Full Cast Set For SOME DEMON at the Arcola Theatre

The production opens at the Arcola Theatre on 17 June, with previews from 14 June, and runs until 6 July.

By: May. 15, 2024
Full Cast Set For SOME DEMON at the Arcola Theatre
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Papatango has announced the full cast for the world première of the 2023 Prize-winning play Some Demon by Laura Waldren – a play focusing on the relationships fostered and fractured when a group of strangers are thrown together in an eating disorder unit. Grounded in authenticity and lived experience, Some Demon was chosen from 1,468 scripts entered to the Prize. 

Artistic Director of Papatango George Turvey directs Leah Brotherhead (Mara), Amy Beth Hayes (Leanne), Joshua James (Mike), Sirine Saba (Zoe), Hannah Saxby (Sam) and Witney White (Nazia). The production opens at the Arcola Theatre on 17 June, with previews from 14 June, and runs until 6 July, before a run at Bristol Old Vic from 9 to 13 July.

Judged anonymously, the Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK’s first, and remains the only annual, opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production (for the coming 2025 Prize in Park200 at Park Theatre), publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 8% of the box office, and a £7,500 commission with full developmental support.

In addition, every entrant receives feedback on their script – a commitment made by no other company, especially significant as the Prize averages more submissions on a yearly basis than any other playwriting award.

Other writers produced under the Prize include Dawn King, Dominic Mitchell, Iman Qureshi, Samuel Bailey, Tom Morton-Smith, Fiona Doyle, Matt Grinter, Luke Owen, Louise Monaghan, James Rushbrooke, Tajinder Singh Hayer, Tom Powell, Jaki McCarrick, Clive Judd, Igor Memic and Nkenna Akunna. Collectively, writers launched through the Prize have won Olivier, BAFTA, Critics' Circle, The Times Breakthrough, OffWestEnd and RNT Foundation Awards, been nominated for the James Tait Black Drama Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, premièred in over thirty countries worldwide, and gone on to work with many leading companies as well as in the West End.

The world première of the winner of the 2023 Papatango New Writing Prize


By Laura Waldren

Arcola Theatre: 14 June – 6 July

Press night: 17 June

Bristol Old Vic: 9 – 13 July

Director: George Turvey; Set & Costume Designer: Anisha Fields; Lighting Designer: Rajiv Pattani;

Sound Designer: Asaf Zohar


Sam’s eighteen and her life’s about to start. Zoe’s forty-something and hers never did. They don’t have much in common. Just a love of 80s' new wave, and an illness that wants them dead.

Thrown together in an eating disorder unit, their most intimate secrets exposed, they form a complicated bond. When another patient turns the ward into chaos, they face questions that dictate their survival. Most of all: how to navigate an institution that keeps you safe inside but unable to cope outside?

Ranjith Devakumar (Ember Therapeutic Counselling) will be the therapeutic counsellor on the production.

Leah Brotherhead plays Mara. Her theatre work includes Wuthering Heights (Wise Children/ National Theatre/USA tour), Gulliver’s Travels (Unicorn Theatre), Lands, The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre), As You Like It (The Lamb Players), Two Gentleman Of Verona (Shakespeare’s Globe/ Liverpool Everyman), Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies (Aldwych Theatre/The Winter Gardens, Broadway), Another Place (Theatre Royal, Plymouth), Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Dr Faustus (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Glasgow Citizens Theatre), and People Like Us (Pleasance Theatre). Her television work includes Hullraisers; Death in Paradise, Whitstable Pearl, Bridgerton, Zomboat, White Gold, Boy Meets Girl, Drifters, and Vera; and The Interview and Jess/Jim.

Amy Beth Hayes plays Leanne. Her theatre work includes Linda (Royal Court Theatre), and her own play Cracked (Vault Festival - Evening Standard pick of the festival). For television, her work includes Mr Selfridge, Gandhi, Three Little Birds, Flack, Bridgerton, Action Team, Timewasters, Love, Lies and Records, Agatha Raisin, The Syndicate, Lilyhammer and Shameless; and for film, Prisoners of Paradise and The Power.

