Casting Announced for OF KITH AND KIN, DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS, and UNCLE VANYA at Theatr Clwyd

Casting Announced for OF KITH AND KIN, DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS, and UNCLE VANYA at Theatr Clwyd

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie today announced casting for three productions in his inaugural season - Of Kith and Kin, Desire Under the Elms and Uncle Vanya.

Hastie renews his collaboration with playwright Chris Thompson for the world première of Of Kith and Kin - they previously worked together on Thompson's first full length play Carthage at the Finborough Theatre. Of Kith and Kin is a co-production with the Bush Theatre, and the production will run there after performances at Sheffield Theatres. Hastie directs Joanna Bacon (Lydia and Carrie), Donna Berlin (Arabelle), James Lance (Daniel), Chetna Pandya (Priya) and Joshua Silver (Oliver).

Director Sam Yates makes his Sheffield Theatres debut with Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms. He directs a cast including Me'sha Bryan (Young Girl), Emma Darlow (Fiddler), Aoife Duffin (Abbie), Matthew Kelly (Ephraim), Theo Ogundipe (Peter), Sule Rimi (Simeon) and Michael Shea (Eben).

Tamara Harvey returns to Sheffield Theatres to direct Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in a new version by Peter Gill. This is a co-production with Theatr Clwyd where Harvey is Artistic Director and will open there ahead of its run in Sheffield. She directs Jamie Ballard (Vanya), alongside Robert Blythe (Telyegin), Oliver Dimsdale (Astrov), ShaRon Morgan (Mariya), Sian Owens (Worker), Shanaya Rafaat (Elena), Veronica Roberts (Marina), Rosie Sheehy (Sonia) and Martin Turner (Serebryak).

Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum


World Première

A Sheffield Theatres & Bush Theatre co-production


By Chris Thompson

Cast: Joanna Bacon (Lydia and Carrie), Donna Berlin (Arabelle), James Lance (Daniel), Chetna Pandya (Priya), Joshua Silver (Oliver)

Directed by Robert Hastie; Designed by James Perkins; Lighting Design by Prema Mehta

Sound Design by Ella Wahlström; Casting by Vicky Richardson

14 September - 7 October

Press night: 19 September at 7.45pm

At Bush Theatre from 18 October - 25 November

'He can't call you both Dad. One of you should be Dad and the other one Daddy, surely?'

You can choose your friends... Chris Thompson's gripping new dark comedy takes us to the heart of what happens when we choose our family too.

Chris Thompson made his professional writing debut with Carthage at the Finborough Theatre - also directed by Hastie. His other work includes Albion (Bush Theatre). He previously won the Channel 4 Playwrights' Scheme (formerly the Pearson Playwrights' Scheme) and was invited to take part in The Royal Court Theatre's Studio Writers' Group.

Joanna Bacon plays Lydia and Carrie. She returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously appeared in Iphigenia. Her other theatre work includes Scarlett (Hampstead Theatre), Each Slow Dusk, In This Place (Pentabus Theatre), Gaslight (New Vic Theatre), Spring Storm, Beyond The Horizon (Royal & Derngate, Northampton and National Theatre), Calais (UK tour). Her television work includes Prime Suspect 1973, Cradle to Grave, Him & Her, The Shadow Line, Wallander; and for film, A Quiet Passion, Rock'n'Rolla, Venus and Love Actually.

Donna Berlin plays Arabelle. Her theatre work includes Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange/West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Orange Tree Theatre), Blood Wedding, The Bacchae (Royal & Derngate), Elmina's Kitchen (UK tour, Garrick Theatre) and Puffins (Nabokov/Southwark Playhouse). For television, her work includes Requiem, Game Face, New Tricks, Extras, Lead Balloon and Beautiful People; and for film, In Darkness, Monochrome and Dinner with My Sisters.

