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THE RULING CLASS Revival, Starring James McAvoy, Begins Previews in the West End

Ron Cook (Mr Selfridge, Henry V, King Lear, Hot Fuzz) as Sir Charles Gurney, Kathryn Drysdale (Suspects, Love's Labour's Lost, Tripping Over, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps) as Grace Shelley, Joshua McGuire (Privacy, Posh, About Time, Mr Turner) as Dinsdale Gurney and Anthony O'Donnell (The Captain of Kopenick, Skyfall, Matchpoint) as Daniel Tucker, join BAFTA winning James McAvoy, as Jack, the 14th Earl of Gurney, in the first West End revival of Peter Barnes' satirical comedy, The Ruling Class, directed by Jamie Lloyd, Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed.

Also in the cast are Michael Cronin (Bishop Bertie Lampton), Serena Evans (Lady Claire Gurney), Paul Leonard (Ralph Gurney), Elliot Levey (Dr Herder), Forbes Masson (McKyle) and ensemble cast; Rosy Benjamin, Andrew Bloomer and Oliver Lavery.

The production runs from today 16 January to 11 April 2015, with press night on 27 January. Design is by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Ben and Max Ringham, choreography by Darren Carnall and musical direction by Huw Evans.

Jack, a possible paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex, inherits the title of the 14th Earl of Gurney after his father passes away in a bizarre accident. Singularly unsuited to a life in the upper echelons of elite society, Jack finds himself at the centre of a ruthless power struggle as his scheming family strives to uphold their reputation.

Bubbling with acerbic wit and feverish energy, Olivier Award-winning and Oscar-nominated writer Peter Barnes' razor-sharp satire combines a ferocious mix of hilarity and horror whilst mercilessly exposing the foibles of the English nobility.

The Ruling Class premiered in 1968 at Nottingham Playhouse and promptly transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End where it won the Evening Standard Award for Best Drama in 1969. This black and caustic class comedy was then made into a movie in 1972 starring Peter O'Toole.

Ron Cook's stage credits include Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre for which he received an Olivier Award nomination, King Lear, Trelawny of the Wells and Juno and the Paycock (for which he also received an Olivier Award nomination) all at the Donmar Warehouse, Twelfth Night & Hamlet at the Wyndham's Theatre and The Seafarer at the National Theatre and Our Country's Good at The Royal Court. Screen credits include Mr Selfridge, Bergerac, Sharpe, Doctor Who, The Singing Detective, The Lost Prince, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Other Boleyn Girl, He Knew He Was Right, Casanova, Silent Witness, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Vera, Garrow's Law, Red Riding 1980, Blackadder, Hot Fuzz, The Merchant of Venice, Charlotte Gray and Chocolat.

Serena Evans' stage credits include Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar Warehouse, The School For Scandal at the Theatre Royal, Bath, The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare's Globe, UK tour & New York, Present Laughter on UK tour, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, God of Carnage on UK tour, Once In A Lifetime, Remember This and The Recruiting Officer all at the National Theatre, Blue Eyes & Heels at the Soho Theatre, The Constant Wife at the Apollo Theatre, Life x 3 and Noises Off both at the Savoy Theatre, Things We Do For Love at the Gielgud Theatre, Lysistrata at the Old Vic, The Comedy Of Errors at the Barbican, Henceforward at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and Vaudeville Theatre, for which she received an Olivier Award Nomination, Getting On and Candlelight both at the Palace Theatre, Candida for the Oxford Stage Co., A Small Family Business and Love For Love both at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Killing Of Sister George at the Ambassador's Theatre. Screen credits include Trial And Retribution, Every Woman Knows A Secret, Ruth Rendell Mystery - You Can't Be Too Careful, The Thin Blue Line, Pie In The Sky, The Piglet Files - 3 series, Came Out, It Rained, Went Back In Again, Never Come Back, Mr Majeika, The Management, The Comic Strip Presents.

