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Matt Lapinskas Joins Cast Of BEN HUR At Reading Rep

Reading Rep has today announced the cast for its upcoming production of BEN HUR, which runs at The Hexagon in Reading from 1-3 September 2016.

Ben Hur is played by Miles Yekinni, Matt Lapinskas plays Messala, Chris Barritt plays Balthazar, Rebecca Tanwen plays Zina and Ian Pirie as Melchoir.

Produced by Reading Rep, Reading's foremost producing theatre, Ben Hur is adapted by award-winning playwright, Hattie Naylor, and directed by Christie O'Carroll.

The professional cast will be joined by a community company of 65 local performers as part of an ambitious large-scale project, marking the opening of Reading 2016 Year of Culture's 'Made in RDG' showcase - a month of projects celebrating work made by and for the people of Reading.

Ben Hur is the epic story of the life and times of Judah Ben-Hur, whose extraordinary journey takes him from wealthy merchant to galley slave to champion charioteer and witness at the Crucifixion. Originally published as a novel in 1880 by American General and author, Lew Wallace, it was William Wyler's 1959 film, which starred Charlton Heston in the title role, and won 11 Academy Awards, that really brought the story to the limelight.

Miles Yekinni plays Ben Hur. Best known for playing Seb Gooder in Doctors, he can currently be seen in Shakespeare Lives: The Works on the BBC iplayer staring Ralph Fiennes. Miles' theatre credits include War Horse (New London Theatre), Baddies The Musical (Unicorn Theatre), Blood Wedding (Courtyard Theatre) A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Royal Lyceum), and School for Scandal (Barbican).

Matt Lapinskas plays Messala. Best known for playing Anthony Moon in EastEnders and appearing on ITV'sDancing on Ice, Matt has also recent played Pharaoh in the national tour of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Chris Barritt plays Balthazar. With a stage career spanning four decades, Chris' extensive theatre highlights include The Caretakers (Old Vic), History Boys (UK Tour), The Dishwashers (Birmingham Rep), The Basket Case(National Tour), Nicholas Hytner's The Lady in The Van (Queen's Theatre), and She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre).

Ian Pirie plays Melchoir. Ian's extensive theatre credits include Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland),Macbeth (Globe Theatre), Phantom of The Opera (West End), Sunshine of Leith (Dundee Rep), The Merry Wives of Windsor and Canterbury Tales (RSC). Film credits include Gangs of New York, Die Another Day, The Dark Knight and Les Miserables and Sunset Song. TV includes Ripper Street (Amazon Prime), Misfits (Clerkenwell Films) Da Vinci's Demons, Eastenders, Dalziel and Pascoe (BBC).

Rebecca Tanwen plays Zina. Rebecca has recently appeared in Mr Selfridge (ITV), The Fear and The Intern(Channel 4). Theatre credits include The Revenger's Tragedy (Rose Playhouse), Othello (National Theatre), As You Like It (Oxford Shakespeare Company).

Ben Hur is a large-scale community production made possible by support from Arts Council England and Reading Borough Council, in association with The Hexagon and Reading Year of Culture, Reading Studio of Dramatic Art and Activate Learning.

Tickets for the production are now available to book online at or call the box office on 0118 960 6060.

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From This Author Edward Baker