James Lance plays Daniel. His theatre work includes The Dead Monkey (Park Theatre), Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Duke of York's Theatre and UK tour), Ingredient X (Royal Court Theatre), Pythonesque (Underbelly, Edinburgh), Ordinary Dreams (Trafalgar Studios) and Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse). His television work includes Hoff the Record, I Want My Wife Back, Houdini and Doyle, Siblings, Black Mirror, Hotel Babylon, Sensitive Skin, Absolute Power, Teachers, The Book Group, Spaced and I'm Alan Partridge; and for film, The Bookshop, Northern Soul, Swansong, The Look of Love, Estranged, The Roundabout, Bel Ami, Bronson and Marie Antoinette.

Chetna Pandya plays Priya. Her recent theatre work includes Guess Who's Coming To Tea (Hampstead Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Mother India (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Pereira's Bakery at 76 Chapel Road, Mahua, The Westbridge (Royal Court), Much Ado About Nothing (RSC) and A Disappearing Number (Complicite). Her recent television work includes Motherland, Aliens, The Wrong Mans, Count Arthur Strong, Line of Duty and Toast of London.

Joshua Silver plays Oliver. For theatre, his work includes Photograph 51 (Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre), Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies (Aldwych Theatre/Winter Garden Theater, Broadway), A Tale of Two Cities (Royal and Derngate), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Blue Stockings (Shakespeare's Globe), Trelawny of the 'Wells' (Donmar Warehouse) and The Hotel Plays (Grange Hotel). For television his work includes The Moonstone.

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie directs. For the company, his work includes Julius Caesar, and he will direct The Wizard of Oz later this year. He recently directed Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange, Manchester - winner Best Production, Manchester Theatre awards), Henry V (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the inaugural production in Artistic Director Tamara Harvey's first season at Theatr Clwyd. He is Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse, where his recent work includes acclaimed productions of My Night With Reg by Kevin Elyot (also West End - Hastie was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards; and the production was nominated for Best Revival at the Olivier Awards), and Splendour, by Abi Morgan. Hastie recently completed the first stage of the Donmar Warehouse's ten year long My Mark project with Michelle Terry, undertaking and filming interviews in schools nationally to document the views of those eligible to vote for the first time in the 2025 general election.

His other directing credits include A Breakfast of Eels (Print Room), Carthage, Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Sunburst (Holborn Grange Hotel), Sixty-Six Books: In The Land Of Uz, Middle Man, David and Goliath, Snow In Sheffield and A Lost Expression (Bush Theatre).

As an actor, his work included productions with the National Theatre, RSC, Chichester Festival Theatre, Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Cheek by Jowl, Frantic Assembly, Northampton Royal & Derngate, Headlong, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, Derby Playhouse, Playful Productions, Liverpool Playhouse, as well as the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, where he made his professional debut.

Bush Theatre

The Bush Theatre is a world-famous home for new plays and an internationally renowned champion of playwrights. They discover, nurture and produce the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds, and present their work to the highest possible standards. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Madani Younis, the Bush Theatre looks for exciting new voices that tell contemporary stories with wit, style and passion and they champion work that is both provocative and entertaining. The Bush has produced hundreds of groundbreaking premières since its inception in 1972, many of them Bush commissions, and hosted guest productions by leading companies and artists from across the world. The Bush is widely acclaimed as the seedbed for the best new playwrights, many of whom have gone on to become established names. Having developed an enviable reputation for touring its acclaimed productions nationally and internationally, the award-winning theatre is currently undertaking a £4 million building redevelopment and a year's programme in the community. The theatre unveiled its new second studio space, revamped backstage facilities and a new front-of-house area earlier this year.

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By Eugene O'Neill

Cast includes: Me'sha Bryan (Young Girl), Emma Darlow (Fiddler), Aoife Duffin (Abbie Putnam), Matthew Kelly (Ephraim), Theo Ogundipe (Peter), Sule Rimi (Simeon), Michael Shea (Eben),

Directed by Sam Yates; Designed by Chiara Stephenson; Lighting Design by Jon Clark

Composer Alex Baranowski; Sound Design by Nick Greenhill; Video Design by Luke Halls;

Movement by Kim Brandstrup; Casting by Vicky Richardson

20 September - 14 October

Press night: 25 September at 7.00pm

'If I could, in my dyin' hour, I'd set it afire an' watch it burn...'

