Lenny Henry OTHELLO To Get West End Transfer
The Northern Broadsides and West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Othello, starring Lenny Henry in the title role, will transfer to the West End following a hugely successful, sell-out, regional tour.
Directed by Barrie Rutter, Othello will preview from Friday 11 September and will run until Saturday 12 December 2009, with press night on Friday 18 September. Set design is by Ruari Murchison, costume design is by Stephen Snell with lighting by Guy Hoare and music by Broadsides' regular Conrad Nelson. Othello is presented at the Trafalgar Studios by Sonia Friedman Productions.
Love, racism, jealousy and desire are at the emotional core of Shakespeare's monumental tragedy, a tender love story shattered by one man's obsessive hatred of another. Othello is noble, brave and victorious. Iago, passed over for a position in the army, fuels his diabolical revenge with hatred and snarling racism. Poignant, intense and heartbreaking, Othello mercilessly explores every inch of the human condition.
Lenny Henry's award-winning career in film, television, stage and radio spans comedy, acting, writing and presenting. His many television credits for the BBC include Lennyhenry.tv, Lenny's Britain, The Lenny Henry Show, The Lenny Henry Christmas Special, Lenny Henry In Pieces, the documentaries Lenny's Atlantic Adventure and Lenny's Big Amazon Adventure, Hope and Glory, The Man, Chef!, Alive and Kicking, Bernard and the Genie, Comic Strip Presents, The Delbert Wilkins Show and Three of a Kind. His other television credits include TISWAS, New Faces, Lenny Go Home and White Goods. His film credits include the voice of Shrunken Head in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, True Identity, Live and Unleashed and Work Experience. Lenny Henry's live performances include his one man shows, Where you From?, So Much Things To Say, Have You Seen This Man, Large '99 and Loud!. His radio credits include Rudy's Rare Records, Lenny and Will: Act 1 and 2, What's So Great About?... Bob Dylan, The Method and Motovational Speakers, all for BBC Radio 4. Lenny Henry co-founded Comic Relief in 1985.
Formed in 1992 by Artistic Director Barrie Rutter, Northern Broadsides is a multi-award winning touring company based in the historic Dean Clough Mill in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The company has built up a formidable reputation performing Shakespeare and classical texts with an innovative, popular and regional style, often in unconventional locations. As well as touring extensively in the UK, the company has toured to India, Brazil, the USA, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria and Denmark.
Barrie Rutter's theatre work includes Henry IV, Henry V, Coriolanus and The Taming of the Shrew for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Mysteries, The Crucible, Guys and Dolls, The Oresteia, The Rivals, Animal Farm and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus for The National Theatre. In 2008, Rutter directed and played the title role in the premiere of Jack Lear by Ben Benison at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. His extensive credits for Northern Broadsides include Richard III, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Poetry or Bust, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Passion, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Twelfth Night, King Lear and The Mysteries.
The full cast is: David Beckford (Duke/Gratiano), Matt Connor (Roderigo), Andy Cryer (Montano), Victoria Gee (Bianca), Jessica Harris (Desdemona), Lenny Henry (Othello), Geoff Leesley (Brabantio), Conrad Nelson (Iago), Chris Pearse (Herald), Simon Holland Roberts (Senator/Lodovico), Sara Poyzer (Emilia) and Richard Standing (Cassio).
David BeckFord's Theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, Alcestis, Much Ado About Nothing, The Mysteries, The Passion and Richard III all for Northern Broadsides, Alice in Wonderland, Trackers Of Oxyrhynchus and Bat Boy for West Yorkshire Playhouse, the latter also in the West End, and To Reach for the Clouds for Nottingham Playhouse. On television his credits include The Royal, True Heroes, Waterloo Road, Peak Practice and The Bill.
