatre), The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Orange Tree Theatre) and Boardergame (NTW). His television work includes Unforgotten, Stella, Crash, Caerdydd and Doctor Who; and for film, Indifferent, Black or White, The Machine and Panic Button.

Michael Shea plays Eben.  His theatre work includes Peter and the Starcatcher (Royal & Derngate, Northampton).  For television, his work includes Derry Girls and for film, The Big Picture and Two Angry Men.

Sam Yates directs. His work for the stage includes Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Cymbeline (Shakespeare’s Globe), East is East (Trafalgar Studios and UK tour), The El. Train (Hoxton Hall), Outside Mullingar (Ustinov at Bath Theatre Royal), Billy Liar (Royal Exchange), Cornelius (Finborough Theatre & 59E59 New York), and Mixed Marriage  (Finborough Theatre); and for screen, The Hope Rooms (Winner Grand Prize Future Filmmaker Award, RIIFF 2016), and CymbelineAll’s Well That Ends Well and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Complete Walk, Shakespeare’s Globe).

Sheffield Theatres                                                                                                                                    Listings


20 September – 14 October

Press night: 25 September

 Crucible Lyceum Studio 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA

Box Office 0114 249 6000 – Mon – Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm

On non-performance days the Box Office closes at 6.00pm.


Season at a glance                                                                                                                                          Listings


14 September – 7 October

Press night: 19 September

At Bush Theatre from 18 October to 25 November



18 October – 4 November

(Press night at Theatr Clwyd on 26 September)



7 December 2017 – 13 January 2018

Press night: 13 December