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THE CARDINAL Finds Full Company at Southwark Payhouse

Natalie Simpson (Royal Shakespeare Company's recent productions of King Lear, Hamlet and Cymbeline) joins an eleven-strong cast to play Duchess Rosaura alongside the previously announced Stephen Boxer in THE CARDINAL at Southwark Playhouse. James Shirley's tragic masterpiece, directed by Justin Audibert, plays from 26 April - 27 May with a press performance on 28 April.

"All great men know, the soul of life is fame." The state of Navarre is in crisis. An unscrupulous Cardinal has the ear of the King and is hungry for power. The Duchess Rosaura longs to marry the Count D'Alvarez, but the Cardinal wants her for his brutish nephew. To tighten his grip on the Kingdom, the ruthless Cardinal will stop at nothing to secure the marriage. But in the Duchess it seems he has finally met his match...

Hailed as James Shirley's tragic masterpiece, The Cardinal (1641) was one of the last plays staged in England before Oliver Cromwell's ban on theatre. With remarkably lucid and fast-paced dialogue, it is the captivating story of a religious monster and his relentless pursuit of power.

Starring Stephen Boxer (King Lear, National Theatre) and Natalie Simpson (King Lear, Hamlet and Cymbeline, Royal Shakespeare Company), directed by Justin Audibert (Snow in Midsummer and The Jew of Malta, Royal Shakespeare Company) and produced by Troupe (After October, Flowering Cherry and The White Carnation, Finborough Theatre).



At Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
Nearest Tube: Borough / Elephant and Castle

Wednesday 26 April - Saturday 27 May 2017
Monday to Saturdays at 8pm
Saturday and Tuesday matinees at 3.30pm
See website for full schedule

Box Office:
By Telephone: 020 7407 0234 (NO BOOKING FEES)

Ticket Prices:
Preview 26 & 27 April - all tickets £12
From 28 April: £20, £16 (conc.)

Concessions: Students, Under 16's, Unwaged, Registered disabled, Over 65's; Registered disabled patrons can bring one companion free of charge.


Stephen Boxer plays the Cardinal. Theatre includes Raising Martha (Park Theatre), The Inn at Lydda (Shakespeare's Globe), Shadowlands (National Tour for Birdsong Productions), Regeneration (Royal and DernGate Theatres, Northampton and National Tour for Touring Consortium Theatre Company), King Lear, The Holy Rosenbergs, Aristocrats, Power, Volpone, At Our Table, White Chameleon, The Shape of the Table and Once in a While the Odd Thing Happens (National Theatre), Titus Andronicus, The Heresy of Love, The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The White Devil and Rousseau's Tale (Royal Shakespeare Company), Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai (HoriPro Inc., Japan and Sadler's Wells), Written on the Heart (Royal Shakespeare Company and Duchess Theatre), Hay Fever (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Palace Theatre, Watford), The Great Highway (Gate Theatre), The Hypochondriac (Almeida Theatre), Love and Marriage and God and Stephen Hawking (Theatre Royal Bath), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida Theatre and National Tour), Ten Rounds (Tricycle Theatre), Antarctica (Savoy Theatre), Six Characters Looking for an Author (The Young Vic), Six Degrees of Separation (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Bartholomew Fair (Royal Shakespeare Company and The Young Vic), The Herbal Bed (Royal Shakespeare Company and Duchess Theatre), Oleanna (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), Measure for Measure (Cheek by Jowl), The Clearing (Bush Theatre), Karate Billy Comes Home (Royal Court Theatre), Barbarians and The Duchess of Malfi (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre), Faith, Hope and Charity (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), The Water Engine (Hampstead Theatre), Judgement Day (Old Red Lion Theatre) and Portraits (Savoy Theatre). Film includes Postcards from London, The Gatehouse, Bomb, Ginger and Rosa, We Are the Freaks, The Iron Lady, Children of Men, Rabbit on the Moon, Seven Seconds, AKA, Mary Reilly, Crossing the Border and Carrington. Television includes Poldark, The Five, Agatha Raisin, Lewis, Lucky Man, Humans, Life in Squares, Toast of London, The Honourable Woman, Foyle's War, Death in Paradise, Father Brown, Garrow's Law, Luther, Doctors, Casualty, Agatha Christie's Poirot, The Mould in Dr. Florey's Coat, Midsomer Murders, Mysterious Creatures, The Quatermass Experiment, Silent Witness, Together, Tom Brown's Schooldays, Absolute Power, Cherished, Dalziel and Pascoe, Life Begins, The Bill, Trial and Retribution, Absolute Power, Rosemary and Thyme, Ultimate Force, Murphy's Law, Sons and Lovers, Trust, Blue Dove, In Deep, Grafters and Prime Suspect II, III and VI. Radio for BBC Radio 4 includes John le Carré: The Biography and To a Mountain in Tibet.

