Further Casting Announced For Theatre Royal Bath's 2019 Summer Season

By: May. 28, 2019

Jonathan Church, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath's Summer Season 2019 today announces further casting for its upcoming programme of eight plays.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (6 June - 6 July) will open the season in Theatre Royal Bath's Ustinov Studio with press night on 12 June. Mark Hadfield (The Libertine) and Rebecca Lacey (Doc Martin) will join Janie Dee, Michelle Asante, Aysha Kala and Lewis Reeves in the Tony Award-winning comedy.

Michael Byrne (Mary Stuart) completes the cast in Rupert Everett's directorial debut production of Chekhov's masterpiece Uncle Vanya (18 July - 3 August) in which he also stars in the title role, with Katherine Parkinson, Clémence Poésy, Ann Mitchell, John Light, John Standing and Marty Cruickshank.

Further casting is also confirmed for William Boyd's dark comedy The Argument starring Felicity Kendal (7-24 August) who will be joined by Sarah Earnshaw (The Nightingales) Esh Alladi (Absolute Hell) and Rupert Vansittart (The Crown).

Vienna 1934 - Munich 1938, written, directed by and starring Vanessa Redgrave, and which explores the hopes and fears of the generation that confronted the rise of fascism in Europe, will see recent RADA graduate Lucy Doyle join the cast with Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton.

Rehearsal images are also released today for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and for Blithe Spirit, directed by Richard Eyre and including Jennifer Saunders and Lisa Dillon among the company.

As previously announced, the season also includes Trying It On written by and starring David Edgar in the Ustinov Studio (3 - 7 September) and, in the Main House, The Life I Lead with Miles Jupp and directed by Didi Hopkins and Selina Cadell (27 August - 31 August), and The Man in the White Suit adapted by Sean Foley and starring Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon (6-21 September) immediately prior to a West End transfer.

Tickets for all productions are on sale at www.theatreroyal.org.uk.

VANYA and sonia and masha and spike

Thursday 6 June - Saturday 6 July
Press Night: Wednesday 12 June

Tony Award-winning Walter Bobbie directs Christopher Durang's comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in the Ustinov Studio to open the Theatre Royal Bath's Summer Season 2019 starring the newly announced Mark Hadfield and Rebecca Lacey alongside Janie Dee, Michelle Asante, Aysha Kala and Lewis Reeves.

The original production premiered at the McCarter Theatre and Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and after a successful run it transferred to Broadway where it received six Tony Award nominations and won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star. When Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something boy toy, Spike, so begins a rollicking weekend of rivalry, regret and all-too true premonitions.

Mark Hadfield played Gepetto in the National Theatre's production of Pinocchio. His other stage credits include The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath and Theatre Royal Haymarket), Richard III (Almeida), Painkiller (The Garrick) and The Meeting (Hampstead Theatre). Film credits include A Royal Night Out.

Rebecca Lacey's stage credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre and West End), Pride and Prejudice (Regent's Park Open Air) and Tartuffe (English Touring Theatre). For television, Rebecca has appeared in Doc Martin, Rellik, Endeavour and Bad Education.

Michelle Asante most recently performed on stage in Our Lady of Kibeho (Royal and Derngate) and previously in Things of Dry Hours (Young Vic), Welcome Home Captain Fox (Donmar), Ruined (Almeida) and Torn (Arcola). Michelle's TV credits include Dr Who, Holby City, Casualty, Our Girl 2 and Father Brown.

Janie Dee recently completed a critically acclaimed run in the title role of Linda (Manhattan Theatre Club), for which she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, and Follies (National Theatre), for which she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Janie has also appeared in Channel 4's Chimerica and Crashing as well as the BBC's The Murder Room and Midsomer Murders.

Aysha Kala was named BAFTA breakthrough Brit of 2015. She has performed on stage in An Adventure (Bush Theatre), Obsession (Barbican), Punkplay (Southwark Playhouse), Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court) and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC). Television appearances include Channel 4's Indian Summers and Shameless.

Lewis Reeves' theatre credits include My Night with Reg (West End), Our Boys (Duchess Theatre) and The Wider Earth (The Dead Puppet Society). Television credits also include DC Jake Collier in Unforgotten, Crazyhead, and Misfits.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is produced by special arrangement with Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschorn, Sue Wagner and John Johnson.


Friday 14 June - Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June

Jennifer Saunders, one of the UK's most popular comic actors, makes her Theatre Royal Bath debut as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noël Coward's classic comedy Blithe Spirit. She is joined by Lisa Dillon as Ruth Condomine with Emma Naomi, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Simon Coates, Lucy Robinson and Rose Wardlaw.

