Sheridan Smith to Star in Old Vic's HEDDA GABLER, September - Brian Friel Adapts Ibsen

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Legally Blonde's Sheridan Smith will star in the Old Vic's production of HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen, in a version by Brian Friel directed by Anna Mackmin. The show begins previews on the 5th of September and opens on the 12th for a run until the 10th of Novemeber.

Brian Friel’s adaptation of Ibsen’s seminal work, Hedda Gabler, will open at The Old Vic on 12 September with previews from 5 September. Directed by Anna Mackmin, this major new production will star Olivier award-winning actress Sheridan Smith in the title role with Buffy Davis as Bertha, Anne Reid as Juliana Tesman, Adrian Scarborough as George Tesman and Fenella Woolgar as Thea Elvsted.

Anna Mackmin directs with composer Paul Englishby, Lez Brotherston as designer, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Simon Baker and casting by Sarah Bird.

Ibsen’s brilliant masterpiece on the conflict of the requirements of society and those of the individual explores the corrosive descent of Hedda Gabler into the treacherous void between expectation and reality. The general’s daughter has married the respectable academic Tesman - a husband she despises as mediocre – and now, driven by fear and loathing, Hedda’s despair goads her independent spirit to a rage expressed in the wilful contamination of life around her which eventually leads to disaster for her and all those beguiled by her.

Hedda Gabler was first published by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1890. The central protagonist Hedda is often cited as one of the great dramatic roles in theatre. The play premiered in 1891 in Germany and since then has gained recognition as a classic of realism in nineteenth century drama.

Buffy Davis is best known as Jolene in The Archers and will soon be seen in Joe Wright’s film Anna Karenina. Her theatre work includes The Government Inspector, Annie Get Your Gun, The Rose Tattoo and The Beggar’s Opera. On television she has appeared in Doc Martin, Silk, Upstairs Downstairs, Mutual Friends and Fear of Fanny.

Anne Reid has just completed filming on the BBC drama Anthony and Cleopatra with Derek Jacobi due to be screened later this year. Her extensive television work includes Upstairs Downstairs, Marchlands, Five Days and Doc Martin while on stage she has appeared in Dimetos (Donmar), Thea Sharrock’s Happy Now (National) and Into The Woods (Royal Opera House). Films include Ricky Gervais’ Cemetery Junction, The Mother and Savage Grace.

Adrian Scarborough’s extensive theatre work includes Richard Eyre’s Betty Blue Eyes, After The Dance, The Habit Of Art, Time And The Conways, Henry IV Part 1 & 2, The Mandate all at the National, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist at the Donmar and Humble Boy at the Gielgud. On television he has recently been seen as Mr Pritchard in Upstairs Downstairs and will also appear in the BBC’s forthcoming drama Mrs Biggs having also appeared in acclaimed comedies Miranda and Gavin & Stacey. His film credits include Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and The King’s Speech, Notes On A Scandal with Judi Dench and Vera Drake.

Sheridan Smith has carved out a reputation for being one of Britain’s finest young stage stars having won the Olivier and Evening Standard Best Actress awards for her performance in Trevor Nunn’s production of Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and the Olivier and What’s On Stage Best Actress awards for Legally Blonde (Savoy). Her other theatre credits include Tinderbox at the Bush directed by Josie Rourke, Little Shop Of Horrors (Menier/Duke Of York’s), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The People Are Friendly (Royal Court), Ancient Lights (Hampstead) and Into The Woods (Donmar). She has recently completed filming the title role in the much-anticipated BBC drama Mrs Biggs and Jimmy McGovern’s acclaimed BBC series Accused. Other television work includes Gavin & Stacey and Jonathan Creek and her film credits include Quartet directed by Dustin Hoffman.


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