Diana Quick, Keith Bartlett & Jo Stone-Fewings to Lead Ustinov's THE BIG MEAL; Cast Announced

Diana Quick, Keith Bartlett & Jo Stone-Fewings to Lead Ustinov's THE BIG MEAL; Cast Announced

Following two previous much-acclaimed seasons of American drama, the Ustinov now presents The American Season 2014: three brand new works, all UK premieres. The three plays are Dan LeFranc's THE BIG MEAL, directed by Michael Boyd, Keith Huff's gritty two-hander, A STEADY RAIN, directed by David Grindley and Lynn Nottage's multi award-winning INTIMATE APPAREL, directed by Laurence Boswell.

Kicking off the season is the UK premiere of THE BIG MEAL by Dan LeFranc.

Somewhere in America, in a typical suburban restaurant on a typical night, Sam and Nicole first meet. Sparks fly. And so begins an exhilarating story that takes five generations of a modern family on a rollercoaster ride through life, from first kiss to final goodbye. A stunning, big-hearted play that whizzes through nearly eighty years, this is the extraordinary story of an ordinary family.

Deeply comic and genuinely touching, Dan LeFranc's acclaimed drama is about love, marriage, raising children and the general onslaught of life, in which you turn around and find that youth has vanished and taken with it a lot of your dearest held assumptions about the way things would turn out.

The cast, who all play multiple roles, includes Diana Quick (The American Plan, Ustinov Studio and St James Theatre; Aristos; Single Spies; the title role in Mother Courage and Her Children; and Sir Peter Hall's West End production of You Never Can Tell); Keith Bartlett (Romeo & Juliet, Headlong; New World, The Globe Theatre) and Jo Stone-Fewings (The Winter's Tale, RSC; Heartbreak House, Chichester Festival Theatre; King James Bible Reading, The National Theatre).

They will be joined by Kirsty Bushell (Semi-Monde, Trafalgar Studios; Punk Rock, Linbury Studios); Lindsey Campbell (A Christmas Carol, Royal Lyceum Theatre; Purple, Cottesloe Theatre) and James Corrigan (Love's Labour's Lost, The Willow Globe; A Streetcar Named Desire and The Odyssey, Oxford Playhouse).

Dan LeFranc received the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award for Sixty Miles to Silver Lake. The Big Meal received its world premiere in Chicago, where it was declared the 'Number One Play of 2011' by Time Out Chicago, garnering numerous award nominations followed by another raft of nominations Off-Broadway, including for Outstanding Play.

Michael Boyd was the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2002 - 2012. This will be the first play he has directed since leaving the RSC. His credits include the RSC's eight play History Cycle as the centrepiece of a year-long Complete Works of Shakespeare Festival and he developed the RSC's record breaking Matilda The Musical for Stratford, London and New York. He was knighted in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to drama.

THE BIG MEAL is a co-production with HighTide Festival Theatre.

The production runs Thursday 6th March - Saturday 5th April, Monday - Saturday, 7.45pm, and Thursday and Saturday matinees: 2.30pm (not 6th March). Press night: Wednesday 12th March, 7pm. Post Show Talk: Thursday 13th March after evening performance.

Tickets are £19.50 / £14.50 Discounts. Previews 6th - 11th March and Mondays: All seats £10. To order: Box Office: 01225 448844/ www.theatreroyal.org.uk/ustinov.

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