The production brings together a multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Richard Eyre with design by Anthony Ward and lighting by Howard Harrison.

Written in 1941, Coward's inventive comedy proved light relief at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright's most popular works.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life - and the afterlife - get complicated.

Blithe Spirit is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.

VIENNA 1934 - Munich 1938, A FAMILY ALBUM

Thursday 11 July - Saturday 3 August
Press night: Wednesday 17 July

Theatre Royal Bath presents a Rose Theatre Kingston Production, Vienna 1934 - Munich 1938, A Family Album, written, directed by and starring Vanessa Redgrave in the Ustinov Studio. Lucy Doyle will make her professional stage debut, also joined by Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton.

In the late 1930s, the illustrious actor Michael Redgrave became close friends with the celebrated poet Stephen Spender. Through their families' notebooks, journals and memoirs, and Stephen's poems, Vanessa Redgrave discovers the love affairs they remembered, and the hopes and fears of a generation that confronted the rise of fascism in Europe. Among these was the German writer Thomas Mann. As Stephen's love and respect for a young American woman studying psychology in Vienna grew deeper, he and his secretary Tony Hyndman tried to assist her in obtaining false visas and passports for socialist Jews and their families to escape from fascist Austria.

Written and directed by Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Michael Redgrave, the play highlights the affectionate and intimate thoughts of individuals during these years of political and social disaster.

Lucy Doyle recently graduated from RADA where she appeared in productions including Mrs Klein, 3 Winters, Love and Information, Women Beware Women and The Tempest. For radio, her credits include BBC dramas The Cherry Orchard, An Ideal Husband, The Remco, Life Lines and Suspicious Minds.

Vanessa Redgrave is regarded as one of the greatest actors of her generation. She has won a plethora of awards including an Olivier Award for The Aspern Papers and a Tony Award for Long Day's Journey into Night. She also received Tony nominations for The Year of Magical Thinking and Driving Miss Daisy. She is a is a six-time Oscar nominee, winning for Julia. Her narration of Call the Midwife has brought her voice to millions. She recently appeared in The Inheritance in the West End for which she was nominated for a 2019 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Robert Boulter most recently appeared in the multi-Olivier Award winning The Inheritance (Young Vic, Noël Coward) and previously in Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (RSC), The Odyssey, Karamazoo (National Theatre) and How to Curse (Bush). Screen credits include Star Wars Episode IX, Star Wars Episode VII and TV series' Evidence and Father Brown.

Paul Hilton has also recently performed in the four-times Olivier Award winning The Inheritance (Young Vic, Noël Coward) with other stage credits including Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court), Mosquitoes (National Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic), A Mad World My Masters (Shakespeare's Globe) and All New People (Duke of York's). Television credits include The Crown, A Very English Scandal and Silent Witness.


Thursday 18 July - Saturday 3 August
Press Night: Wednesday 24 July

Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath where he last appeared in The Judas Kiss in 2012 and which went on to transfer to the West End, and following recent critical acclaim as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince which he also wrote and directed. Everett will direct his first stage play and lead the cast in Anton Chekhov's theatrical masterpiece Uncle Vanya, a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, in a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare. Michael Byrne joins the previously announced Katherine Parkinson, Clémence Poésy, Ann Mitchell, John Light, John Standing and Marty Cruickshank.

It's late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil.

Michael Byrne has previously appeared on stage in Mary Stuart (Duke of York's), Juliet and her Romeo (Bristol Old Vic), The Chairs (Gate Theatre), All My Sons (Liverpool Everyman) and New World Order (Royal Court). For television, Michael's credits include Doctors, The Living and the Dead, Wallander, Midsomer Murders and Coronation Street.

Marty Cruickshank's television appearances include Catastrophe, Call the Midwife, Line of Duty and Lewis. On stage she has performed in Richard II (RSC), London Wall (Finborough), Pygmalion (Garrick), The Tinkers Wedding (Southwark Playhouse) and Charley's Aunt (Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour).

John Light was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in Taken at Midnight at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Theatre credits also include Mary Stuart (Almeida), The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare's Globe), The Blackest Black (Hampstead Theatre) and Luise Miller (Donmar). TV credits include Silk and Endeavour.

