Cast Complete for Sara Kestelman-Led THE LADY IN THE VAN at Theatre Royal Bath

Cast Complete for Sara Kestelman-Led THE LADY IN THE VAN at Theatre Royal Bath

Theatre Royal Bath Productions announces full casting for Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van, directed by Jonathan Church, which today began rehearsals ahead of its run at Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 17 August to Saturday 2 September.

Olivier Award-winner Sara Kestelman will star as Bennett's beloved character Miss Mary Shepherd. Kestelman will be joined by Sam Alexander as Alan Bennett, William Gaunt as Underwood and James Northcote who will share the role of Alan Bennett. The full cast will also include Emma Amos, Lia Burge, Paul Hickey, Gabrielle Lloyd, David Shaw Parker, Steve Simmonds and Cat Simmons.

In 1974, Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman, temporarily moved her clapped out Bedford van into Alan Bennett's front garden at Gloucester Crescent, Camden. She remained parked there for the next fifteen years.

Sara Kestelman's (Mary Shepherd) extensive theatre credits include Filthy Business and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC), Michael Frayn's award-winning Copenhagen (National Theatre/West End) and her Olivier Award-winning role as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret (Donmar Warehouse).

Sam Alexander (Alan Bennett) was most recently seen in the RSC's Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing. Other credits include Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead Theatre), The Christmas Truce (RSC) and One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre / Theatre Royal Haymarket).

William Gaunt (Underwood) is best known for his roles as Bob Marriott in Sergeant Cork, Arthur Crabtree in No Place Like Home and Richard Barratt in The Champions. Stage credits include Richard II (Shakespeare's Globe), The Crucible (Old Vic Theatre) and The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse).

James Northcote (Alan Bennett) has recently starred in films including A United Kingdom with Rosamund Pike and The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch. Theatre credits include Pride and Prejudice (Sheffield Theatres) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester Festival Theatre).

The production will have design by Robert Innes Hopkins, lighting by Tim Mitchell, music by Matthew Scott and sound by Mike Walker.

The Lady in the Van will conclude Jonathan Church's inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath's 2017 summer season. The programme of five plays opened on 21 June with David Hare's Racing Demon, followed by Sand in the Sandwiches by Hugh Whitemore from Tuesday 11 July - Saturday 15 July. The remaining productions in the season will be the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, adapted for the stage by Carolyn Burns from Friday 21 July - Saturday 12 August and Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks from Thursday 3 August - Saturday 2 September.

IF YOU GO:

THE LADY IN THE VAN
By Alan Bennett
Directed by Jonathan Church

At Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET

First performance: Thursday 17 August
Final performance: Saturday 2 September
Press performance: Wednesday 23 August, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday - Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No matinee 17 August)

Prices from £15
Box office: www.theatreroyal.org.uk | 01225 448844

Jonathan Church succeeded Peter Hall as Artistic Director, who established the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season in 2003 with his company's annual residencies. Church was previously Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing over 100 productions including Taken at Midnight, ENRON, Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. Following his departure from Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Church set up his own independent Production Company, which he will continue to lead alongside his new position at Theatre Royal Bath.

Alan Bennett is a multi-award winning playwright with credits including The History Boys, Untold Stories, Talking Heads, The Madness of King George and Single Spies.


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