Joshua McGuire's stage credits include Amadeus at Chichester Festival Theatre, Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse, The Magistrate at the National Theatre, Posh at The Royal Court and Duke of York's Theatre and Hamlet at Shakespeare's Globe. Josh will be starring in the festive comedy film, Get Santa, which premieres on 5 December. Other screen credits include Mr Turner, About Time, The Hour and The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff.

Kathryn Drysdale's stage credits include The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse, Love's Labour's Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Catch at The Royal Court, 23:59 and Fen and Far Away at the Sheffield Crucible, Eliza's House at The Royal Exchange and Billy and the Crab Lady at Soho Theatre. Screen credits include Suspects, The Psychopath Next Door, Any Human Heart, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (8 series), Tripping Over, Urban & The Shed Crewe, Vanity Fair, St Trinian's and One Chance.

Anthony O'Donnell's stage credits include The Captain of Kopenick, President of an Empty Room, The London Cuckolds, Under Milk Wood, The Way of the World, The Miser, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Ghetto, The Shaughraun and Bartholomew Fair all at the National Theatre, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Witch of Edmonton, The Winter's Tale, Our Friends in the North, Measure for Measure, A New Way to Pay Old Debts, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well, The Beggar's Opera, Henry VIII & Kiss Me Kate all for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Our Private Life and The Weir at the Royal Court, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Donmar Warehouse, Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya at the Donmar Warehouse and New York, King Lear, Galileo, Dance of Death, Ivanov and The Homecoming all at the Almeida and The Tempest for The Bridge Project, New York, on a World Tour, and at the Old Vic. Screen credits include The Suspicions of Mr Wicher, Stella (Series 1 to 4 and Christmas Special 2013), Skyfall, Being Human, Doc Martin, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Gavin and Stacey, Caught in the Act, The Death Defying Acts, The Baker, Sweeney Todd, Match Point, Vera Drake, Much Ado About Nothing, Charles II, Moll Flanders, Nuts in May, Knock for Knock, Love's Labour's Lost, Secret and Lies, Robin Hood and Santa Claus.

Elliot Levey's stage credits include Danton's Death, The Habit of Art, All's Well that Ends Well, England People Very Nice, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and His Dark Materials all for the National Theatre, Kafka's Dick at the Theatre Royal Bath, Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse, Canvas at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham's Theatre, Three Sisters at the Hampstead Theatre & Liverpool Everyman, Take Flight at the Menier Chocolate Factory, How Much Is Your Iron at the Young Vic, On Religion/Grace at the Soho Theatre, OnEgo at the Soho Theatre, Beats And Beauties at the Bristol Old Vic, Tonight We Fly at the Trestle, Monkey! at the Young Vic, The Tempest on British Council World Tour, Love's Work at the Gate & National Theatre studio, Pidgin Macbeth at the Piccadilly Theatre, TheComedy Of Errors at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Reckless Are Dying Out at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and Passion on UK Tour. Screen credits include Ripper Street, The Wrong Mans 2, New Tricks, Jamaica Inn, Da Vinci's Demons, Silent Witness, Philomena, Parade's End, Touch of Cloth, Hotel Babylon, Robin Hood, Casualty, Monday Monday, Truckers, Sex, the City and Me, Beau Brummell, Casualty 1906, EastEnders, The Queen, Holby City, Amnesia, A Lump In My Throat, Sirens, Fat Friends, Lovejoy, The Lady In The Van, Fallen, Spooks: The Greater Good, The Wall, Filth And Wisdom, Song of Songs, Supertex, The Book Of John, Judas And Jesus, Jason And The Argonauts and The Bible.

