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Ben Richards To Play Sikes In Sheffield's OLIVER!, Plus Winter's Tale Update


Sheffield Theatres today announce the full cast of the forthcoming The Winter's Tale, directed by Paul Miller, and a casting update for the company's Christmas show, Oliver! directed by Artistic Director Daniel Evans.

Joining the previously announced Daniel Lapaine in The Winter's Tale are Suzanne Ahmet, Will Alexander, Keir Charles,Christian Dixon, Eva Feiler, Jonathan Firth, Sam Graham, Jake Harders, Barbara Marten, David Mallinson, Andy McKeane, Kirsty Oswald, Claire Price, Patrick Walshe McBride and Gareth Williams.

Also announced today is that Ben Richards joins the company of Oliver! as Bill Sikes. Alongside Richards and the previously announced Phil Davis (Fagin), are Samual Bailey (age 12) and Jack Skilbeck Dunn (age 11) who share the title role of Oliver Twist, and Jack Armstrong (age 13) and Travis Caddy (age 14) alternating as the Artful Dodger. All four boys were selected from open auditions held at Sheffield Theatres.


The Winter's Tale

By William Shakespeare 2 October - 2 November

Press night: 7 October 7.00pm
Director: Paul Miller; Designer: Simon Daw; Lighting Designer: Mark Doubleday

Composer: Terry Davies; Movement Director: Jack Murphy

'It is requir'd you do awake your faith'

In an act of wild and passionate jealousy a man tears his family apart. Now, only a miracle can mend his pain.

Shakespeare's story explores how redemption is always possible, albeit at a price.

Directed by Sheffield Theatres' Associate Director Paul Miller (Hamlet, The Daughter-In-Law, Democracy), The Winter's Talestars Daniel Lapaine (Muriel's Wedding) and Claire Price (The Daughter-In-Law, The Pride) as Leontes and Hermione - a royal couple whose relationship changes history.

Completing the cast are Suzanne Ahmet (Mopsa), Will Alexander (Florizel/Jailer), Thomas Barker (Mamillius), Keir Charles(Autolycus), Christian Dixon (Dion/Lord III/Bear), Eva Feiler (Dorcas/Emilia), Jonathan Firth (Polixenes, King of Bohemia), Sam Graham (Camillo), Jake Harders (Archidamus/Paulina's Steward), David Mallinson (Antigonus/Time), Barbara Marten(Paulina), Andy McKeane (Cleomenes), Kirsty Oswald (Perdita), Jonah Raby (Mamillius), Patrick Walshe McBride (Young Shepherd/Servant /Officer) and Gareth Williams (The Old Shepherd).

Will Alexander plays Florizel/Jailer. He worked as a children's television presenter in New Zealand, as well as performing in The History Boys, The Seagull and The Gods of Warm Beer (Court Theatre, Christchurch). Alexander moved to the UK to study at RADA and has recently graduated.

Jonathan Firth plays Polixenes, King of Bohemia. His theatre work includes Good Grief (Theatre Royal Bath), Henry VI Part 3(RSC), The Lulu Plays (Almeida Theatre) and Bad Company (National Theatre Studio). For television, his credits include Nuclear Century, Ghost Whisperer, Jericho, Pompeii: The Last Day, Victoria and Albert and Far From the Madding Crowd; and for film,The Prince and Me, Luther, Locked, Bait, An Ideal Husband and Wuthering Heights.

Daniel Lapaine plays Leontes. For theatre his work includes The Dance of Death (Donmar Trafalgar), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic),All My Sons (Apollo Theatre) and Scenes from the Back of Beyond (Royal Court). For television, his credits include Identity, Moonshot, Jane Hall, The Good Housekeeping Guide, Golden Hour, Jericho, Helen of Troy and I Saw You; and for film, Dead in Tombstone, Zero Dark Thirty, Jack the Giant Killer, Last Chance Harvey, Double Jeopardy and Muriel's Wedding.

David Mallinson plays Antigonus/Time, which sees him return to Sheffield Theatres where he previously appeared in Democracy, Edward II, Romeo and Juliet, Grapes of Wrath and Hamlet. His other theatre work includes The History Boys (National Theatre), A Difficult Age (English Touring Theatre), Noises Off (Liverpool Playhouse), A View From the Bridge, Candida, Death Trap (Wolsey, Ipswich) and Cloud Nine (Contact, Manchester). For television, his credits include Wallander II, The Little House, Casualty, Whistleblowers, Dead Gorgeous, Peak Practice, Lifeforce, This Life, The One Game; and for film, Force Ten From Navarone.

Barbara Marten plays Paulina. Her theatre work includes Gabriel, Henry IV Part I & II, Bedlam (Globe), The Awkward Squad(West End), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Manchester Royal Exchange), Macbeth, Caitlin (York Theatre Royal) and War and Peace (National Theatre). For television, her credits include The Mill, Frankie, Vera, The Bill, Casualty; and for film, Oranges & Sunshine, A Passionate Woman and Mother Mine.

