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Lia Williams stars in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar Warehouse

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Photo by David Stewart.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TO MARK the centenary year of Muriel Spark’s birth, the Donmar Warehouse is staging David Harrower’s new adaptation of Spark’s iconic novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – from Monday, June 4 to Saturday, July 28, 2018.

The production will star Lia Williams in the title role, Rona Morison (Sandy), Nicola Coughlan (Joyce-Emily), Emma Hindle (Mary), Grace Saif (Monica), Sylvestra Le Touzel (Miss Mackay), Helena Wilson (Jenny), Angus Wright (Gordon Lowther) and Kit Young (The Journalist).

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will be directed by Polly Findlay, who returns to the Donmar following her acclaimed production of Limehouse.

Artistic Director Josie Rourke said: “In the centenary year of her birth, Muriel Spark’s iconic novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, has been adapted for the Donmar by leading playwright, David Harrower. It’s wonderful to have these two major Scottish voices join in concert on the Donmar stage. Directing the production, we herald the return of one our most significant and exciting directors, Polly Findlay, whose production of Limehouse was a resounding triumph last year. Lia Williams and rising talent Rona Morison lead the cast.”

At Marcia Blaine School for Girls, Miss Jean Brodie presides over her ‘set’, her chosen few. In return for their absolute devotion, Miss Brodie will provide an education far beyond the confines of the curriculum.

Great teachers leave a mark. Miss Jean Brodie’s will never be erased.

Lia Williams returns to the Donmar Warehouse after starring in The Lover and The Collection. Her most recent theatre credits include Mary Stuart (Almeida/West End) and Oresteia for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress (Almeida/West End). Other theatre credits include The Revengers’ Comedies for which she was nominated for an Olivier for Best Comedy Performance, Old Times (West End), Arcadia and Skylight for which she was Olivier and Tony nominated (National Theatre/West End/Broadway), Earthquakes in London, The Hothouse and Mappa Mundi (National Theatre), Oleanna, King Lear and My Child (Royal Court) and Celebration/The Room (Almeida/New York).

Her screen credits include Kiri, Strike: Silkworm, The Missing, The Crown, Secret State, Doc Martin, May 33rd (BAFTA nomination for Best Actress), The Russian Bride, Imogen’s Face, A Shot Through the Heart, Seaforth and Mr Wroe’s Virgins (TV); The Foreigner, Jonathan Toomey, The King is Alive, Different for Girls, The Fifth Province, Firelight, Dirty Weekend and La Suite Blanche-Neige (film).

As Director, her theatre credits include The Match Box for the Liverpool Playhouse and the Tricycle Theatre and the films Feathers, The Stronger (BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film), Dog Alone and the feature documentary Nanabozhung.

Rona Morison makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Her theatre work includes Dead Don’t Floss (National Theatre), Glory on Earth (Royal Lyceum Theatre), The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Southwark Playhouse), Julie (Northern Stage), The Crucible (Bristol Old Vic), Scuttlers (Royal Exchange, Manchester), The James Plays (National Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland), Anhedonia (Royal Court), To Kill a Mockingbird (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Illusions (Bush Theatre), The Second Mrs Tanqueray (Rose Theatre Kingston), and Crave (ATC).

For television, Morison’s credits include Decline and Fall and her film credits include Ready Player One, Love Bite and The Boy I Loved.

The production is designed by Lizzie Clachan, with lighting design by Charles Balfour, sound design by Paul Arditti, composition by Marc Tritschler and movement direction by Naomi Said.

The Donmar’s free ticket scheme for those aged 25 and under, YOUNG+FREE, will continue to offer seats for performances of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with tickets released via ballot on the final Friday of every month. YOUNG+FREE is funded through the generosity of audiences via the Donmar’s PAY IT FORWARD scheme. These donations and the partnership support of Delta Air Lines have allowed the Donmar to allocate more than 11,000 free tickets to those aged 25 and under over the past year.

KLAXON tickets will also continue across the run. Starting from £10, KLAXON tickets are released for sale every Monday for performances in the following three weeks. Tickets will be available across the auditorium at every price band. Audiences can sign up to receive information about tickets on the Donmar’s website

Image: Lia Williams by David Stewart.

Also at the Donmar Warehouse: The Way of the World by William Congreve (March 29 to May 26, 2018).

Anita Dobson leads the cast of 3Women at Trafalgar Studios

3 Women

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

3Women, the debut play by the award-winning comedian and writer Katy Brand, will premiere at Trafalgar Studios 2, running from May 18 (previews from May 15) to June 9, 2018.