Michael Cronin's stage credits include The Last Confession at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket, Mother Courage, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Ghosts, The Cherry Orchard, The Master Builder, Don Juan and The Taming Of The Shrew, all for the English Touring Theatre, Richard II at Ludlow Festival, Mary Stuart at Derby Playhouse, The Merchant Of Venice at Salisbury Playhouse, Northanger Abbey, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Caesar & Cleopatra and The Corn Is Green, all at Greenwich Theatre, Hamlet at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry and All My Sons for the Oxford Stage Company. Michael's screen credits include Merlin, Foyles War, Doctors, Mayer Of Casterbridge, The Grimleys, Goodnight Mr Tom, Jeremiah, Midsommer Murders, Shakespeare Shorts, Our Mutual Friend, Tom Jones, Heart of Darkness, MacGyver, Between The Lines, The Bill, Fake Identity, The Wolfman, Discovery Of Heaven, RK0 281, For My Baby, The Hour Of The Pig and The Grotesque.

Paul Leonard was last on stage in Richard III starring Martin Freeman, the first production in season two for Trafalgar Transformed. His other stage credits include Richard III at the Savoy Theatre and RSC Stratford, Alice in Wonderland at the Barbican and RSC Stratford, LES MISERABLES original cast at the Barbican and Palace Theatre, The Merchant of Venice and The Water Babies at the Chichester Festival Theatre, The Original Chinese Conjurer at the Almeida Theatre, Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre, It's a Wonderful Life, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Day of the Triffids, A Mad World My Masters and Sweeney Todd all at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Relatively Speaking, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Neville's Island, Around the World in 80 Days, Titfield Thunderbolt, Perfect Pitch, The 39 Steps, A Chorus of Disapproval, Don't Dress for Dinner, The Beggar's Opera, Dick Barton and Lust, all at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch, A Christmas Carol at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Browning Version, A Voyage Round My Father, Flarepath, Cowardy Custard, The Lady Vanishes, Dick Barton, Climbing the Wall, Green for Danger and Holiday Snap at the Southwold Theatre. Paul's screen credits include Gambit, Christmas Candle, LES MISERABLES, Ninja Assassins, Piercing Brightness, Coronation Street, Sherlock, Mr. Selfridge, Episodes, Dark Matters, The Bill, Perfect Strangers and Oliver Twist.

Forbes Masson was also last on stage in Richard III, for Trafalgar Transformed and was part of Jamie Lloyd's first season, playing Banquo in Macbeth. His other stage credits include The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC Courtyard Theatre/RSC First Encounters/UK Tour, and Ohio State University USA, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the 360 Theatre Kensington Gardens, Romeo & Juliet, and As You Like It for the RSC and RST, Roundhouse and New York, Morte D'Arthur, A Tender Thing, The Histories Cycle, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, and Macbeth all at the RSC, King Lear at the Headlong, Everyman and Young Vic, The Breathing House, Art, Much Ado About Nothing, and STIFF at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, The Life of Stuff at the Donmar Warehouse, Endgame, The Trick is to Keep Breathing, Laurel and Hardy, Dumbstruck, The Real World, Cinzano, and Cinderella at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, and Lady in the Dark at the Scottish Opera. Forbes' screen credits include Gypsy Woman, The Green Man of Knowledge, Shetland, Dead Boss, EastEnders, Monarch of the Glen, Hamish Macbeth, No Holds Bard, The Creatives, Red Dwarf, Rab C Nesbitt, 49,000 Steps, The High Life, Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, Paris, My Dead Dad, Taggart, Victor and Barry and Take the High Road.

This production concludes the second season of work at Trafalgar Studios, produced by Jamie Lloyd Productions, a partnership between acclaimed director Jamie Lloyd and Ambassador Theatre Group. Richard III, starring Martin Freeman, East is East starring Jane Horrocks (currently running at Trafalgar Studios), and The Ruling Class comprise the full second season for Trafalgar Transformed. These productions follow on from the dynamic first Trafalgar Transformed season, which launched with Macbeth also starring James McAvoy, followed by The Hothouse, starring John Simm and Simon Russell Beale and The Pride, with Hayley Atwell, Mathew Horne, Harry Hadden-Paton and Al Weaver.

Once again, the Trafalgar Transformed season will offer £15 Monday tickets for all productions, applicable on all seating, further encouraging first-time theatregoers to experience the exciting programming at the venue.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner



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