Matt Connor's theatre credits include Dick Barton - Special Agent for Oldham Coliseum, Blonde Bombshells of 1943 on tour and Oh! What A Lovely War for Bolton Octagon. His credits for Northern Broadsides are Wars of the Roses, The Tempest and Accidental Death of an Anarchist. On television he has appeared in Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, The Royal and Fat Friends.
Andy Cryer's theatre credits include Jack Lear for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet for the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Eric Morecambe in ThePlay What I Wrote on tour, Death of a Salesman for Birmingham Rep and The Changing Room for The Royal Court Theatre. As well as extensive credits for the Royal Shakespeare Company his work for Northern Broadsides includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, The Passion and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. His television credits include DS Philip Dramsfield in Emmerdale as well as roles in Heartbeat, Doctors, Peak Practice and The Bill.
Victoria Gee's theatre credits include Country Magic and The Lower Depths at the Finborough Theatre, Hobson's Choice for Chichester Festival Theatre, Billy Liar at The Liverpool Playhouse and Divorce Me, Darling for the Union Theatre.
Jessica Harris' theatre credits include Harper Regan for The National Theatre, Wuthering Heights for York Theatre Royal, Coco for Theatre 503, Billy Liar for Liverpool Playhouse and Bottle Universe for The Bush. On television she has appeared in Being Human, Wire in the Blood, Strictly Confidential, Fat Friends, Sparkhouse, Peak Practice, Linda Green, Cold Feet, Heartbeat and Smokescreen.
Geoff Leesley's theatre credits include Apple Cart for Theatre Royal Bath, Pygmalion for The Peter Hall Company, De Monfort, Augustus Does His Bit and Major Barbara for Orange Tree Theatre, Jerusalem for West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Knight of the Burning Pestle for The Barbican and Mercury Theatre Colchester and Much Ado About Nothing for Northern Broadsides. His extensive television credits include EastEnders, Midsomer Murders, Wire In The Blood, Little Britain, Peak Practice and Pie In The Sky. On film his work includes Wimbledon, Asylum, A Life for a Life and Wilde.
Conrad Nelson's acting and composing career spans over twenty years in repertory and touring theatre and in radio, television and film. As well as many acting credits for Northern Broadsides, Nelson has been Musical Director/Composer on almost every production. His many Broadside credits include The Tempest, Wars of the Roses, Sweet William, Comedy of Errors, Antigone, King John, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, The Mysteries, King Lear, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Kaisers of Carnuntum and Poetry or Bust, as well as title roles in Oedipus, Henry V and Richard III. He has also worked for The National Theatre, Bolton Octagon, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Young Vic, Cheek by Jowl and Renaissance. His television credits include The Street, Apparitions, Coronation Street, Without Motive and Only Fools and Horses. His film credits include Dancin' Thru the Dark, Much Ado About Nothing and The Stranger.
Chris Pearse made his professional debut last year for Northern Broadsides as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.
Simon Holland Roberts' theatre credits include Sea of Silence for Quicksilver Theatre Company and The Threepenny Opera and Road on tour in the UK. For Northern Broadsides his work includes The Comedy of Errors, Sweet William, School for Scandal, Wars of the Roses and The Tempest. On television he has appeared in The Street and Coronation Street. His film credits are The Borrowers and Strictly Ghetto.
Sara Poyzer's theatre credits include Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace theatre, All Quiet on the Western Front for Nottingham Playhouse, Bollywood Jane for Leicester Haymarket and Abigail's Party for York Theatre Royal as well as Antigone, The Merchant of Venice and Poetry or Bust for Northern Broadsides. Her television credits include Cast Offs and Doctors.
Richard Standing's theatre credits include On a Shout for Hull Truck, as well as Wars of the Roses, Comedy of Errors, School for Scandal, The Merchant of Venice, A Woman Killed with Kindness and Sweet William for Northern Broadsides. His television credits include Silent Witness, The Bill, Coronation Street, The Grand and Picking up the Pieces. His film credits include And When Did You Last See Your Father?