Celebrated screen and stage actress Anita Dobson (as Eleanor) stars alongside Debbie Chazen (Suzanne), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Laurie) and Oliver Greenall (Waiter).

3Women explores the relationships between three generations of the same family, brought together in one hotel room, in a darkly comic and pertinent exploration of what it means to be a woman.

Katy Brand said: “3Women is a play I have been hoping to write for several years, but now that feminism and women’s rights are at the very forefront of the global conversation, I wanted to really explore those issues from the point of view of three generations of women, and how they interact and intersect within the same family.

“These movements are not so straightforward as the media would sometimes have us believe but wrapped up in the chaotic and all-too-human lived experiences of real women, from the Suffragettes to those who currently campaign for trans-gender rights. We are all simply trying our best to be ‘modern women’ (whatever that means), making mistakes, and blundering on as best we can!”

From generation to generation, Mother to Daughter, this female-led play explores what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century and the consequences of the generational gap on our attitudes, cultural expectations and family dynamic. From wedding celebrations to relationship disillusionment, 3Women is described as razor-sharp, funny and caustically irresistible.

Anita Dobson is an Olivier Award nominated and well-loved television, theatre and film actress. Her many stage appearances include Budgie (Cambridge Theatre); Three Sisters (Royal Court); Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (National Theatre); Kvetch (Garrick Theatre); Charley’s Aunt (Aldwych Theatre); The Pajama Game (Victoria Palace Theatre); The Vagina Monologues (Arts Theatre/UK Tour); The Island Of Slaves (Lyric Hammersmith); Frozen (National Theatre) for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, Evening Standard and London Critics’ Circle Award; Chicago (Adelphi Theatre); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre); Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre) and most recently The Shadow Factory (Nuffield Southampton).

As Angie Watts in EastEnders, Anita Dobson was one of the most popular characters on television, winning her the PYE award for Television Personality Of The Year, The Daily Mirror’s Actress Of The Year and the TV Times Actress Of The Year Award, voted by the readers.

Her other television work includes Leave Him To Heaven, Nanny, The House Of Lurking Death, Up The Elephant And Round The Castle, Split Ends, The World Of Eddie Weary, Red Dwarf, Rab C Nesbitt, Smokescreen, Dangerfield, The Famous Five, Highlander, Get Well Soon, Junk, Sunburn, Doctors, New Tricks, The Bill, Hotel Babylon, Casualty, Holby City, Call The Midwife, The Worst Witch and two series of The Rebel.

She has also appeared in the films Seaview Knights, Beyond Bedlam, The Tichborne Claimant, The Revengers’ Comedies, Darkness Falls, Charlie, Solitary, The Rise Of The Krays, The Fall Of The Krays, London Road, taken from the acclaimed National Theatre production directed by Rufus Norris, and The Fight.

Produced by Stage Traffic Productions, 3Women is directed by Michael Yale, with designs by Zahra Mansouri and lighting by Nic Farman.

Tickets: £20-£30 – available from the box office on 0844 871 7632 or online at

Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.45pm; Thursday and Saturday at 3pm.

Also at Trafalgar Studios: The Grinning Man (until April 14, 2018).

Arlene Phillips launches major search to discover ten young stars for the UK premiere of A Little Princess

Arlene Phillips by Wolfgang.

Theatre news

MULTI Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Arlene Phillips CBE is directing A Little Princess and is searching for her ten amazing new child stars.

Arlene Phillips said: “I am thrilled to be part of the biggest casting search for a child star since my worldwide search for the film of Annie. I am searching for ten young stars for the UK premiere of A Little Princess the musical. This will be a huge and exciting casting search for the title role of Sara Crewe and friends who will lead this production.

“The book had deep meaning for me as a child but I realise it is more relevant than ever as it touches on themes of love, loss, bullying, friendship, poverty and hope.”

Open auditions are being held by the production team with Keston & Keston Children’s Casting in London on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

A Little Princess is by Tony-nominated US composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) who will fly in to conduct the one-off semi-staged concert performance by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, with abridged narration by Brian Crawley (Violet) at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28 at 7:30pm.

The musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic childhood novel tells the story of Sara Crewe, as she is sent from her home in Africa to boarding school in London and separated from her father. As young Sara’s world is turned upside down, she must rely on her friends and imaginative powers to overcome her strict headmistress Miss Minchin and prove that every little girl deserves to be a princess.

Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, March 28 at

Full casting to be announced.

What is Director Arlene Phillips looking for?

