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Casting Announced for CHICKEN SOUP and FROST/NIXON at Sheffield Theatres

Casting Announced for CHICKEN SOUP and FROST/NIXON at Sheffield Theatres

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie today announces full casting for the world première of Chicken Soup. by Ray Castleton and Kieran Knowles - the latter of whom returns to Sheffield Theatres after the success of Operation Crucible; and the regional première of Peter Morgan's smash hit play Frost/Nixon.

Judy Flynn (Josephine), Jo Hartley (Helen), Remmie Milner (Katie), Samantha Power (Christine) and Simone Saunders (Jennifer) make up the company for Bryony Shanahan's world première production of Chicken Soup. and Simon Bubb (John Birt), Ben Dilloway (Jack Brennan), Steven Elder (Bob Zelnick), Vidal Sancho (Manolo), Celina Sinden (Caroline Cushing), Kate Spencer (Evonne Goolagong), Dan Starkey (Swifty Lazar) and David Sturzaker (Jim Reston) join the previously announced Jonathan Hyde (Richard Nixon) and Daniel Rigby (David Frost) for Kate Hewitt's regional première production of Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon.


A Sheffield Theatres Production

World Première


By Ray Castleton and Kieran Knowles

8 February - 3 March

Director: Bryony Shanahan; Designer: Sophia Simensky; Lighting Designer: Prema Mehta

Sound Designer & composer: Alexandra Faye Braithwaite; Casting Director: Christopher Worrall

'Well, no point moping round is there?'

1984. Five days after Orgreave.

Three women keep a struggling mining community standing, running a soup kitchen near the pit heads of Rotherham.

2016. The day of the Brexit vote.

The breadline is no further away and the soup kitchen is now a food bank, as the country faces a huge decision.

A witty, poignant new play from local writers Ray Castleton and Kieran Knowles (Operation Crucible), Chicken Soup celebrates the friendships that survive the hardest of times.

Sheffield Theatres will partner with local foodbanks to collect items for distribution during the run of Chicken Soup.

Judy Flynn returns to Sheffield Theatres where she previously appeared in Roger Haines production of When We Are Married (Crucible Theatre). Her other theatre credits include East is East (Northern Stage and Nottingham Playhouse), Emil and the Detectives (National Theatre), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Library Theatre Manchester) and Shang-a-lang (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her television credits include The Brittas Empire, No Angels, The House of Eliott and First of the Summer Wine.

Jo Hartley makes her stage debut in Chicken Soup. Her television credits include Bliss, Vera, Not Safe for Work, This is England '90, Cut, Mimic, Law & Order, Little Bastards, Coming Up, This is England '88, The Jury, Stolen and This is England '86. Her film credits include Slaughterhouse Rulez, David Brent: Life on the Road, Access All Areas, Eddie the Eagle, Prevenge, Ill Manors, Speak No Evil, Inbred, Laid Off, Crying With Laughter, Soul Boy, The Young Victoria, This is England and Dead Man's Shoes.

Remmie Milner's recent theatre credits include Terror (Lyric Hammersmith and Brisbane Arts Festival), The Winter's Tale, To Kill A Mockingbird, Chip Shop The Musical (Octagon Theatre), Plastic Figurines (Box of Tricks national tour), The Pier (Oxford Playhouse), Melody Loses Her Mojo (Liverpool Playhouse). Her recent television credits include Electric Dreams, Save Me and Trollied.

Samantha Power's theatre credits include Beryl, Me As a Penguin, Coming Around Again, Accrington Pals (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Zack (Manchester Royal Exchange), Little Britain Live (UK and Australian tours) and Flint Street Nativity (Liverpool Playhouse). Her television credits include Ackley Bridge, Shameless, The Mimic, Wolfblood, Ordinary Lies, Little Britain, Come Fly With Me, A Prince Among Men and Coronation Street. Her film credits include Mischief Night and The Lowdown.

Simone Saunders's theatre credits include Darkness Darkness (Nottingham Playhouse), Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre), American Trade, Morte D'Arthur, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Grain Store, The Winter's Tale, Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company), Carnival (Talawa Theatre Company) and The Red Ladies (National Theatre). Her television credits include The Royals.

Kieran Knowles was nominated for Most Promising New Playwright for his first play, Operation Crucible. He is a graduate of Loughborough University, LAMDA and the Royal Court Young Writer's Programme. As an actor his work includes Toast (UK tour and New York), Operation Crucible (Finborough Theatre and UK tour), The Bear, The Owl and The Angel (New Wimbledon Studio), The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Witches' Promise (Birmingham Rep), Waiting For Lefty (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Darkness (Lakeside Theatre, Colchester and Edinburgh) and The Exclusion Zone (Southwark Playhouse).

Director Bryony Shanahan is Co-Artistic Director of Snuff Box Theatre. She returns to Sheffield Theatres where she previously directed Operation Crucible. Her other directing credits include Boys Will Be Boys (National Theatre), Bitch Boxer (Soho Theatre, UK tour and Adelaide Fringe Festival), Quiet Violence (Camden Roundhouse), Macbeth (East 15 Acting School), Chapel Street (national tour), You and Me (Greenwich Theatre and national tour), The Altitude Brothers (national tour), Doctor Faustus (St Mary Magdelene Church, Paddington) and Babies (Southwark Playhouse). In 2014, she won a BBC Performing Arts Award to work at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where she assisted on Sarah Frankcom's Hamlet with Maxine Peake, as well as developing new Snuff Box piece Weald. She returned to the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2015 as Associate Director on The Skriker as part of the Manchester International Theatre Festival.

