High Calibre Cast Announced for Rapture's A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

This autumn, Rapture Theatre's hot new production of the iconic American masterpiece will transport Scottish audiences to the sensual, sultry surroundings of New Orleans.

Southern Belle Blanche DuBois seeks solace with her sister, Stella, after her world starts to crumble. But her downward spiral brings her face-to-face with Stella's husband - the sexy but brutal Stanley Kowalski. As temperatures soar and passions rise, Blanche and Stanley battle for Stella's soul.

A Pulitzer-prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams, Streetcar was immortalised in film by Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. This new production, featuring a cast of ten top class performers and under Michael Emans' direction, follows swiftly on his critical and popular success earlier this year with Rapture's Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Last seen as Judy, Christopher's mother in the National Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Gina Isaac leads the cast as Blanche, with Joseph Black, whose most recent work includes Cheek by Jowl's The Winter's Tale, as Stanley. Kazeem Tosin Amore (Hamlet in Brixton) will play Mitch and Michelle Chantelle Hopewell (Sister Act), Eunice. Multi-award winning Scottish actor Billy Mack will appear as Steve and critically-acclaimed Scottish actress and theatre-maker Julia Taudevin takes on the pivotal role of Stella. Completing the cast will be Steven Scott-Fitzgerald, Paul Kozinski, Gary Nelson and Liz Drewett.

Director Michael Emans said, "I am thrilled to have assembled such an eclectic and highly-talented cast to join me on the dark and disturbing journey into the passionate, whirlwind world of Streetcar. I hope that, together, we will create a powerful new perspective on one of the greatest masterpieces of theatre."

With Set Design by Richard Evans (Avenue Q and Democracy), Lighting by Davy Cunningham and with an original score by award-winning composer Pippa Murphy, this is a rare opportunity to see the iconic play, thrillingly brought to life by Rapture.

Emans says: "This year, the 70th anniversary of the play's original production, we celebrate the timelessness of Streetcar. It presents us with an unflinchingly bold examination of sexual politics and prejudice, morality and identity that resonates powerfully today. It highlights the highly prescient topic of mental illness and lays bare the cultural and social tensions between an 'immigrant' diaspora and those who consider themselves to be the 'native' population. Streetcar is unflinching in its questioning of reality, forcing all of us to confront our own self-protective, self-created fantasies and illusions." Emans continues, "Despite such powerful themes, the play also remains a very human story, its impact achieved through its strong and convincing characterisation and powerful, poetic language."

Lyn McAndrew, Rapture Co-Artistic Director, says: "We are delighted to be producing this tour in association with The Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock, reaffirming Rapture's commitment to peripatetic associations: our aim is to create close, meaningful links with a range of venues throughout Scotland. So far we have produced work in association with The Beacon in Greenock, The Macrobert in Stirling, The Village Theatre in East Kilbride and Motherwell Theatre, with a range of new associations planned for future productions. While on tour, we are pleased to be furthering our continued commitment to community involvement by engaging in innovative Creative Learning activities with schools and further education providers. Furthermore, we are able to offer enhanced access to Streetcar by providing local school students with free tickets to our performance in Motherwell, in collaboration with Motherwell Theatre."

Janice Gilmour from The Palace Theatre and East Ayrshire Leisure Trust said:
"We are privileged to be working in association with Rapture Theatre Company to bring to life the classic production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The venue will be hosting the company for their rehearsals and production set up ahead of the premiere on Saturday 2 September. This continues East Ayrshire's commitment to partnership working and bringing quality drama productions to the Palace Theatre."

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