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Casting Announced For The ALEXANDER MATTHEWS Season At Tristan Bates

Casting Announced For The ALEXANDER MATTHEWS Season At Tristan BatesThe playwright and philosopher Alexander Matthews presents the debut of his two witty social dramas at Covent Garden's Tristan Bates Theatre in spring 2018. 'Screaming Secrets' and 'Glass Roots' will have back-to-back runs and will form the first Alexander Matthews Season in the UK. Both plays are directed by Evan Keele with production design by Nancy Surman.

'SCREAMING SECRETS' explores our need to be understood and appreciated. It places relationships and moral dilemmas under scrutiny through the power of the writer's philosophical lens. What do we do when we're faced with our own mortality? How do we tell our family and friends and what should we do with the time that's left?

These are the questions that face philosopher and free thinker Antonio (Jack Gordon) as he discovers that he's not as healthy as he thinks. Surrounded by his irascible father Alessandro (Gregory Cox), his dramatic sister Gina (Ilaria Ambrogi), flirty girlfriend Monika (Triana Terry) drunken publisher Hugo (Theo Devaney) and apologetic doctor Simon (Ben Warwick), Antonio has to make up his mind rapidly.

"We all have secrets," says Alexander Matthews, "but because life is so fragmented and fast moving, and we all have widely different agendas, when we do open our hearts (and scream our secrets) we are often not heard or understood...at least on our own terms or indeed, above the cacophony of modern life.

"I think the philosophical element of 'Screaming Secrets' adds to the poetic feel of the play," continues Matthews. "For this production, I have taken out some of the philosophy but left enough in, I hope, to keep a philosophical tinge to what Antonio and sometimes Simon say."

'SCREAMING SECRETS' CAST:

Ilaria Ambrogi - Gina
llaria is from Italy where her theatre credits include Peter Pan (Teatro Vascello, Rome) and Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. In 2007 she wrote her first one-woman show, The Echo, and performed it at Teatro dell'Orologio, in Rome. In 2009 she moved to the US, where she trained with Susan Batson and worked in numerous theatre and film productions. She was a member of the Kairos Italy Theater Company in New York for many years, performing Italian plays for the American audience.

Gregory Cox - Alessandro
Gregory's extensive acting credentials stretch from the West End to theatres all over the UK, Europe and the Far East. His credits include Oliver! (West End), Little Lies (West End and Toronto), Only When I Laugh (Hong Kong), The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK tour), Death of a Salesman (Frankfurt English Theatre), Tale of Two Cities, Hamlet, King Lear, Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing (various venues UK and abroad) and many more. TV and film work include Doctors, Keep Up Appearances, Brookside, Eastenders, Poirot and many more.

THEO DEVANEY - Hugo

Theo's UK theatre credits include Caligula (Union Theatre), War & Peace (Shared Experience), Long Way Home, Lincoln Road (Eastern Angles) and The Soulless Ones (Hoxton Hall). In 2012 Theo relocated to Vancouver, Canada and wrote and produced the award-winning short play, Run and became best known to UK TV audiences as Gavin MacLeod in the long running TV series Supernatural; while he was based in Canada he also appeared in the films Psych and Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb.

Jack Gordon - Antonio
Jack's theatre credits include a number of productions as RADA including Carmen 1936, The Duchess of Malfi, Odysseus, As You Like It, A Month in the Country; plus War Horse (National Theatre/West End), Lulu (Gate Theatre), 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Cheek by Jowl), Romeo and Juliet (Battersea Arts Centre). Ben has appeared in a number of independent films including Northern Soul, Captain America, Heartless, Panic Button and his TV credits include New Blood, The Crimson Field, The Great Train Robbery (all BBC) and Primeval Series 3.

TRIANA TERRY - Monika
Triana's first acting role was in Martin Kemp's film Stalker (2010) which she followed up with Just For The Record alongside Steven Berkoff and can be seen in the 2017 independent film London Fields directed by Matthew Cullen. Triana's theatre credits include Doctor Faustus; she's also a self-taught painter and has painted portraits of, among others, Stephen Fry, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, and Charles Dance. She has exhibited her work at the Saatchi Gallery and The Hospital Club among others.

BEN WARWICK - Simon
Ben's theatre credits include Frankenstein (Blackeyed Theatre), Jane Eyre, Hamlet (English Touring Theatre), Look Back In Anger (Lichfield Garrick), The Deep Blue Sea (Watford Palace), Pentecost, The Oedipus Plays (Royal National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuse, The Marquise (Bill Kenwright), Macbeth (US Tour), Miss Julie (Soho Theatre). Films: Blood Moon, War Game, Canakkale Yolun Sonu and TV includes Mary Queen of Scots (BBC) Emmerdale (ITV), The Big Picture, Five Years.