Ann Mitchell recently appeared in the film Farming, as well as Widows, Dragonfly and The Deep Blue Sea. Her many TV credits include Call the Midwife, Hetty Feather, EastEnders, Casualty, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Summer in the Suburbs. Previous stage credits include A View from Islington North (Arts Theatre), The Stock Da'wa (Hampstead Theatre), Innocence (Arcola) and a national tour of Angels in America.

Katherine Parkinson is a BAFTA-winning actress well known for starring in Channel 4's The IT Crowd and the Olivier Award winning comedy Home, I'm Darling (National Theatre). Stage credits also include Dead Funny (Vaudeville Theatre), Before The Party (Almeida), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), School For Scandal (Barbican Theatre), Season's Greetings (National Theatre), The Seagull (Royal Court).

Clémence Poésy's film credits include Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter films, 127 Hours, In Bruges, Tito Il Piccolo, Final Portrait, The Ones Below and Mr Morgan's Last Love. For TV, Clémence has also appeared in Gossip Girl, War and Peace, Birdsong and The Tunnel.

John Standing has performed extensively across theatre, television and film. TV credits include The First Churchills, Game of Thrones, NYPD Blue, In Deep and Murder She Wrote and V for Vendetta for film. Stage credits include Shadowlands (Wyndham's), A Delicate Balance (Haymarket), Son of Man (RSC) and Plunder (National Theatre).


Wednesday 7 - Saturday 24 August
Press Night: Wednesday 14 August

Christopher Luscombe directs William Boyd's The Argument, a darkly comic play that delves into what it is to dispute with those we love and offers a biting take on human dynamics, starring Felicity Kendal in the role of Chloe. The cast is completed by Sarah Earnshaw, Esh Alladi and Rupert Vansittart.

Pip and Meredith are having a disagreement about a film they've just seen when Pip's phone rings and a full-scale row about their marriage breaks out. In the course of ten arguments, we follow the repercussions, as Meredith's parents, Chloe and Frank, her best-friend Jane, and Pip's best-friend Tony, take sides and end up embroiled in arguments of their own. Vitriolic, razor-sharp and veracious, the arguments rake over past prejudices, expose unjust judgements and reveal difficult truths.

Sarah Earnshaw recently appeared in The Nightingales (Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour). Previous stage credits include Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em (UK tour), Travels with My Aunt (Chichester Festival Theatre), the original cast of Wicked (Apollo), Heart of Winter (Tristan Bates) and national tours of Spamalot, Jekyll and Hyde, Scrooge and Puttin' on the Ritz. Television appearances also include Casualty and Children in Need.

Esh Alladi most recently performed on stage in Rutherford and Son at the Sheffield Crucible. He has appeared in several National Theatre productions, including Absolute Hell, The Beaux Stratagem, Dara and From Morning to Midnight. Other stage credits include Twelfth Night (RSC), Lions and Tigers (Shakespeare's Globe) and Wit (Royal Exchange). Esh has also appeared on screen in A Confession, Apple Tree House and Houdini and Doyle.

Rupert Vansittart was recently seen in the hit Netflix show The Crown as well as Gentleman Jack, Game of Thrones, Doc Martin, Plebs and Father Brown. Stage credits include This House (National Theatre), Democracy (Sheffield Crucible/Old Vic), An Ideal Husband (Birmingham Rep. For film, Rupert has appeared in Misbehaviour, The Children Act, The Iron Lady, Braveheart and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Felicity Kendal CBE is one of the UK's best-loved actresses, best known for her role in the BBC sitcom The Good Life. She has appeared in previous Theatre Royal Bath productions, including A Room with a View, Hay Fever and Relatively Speaking. Her roles in Much Ado About Nothing and Ivanov at the Strand Theatre won her the 1989 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress. Other stage credits also include Waste and the Seagull (Old Vic), Indian Ink (Aldwych), Heartbreak House (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Tartuffe (Playhouse) and Arcadia, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Othello and Amadeus for the National Theatre.

Christopher Luscombe's (Director) recent credits include The Nightingales and Nell Gwynn, winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Other productions include Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night for The RSC, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Nell Gwynn for Shakespeare's Globe and in the West End, Enjoy, When We Are Married and The Madness of George III. He is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

William Boyd OBE (writer) is a novelist, short story writer and screenwriter. His many novels include An Ice Cream War, Restless and Sweet Caress. His works have received several awards including the Whitbread Book award and Somerset Maugham Award for his novel A Good Man in Africa. His work Any Human Heart also won the Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His stage work also includes Longing, an adaptation of two Chekhov short stories.

The Argument is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.


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