Joshua James plays Mike. His theatre work includes Shooting Hedda Gabler (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Vortex (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Royal Exchange Theatre), Yellowfin (Southwark Playhouse), Wife (Kiln Theatre), Lady Windemere's Fan (Vaudeville Theatre) King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe), Life of Galileo (Young Vic), Platonov, The Seagull, Here We Go, Light Shining In Buckinghamshire, Treasure Island (National Theatre), Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse), and Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall (RSC). His television credits include The New Look, Black Mirror: Demon 79, Andor, Why Didn’t’ They Ask Evans?, The Ipcress File, Industry, Life, Absentia, McMafia, Utopia, Whites and Identity; and for film, Cyrano, Darkest Hour, and Criminal.

Sirine Saba plays Zoe. Her theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beauty and the Beast, Midnight's Children, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Pericles, A Warwickshire Testimony, Tales from Ovid (RSC), Word Play, Goats, The Crossing Plays and Fireworks (Royal Court Theatre), Phaedra, Another World, Nation and Sparkleshark(National Theatre), Britannicus (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, Holy Warriors, Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe), Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, Tales From Ovid (Young Vic Theatre), The Haystack, Botticelli in the Fire, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre), Wife (Kiln Theatre), The Invisible (Bush Theatre), The Winter’s Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, HMS Pinafore (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Next Fall (Southwark Playhouse), The Fear of Breathing (Finborough Theatre), Scorched (The Old Vic), Testing the Echo (Out of Joint/Tricycle Theatre), Baghdad Wedding (Soho Theatre), and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Bristol Old Vic). Her television work includes Beyond Paradise, Doctor Who, Cleaning Up, Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere, Unforgotten, Silent Witness, I am Slave, Footballer’s Wives, and Prometheus; and for film, The Black Forest (nominated for the Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival), Maestro, Exhibition and Death of the Revolution.

Hannah Saxby plays Sam. This marks her professional stage debut, graduating this year from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her television work includesGentleman Jack, Malory Towers, and Shakespeare and Hathaway; and for film, The First Two.

Witney White plays Nazia. Her theatre work includes Wuthering Heights (National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic), Light Falls (Royal Exchange Theatre), Nof*cksgiven (Vault Festival), A Christmas Carol, Sylvia, A Monster Calls (The Old Vic), Room (Theatre Royal, Stratford East/Dundee Rep/Abbey Theatre), wonder.land (National Theatre),Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre), and Loserville (West End). For television, her work includes DI Ray, Father Brown, and Cleaning Up. 

Laura Waldren is a writer and actor from Hull. Some Demon is her first full-length play. Her debut screen work, This Is Hell, which she co-wrote and starred in, won the Pilot Light TV Festival and screened at the BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying Bolton International Film Festival. She was also the 2023 Writer-in-Residence for Pentabus Theatre. As an actor she recently appeared in the critically acclaimed second series of I Hate Suzie, and upcoming feature film The Radleys, starring Damian Lewis

Artistic Director of Papatango, George Turvey directs. He co-founded Papatango in 2007 and became its sole Artistic Director in January 2013. He has been awarded the Genesis Foundation Prize and named in The Stage 25 for his work championing new talent. As a dramaturg, he has led the development of all of Papatango’s productions, including the Olivier Award-winning Old Bridge. Direction for Papatango includes The Watch House (UK tour), Here (Southwark Playhouse), The Silence and the Noise (UK tour), Shook (Southwark Playhouse/UK Tour, nominated for 7 OffWestEnd Awards including Best Director and Best Production; also broadcast on Sky Arts), Hanna (Arcola Theatre/UK tour), The Annihilation of Jessie Leadbeater (ALRA), After Independence - winner of the Alfred Fagon Audience Award (Arcola Theatre/BBC Radio 4), Leopoldville (Tristan Bates Theatre), and Angel (Pleasance London/Tristan Bates Theatre). For screen he has directed Heathen Land (Papatango/Birdie Pictures). He trained as a director on The National Theatre Studio Directors’ course and as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). He has appeared on stage and screen throughout the UK and internationally, including the lead roles in the world première of Arthur Miller’s No Villain (Old Red Lion Theatre/West End) and Batman Live World Arena Tour. He is the co-author of Being A Playwright: A Career Guide For Writers.



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