Shanahan was also awarded the 2016 Young Vic Genesis Future Directors Award.


A Sheffield Theatres Production

Regional Première


By Peter Morgan

21 February - 17 March

Director: Kate Hewitt; Designer: Ben Stones; Lighting Designer: Charles Balfour

Composer and Sound Designer: George Dennis; Video Designer: Andrzej Goulding

Movement Director: Lizzi Gee; Casting Directors: Juliet Horsley CDG and Sam Stevenson CDG

'To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. I have never been a quitter.'

In 1974 Richard Nixon became the only US President in history to resign from office, immersed in one of the biggest scandals in American political history: Watergate.

For David Frost, international socialite and well-known chat show host, an access all areas interview with a fallen President is the career-defining opportunity of a lifetime.

Nixon seeks absolution, Frost is pushing for confession. Both want to control the story, only one can emerge the victor.

A captivating dramatization of the post-Watergate TV interviews, Kate Hewitt directs this landmark play in the first British production since its award-winning 2006 debut. The play was later adapted into a major feature film.

Simon Bubb's recent theatre credits include Burning Bridges (Theatre503), Far From the Madding Crowd (Watermill Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe), People (National Theatre and UK tour) and Noises Off (UK tour); and his recent television credits include Born to Kill.

Ben Dilloway's recent theatre credits include Pride and Prejudice (Regent's Park Theatre), The Iliad (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Chicken (Paines Plough and HighTide), Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Rep), The Silver Tassie (National Theatre) and If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep (Royal Court Theatre); and his recent television credits include New Blood.

Steven Elder's recent theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe), 1984 (Headlong), Yours for the Asking, Mottled Lines (Orange Tree), Sour Lips (Oval House Theatre) and All My Sons (Apollo Theatre). His recent television credits include Apple Tree Yard, Endeavour and Our Girl.

Jonathan Hyde returns to Sheffield Theatres where he previously appeared in the title role of Robert Hastie's inaugural production as Artistic Director, Julius Caesar (Crucible Theatre). His theatre credits include Travels With My Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory), The King's Speech (UK tour and Wyndham's), Rattigan's Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), King Lear, The Seagull (international tour), Jumpers, Sleep With Me (National Theatre), Antigone (The Old Vic), The Rehearsal, Scenes from an Execution (Almeida Theatre), Julius Caesar, The Alchemist, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Macbeth (Lyceum Theatre). His recent television work includes The Strain, Trollhunters, Tokyo Trial, Isaan Newton: The Last Magician, Spooks; and for film, Breathe, Thea, Crimson Peak, The Mummy and Titanic.

Daniel Rigby's recent theatre credits include Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Breaking the Code (Manchester Royal Exchange), Holes (Arcola Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre and Broadway) and Ninagawa's Hamlet (Barbican). His television work includes Plebs, Gap Year, Sick Note, Flowers, Jericho, Big School Cardinal Burns, Eric and Ernie (BAFTA Television Award for Best Actor) and The Street; and for film, Flyboys.

Vidal Sancho's recent theatre credits include The American Wife (Park Theatre), La Traviata (Royal Opera House), Litus (Cervantes Theatre) and Vitellini (Old Red Lion).

Celina Sinden makes her professional stage debut in Frost/Nixon. Her recent television credits include Reign.

Kate Spencer returns to Sheffield Theatres following her performances in A Long Morning Quiet and Rift (Crucible Theatre). Her recent theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland (Octagon Theatre), Rapid Response (Derby Theatre), The Hunting of the Snark (Sherman Theatre and Hong Kong's Academy of Performing Arts), The Macbeth Curse (Prime Theatre and The Octagon Theatre) and Abstains (20:20Vision).

Dan Starkey's recent theatre credits include The 39 Steps, The Fitzrovia Radio Hour (UK tours) and Muswell Hill (Orange Tree Theatre). For television his credits include Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Wizards vs Aliens, Inside No. 9 and Class Dismissed.

David Sturzaker's recent theatre credits include Nell Gywnn (Apollo Theatre), Richard II, The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe), Eternal Love, Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare's Globe and English Touring Theatre), The White Devil (Royal Shakespeare Company) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester Festival Theatre and Duchess Theatre) and his television credits include Doctors.

Peter Morgan's other work for theatre includes The Audience. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Kate Hewitt directs. She was the inaugural recipient of RTST Director Award Scheme and her production of Tribes opened last year at Sheffield Theatres. Her other theatre work includes Kiki's Delivery Service, Tomcat (Southwark Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (NYT at Ambassador's Theatre), Portrait (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour and Bush Theatre's RADAR Festival), and in 2014 she won the JMK Director's Award for her production Far Away (Young Vic). As associate director, her work includes Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Medea (Headlong and UK tour), Electra (Gate Theatre and Latitude Festival 2011), and One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep). Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum

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