The Thick of It Star Olivia Poulet Joins Joseph Drake in World Premiere of Philip Ridley Play SHIVERED


Olivia Poulet, best known as Tory staffer Emma Messinger in Channel 4's hit comedy The Thick of It, will star opposite Joseph Drake (Vernon God Little, The Lion in Winter), in the world premiere of new play Shivered, by acclaimed playwright Philip Ridley, at the Southwark Playhouse, London.

A young couple are moving into their new home. A soldier is being held hostage. Two boys are searching for monsters. All these things are connected by both family and time… but what story can be told when family and time are broken?

Covering over twelve years, it unpicks the story of two families and then re-weaves it into something new and startling. Seven people, one war, a derelict car plant and mysterious lights in the sky… all come together in the Essex new-town of Draylingstowe, where the view from green hills once offered hope and prosperity for all. Shivered will be directed by Russell Bolam

Shivered follows hot on the heels of the success of Ridley's other plays The Pitchfork Disney, currently at the Arcola Theatre, and Tender Napalm, previously also at the Southwark Playhouse.

Full cast: Amanda Daniels, Robbie Jarvis Dean, Joseph Drake, Andrew Hawley, Simon Lenagan, Olivia Poulet and Joshua Williams.

Olivia Poulet's previous stage credits include Top Girls (Chichester/West End) A Voyage Round My Father (Salisbury) and Fiasco (Soho). Her TV credits include The Thick of It, Sherlock, Outnumbered, Love Soup and Whatever Love Means. Her film credits include In The Loop.

Joseph Drake's most recent stage credits include the title role in Vernon God Little, as well as roles in The Lion in Winter (West End) and Deep Blue Sea (Chichester).

Following his debut in 1991, Philip Ridley established himself as one of the leading figures in British theatre. His work is stated as an inspiration by a whole generation of writers, directors and actors. Alongside his other work across several different art forms, his plays have continued to shock, challenge and exhilarate audiences ever since.

Philip Ridley was born in the East End of London where he still lives and works. He studied painting at St Martin's School of Art and his work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and Japan. As well as three books for adults - and the highly acclaimed screenplay for the The Krays feature film (winner of The Evening Standard Best Film of the Year Award) - he has written eight adult stage plays: The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, the highly controversial Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights and, most recently, the hugely successful Tender Napalm (nominated for the London Fringe Best Play Award), plus several plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece, Sparkleshark and Brokenville. He has also written many books for children, including Scribbleboy (shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal), Kasper in the Glitter (nominated for the Whitbread Prize), Mighty Fizz Chilla (shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award), ZinderZunder, Vinegar Street, Zips'Apollo and the bestseller Krindlekrax (winner of both the Smarties Prize and WH Smith's Mind-Boggling Books Award), the stage play of which – adapted by Philip himself – was premiered at the Birmingham Rep Theatre in the summer of 2002. He has also directed three feature films from his own screenplays: The Reflecting Skin (winner of eleven international awards including the prestigious George Sadoul Prize),The Passion of Darkly Noon (winner of the Best Director Prize at the Porto Film Festival) and, most recently, Heartless (winner of The Silver Meliers Award for Best Fantasy Film), starring Jim Sturgess and Noel Clarke. Philip has won both the Evening Standard's Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards; the only person ever to receive both prizes.

Russell Bolam's theatre credits include The Road to Mecca (Arcola Theatre), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre) Captain Oates' Left Sock (Finborough) Three More Sleepless Nights (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fourplay (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fairytaleheart (Old Red Lion) and The Physicists (Aphra Studio). He is currently developing a new site-specific play called The Embassy at The National Theatre Studio.

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