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Full Cast Announced for THE ABSENCE OF WAR at Sheffield Theatres!


Headlong, Sheffield Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston today announce the full cast for their co-production of David Hare's The Absence of War.

Reece Dinsdale will be joined by Theo Cowan, Ameira Darwish, Don Gallagher, James Harkness, Charlotte Lucas, Barry McCarthy, Maggie McCarthy, Cyril Nri, Ekow Quartey, Helen Ryan and Gyuri Sarossy in David Hare's searing election play The Absence of War; a prophetic and incisive study of an epic personal struggle set against the high-pressured hysteria of the 1992 General Election.

Directed by Headlong's Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, this vigorous new staging of Hare's funny, stinging political drama embarks on a timely national tour in the build up to the 2015 Election.

The Absence of War will tour the UK, opening in Sheffield before travelling to Norwich, Watford, Bristol, Cheltenham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Oxford, Kingston, Cambridge and completing its run at Bath.

It's now or never for George Jones. The heavy-smoking, Shakespeare-loving Labour leader needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he's their man. But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the Palace of Westminster? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister's Questions?

David Hare is one of England's foremost playwrights and screenwriters. His plays include Plenty, Skylight, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has received two Academy Award nominations for The Hours and The Reader. The Absence of War is part of Hare's acclaimed trilogy which includes Racing Demon and Murmuring Judges.

Reece Dinsdale plays George Jones. His credits for stage include This House (National Theatre), Racing Demon (NT), Red Saturday (Royal Court), Old Year's Eve (RSC), Beethoven's Tenth (Vaudeville Theatre),Rhinoceros (Nuffield Theatre), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Hampstead Theatre), Wild Oats, (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Don Carlos and The Lady From The Sea (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Mirandolina (Lyric Theatre). For television, his work includes Silent Witness, Midnight Man, The Chase, Life on Mars, Spooks, Coronation Street (series regular), Waterloo Road and Born and Bred; and for film, A Private Function, Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (for which he won the International Critics' Award for Best Actor at The Geneva Film Festival) and The Knife That Killed Me.

Theo Cowan plays Bruce. Theo graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2014.

His stage credits include Prime Time (Royal Court), Lord of the Flies (Regents Park Open Air Theatre) and Tamburlaine (Bristol Old Vic). His television credits include The Outcast (BBC), Jambusters (ITV), Doctors (semi-regular) and Caught in the Web (BBC).

Ameira Darwish plays Mary Housego. Ameira's stage credits include Unfaithful (Traverse), Crime and Punishment (Glasgow Citizens) and Glasgow Girls (National Theatre of Scotland). Television and film credits include The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic), Waterloo Road (BBC), Casualty (BBC) and Strange Places and Kirk.

Don Gallagher plays Linus Frank/ Charles Kendrick. Gallagher's stage credits include Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Royal Exchange), The Magistrate (National Theatre), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre, West End), The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), His Dark Materials (National Theatre), Stuff Happens (National Theatre), Back to Methuselah (RSC) and Henry IV Parts I and II (RSC). Television credits include Agatha Raisin (Sky Atlantic), Inspector George Gently (BBC), Miss Marple (ITV), Poirot (ITV), The Changeling (ITV), Lewis (ITV) and The Best Possible Taste (BBC). Film credits include London Road and The Bank Job.

James Harkness plays Andrew Buchan. James' stage credits include Great Britain (National Theatre), Blacholt (National Theatre/Citz Young Theatre). Television and film credits include Macbeth (SeeSaw Films), Untitled Cycling Project (Working Title - Stephen Frears), Hector and Silent Witness.

Charlotte Lucas plays Lindsay Fontaine. Charlotte's theatre credits include If Only (Chichester Festival Theatre), Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre/St Ann's Warehouse NY), Posh (West End/Royal Court), The Changeling (Young Vic), Yes Prime Minister (West End), Called to Account, Darfur - How Long is Never and Fabulation (Tricycle). Television credits include Jamaica Inn (BBC), Midsomer Murders (ITV), Judge John Deed (BBC), EastEnders and Holby City. Film credits include Clean Skin, A Thousand Kisses Deep, These Foolish Things and Oh Marbella.