Ephraim Cabot's sons work from morning till night, believing his farm will one day be theirs. But everything changes when the old man returns from town with a new wife. This haunting and erotic tragedy is one of the great American plays from Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill.

Eugene O'Neill (1888 - 1936) was one of the greatest American Playwrights. His many works for the stage include Beyond the Horizon, The Emperor Jones, Anna Christie, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936.

Aoife Duffin plays Abbie Putnam. Her theatre work includes Chekhov's First Play (Dead Centre Theatre Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe), A Girl is a Half Formed Thing (Corn Exchange and Young Vic), Spring Awakening (Headlong) and The Crucible (Lyric Theatre Belfast). Her television work includes Resistance and Moone Boy; and for film Earthbound, Out of Here What Richard Did, Behold the Lamb and Joy.

Matthew Kelly returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ephraim. His previous work for the company includes The History Boys. For theatre, his credits include Toast (Park Theatre & UK tour), Volpone, Love's Sacrifice, The Jew of Malta (RSC), Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman), To Sir With Love (Royal & Derngate and UK tour), The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), God of Carnage (Nuffield, Southampton), Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory and Edinburgh Festival), Legally Blonde, Spamalot (UK tours), Buried Child (Curve Leicester), Waiting For Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Sign Of The Times and Lend Me A Tenor - The Musical (both West End), Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Trafalgar Studios), Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare's Globe), Victory (Arcola Theatre), Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall), Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Endgame (Liverpool Everyman), Forgotten Voices (Riverside Studios) and Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Repertory Theatre and West End - Olivier Award for Best Actor). For television, his work includes Cold Blood, Bleak House, Egypt: The Pharaoh And The Showman and The Temple Of The Sands, Moving On, Benidorm, MI High, My Family At War, Forensic Casebook, City Hospital and Stars in their Eyes; and for film, Showreel, Tribute, Two Stops To Bank and Tortoise.

Theo Ogundipe plays Peter. For theatre, his work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The Old Vic); for the RSC, Cymbeline, King Lear, Hamlet, King Lear and Julius Caesar (also West End and Broadway); and Brave New World (Royal and Derngate). For film his work includes Julius Caesar and Stud Life.

Sule Rimi plays Simeon. His theatre work includes Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mary Stuart, They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida Theatre), The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Orange Tree Theatre) and Boardergame (NTW). His television work includes Unforgotten, Stella, Crash, Caerdydd and Doctor Who; and for film, Indifferent, Black or White, The Machine and Panic Button.

Michael Shea plays Eben. His theatre work includes Peter and the Starcatcher (Royal & Derngate, Northampton). For television, his work includes Derry Girls; and for film, The Big Picture and Two Angry Men.

Sam Yates directs. His work for the stage includes Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Cymbeline (Shakespeare's Globe), East is East (Trafalgar Studios and UK tour), The El. Train (Hoxton Hall), Outside Mullingar (Ustinov at Bath Theatre Royal), Billy Liar (Royal Exchange), Cornelius (Finborough Theatre & 59E59 New York), and Mixed Marriage (Finborough Theatre); and for screen, The Hope Rooms (Winner Grand Prize Future Filmmaker Award, RIIFF 2016), and Cymbeline, All's Well That Ends Well and Love's Labour's Lost (The Complete Walk, Shakespeare's Globe).


A Sheffield Theatres & Theatr Clwyd co-production

Anton Chekhov's


in a new version by Peter Gill

Cast: Jamie Ballard (Vanya), Robert Blythe (Telyegin), Oliver Dimsdale (Astrov), ShaRon Morgan (Mariya), Sian Owens (The Worker), Shanaya Rafaat (Elena), Veronica Roberts (Marina), Rosie Sheehy (Sonia), Martin Turner (Serebryak)

Directed by Tamara Harvey; Design by Lucy Osborne; Lighting Design by Ric Mountjoy

Sound Design and Music by Jared Zeus; Casting by Stuart Burt CDG

18 October - 4 November

(The production runs at Theatr Clwyd from 21 September - Saturday 14 October, with press night on 26 September)

'My life has gone completely off course...'

To what, and to whom, do we devote our lives? And what happens when we ask, was it worth it?

