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Michelle Duncan, Charlotte Emmerson and More Set for THE DISTANCE, Opening Tonight at Sheffield

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Sheffield Theatres and Orange Tree Theatre present Deborah Bruce's The Distance. Charlotte Gwinner directs Michelle Duncan (Bea), Charlotte Emmerson (Alex), Daniel Hawksford (Dewi), Charlotte Lucas(Kate), Timothy Knightley (Simon), Steven Meo (Vinnie) and Joshua Sinclair-Evans (Liam). The production opens tonight 3 November, with previews from 29 October, and runs until 14 November at Sheffield Theatres, ahead of a run at Orange Tree Theatre from 26 November to 19 December.

I am asking you both, as my oldest, closest friends, to accept the decision I have made. And I am sorry if it's difficult to accept. I can assure you, it has been difficult to make.

Good friends should be there for one another - no matter what. But when Bea returns home after five years abroad having made a bold choice about her life, old friends struggle to support her. Or even to understand. One night in Brighton, things threaten to slide into chaos...

A sharply funny play about motherhood and fatherhood; about keeping control and letting go.

The Distance received its première at the Orange Tree Theatre last October - directed by Gwinner, and was the play for which Bruce was named one of the finalists in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2012/13.

Deborah Bruce's first stage play, Godchild, was produced by the Hampstead Theatre, where it was performed in their Downstairs Space in 2013. She has since written a play for the NT Connections Festival, Same, been under commission to the Royal Court, and is now under commission to the National Theatre, as well developing a project for the BBC with Tanya Ronder. She has also been a theatre director for the past 20 years.

Michelle Duncan plays Bea. Her theatre work includes Time and the Conways (Theatre Royal Bath) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Alba). For television, Grantchester, Call the Midwife, Luther, Case Histories, New Tricks, Lost in Austen, Low Winter Sun, Doctor Who, Whatever Love Means, Sugar Rush and Sea of Souls; and for film, The Broken,Atonement, Chosyu Five and Driving Lessons.

Charlotte Emmerson plays Alex. Her theatre credits include Sunspots (Hampstead Theatre), Uncle Vanya (The Print Room), Serenading Louie (Donmar Warehouse), On The Rocks (Hampstead Theatre), Thérèse Raquin, The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre), The Postman Always Rings Twice (Playhouse Theatre), The Coast Of Utopia, The Good Hope and The Crucible (UK tour). For television her credits include From Darkness, DCI Banks, Peak Practice, Just Desserts, Noah's Ark, Underworld, Staying Alive, Call Red, Berry's Way, The Innocence Project, Stan, See No Evil,Vincent, The Brief, Foyles War and The Alan Clark Diaries; and for film, The Last Minute, Smile, Weekend Bird, Food of Love and Wangle.

Daniel Hawksford plays Dewi, a role he also played at Orange Tree Theatre. His theatre credits include Illiad, Crouch Touch Pause Engage, Praxis Makes Perfect and The Dark Philosophers (National Theatre of Wales), The Bible: A Recital, Macbeth and King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe), Judgement Day (Almeida Theatre), The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other and Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre), and The School Of Night, Cymbeline and The Taming Of The Shrew (RSC). For television his credits include Waking the Dead and Colditz; and for film, Panda Eyes, Pelican Blood and Little White Lies.

Charlotte Lucas plays Kate. Her theatre credits include The Absence of War (Sheffield Theatres and Headlong UK Tour),If Only (Chichester Festival Theatre), Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre / St Ann's Warehouse, New York), Posh (Royal Court and West End), The Changeling (Young Vic), Yes, Prime Minister (West End), World's End (Trafalgar Studios), Called to Account, Darfur - How Long is Never?, Fabulation (Tricycle Theatre), Habeas Corpus (Royal Theatre Northampton) andSharp Relief and Fen (Salisbury Playhouse). Television includes Jamaica Inn, WPC 56, Not Going Out, Judge John Deed, Down to Earth, Bad Girls, and Adventures Inc; and for film, Clean Skin, A Thousand Kisses Deep, Harmony, Last Chance Harvey, These Foolish Things and Oh Marbella!.