Sophia Carr-Gomm plays Valeria. She trained at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Theatre includes Heartbreak House (Open Air Theatre, Brighton), Othello and The Tempest (88 London Road, Brighton) and King Lear (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow). Film includes The Inbetweeners 2. Television includes Shetland, Mr Selfridge, Doctors and World's End. Audio plays include Doctor Who: River Song 3 and Doctor Who: The Day of the Comet.

Phil Cheadle plays Hernando. He trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre includes Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Henry V (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour), Piranha Heights (Old Red Lion Theatre), Variation on a Theme and Events While Guarding the Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills (Northern Stage, Newcastle), Mrs Affleck (National Theatre), Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II and Bedlam (Shakespeare's Globe), The Changeling (Cheek by Jowl), Neighbourhood Watch (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Tricycle Theatre and 59E59 Theaters, New York), Dear Uncle (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), All My Sons (The Curve, Leicester), Far From the Madding Crowd (English Touring Theatre), Knives in Hens and Tartuffe (Arcola Theatre), Macbeth (West Yorkshire Playhouse), If I Were You (Library Theatre, Manchester), Strawberry Fields (Pentabus), The Tempest and Saint Joan (USA Tours for A & BC Theatre Company) and As You Like It (Northcott Theatre, Exeter). Film includes John Carter, Comes a Bright Day, To the Sea, It's About Time and A Touch of Sadness. Television includes Dark Angel, Silent Witness, The Crimson Field, New Worlds, Inside the Titanic, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

Ashley Cook plays the King of Navarre. Productions for Troupe include Flowering Cherry (Finborough Theatre) and The White Carnation (Finborough Theatre and Jermyn Street Theatre). He trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre includes King Lear (The Old Vic and English Touring Theatre), The Mousetrap (St. Martin's Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Romeo and Juliet (Derby Playhouse), A Doll's House and The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Royal, Lincoln), She Stoops to Conquer and The Daughter-in-Law (Perth Theatre), The Art of Concealment and How to Cook a Country (Riverside Studios), Absent Friends and The Importance of Being Earnest (National Tours for London Classic Theatre),The Bootmaker's Daughter (Brighton Festival), F***ing Men (Finborough Theatre), Love and Understanding (BAC), Stonewall (Pleasance Edinburgh and The Drill Hall), Cahoot's Macbeth (King's Head Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Antic Disposition). Film includes A Mind of Her Own, Love in a Dangerous Time, Don Justino de Neve and Llar. Television includes The Bill, The Basil Brush Show and PatRick Hamilton: Words, Whisky and Women. Radio includes Behind Closed Doors: Excluded, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Bad Memories, Development, Inside the Whale, Inside Stories, Q & A, Life Class, Sharp Focus and My Turn to Make the Tea.

Marcus Griffiths plays Count D'Alvarez and Antonelli. He trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Theatre credits include King Lear, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Love's Sacrifice, Volpone, The Jew of Malta, Richard II and Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company) and The Globe Mysteries and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe). Film includes Unhallowed Ground, Adored and Never Far from the Tree. Television includes Versailles, The C Word, Julius Caesar and Skins.

PatRick Osborne plays Lord Xavier. Productions for Troupe include After October (Finborough Theatre). He trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Theatre includes Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse, Northern Stage, Newcastle, and Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Peter Pan (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre), Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body for Vibrant 2013 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights and Accolade (Finborough Theatre), The Seagull (Baron's Court Theatre), The Pearl (Rose Theatre, Kingston) and Clockheart Boy (National Tour). Film includes Their Finest. Television includes The Borgias, The Genius of Turner and My Parents Are Aliens.

Jay Saighal plays Columbo. He trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Theatre includes Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and As You Like It (National Theatre), Othello and The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company), Ross (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Aladdin (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough). Television includes Spotless.

Natalie Simpson plays Duchess Rosaura. She trained at LAMDA. Theatre includes Cordelia in King Lear with Antony Sher, Ophelia in Hamlet with Paapa Essiedu and Guideria in Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Measure for Measure (The Young Vic). Film includes Tula: The Revolt and Balloon. Radio includes Words and Music: Women Walking Alone and In Tune: Sounds of Shakespeare.