Tamara Harvey directs this poignant comedy, in a heartbreaking new version by Peter Gill, which was commissioned by Theatr Clwyd. The production will be performed in the round.

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian playwright and short story writer. His principal works for the stage include Ivanov, Platonov, The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

Peter Gill (b.1939) is a Welsh playwright, theatre director and actor. As a playwright, his works include The Sleeper's Den, Over Gardens Out, Small Change, Kick for Touch, Cardiff East, Certain Young Men, The York Realist, Original Sin, Another Door Closed, Versailles and As Good a Time as Any. His adaptations for the stage include A Provincial Life, The Merry-Go-Round, The Cherry Orchard, Touch and Go, As I Lay Dying and The Seagull.

Jamie Ballard plays Vanya. Recent theatre credits include The White Devil, Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare's Globe), Ghosts (HOME, Manchester) King John (Rose Theatre Kingston), In The Vale of Health(Hampstead Theatre), Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios), Scenes from an Execution, Saint Joan, Some Trace of Her, Emperor and Galilean, War Horse and Antigone (National Theatre), Measure for Measure, Written on the Heart, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It,Much Ado About Nothing, Sweet Charity, King John and A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC), The Devil Inside Him (National Theatre of Wales),The Changeling, Macbeth (Tobacco Factory & Barbican) and Hamlet, Troilus & Cressida, As You Like It (The Tobacco Factory). For television, his credits include Three Girls, Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street, The Hollow Crown II, Sons of Liberty, Father Brown, Amnesia, The Crimson Field and The Great Fire. For film, his credits include Suffragette, X & Y, Kittiwakes, A Poet in New York, The Comedian, Yussef Is Complicated and Black Death.

Robert Blythe returns to Theatr Clwyd to play Telyegin. Previous credits for the company include Arms and The Man, As You Like It, Taking Steps, A Small Family Business, Pygmalion, The Drawer Boy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and King Lear. Other theatre credits include Twelve Angry Men (Garrick Theatre), Deep Cut (Tricycle Theatre), Henry IV, Henry V and Under Milk Wood (National Theatre), Badfinger (Donmar Warehouse) and Mother Clap's Molly House (Aldwych Theatre). For television his credits include Endeavour, High Hopes, Waking The Dead, The Famous Five, and You Me and It. For film, his credits include An Ordinary Man, Love is Thicker than Water, Lie Still, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, The Theory of Flight, The Woodlanders, Darklands, Rebecca's Daughters and Experience Preferred but Not Essential.

Oliver Dimsdale plays Astrov. He returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously appeared in The Comedy of Errors. His other recent theatre credits include The Argument (Hampstead Theatre), A Tale of Two Cities (Royal and Derngate), Macbeth (Tobacco Factory), Silence, Twelfth Night and The Tempest (RSC), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre), Pravda(Chichester Festival Theatre), Great Expectations, The Dead Wait (Royal Exchange) Five Finger Exercise, Beautiful Thing and The Changeling (Salisbury Playhouse). For television his credits include Grantchester, Mr Selfridge, Downton Abbey and He Knew He Was Right. For film, his credits include Journey's End, Good People, The Fold, Cosi and Rocknrolla.

ShaRon Morgan plays Mariya. Recent theatre credits include This Incredible Life (Canoe Theatre), Mother Courage and Her Children, A Good Night Out In The Valleys and Under Milk Wood (National Theatre Wales), Dirty, Gifted & Welsh (Dirty Protest & National Theatre Wales), Cityscape: No Vacancies and Cityscape: Patrolaphobia (Sherman Theatre). For television her work includes Hinterland, The Evermoor Chronicles, Da Vinci's Demons and Small Country. Film credits include Apostle, Laura Marlin Mysteries, Love Is Thicker Than Water, The Devil's Vice, Svengali, Resistance, Rain, Abraham's Point, and Leaving Lenin.

Sian Owens plays Worker. As a recent graduate of ALRA her credits include The Tempest (Taking Flight Theatre) and Shakespeare by the Sea (Matthew Townsend Productions).