Timothy Knightley plays Simon, a role he also played at Orange Tree Theatre. His theatre credits include This Heaven(Finborough Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Tobacco Factory and on tour), Natural Affection (Jermyn Street theatre), The Ashes (Nottingham Playhouse), Lady Windermere's Fan (Royal Exchange Manchester), Ruben Guthrie (Wimbledon Studio Theatre) and La Dispute (Soho Theatre); and for film, The Inbetweeners 2 and Lucky.

Steven Meo plays Vinnie. For theatre his credits include Under Milk Wood, Dealer's Choice, Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Dog, Great Expectations, Arden Of Faversham, Pieces, The Taming Of The Shrew and Boeing Boeing (Theatre Clwyd), Woyzeck (Wyeside Theatre) East From The Gantry (Edinburgh Festival), Metamorphosis (Merlin Theatre Budapest), Up 'N' Under (Bristol Old Vic), Flesh & Blood (Sherman Theatre Cardiff /Hampstead Theatre) and Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco (Lyric Hammersmith and UK tour). For television his credits include Drifters, The Slate, Nice Girls,Score, Without Motive, Roger Roger (series regular), Innovations, Trouble with George, Grown Ups and The Fabulous Baker Boys.

Joshua Sinclair-Evans plays Liam. This marks his professional stage debut.

Associate Director of Sheffield Theatres, Charlotte Gwinner directs. Her work for the company includes Crave & 4.48 Psychosis as part of the Sarah Kane Season, and Benefactors as part of the Michael Frayn Season. She was 2013 recipient of The Quercus Award, working as Associate Director at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, where she directed A View from the Bridge. Her other theatre work includes Our New Girl, The Knowledge, 50 Ways to Leave your Lover and Little Dolls (Bush Theatre), The Uncertainty Files (Paines Plough), Knives and Hens (Bath Theatre Royal), The Confederate(Trafalgar Studios), Men Should Weep (Oxford Stage Company/The Citizens Theatre), Riders to The Sea, The Shadow of the Glen, The Tinker's Wedding and Everything Must Go (Southwark Playhouse), The Blood of Others (Arcola Theatre),The Conservatory (Old Red Lion) and The Country of The Blind (Gate Theatre). Gwinner is also the Founder and Artistic Director of ANGLE, was previously Associate Director at the Bush and was Director on Attachment at The National Theatre Studio.

Orange Tree Theatre
The Orange Tree aims to stir, delight, challenge, move and amaze with a bold and continually evolving mix of new and rediscovered plays in our unique in-the-round space in Richmond, South West London. We want to change lives by telling memorable stories from a wide variety of times and places, filtered through the singular imagination of our writers and the remarkable close-up presence of our actors.

Over its 43-year history the Orange Tree has had an exemplary track record in discovering writers and promoting their early work, as well rediscovering artists from the past whose work has been disregarded or forgotten. Martin Crimp, James Saunders, Vaclav Havel, Fay Weldon and Torben Betts were championed at early stages of their careers, and the reputations of Rodney Ackland, Harley Granville Barker, Susan Glaspell, John Whiting and Githa Sowerby have undergone radical re-assessment after seasons of their work at the Orange Tree.

A theatre of this scale, with the audience wrapped around the players, invites acting to be the centre of the experience. This is theatre as a figurative art: the human being literally at its centre. Close-up magic: truths the hand can touch.

Paul Miller took over as Artistic Director in 2014 and has been joined by new Executive Director Sarah Nicholson. In Miller's first season, the Orange Tree produced re-discoveries of plays by DH Lawrence, Bernard Shaw, Mustapha Matura and Doris Lessing alongside the premières of four new plays: The Distance by Deborah Bruce, Little Light by Alice Birch, buckets by Adam Barnard and Pomona by Alistair McDowall, which recently transferred to the National Theatre before heading to the Royal Exchange Theatre. The OT recently won five Offie Awards: four for Pomona as well as Best Artistic Director. Their current season features major revivals of When We Were Women by Sharman Macdonald and French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan.

www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk

@OrangeTreeThtr

Sheffield Theatres Listings

Crucible Lyceum Studio 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA

Box Office 0114 249 6000 - Mon - Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm (non-performance days at 6.00pm)

A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office (excl. cash)

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

Romeo & Juliet

17 September - 17 October

Press night: 23 September at 7.00pm

The Distance

29 October - 14 November

Press night: 3 November at 7.45pm

Show Boat

10 December 2015 - 16 January 2016

Press night: 16 December at 7.00pm

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum


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