Timothy Speyer plays Antonio. He trained at Guildford School of Acting. Theatre includes The Alchemist, Don Quixote, Doctor Faustus, The Witch of Edmonton, The Roaring Girl, Cardenio, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The City Madam (Royal Shakespeare Company), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company and Garsington Opera), The Ladykillers (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hull Truck), The School for Scandal (Park Theatre), Laburnum Grove (Finborough Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Pygmalion (Theatre Royal Bath, National Tour and Hong Kong Arts Festival), Great Expectations (Library Theatre, Manchester), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare's Globe), The Vortex (Apollo Theatre and National Tour), Arsenic and Old Lace and Arms and the Man (English Theatre, Vienna), The Anatomist (Eastern Angles), Goblin Market (Southwark Playhouse), Tom's Midnight Garden and The Witches (National Tours for Birmingham Stage Company), Pygmalion and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Eye Theatre, Suffolk), Bridges and Harmonies, Mademoiselle Colombe and The Boundary (Bridewell Theatre), Puss in Boots (Polka Theatre), She Stoops to Conquer (Birmingham Old Rep), The Wind in the Willows (Torch Theatre, Milford Haven) and While the Sun Shines (National Tour for Channel Theatre Company). Film includes The Clap, The Mystery Man and Plonk. Television includes Call the Midwife, Shakespeare Unlocked, The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson, Londoners, The Dorset Hanging Oak, Wind Up TV, The Hutton Enquiry, Newsnight, The Unmarried Family and Crime Monthly. Radio includes The World at One and The World Tonight.

Paul Westwood plays Lord Medrano. He trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Theatre includes Lazarus (King's Cross Theatre), King Charles III (National Tour for Almeida Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company), Dunsinane (National and International Tour for Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland), A Life of Galileo (Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour for Royal Shakespeare Company), Three Men in a Boat and Dancing at Lughnasa (National Tours for Original Theatre Company), Two's Company (Old Vic Tunnels), Outward Bound (Finborough Theatre), Seagull and Manchester (Arcola Theatre), Plucker (Southwark Playhouse), The Ring of Truth (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Twelfth Night (York Theatre Royal), Great Expectations (Library Theatre, Manchester), Hapgood (Birmingham Rep), Starlings (Old Vic New Voices: 24 Hour Plays), Othello (Birmingham Stage Company) and Hamlet (Robsham Theater, Boston). Film includes Us and Them and Mortdecai. Television includes McMafia, Da Vinci's Demons, Gracie!, Walter's War and Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story. Radio includes Real Crime: The Hungerford Massacre and Voices from the Old Bailey. Writing includes Tides, Citizen Recall: Mrs Helen Stridgen and Zain Tyrannus.

Rosie Wyatt plays Celinda. She trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Theatre includes Spine for which she won the Stage Award for Acting Excellence (Soho Theatre and National Tour), Mumburger (The Archivist's Gallery), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour), Worst Wedding Ever (Salisbury Playhouse), Blink (Soho Theatre and Traverse Theatre), Virgin (Palace Theatre, Watford), One Man, Two Guvnors (National and International Tour for National Theatre), Mogadishu (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and National Tour), Bunny (nabokov) and Love, Love, Love (Paines Plough). Television includes Inspector George Gently, New Tricks and Doctors.

Playwright James Shirley was born in London in 1596. He was the last of the great Elizabethan dramatists linking the Golden Age with the period of the Restoration. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and after his ordination became master of the St. Albans Grammar School. About 1624 he moved to London and became a playwright. His first play Love Tricks was performed in 1625 at the Phoenix, Drury Lane. Shirley soon became the most prolific and highly regarded dramatist during the reign of King Charles I, writing 31 plays, 3 masques, and 3 moral allegories. He is best remembered for his comedies of fashionable London life, including The Witty Fair One (1628), Hyde Park (1632) and The Lady of Pleasure (1635), which depict a leisured, courtly society at love and play and look forward to the achievements of Restoration comedy. His best tragedies, both on dark, Italianate themes, are The Traitor (1631) and The Cardinal (1641). His elaborate masque The Triumph of Peace (1634) was performed at the Inns of Court, with scenery by Inigo Jones and music by William Lawes. When the theatres closed in 1636 as a precaution against further spread of the plague, Shirley became dramatist for St. Werburgh's Theatre in Dublin. He returned to London in 1640, succeeding Philip Massinger as dramatist for the King's Men at the Blackfriars Theatre, before the theatres were closed by Parliament in 1642. After the English Civil Wars (1642-51) his plays were amongst the first to be revived in the Restoration period. He died in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Director Justin Audibert's work includes Snow in Midsummer, The Jew of Malta and The Tempest: Shakespeare in a Suitcase (Royal Shakespeare Company), Macbeth and Mind the Gap (National Theatre), My Mother Medea (Unicorn Theatre), How (Not) to Live in Suburbia (Pulse Festival, Ipswich and Edinburgh Festival), The Man with the Hammer (Theatre Royal Plymouth), Flare Path (National Tour for Birdsong Productions and Original Theatre Company), Beached (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and Soho Theatre), Hamlet(Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Wingman (Soho Theatre and Pleasance Edinburgh), Raymondo (BAC, Pulse Festival, Ipswich and Edinburgh Festival), Unscorched (Finborough Theatre), A Season in the Congo: Parallel Project (The Young Vic), Wrong 'Un (Red Ladder Theatre Company) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre). Justin co-wrote and co-presented the BBC Live Lessons on Shakespeare for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is an Artistic Associate for NT Connections, a Creative Associate for the Shakespeare Schools Festival and an Education Associate Practitioner for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors from the National Theatre Studio.

