Full Cast Announced For MARTINE, Finborough Theatre, Apr 22

Full Cast Announced For MARTINE, Finborough Theatre,  Apr 22

Primavera has announced full casting for Jean-Jacques Bernard's seminal 1922 play Martine, which opens on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 for a four-week season.

Award-winning film and television star Hannah Murray plays Martine, supported by the iconic Susan Penhaligon as Madame Mervan, Leila Crerar as Jeanne, Chris Porter as Alfred, and Barnaby Sax as Julien.

Hannah Murray is best known for her role as Cassie in the first two series of Bafta-winning E4 drama Skins, for which she was nominated for a Monte-Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She currently plays Gilly in HBO series Game of Thrones. Her stage work includes playing Mia in That Face (Duke of York's Theatre). Films include Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, Chatroom, Womb, The Numbers Station, Kat in Lily & Kat (to be released), and God Help the Girl, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian for which she recently co-won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award.

Susan Penhaligon is best known for playing Prue in the award-winning television drama A Bouquet of Barbed Wire and the situation comedy A Fine Romance with Judi Dench. She also played Bianca in Jonathan Miller's The Taming of the Shrew, and leading roles in Heart of the Country, Emmerdale, and A Kind of Loving. Film includes No Sex Please We're British, Leopard in the Snow and Soldier of the Queen. Her extensive theatre career includes Three Sisters and The Real Thing (West End) and numerous regional and touring productions.

Leila Crerar has recently played an acclaimed Lady Macbeth in Perth, and other theatre includes numerous leading roles for directors including Rupert Goold, Tim Carroll and Terry Hands. Barnaby Saxhas appeared in Pride and Prejudice (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) and Antony and Cleopatra(Chichester Festival Theatre). Chris Porter has recently played Iago in Othello (Guildford Shakespeare Company) and leading roles for directors including Gemma Bodinetz and Jonathan Munby.

The Great War is over. It is the summer of 1920, in rural France.

By a dusty road, a girl is sitting under the shade of an apple tree. She sees someone walking towards her. He is a young man, just back from fighting in Syria. He joins her under the tree, and a tragic love story begins.

Often compared to Chekhov, and much admired by Harold Pinter, Jean-Jacques Bernard creates a unique emotional landscape of beauty and longing, desire and disappointment.

Originally written in 1922, Martine was produced all over the world during the 1920s with many leading actresses of the day in the title role, including Madeleine Renaud. It was first produced in English at the Gate Theatre in 1929, and played the West End in 1933. During the 1920s and 1930s, it was performed all over the world. It was filmed for the BBC in 1952 with a cast including Claire Bloom and Denholm Elliot, and in 1985 John Fowles's translation was produced at the National Theatre, directed by Peter Hall, starring Wendy Morgan.

Playwright Jean-Jacques Bernard was born in 1888, the son of leading French dramatist Tristan Bernard.Martine, his story of youth and romance in post-War France remains the best-known of all his plays. Bernard belonged to a group of artists called La Chimère, who attacked the prevailing melodramatic theatre (which they described as 'an armchair between dinner and bedtime') and pioneered drama that was domestic in action and naturalistic in style. His other plays include L'Invitation au Voyage, Nationale 6 andThe Gardener of Ispahan. As a Jew living in occupied France, he was imprisoned during the Second World War in the notorious Compiègne camp and narrowly escaped deportation. He died in 1972.

Translator John Fowles (1926-2005) was an English novelist. After reading French at Oxford University, he became a teacher before starting to write. His best-known works include The Collector (1963), The Magus(1966) and The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969) which was later made into an Oscar-nominated film with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. He also completed two other translations for the National Theatre - Don Juan (1981) and Lorenzaccio (1983). He was named by The Times in 2008 as one of the 50 greatest post-War writers.

Director Tom Littler returns to the Finborough Theatre where he directed an acclaimed rediscovery of Charles Wood's Jingo, starring Susannah Harker, in 2008. He is Artistic Director of Primavera. His recent work includes the premiere of Dances of Death (Gate Theatre), Good Grief with Penelope Keith (Theatre Royal Bath and tour), A Little Night Music (Budapest) and Murder in the Cathedral (Oxford Playhouse). His productions for Primavera includes The Living Room, Bloody Poetry, Anyone Can Whistle (Jermyn Street Theatre), Saturday Night (Arts Theatre), the premiere of Shiverman and European premiere ofMadagascar (Theatre503), Antigone (Southwark Playhouse). He was Associate Director of the Peter Hall Company for three years, and worked four times as Trevor Nunn's associate. He is Associate Director of Theatre503.

Set Designer Cherry Truluck was nominated twice last year for an OffWestEnd Award (for Primavera'sThe Living Room and Thark at the Park Theatre). Her other recent work includes Samuel Beckett's All That Fall, directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Michael Gambon and Eileen Atkins in New York and The West End, and Berkoff: Religion and Anarchy, directed by Steven Berkoff and Max Barton, at Jermyn Street Theatre.

Primavera is also producing the first ever revival of Arthur Wing Pinero's The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith at Jermyn Street Theatre this spring. It has received numerous Critics' Choice awards and OffWestEnd Award nominations, including Best Production, Best Director, Best New Play, Best Actor and Best Actress multiple times, Best Set, Best Costume, Best Lighting, and Best Sound. It has worked with actors including Caroline Blakiston, Sorcha Cusack, Rosalie Craig, the late Richard Griffiths, Harry Hadden-Paton, Susannah Harker, Anthony Howell, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Moore, Christopher Timothy, David Warner, Honeysuckle Weeks and Marjorie Yates.

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