Duff, McDiarmid Announced As Stars In Donmar's 'BE NEAR ME'

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National Theatre of Scotland and Donmar Warehouse announce a co-production of Be Near Me, a stage version by Ian McDiarmid. Adapted from the novel by Andrew O'Hagan.

Director: John Tiffany; Designer: Peter McKintosh
Lighting Designer: Guy Hoare; Sound Designer: Gareth Fry

Cast includes: Blythe Duff, Kathryn Howden, Richard Madden, Helen Mallon, Ian McDiarmid, David McGranaghan, Colette O'Neil and Jimmy Yuill.

David Anderton, an Oxford-educated Catholic priest is assigned to a parish in a dispiriTEd Scottish town on the Ayrshire coast. Lonely and adrift he befriends two unstable teenagers from the local school and is drawn into their exotic world. As events spin out of control he is forced to face his greatest trial yet.

Adapted for the stage by Ian McDiarmid from The Booker Prize nominated novel by Andrew O'Hagan, Be Near Me is a lyrical story about love, morality, identity and regret.

Following the performances at the Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock (14 to 17 January) and the Donmar Warehouse, London (22 January to 14 March), the production will embark on an eight-week week tour of the UK. Tour venues and dates: Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow (25 March to 4 April), Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (7 to 11 April), Traverse Theatre (15 to 18 April), Perth Theatre (21 to 25 April), Lowry, Salford (29 April to 2 May), Curve, Leicester (5 to 9 May) and Hall for Cornwall, Truro (12 to 16 May).

Be Near Me was published in 2006. Andrew O'Hagan's other works include The Missing (1995) - an autobiographical work which was adapted for film and television as Calling Bible John, Our Fathers (1999 - shortlisted for the Booker and Whitbread First Novel Awards), Personality (2003 - James Tait Black Memorial Prize) and The Atlantic Ocean (2008).

Blythe Duff plays Mrs Poole - Duff is best known for her role as Jackie Reid in the long run series Taggart. For theatre, Duff's work includes Intolerance, King of the Fields, Sharp Shorts (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Home, Glasgow (National Theatre of Scotland) and Mum's the Word (King's Theatre, Glasgow and tour).

Kathryn Howden plays Mrs Nolan/Angela/Mrs Fraser. Her theatre work includes Trumpets and Raspberries, All My Sons (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) and Phaedre (Perth and tour). For television, her credits include Taggart, Night and Day and Rockface; and for film, The Pen and Karmic Mothers.

Richard Madden plays Mark. His theatre work includes Nought and Crosses (RSC), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe) and Tom Fool (Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow/Bush Theatre). His television credits include Hope Springs; and for film, Complicity.

David McGranaghan plays Cameron/Friar Damian/Policeman/Clerk. His theatre work include Betwixt (King's Head), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Boyfriend, Macbeth, Lady Be Good and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park).

Helen Mallon plays Lisa. For theatre, her credits include 365, The Wolves in the Walls, Tutti Frutti (National Theatre of Scotland), Peter Pan (Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow) and The Crucible (TAG Theatre Company). Her film work includes My Zinc Bed and Senseless.

Ian McDiarmid plays Father David Anderton. McDiarmid returns to the Donmar where he was directed by Michael Grandage in John Gabriel Borkman and Pirandello's Henry IV. As well as extensive work at the Almeida where he was also Joint Artistic Director, his other credits include performances at the RSC and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. McDiarmid's most recent stage roles are in Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre) and Jonah and Otto at Manchester Royal Exchange. He played Teddy in Faith Healer on Broadway, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. Television work includes City of Vice, Our Hidden Lives, Elizabeth I, Charles II, Crime and Punishment, Great Expectations, Hillsborough and Karaoke; and his many films include Sleepy Hollow, Restoration, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the Star Wars series.

Colette O'Neil plays Mrs Anderton - reuniting her with director John Tiffany after their collaboration on Home Glasgow for The National Theatre of Scotland. O'Neil has worked with many of the leading theatre companies including National Theatre, RSC, Royal Court, Traverse Theatre, Citizens' Theatre Glasgow and Sheffield Theatres. For television, her credits include Starting Over, Monarch of the Glen and Taggart.

Jimmy Yuill plays Bishop/Mr Dorran. Yuill's many theatre credits include Antigone (Tron Theatre), Through a Cloud (Arcola Theatre), Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic) and Dark Earth (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh). For television, his work includes, Rebus, Dalziel and Pascoe, Inspector Linley, Murphy's Law, A Touch of Frost and Wycliffe; and for film, As You Like It, Ladies in Lavender, Love's Labour's Lost, Frankenstein, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V and Local Hero.

Associate Director (New Work) of The National Theatre of Scotland, John Tiffany directs. For The National Theatre of Scotland, Tiffany's credits include The Bacchae, the multi award-winning Black Watch, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn and Home Glasgow. His other credits include Jerusalem (West Yorkshire Playhouse), If Destroyed True, Mercury Fur and The Straits (Paines Plough).

Press Nights
The Palace, Kilmarnock: Friday 16 January
The Donmar Warehouse: Monday 26 January

The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.

Since its launch in February 2006, The National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating more than 67 productions in over 102 different locations. With no building of its own, the Company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to over 350,000 people, across three continents.



Under the artistic leadership of Michael Grandage, the Donmar Warehouse has presented some of London's most memorable award-winning theatrical experiences, as well as garnered critical acclaim at home and abroad. Over the last 16 years the theatre has created reputation associated with artistic excellence: it has showcased the talent of some of the industry's premier creative artists, and built an unparalleled catalogue of work. Donmar-generated productions have received 30 Olivier Awards, 15 Critics' Circle Awards, 15 Evening Standard Awards, and 13 Tony Awards from nine Broadway productions.



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