Live Theatre Announces Cast for WET HOUSE and COOKING WITH ELVIS
Live Theatre's Artistic Director Max Roberts today announced the cast for his next two 40th birthday productions. The line-up will see Joe Caffrey and Riley Jones, who have just completed a nationwide tour of The Pitmen Painters, take to the stage in both plays.
First they will perform in Wet House, a brand new play by Newcastle based writer Paddy Campbell, before going on to star in the revival of Lee Hall's seminal play Cooking with Elvis, this autumn.
Wet House is the first full length play by 33 year old Paddy who drew on first-hand experience working in a wet house (a hostel for homeless people that caters for alcoholics) to create this dark comedy. Tinged with sadness and tragedy the play questions how do you keep your head when everyone else is off theirs?
When Andy, an idealistic young graduate played by Riley Jones, gets a job in a wet house he is plunged into a twilight world where the rules about what is right and what is normal have become a little blurred. And that's just among the other staff.
Joe Caffrey, who will play hostel resident Dinger, and Riley will be joined by Chris Connel (The Pitmen Painters), Jackie Lye, who made her professional stage debut in C.P. Taylor's And A Nightingale Sang at Live Theatre over 30 years ago, David Nellist (You Really Couldn't Make It Up) and Eva Quinn, who will be starring in her first full length Live Theatre production.
Writer Paddy Campbell, who has been nurtured through Live Theatre's new writing development programme, has been mentored by former Live Theatre writer-in-residence Lee Hall (The Pitmen Painters, Billy Elliot). Lee said:
"It's fitting that in its 40th birthday year Live Theatre have unearthed and commissioned yet another exciting new writing talent. Paddy's play possesses a subject matter that is important and prescient, his characters smack of authenticity and there's a searing emotional depth to the piece that is both arresting and heart breaking. He's also seriously funny - it marks a highly impressive debut."
The world premiere of Wet House will be followed by the return of Lee Hall's provocative and hilarious play Cooking with Elvis which had its world premiere at Live Theatre in 1998. Fifteen years on, the play will again be directed by Max Roberts and actor Joe Caffrey will reprise his role as a paralysed Elvis impersonator. Joe said:
"I am pleased to be heading back to Live Theatre to feature in two plays as part of the Theatre's 40th birthday celebrations. Whilst I am excited to be reprising my role of Dad/Elvis in Lee Hall's Cooking with Elvis, I am also looking forward to the challenge of playing one of the unruly residents in Paddy Campbell's darkly comic play Wet House which we start rehearsing this week."
Cooking with Elvis is a homage to the King of over-consumption and a heartfelt exploration of loss and longing. When an amateur Elvis impersonator is paralysed in a car crash, his wife and daughter (casting to be confirmed) are forced to cope with the aftermath. Jill tried to replace him by cooking. Mam tries to replace him with sex. Unfortunately they both try their talents out on the same man, played by Riley Jones.
Following the recent sell-out success of Max Roberts's last play, Tyne by Michael Chaplin, Live Theatre's Artistic Director is hoping that audiences will join him to help celebrate the rest of the company's birthday year. Max said:
"Cooking with Elvis is one of Live Theatre's greatest hits, so in our 40th birthday year it seemed appropriate to revive it here in Newcastle for the first time since its premiere in 1998. That it has been produced extensively nationally and internationally since our premiere is a testimony to its universal appeal, emotional intensity and wild anarchic humour.