Barry McCarthy plays Bryden Thomas. Barry's stage credits include Little Revolution (Almeida), Kafka's Dick (Theatre Royal Bath), Flustered (Southwark Playhouse), King Lear (Almeida), The White Guard (National Theatre), The Giant (Hampstead Theatre), Kean (Apollo Theatre), The Canterbury Tales (RSC), The Master and Margarita (Chichester Festival Theatre) and As You Like It (RSC). Television credits include Holby City (BBC), New Tricks (BBC) and Doctors (BBC). Film credits include London Road, Notes on a Scandal and Kinky Boots.

Maggie McCarthy plays Gwenda Aaron. Maggie's stage credits include Juno and The Paycock (Bristol Old Vic), Gaslight (Salisbury Playhouse), Children of the Sun (National Theatre), Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre), Doctor's Dilemma (National Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre), Design for Living (Old Vic), Major Barbara (National Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (NT). Television credits include Dancing on the Edge (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Rome (HBO), Coronation Street (ITV) and Midsomer Murders (ITV). Film credits include Hysteria, Attack the Block, The History Boys, Calendar Girls, Angela's Ashes and Ali G in Da House.

Cyril Nri plays Oliver Dix. Cyril's theatre credits include Black Jesus (Finborough), Julius Caesar (RSC/West End), The Riots (Tricycle), Mad About the Boy (Iron Shoes/Unicorn), Oxford Street (Royal Court), Othello (Birmingham Rep), The Exonerated (Riverside Studios) and Where Do We Live (Royal Court). Television credits include Cucumber (Channel 4), Law and Order (ITV), New Tricks (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Waking the Dead (BBC) and Family Affairs (Channel 5).

Ekow Quartey plays Trevor Avery. Ekow graduated from LAMDA in 2013. His stage credits include for Headlong Spring Awakening. Other credits include Eye of A Needle (Southwark Playhouse), Long Story Short (Pleasance Theatre).

Helen Ryan plays Vera Klein. Helen's stage credits include Tom's Midnight Children (Birmingham Stage Company), Old Money (Hampstead Theatre), 13 (National Theatre), Lloyd George Knew My Father (Theatre Royal Bath), Great Expectations (Library Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird (Birmingham Rep) and The Safari Party (Hampstead Theatre). Television credits include Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Fallen Angel, Green Wing (Channel 4), Midsomer Murders (ITV) and Bertie and Elizabeth (ITV). Film credits include Birds Eye View and The Elephant Man.

Gyuri Sarossy plays Malcolm Pryce. Gyuri's stage credits for Headlong include The Seagull and Earthquakes in London. Other credits include The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (Orange Tree), Tonight at 8.30 (ETT/Nuffield), Tis Pity She's a Whore (Cheek By Jowl), The Seven Year Itch (Salisbury Playhouse), Foxfinder (Finborough), As You Like It (Manchester Royal Exchange), Romeo and Juliet (RSC) and Balmoral (Peter Hall Co.). Television credits include Holby City (BBC), Foyle's War (ITV), Judge John Deed (BBC) and Egypt (BBC). Film credits include Mercenaries, Another Life and Until Death.

Jeremy Herrin's most recent credit for Headlong is The Nether, which opens in the West End's Duke of York's Theatre in January following a sold-out run at the Royal Court in July. Other work includes, for the RSC, the hugely successful world premiere of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies; for which he most recently won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director, This House (National Theatre) for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Director. Jeremy was Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 2009 until 2012, where his credits included No Quarter, Hero, Haunted Child, The Heretic, Kin, Spur of the Moment, Off the Endz, The Priory, Tusk Tusk and That Face, which transferred to the West End.

The Absence of War reunites David Hare and Jeremy Herrin who have previously collaborated on South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End) and The Vertical Hour (Royal Court).

The Absence of War is on stage at the Crucible Theatre from Friday 6 - Saturday 21 February. Tickets are on sale now, priced from £12.00 - £23.00 and can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres' Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or online at (A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office (excl. cash).

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