Designer Anna Reid trained at Wimbledon College of Art. Theatre includes School Play (Southwark Playhouse), I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Finborough Theatre), Jumpers for Goalposts (Coliseum Theatre, Oldham), Epic Love and Pop Songs (Pleasance Edinburgh and Pleasance London), Empty Beds (Edinburgh Festival and Arcola Theatre), Fury and Brute (Soho Theatre), For Those Who Cry When They Hear The Foxes Scream (Tristan Bates Theatre), Tape (Drayton Studio Theatre), Primadonna and SKINT (VAULT Festival), Dottir (Courtyard Theatre), Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre), Bruises (Tabard Theatre), Arthur's World (Bush Theatre), Hippolytos (Victoria and Albert Museum), Fierce (Camden People's Theatre), Fifth Column (Waterloo Vaults), Hamlet (Riverside Studios), The Spanish Tragedy (King's College Chapel, Cambridge), more (Corpus Playroom, Cambridge) and Macbeth (ADC Theatre, Cambridge and US Tour).

Lighting Designer Peter Harrison's productions for Troupe include Flowering Cherry (Finborough Theatre) and The White Carnation (Finborough Theatre and Jermyn Street Theatre). He trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre includes Julius Caesar (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Britten in Brooklyn (Wilton's Music Hall), Pink Mist (Bristol Old Vic and Bush Theatre), Bucket List, The Ballad of the Burning Star and Translunar Paradise(Theatre Ad Infinitum), Alfie White: Space Explorer (Tall Stories), Run (VAULT Festival), Marsha: A Girl Who Does Bad Things (Arcola Theatre), The Twentieth Century Way (Jermyn Street Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Ludlow Festival), Jerry's Girls (St James Theatre), Orestes (Shared Experience), The Doubtful Guest (Hoipolloi at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Watford Palace Theatre), Wuthering Heights (Tamasha Theatre Company at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Once We Were Mothers (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) and numerous pantomimes for First Family and Evolution Productions. Opera includes Paul Bunyan (Welsh National Youth Opera) and Orpheus in the Underworld (Royal College of Music). Dance includes In-Nocentes and Home Turf (Sadler's Wells),Lazarussuchus (Gärtnerplatztheater, München) and productions for Central School of Ballet, Urdang Academy and London Studio Centre. Associate Lighting Designs include Written on Skin (Festival d'Aix en Provence), As You Like It and Collaborators (National Theatre), Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), I Can't Sing! (London Palladium) and The Commitments (Palace Theatre).

Sound Designer Max Pappenheim's work includes Roundelay, Kiki's Delivery Service, Vassa Zheleznova, Johnny Got His Gun, Three Sisters, Fiji Land and Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse), Raising Martha (Park Theatre), The Children (Royal Court Theatre), Sex with Strangers and Labyrinth (Hampstead Theatre), Ophelias Zimmer (Schaubühne, Berlin and Royal Court Theatre), Sheppey, Blue Heart, Little Light and The Distance (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), The Gaul (Hull Truck),Toast (Park Theatre and 59E59 Theaters, New York), Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern (Out of Joint), Waiting for Godot (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), My Eyes Went Dark (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Finborough Theatre), Cargo (Arcola Theatre), CommonWealth (Almeida Theatre), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (The Print Room), Wink (Theatre503), Fabric and Invincible (National Tours), Spamalot, The Glass Menagerie and Strangers on a Train (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Mrs Lowry and Son (Trafalgar Studios), Merit, I Wish to Die Singing, The Grand Tour,Coolatully, This Was A Man, Martine, Variation on a Theme, Black Jesus, Somersaults and The Fear of Breathing (Finborough Theatre), The Faction's Rep Season 2015 (New Diorama Theatre) and Shopera: Carmen (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden). Associate Sound Designs include The Island (The Young Vic) and Fleabag (Soho Theatre). Radio includes Home Front. Max is an Associate Artist of The Faction.

Producer Troupe is supported by a MGCfutures Bursary Award and makes its debut at Southwark Playhouse after producing three critically acclaimed rediscoveries at the Finborough Theatre: Rodney Ackland's After October, Robert Bolt's Flowering Cherry and R. C. Sherriff's The White Carnation with Aden Gillett, which later transferred to Jermyn Street Theatre, starring Michael Praed.

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