Full Cast Set for World Premiere of DEAD SHEEP at Park Theatre
The true story of how Mrs. Thatcher, the most divisive Prime Minister of modern times, was brought down by her one time friend and political soul mate.
It is 1989 and a seemingly invincible Prime Minister has sacked Geoffrey Howe, her Foreign Secretary. She apparently had nothing to fear from him: his speaking skills had, famously, been compared to those of a dead sheep. But inspired by his wife Elspeth - whose relationship with Thatcher was notoriously frosty - Howe overcame his limitations to destroy Mrs Thatcher with one of the great political speeches.
The staging of Dead Sheep, a drama tinged with tragedy and comedy, coincides with the 25th anniversary of Howe's assassination and its themes - loyalty, love, political morality and Britishness - are as relevant today as they were a quarter of a century ago.
Jonathan Maitland is a broadcaster and writer. He reported for Radio 4's Today programme in the 1990s, before co-presenting BBC1's Watchdog and ITV 1's House of Horrors. He has presented ITV1's flagship current affairs show, Tonight, for the last 16 years. He has interviewed, amongst others, Tony Blair, Madonna, Henry Kissinger and Bob Geldof and written for all the national newspapers. He has authored five books, including a best-selling memoir How To Survive Your Mother and Vote For Who?. His co-written screenplay about the footballer Stanley Matthews has been optioned and is in development. Dead Sheep is his first play.
Jill Baker plays Elspeth Howe. Her theatre work includes Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre), Richard II Coriolanus, The Great White Hope, Much Ado About Nothing, The Changeling, Caucasian Chalk Circle and Savage Amusement (all RSC), The Secret Rapture (National Theatre), Goosepimples (Hampstead Theatre/ West End), Sufficient Carbohydrate (Hampstead Theatre/ West End), One O'Clock World (Tricycle Theatre) and Miss Julie (The Crucible Sheffield). For television her work includes Happy Valley, Law and Order: UK, Midsomer Murders, Above Suspicion, Spooks and Wallander; and for film, John Carter of Mars, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Tower Block, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love and Hope and Glory.Steve Nallon plays Margaret Thatcher. In 1984 Steve became a founding member of the Spitting Image team and it aired until 1996. Although Nallon became most famous for providing the voice of Thatcher he also voiced many of the show's other characters, including The Queen Mother, Alan Bennett and David Attenborough. His other stage credits include Cissie and Ada, An Hysterical Rectomy (UK tour) and Carnival (Barbican), his television work includes Jonathan Creek and TV Burp and he will appear in the film 51 Degrees North in 2015.
Graham Seed plays Ian Gow and Nigel Lawson. He is probably best known for his 27 years as Nigel Pargetter in The Archers for which he was awarded 'Radio Broadcaster of the Year' by the Broadcasting Press Guild. His theatre credits include Yes Prime Minister, The Mousetrap, Journey's End, Relatively Speaking and Confusions (UK tours), Me and My Girl (West End), Accolade (Finborough Theatre), The Skin Game (Orange Tree), Design for Living (ETT) and most recently Bedroom Farce and Separate Tables (Salisbury Playhouse). His television work includes I, Claudius, Brideshead Revisited, Who's Who, Jeeves and Wooster, Midsomer Murders, Dinnerladies, Band of Brothers, Victoria Wood, As Seen on TV, The Chatterley Affair and Prime Suspect; and for film, Wild Target, Gandhi and Little Dorrit.
Tim Wallers plays Alan Clark and Bernard Ingham. His theatre credits include Yes Prime Minister (Chichester Festival and Gielgud), Fallen Angels (UK tour), Mamma Mia, (Prince Edward Theatre), Lady Windermere's Fan (Chichester Festival), Present Laughter (national tour), A Right Royal Farce (Kings Head), The Lady and the Van (Theatre Royal Bath), Things We Do For Love (Chester Gateway), Time and the Conways (Bristol Old Vic), The Cabinet Minister (Albery and tour), Kean (Old Vic and tour and Toronto), The Recruiting Officer and Lady Windermere's Fan (Royal Exchange Manchester). His television work includes Babylon, Count Arthur Strong, Father Brown, The Interceptor, Doctor Who, Margaret, Ballet Shoes, Skins, Fanny Hill, Consenting Adults, Maxwell, Inspector Lynley, Hotel Babylon, Waking the Dead, A Good Murder, Jericho, Derailed, Lady Jane, Night and Day, Randall and Hopkirk, Love in a Cold Climate, Armadillo, Wives and Daughters; and for film, RocknRolla, Mamma Mia, Filth and Wisdom, The Oxford Murders, Julie and the Cadillacs.
John Wark. Plays Stephen Wall and Brian Walden. He returns to Park Theatre having previously appeared in Toast, Keepers of Infinite Space and Thark. His Other theatre work includes The Winter Guest (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ AlmeidaTheatre), Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre), Dog In The Manger, Tamar's Revenge and Pedro The Great Pretender (RSC), Tamburlaine (Bristol Old Vic/Barbican), The Fear of Breathing and Jamie the Saxt (Finborough Theatre), The Only Girl in The World (Arcola Theatre), The Torchsong Trilogy (Tron Theatre). His television work includes Outlander, The Ten Commandments, Robin Hood, Taggart, Gforce; and for film Queen of the Desert, A Little Chaos, The Fitzroy, Within The Woods, The Oxford Murders, Late Night Shopping and Breaking The Waves.
James Wilby plays Geoffrey Howe. His theatre credits include The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (Rose Theatre Kingston), Don Juan (West End), A Patriot for me (RSC), The Consultant (Theatre503,) On Emotion (Soho Theatre), Less than Kind (UK tour), As You Like It (Royal Exchange), Chips with Everything (Leeds Playhouse), Helping Harry (Jermyn Street Theatre), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Belgrade Theatre). His work for television includes Titanic, Mother Love, Island at War, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and Lady Chatterley; and for film, Gosford Park, Regeneration, Maurice, Howard's End, An Ideal Husband, A Room with a View, and Immaculate Conception.
Ian Talbot directs. He was Artistic Director of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre until 2008, where his directing credits include Babes In Arms, The Fantasticks, Kiss Me Kate, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Oh, What A Lovely War, High Society, H.M.S. Pinafore (all nominated for Olivier Awards). His other directing credits include The Mousetrap (St Martin's Theatre), Yeoman of the Guard (Savoy Theatre), High Society (Shaftesbury Theatre and UK tour) and Lend Me A Tenor (Gielgud Theatre). He has also acted at the RSC, Shakespeare's Globe and in the West End. In 2007 he was awarded OBE for services to drama.