Kirsty Oswald plays Perdita. She graduated from Rose Bruford in 2011, winning the Highly Commended Award at the Spotlight Prize. Her theatre debut was The Judas Kiss at Hampstead Theatre (also tour and West End) and she returns to Sheffield Theatres, where she previously appeared in The Way of the World. For television, her credits include Ripper Street, Dancing on The Edge and Sadie J; and for film, her credits include A Little Chaos and Le Weekend.

Claire Price plays Hermione, which sees her return to Sheffield Theatres where she previously appeared in The Daughter-in-Law,Company, The Pride, Don Carlos, Much Ado About Nothing, Mean Tears - as part of The Peter Gill Season, Richard III and The Tempest. Her other theatre work includes Fifty Words (Theatre Royal Bath, Arcola Theatre), Little Platoons (Bush Theatre), The Power of Yes (National Theatre), Mary Stuart (TMA Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Play - Clwyd Theatr), Private Lives (Hampstead Theatre) and The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory). For television, her work includes Apparitions, The White Lady, The Knock, Whistleblower and Rebus; and for film, Hereafter, Cuckoo and Solo Shuffle.

Associate Director of Sheffield Theatres, Paul Miller directs. For Sheffield Theatres, his work includes True West, Hamlet, Democracy (as part of The Michael Frayn Season, and also Old Vic) and The Daughter-in-Law . His other work includes Elling at the Bush Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, Baby Girl/DNA/The Miracle, The Enchantment, The History Boys (Wyndham's and Ahmanson Theater LA), Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads and The Associate for The National Theatre, and Total Eclipse at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He worked for many years at The National Theatre Studio developing new plays and has directed for the Bush, the Arcola, Hampstead, ETT, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court.



Book, Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart 29 November 2013 - 25 January 2014

Press night: 16 December 7.00pm

Director: Daniel Evans; Designer: Peter McKintosh; Choreographer: Alistair David
Musical Director: Jonathan Gill; Lighting Designer: Howard Harrison; Sound Designer: Simon Baker Dialect Coach: Richard Ryder

Orchestral Arrangements by William David Brohn
Production licensed by Cameron Mackintosh and the Southbrook Group

Following the success of the critically acclaimed My Fair Lady, Artistic Director Daniel Evans will direct a new production of Lionel Bart's Oliver! to be staged at the Crucible Theatre from 29 November 2013 - 25 January 2014. Oliver! is Daniel Evans' third musical for the company, after last year's My Fair Lady and Tim Firth's This Is My Family in June this year.

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, Oliver! is the story of an orphan who runs away from a workhouse and falls in with a gang of boys trained to be pickpockets by gang leader, Fagin.

Lionel Bart (1930-1999) is a writer and composer. His principal works include as lyricist, Lock Up Your Daughters; and as composer and lyricist, Fings Ain't What They Use T'Be, Blitz!, Maggie May, La Strada and Lionel!.

Phil Davis plays Fagin. His theatre work includes Pygmalion (Chichester Festival Theatre), Philistines (National Theatre), Tales From Hollywood (Donmar Warehouse), The Gambler (Hampstead Theatre/Comedy Theatre), and Restoration (Royal Court). For television, his work includes Whitechapel, Desperate Romantics, The Fixer, Collision, The Curse of Steptoe, Ashes to Ashes andFive Days; and for film, The Big I Am, Brighton Rock, Cassandra's Dream, Notes on a Scandal, Vera Drake (Best Actor Awards at British Independent Film and San Diego Film Critics' Awards), In the Name of the Father and Quadrophenia.

Ben Richards plays Bill Sikes. For theatre, his work includes 9 to 5 (UK Tour), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre),Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Grease (Victoria Palace, Dominion Theatre and UK Tour), Little Shop of Horrors (Octagon Theatre), Saturday Night Fever (London Palladium), and Smokey Joes Café (Prince of Wales Theatre). For television his credits include a series regular in The Bill, Holby City, Footballers' Wives and Footballers' Wives Extra Time; and Dad. He also appeared as a judge on the second series of Strictly Dance Fever for BBC 1. For film, his work includes Chakara, Julie and the Cadillacsand Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis.

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Daniel Evans directs. As an actor, his previous work for the company includes Company, The Pride, Cloud Nine and The Tempest. As director, he previously directed An Enemy of the People - the opening production of his inaugural season, Racing Demon as part of The David Hare Season, Othello, Macbeth, My Fair Lady, The Full Monty(transferring to the West End next year), and This Is My Family. An award-winning actor and director, Evans' work includesSunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory, Wyndham's Theatre and Broadway) - a role for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical (his second Olivier Award, the first being for Merrily We Roll Along in 2001) and a Tony Award nomination. His extensive credits include work with the Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre. Evans is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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