Shanaya Rafaat plays Elena. Recent theatre credits include Terror (Lyric Hammersmith), The White Devil, King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe), A Tale of Two Cities (Northampton/UK Tour), Great Expectations (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Stateless (Tristan Bates Theatre), Around The World in 80 Days (St James Theatre), The Illusion (Southwark Playhouse) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC and world tour). For television, her credits include Silk and Lewis.

Veronica Roberts plays Marina. Recent theatre credits include After Electra (Tricycle Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth), Meeting Bea, Housewife 49, Sherlock's Last Case (Old Laundry Theatre), Horse Piss for Blood (Theatre Royal Plymouth), Nicholas Nickleby (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK tour), Separate Tables (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Comfort Me With Apples, Buried Alive, Dearly Beloved (Hampstead Theatre), Dancing at Lughnasa (Garrick Theatre) and Crime and Punishment (Lyric Hammersmith). For television her credits include Tenko and Peak Practice; and for film, MR Turner.

Rosie Sheehy plays Sonya. Her credits include Escape the Scaffold(Theatre503), Strife (Chichester Festival Theatre), Bird (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Hairy Ape (The Old Vic) and Chicken (Paines Plough). For television, her credits include DCI Banks.

Martin Turner plays Serebryakov. He returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously performed in Promises, Promises. His other recent theatre credits include The Plague (Arcola Theatre), The Lovers of Viorne (Frontier Productions), The Haunting of Hill House, The King's Speech (Chichester Festival Theatre), Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, BAM, Lyceum Theater Broadway), Medea (National Theatre), Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham REP and The Garrick), Boris Godunov, A Life of Galileo (RSC), Electra (Gate Theatre), Fabrication (Print Room), Hay Fever (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Scenes From The Back Of Beyond (Royal Court Theatre), Rabbit (Trafalgar Studios), Promises, Promises, (Sheffield Crucible), Pericles (Lyric Hammersmith) and Protection (Soho Theatre). For television his credits include Follow the Money, New Tricks and The White Queen.

Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd, Tamara Harvey directs, which sees her return to Sheffield Theatres following her recent production of Pride and Prejudice. She has directed in the West End, throughout the UK and abroad, working on classic plays, new writing, musical theatre and in film. Her inaugural production for Theatr Clwyd was Much Ado About Nothing, followed by the première of Elinor Cook's award-winning new play, Pilgrims and David Hare's Skylight. Her previous credits include the world premières of From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Breeders (St James Theatre), The Kitchen Sink, The Contingency Plan, Sixty-Six Books and tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ! (Bush Theatre), In the Vale of Health (a cycle of four plays by Simon Gray), Elephants and Hello/Goodbye (Hampstead Theatre), and Plague Over England (Finborough Theatre & West End). Other theatre includes Bash (Trafalgar Studios), Whipping It Up(New Ambassadors), One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Gielgud & Garrick Theatres), Educating Rita and Smash (Menier Chocolate Factory & Theatre Royal Bath), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre of Memory at Middle Temple Hall), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe), Dancing at Lughnasa (Birmingham Rep), Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Importance of Being Earnest (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Closer (Theatre Royal Northampton), Tell Me On A Sunday (UK Tour) and the UK première of Tennessee Williams' Something Cloudy, Something Clear (Finborough Theatre). Harvey directed the Shakespeare scenes that form an integral part of Anonymous, the feature film by Roland Emmerich; has twice been on the panel of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, and is a Trustee of the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and of the National Student Drama Festival.

THEATR CLWYD is one of the foremost producing theatres in Wales - a beacon of excellence looking across to the Clwydian Hills yet only forty minutes from Liverpool. Led by the new Executive team of Tamara Harvey and Liam Evans-Ford, it is a champion of world-class drama, new writing and family friendly work. They have three theatres, a cinema, cafe, bar and art galleries, offering a rich and varied programme of theatre, visual arts, film, music, dance and comedy. Theatr Clwyd works extensively with their local community, schools and colleges as well as creating award-winning work for, by and with young people. Over 200,000 people a year come through their doors and in 2015 Theatr Clwyd was voted the Most Welcoming Theatre in Wales.

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