Tickets: £18 (£15 concs); previews £12. Call 020 3841 6611 and online at www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk

'GLASS ROOTS' is about bullying: what happens when you are bullied and are powerless to fight back? Can you survive with your psychology intact or is the damage permanent? This is the terrible ordeal faced by Sadjit and Thila, owners of a popular Indian restaurant in east London when they are terrorised in their own place of work by racist thugs.

'Glass Roots' addresses the violent clash of ignorance, racism, class and jealousy and wonders at the outcome; will the perpetrators get what they want and will the victims survive with a renewed purpose?

"In 'Glass Roots' the protagonists' frustrations and longings are a hook, their being bullied is another," says Alexander Matthews. "In a way, the feelings of the audiences will be forced into a corner by the bullying and that will steer them towards Thila and Sadjit."

'GLASS ROOTS' CAST:

VICTORIA BROOM - Celia
Victoria's TV credits include: Marcella (ITV/Netflix), Different for Girls (JackDaw Productions), Nurses Who Kills (First look TV and Alibi), Crossroads (Carlton Television), Derren Brown Hero at 33000 Feet (Channel 4). Her theatre credits include Tomorrow Never Knows, A Destiny with Death Macbeth (various theatre companies) and The Trial (Barbican). Victoria has appeared in the independent films Viking Destiny, Open All Night, Legacy, Dead Cert and more.

MITCHELL FISHER - Diesel
Mitchell's theatre credits include The Litaratti, The Red Button, A Death At Price Waterhouse, A Flat Full of Chandeliers, True Dare Kiss, and Jerusalem. His TV credits include England and the Road to Modernity, Hard Work (Channel 4) and the independent film Skint (directed by Ryan J Smith), Shadowboxer, Kill Kane, and Blackout which won best film at the Southampton International Film Festival.

NATALIE PERERA - Thila
Natalie's theatre credits include Antony and Cleopatra and Lear (by Edward Bond) both at Central School of Speech and Drama; A Golden Age, A Space Odyssey, Pinocchio, The Duchess of Malfi (various). She has appeared in a number of TV dramas including The Midnight Beast Presents Valentine's Day (Sky TV) and films Together, Bazodee, and The Cook for independent film companies.

SAM RIX - Spaceman
Sam is an actor, writer, voice artist and storyteller. After training at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he joined the BBC radio repertory company and has appeared in a host of audio dramas. His theatre credits include Pomona, The Den and PLAY 1. He is a recurring character on the TV series The Royals. His film credits include We Still Steal The Old Way and Out Of It.

KAL SABIR - Sadjit
Kal's theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet, Home Is Where..., Loyalty & Dissent (various theatre companies). In 2017 he made his TV drama debut in the new crime show Armchair Detectives (BBC 1) and his film debut in Mary Queen of Scots directed by Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of The Donmar Warehouse; the film is scheduled for release in 2018.

BEN WARWICK - Rupert
Ben's theatre credits include Frankenstein (Blackeyed Theatre), Jane Eyre, Hamlet (English Touring Theatre), Look Back In Anger (Lichfield Garrick), The Deep Blue Sea (Watford Palace), Pentecost, The Oedipus Plays (Royal National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuse, The Marquise (Bill Kenwright), Macbeth (US Tour), Miss Julie (Soho Theatre). Films: Blood Moon, War Game, Canakkale Yolun Sonu and TV includes Mary Queen of Scots (BBC) Emmerdale (ITV), The Big Picture, Five Years.

Tickets: £18 (£15 concs); previews £12, call 020 3841 6611 and online at www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk

Alexander Matthews had a privileged, haphazard upbringing into the literary world. Growing up in the USA, visitors to Matthews' childhood home included the poets Robert Graves and WH Auden as well as novelist Laurie Lee and the American cartoonist James Thurber. His father, TS Matthews, wrote an unauthorised biography of TS Eliot; Martha Gellhorn, his stepmother, was the third wife of Ernest Hemingway.

"Robert Graves lived with us and Auden visited," remembers Matthews. "In fact, I hosted Auden when he came up to Toronto to speak to the Literary Society at our college. I was certainly inspired by them and felt particularly close to TS Eliot's writing."

Alexander taught Philosophy in a number of universities between 1975 and 1989; in 1986 he was awarded a Visiting Fellowship to Princeton University. His published book is called 'A Diagram of Definition'; he also published a paper arguing against 'the big bang theory'. He wrote three poetic dramas including 'Screaming Secrets' in 2001 and 'Glass Roots' in 2003 and currently resides in Devon.

Since it was founded in 1999, Alexander has chaired the Martha Gellhorn Trust Prize Committee which offers an annual prize for journalism, for the kind of reporting that distinguished Gellhorn: "the view from the ground"...essentially a very human story that penetrates the established version of events to arrive at the truth. It is little wonder that Alexander's own works offer a deep and fascinating study into the minutiae of human behaviour.


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