Full Casting Announced for RACING DEMON at Theatre Royal Bath

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Theatre Royal Bath Productions has announced full casting for David Hare's Racing Demon, directed by Jonathan Church, which today began rehearsals ahead of its run at Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 21 June to Saturday 8 July.

As previously announced Olivier Award-winner David Haig will star as Lionel Espy in the multi-award winning play. He will be joined by Sam Alexander, Michelle Bonnard, Anthony Calf, William Chubb, Paapa Essiedu, Ian Gelder, Andrew Fraser, Rebecca Night, Amanda Root and Ashley Russell.

Four clergymen seek to make sense of their mission in inner-city London whilst facing their own personal crises. There's Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle; tabloid-hounded gay vicar Harry Henderson; 'Streaky' Bacon, a genial reverend with a taste for tequila, and a charismatic young curate, Tony Ferris whose arrival is set to fan the flames, whilst his sexual relationship with his lover turns to ash. The day of judgement is at hand for all.

Racing Demon is the first production in Jonathan Church's inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath's annual Summer Season. The programme of five plays will also include Sand in the Sandwiches by Hugh Whitemore from Tuesday 11 July - Saturday 15 July, the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest from Friday 21 July - Saturday 12 August, Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks from Thursday 3 August - Saturday 2 September and Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van from Wednesday 16 August - Saturday 2 September.

David Haig (Lionel Espy) has previously performed at Theatre Royal Bath in The Madness of George III and King Lear. Other recent theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), Blue/Orange (Young Vic), Guys & Dolls (Savoy Theatre) and Our Country's Good (Royal Court), for which he won the Olivier Award. Notable film and television credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Witness for the Prosecution, The Thick of It and Mo.

Jonathan Church succeeds Peter Hall as Artistic Director, who established the Theatre Royal Bath Summer Season in 2003 with his company's annual residencies. Church was previously Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing over 100 productions including Taken at Midnight, ENRON, Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. Following his departure from Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Church set up his own independent Production Company, which he will continue to lead alongside his new position at Theatre Royal Bath.

David Hare is one of the UK's foremost playwrights and screenwriters with plays including The Judas Kiss, Skylight, Amy's View and Plenty. He received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hours and The Reader.

IF YOU GO:

Racing Demon
By David Hare
Directed by Jonathan Church
Dates: Wednesday 21 June - Saturday 8 July
Press Night: Wednesday 28 June, 7pm
Performance schedule: Monday - Saturday, 7.30pm; Matinees Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm (No Matinee 22 June)
Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Prices: £19.50 - £35.50 (Previews: £15 - £25)
Box Office: 01225 448844
Website: www.theatreroyal.org.uk

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Sam Alexander (The Revd Donald 'Streaky' Bacon) has starred in Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing and The Christmas Truce, all for the RSC. Television credits include Call the Midwife (BBC), Wolf Hall (Company Pictures) and Lewis (ITV).

Michelle Bonnard (Stella Marr) has appeared on stage in A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), Beasts and Beauties (Hampstead Theatre), The Quiet House (Birmingham Rep, Echo Presents, Park Theatre), Epic (Theatre 503) and On the Record (Arcola). Television credits include BBC series Inspector George Gently and The Fear.

Anthony Calf (The Rt Revd Charlie Allen, Bishop of Southwark) was most recently seen on stage as Malvolio in Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange). Other theatre work includes the Broadway transfer of King Charles III, For Services Rendered (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Hard Problem (National Theatre). Television credits include Tony in Power Monkeys (Channel 4), Home Fires (ITV) and Dracula (NBC).

William Chubb's (The Rt Revd Gilbert Heffeman Bishop of Kingston) extensive theatre credits include Great Britain, The History Boys, Othello and Scenes from an Execution, all for National Theatre, Yes, Prime Minister (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End) and Hay Fever (Theatre Royal Haymarket).

Paapa Essiedu (The Revd Tony Ferris) recently played Hamlet in Simon Godwin's critically acclaimed production at RSC. Other theatre roles include The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), King Lear (National Theatre) and You for Me for You (Royal Court).

Ian Gelder (The Revd Harry Henderson) recently played Kevan Lannister in Game of Thrones. Stage work include Human Animals (Royal Court), Gods and Monsters (Southwark Playhouse), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe) and Roots (Donmar Warehouse).

Andrew Fraser's (Ewan Gilmour) theatre credits include Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland, UK and international tour), Let the Right One In (St Ann's Warehouse, New York), King John (Óran Mòr) and The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (Macrobert, Stirling).

Rebecca Night's (Frances Parnell) television roles include the title role in Fanny Hill (BBC), Lark Rise to Candleford (BBC) and Starlings (Sky). Stage credits include A Flea in her Ear (Old Vic), The Grapes of Wrath (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (West End and UK Tour).

Amanda Root (Heather Espy) starred as protagonist Anne in the 1995 BBC film adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Stage credits include The Norman Conquests on Broadway, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award and The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Ashley Russell (Tommy Adair) has worked previously with Jonathan Church in Time and the Conways (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Broken Heart (Jackson Lane). Other theatre credits include Mansfield Park (Chichester Festival Theatre), Three Sisters (Union Theatre), Queen Lear (Tristan Bates). Television credits include BBC series Pie in the Sky.



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