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Cast, Directors Announced for Gate Theatre's World Premiere of THE IPHIGENIA QUARTET

Artistic Director Christopher Haydon today announces full casting for the world première of The Iphigenia Quartet which includes Agamemnon, written by Caroline Bird and directed by Christopher Haydon; Chorus, written by Chris Thorpe and directed by Elayce Ismail; Iphigenia by Suhayla El-Bushra and directed by Rebecca Hill and Clytemnestra by Lulu Raczka and directed by Jennifer Tang. In Agamemnon, Andrew French plays Agamemnon, Nigel Barratt plays Menelaus, Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays Clytemnestra and Louise McMenemy plays Messenger. The cast of Agamemnon will all play Voice in Chorus. In Iphigenia and Clytemnestra, Shannon Tarbet plays Iphigenia and Maid, Susie Trayling plays Clytemnestra and Professor, Dwane Walcott plays Achilles and Soldier and Anthony Barclay plays Agamemnon and Director. The Iphigenia Quartet opens at the Gate Theatre, on 3 May, with previews from 23 April, until 21 May. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra will play in rep with Iphigenia and Chorus as part of Nuclear: A Season about the Family.

World Première

The Iphigenia Quartet

Agamemnon by Caroline Bird, directed by Christopher Haydon

Clytemnestra by Lulu Raczka, directed by Jennifer Tang

Iphigenia by Suhayla El-Bushra, directed by Rebecca Hill

Chorus by Chris Thorpe, directed by Elayce Ismail

23 April - 21 May

Press night: 3 May at 7pm

One tragedy. Two parts. Four explosive plays.

Agamemnon faces an impossible choice, he is a father commanded by the gods to sacrifice his daughter. In doing so, he will lose his wife, Clytemnestra and bury his child, Iphigenia. Ever present over his shoulder, the Chorus awaits Iphigenia's fate.

The Iphigenia Quartet gives you the opportunity to experience this domestic catastrophe from the perspective of the each key player. Witness Clytemnestra grapple with the ultimate betrayal, see Iphigenia boldly accept her fate, watch Agamemnon wrestle with an impossible choice, and experience the Chorus' powerless observation of this tragedy, unable to look away.

Watch the classic Greek story of Iphigenia at Aulis retold by four of the UK's most exciting and radical playwrights. The production will be performed as a pair of double bills alternating throughout the run - Agamemnon & Clytemnestra and Iphigenia & Chorus, giving you the chance to see every angle.

You may be willing to die for your beliefs, but who would you kill for them?

Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays Clytemnestra. Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Liverpool Everyman), Hope, Babies (Royal Court), Yerma (Gate Theatre), The Swan, There is a War (National Theatre), Tiger Country, Keepers (Hampstead Theatre), Detaining Justice, Seize the Day, Category B, Let There Be Love, Fabulation, Playboy of the West Indies (Tricycle Theatre), The Horse Marines (Theatre Royal Plymouth) and The Bacchae (National Theatre Scotland/Lincoln Centre, New York). Her television credits include Unforgotten, Cucumber, Top Boy, The Mimic, The Bible, Going Forward, Cuffs, Shoot the Messenger, Waking the Dead, Baby Father, Bad Girls. Her film credits include A Blues for Nia and The Child.

Andrew French plays Agamemnon. His theatre credits include Bully Boy (Mercury Theatre Colchester), Boi Boi is Dead (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Roundabout Season (Paines Plough), Refugee Boy (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Julius Caesar (RSC), Measure for Measure (Almeida Theatre), Monster (Royal Exchange Manchester), I Like Mine With a Kiss (Bush Theatre), As You Like It (West End), Reference to Salvador Dali (Arcola Theatre/Young Vic), The Taming of the Shrew (Nottingham Playhouse), The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida (National Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe), Things Fall Apart (West Yorkshire/Royal Court) and The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse Theatre). His television credits include Capital, Perfect Parents, Primeval, Soundproof, Blast!, Trust, In Deep, A Touch of Frost, Burnside, Tough Love. His film credits include Artificial Horizon, Breaking the Bank, Song for Marion, Exorcist: The Beginning, Exorcist: Dominion, The Merchant of Venice, Doctor Sleep and Tailor of Panama.

Nigel Barratt plays Menelaus. His theatre credits include Every One (Battersea Arts Centre/Chris Goode & Co.), The Body and The Mirror for Princes (Barbican), Mad Man (Theatre Royal Plymouth), There Has Possibly Been an Incident (Royal Exchange Manchester/Soho Theatre), A Conversation (The Yard), Get Stuff Break Free (Made in China/National Theatre), Babel and The Passion (WildWorks), Pericles (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Shelf Life (National Theatre of Wales), Richard III - An Arab Tragedy (Royal Shakespeare Company/Bouffes du Nord), Contains Violence (Lyric Hammersmith), The Unconquered (Traverse Theatre), Hide (Royal Festival Hall), Amato Saltone and Tropicana (National Theatre/SHUNT), The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic), Single Spies (Theatre Royal Bath). His television credits include Dawson's Creek; and for film, Cycles and The Gospel of Us.

Louise McMenemy plays Messenger. Her recent credits include See Bob Run (Bread and Roses Theatre), All Things Nice (White Bear Theatre), Boris Godunov and The Ghost Train (The Jack Studio Theatre).

Dwane Walcott plays Achilles and Soldier. His theatre include Hamlet (Barbican), The Twits (Royal Court), Venice Preserv'd (Spectators Guild), Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse), Titus Andronicus, A Mad World My Masters, Candide (RSC), Damned by Despair (National Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (Stafford Castle). His television credits include Tut; and for film, Mindhorn.

Shannon Tarbet plays Iphigenia and Maid. Her theatre credits include The Edge of Our Bodies (Gate Theatre), Hotel (National Theatre), A View from the Bridge (Liverpool Everyman Playhouse), Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court/Rose Lipman Centre), To Kill A Mockingbird (Royal Exchange Manchester), Spur of the Moment (Royal Court Theatre), 66 Books - When You Left I Thought I'd Die But Now I'm Fine (Bush Theatre), The Flooded Grave (Bush Theatre/Latitude Festival), Mary Shelley (Shared Experience), Mogadishu (Manchester Royal Exchange/Lyric Hammersmith), Rapture, Blister, Burn and Skane (Hampstead Theatre). Her television credits include Virtuoso, River, Lewis, Inspector George Gently, Monroe and Silk. Her film credits Leavey, Look Away, Winter Song and A Promise.

Susie Trayling returns to the Gate, where she previously performed in Vanya, to play Clytemnestra and Professor. Her theatre credits include The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead (Liverpool Everyman/ETT tour), The Hook (Royal and Derngate/Liverpool Everyman), Vast White Stillness (Brighton Festival), The Crucible, Twelfth Night (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Thomas Tallis (Shakespeare's Globe), Idomeneus, , King John, Richard III, A Soldier in Every Son (RSC), Mary Goes First, The Mob (Orange Tree Theatre), Love's Labour's Lost (Rose Theatre Kingston), A Doll's House, The Portrait of a Lady, Habeus Corpus, Measure for Measure (The Peter Hall Company), Women of Troy, Dream Play, Iphigenia at Aulis, The Forest (National Theatre), Don't Look Now (Sheffield Lyceum & Lyric Hammersmith), Skylight (Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest, Closer (Royal and Derngate), Camera Obscura (Almeida Theatre), Hamlet (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), Edward II (Sheffield Crucible), Anna Karenina (Bolton Octagon). Her television credits include A Christmas Haunting, We'll Take Manhattan, Vera, Emma and Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Her film credits include Fragile, Fog Bound and All The Queen's Men.

Anthony Barclay plays Agamemnon and Director. His theatre credits include Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange Manchester), Road (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith), Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange Manchester), Kiss Of The Spiderwoman (York Theatre Royal), Credible Witness (Royal Court), Vurt (Manchester Contact Theatre), La Strada (National Theatre Studio), The Taming Of The Shrew (English Touring Theatre), The Iron Man (Young Vic), Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) and Julius Caesar, The Fantastics (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre). His television credits include Vera, New Tricks, Judge John Deed, Mersey Beat, Lock, Stock, Smack the Pony, Birds Of A Feather, Sorry About Last Night, Common As Muck, Love Hurts and Screaming. His film credits include The Life of Jimmy Horton, No Humans Involved, Job's Dinner, A Price Worth Paying, Devil In Your Details, Road, Prix De Rome, Citizen vs Kane and Red Black.

Caroline Bird is currently writing the new stage version of The Wizard of Oz which will be Northern Stage's Christmas production and is also under commission to the The Old Vic, writing the book and lyrics for a musical version of Dennis the Menace. Her previous work for the Gate Theatre includes an adaptation of The Trojan Women. Her other credits include Sixty-Six Books, and Chamber Piece. Bird was one of ten finalists for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2014. She was shortlisted for Most Promising New Playwright at the Off-West-End Awards in 2013 and for the Shell Woman of the Future Awards in 2011. She is also an award-winning poet.

Suhayla El-Bushra is a screenwriter and playwright. Her previous plays include Pigeons, Cuckoo, The Kilburn Passion and Fingertips. Her adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide opens at the National Theatre in April. She is currently writer in residence at the NT Studio and is under commission from Out Of Joint. El Bushra was a core writer on TV soap Hollyoaks and has various film and television projects in development.

Lulu Raczka is an award-winning playwright. She is a Company Director of Barrel Organ Theatre. Her writing credits include NOTHING and Some People Talk about Violence. She is currently working on a piece for the Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival.

Chris Thorpe is an Associate Artist at Royal Exchange, Manchester. His writing credits include There Has Possibly Been An Incident, Confirmation, The Oh Fuck Moment and I Wish I Was Lonely, Am I Dead Yet? and Your Best Guess. He is writing a new version of Beowulf for the Unicorn Theatre, and a new piece, Victory Condition for the Royal Court. He is also working on Truck for the Royal Exchange.

Artistic Director Christopher Haydon leads the team of directors. His work for the Gate includes The Christians (also Edinburgh Festival), The Edge of Our Bodies, Grounded (also Edinburgh Festival, Washington DC, Sweden and on UK tour), Purple Heart, The Trojan Women, The Prophet and Wittenberg. He was formerly an Associate Director at the Bush Theatre and with On Theatre. He studied at Cambridge University and trained at Central and the NT Studio. In 2007 he received both the inaugural Chichester Festival Theatre Heller Fellowship and the Channel Four Theatre Director's Bursary at the Salisbury Playhouse. Other credits include Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham REP, West End and UK tour), Sixty Six Books, In The Beginning (Bush Theatre/ Westminster Abbey), A Safe Harbour for Elizabeth Bishop (Southbank Centre), Grace, Pressure Drop - starring Billy Bragg (On Theatre), Deep Cut (Sherman Cymru/national tour), Monsters, Notes from Underground (Arcola Theatre), A Number (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Stone (RWCMD). He recently directed a short film for the Guardian/Royal Court called Devil in the Detail. He has co-edited three books - Conversations on Religion, Conversations on Truth and Identity and Identification. Haydon has written for The Guardian, The Scotsman, The New Statesman, The FT, The Independent and Prospect Magazine.

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