Ten extraordinary girls aged between 6-14 years old (by the date of open calls) to play the roles of Sara Crewe, Becky, Lottie and friends in the UK premiere of A Little Princess.

All children must be 5’ 2’‘ or under.

All children must be exceptional and confident singers and actresses with strong movement skills.

All children must be able to commute to London (within 1 hour travel time) for rehearsal and production dates.

Children from all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to audition (Schedule 9, Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 (Occupational Requirements) applies).

The children cast must be fully available to rehearse from week commencing April 23, 2018 with the performance on May 28, 2018.

When are the auditions for Sara and her friends?

Open Auditions: Sunday March 25, 2018.

How do I register my child to audition?

To audition you must pre-register your child with Keston and Keston (Children’s Casting Directors) via The iOS App (Keston Casting- downloadable at the app store free of charge) or via the website

All children who fall within the criteria as above will be sent an invite with full information, preparation material and the location for the audition. Children must present this email to be permitted into the building.

Where will the auditions be held?

Auditions will be held in London. The audition location will be disclosed by email after pre-registration to ensure child protection and a lovely audition experience for all.

What if I have any another questions?

Please email

Kes - Jack Studio Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ADAPTED for the stage by Robert Alan Evans from the novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines, Kes runs at the Jack Studio Theatre from Wednesday, May 2 to Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Billy Casper is 15 years old. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, he doesn’t fit in. But when Billy comes across a wild kestrel and realises he can train her, he discovers a new life above the small Northern mining town in which he lives. Together they learn to fly and Billy finds friendship and hope – until one snap decision and an unplaced bet change things forever.

Kes is the story of Billy’s heart. How it came to beat and how it came to break.

Produced by the same team behind The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Haunting and Shipwrecked!, this Off West End premiere is described as a powerful adaptation of Barry Hines’s much-loved modern classic which was published fifty years ago in 1968.

Produced by the Jack Studio Theatre, Kes is directed by Kate Bannister, with set design by Karl Swinyard, lighting design by Ben Jacobs, costume design by Martin J Robinson and sound design by Jack Barton. Casting will be announced in due course.

Barry Hines (June 30, 1939 – March 18, 2016) was born in the mining village of Hoyland Common, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. He worked as an apprentice mining surveyor for the National Coal Board before entering Loughborough Training College to study Physical Education. Working as a teacher in Hoyland Common, he wrote novels in the school library after work, later turning to writing full-time.

Hines has written many popular novels and television scripts, and is probably best known for his novel A Kestrel for a Knave, which he helped adapt for Ken Loach’s film Kes. It was first published in 1968 and has remained in print ever since; it has been re-launched by Penguin as a Penguin Modern Classic and translated into a number of foreign languages. His other novels include The Gamekeeper, Looks and Smiles and The Price of Coal.

Tickets: £16, £13 concessions – available from the box office on 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only) or online at

Time: 7.30pm (not Sunday and Monday).

Also at the Jack Studio Theatre: Ross McGregor’s new version of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters (until April 14) and The Golden F**king Years by Adrian McLoughlin (April 17 to April 28, 2018).

The Plough and the Stars - production images released

The Plough and the Stars. Photo by Ros Kavanagh.

Casting news

PRODUCTION images have been released from Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Images have been released of the cast rehearsing The Plough and the Stars. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Casting has been announced for Sean Holmes’ dynamic re-imagining of Sean O’Casey’s revolutionary masterpiece The Plough and the Stars, which runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from March 15 to April 7, 2018.

The line up includes Ian Lloyd Anderson (as Jack Clitheroe), Niall Buggy (Peter Flynn), Charlie Cassen (Sgt. Tinley), John Currivan (Bar-tender), Phelim Drew (Fluther Good), Hilda Fay (Bessie Burgess), Liam Heslin (Captain Brennan), Julie Maguire (Mollser), Paul Mescal (Lieut. Langon), Janet Moran (Mrs Gogan), Ciaran O’Brien (The Young Covey), Kate Stanley Brennan (Nora Clitheroe), Adam Strawford (Corporal Stoddart) and Nyree Yergainharsian (Rosie Redmond).

Set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising, The Plough and the Stars is the story of ordinary lives ripped apart by the idealism of the time.

The residents of a Dublin tenement shelter from the violence that sweeps through the city’s streets. A revolution that will shape the country’s future rages around them. What kind of Ireland awaits them?

This dynamic re-imagining remains loyal to the spirit of O’Casey’s play whilst unleashing contemporary resonances for a modern audience.

The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926. The audience rioted. Now regarded as a masterpiece, this provocative play is an essential part of our understanding of Ireland in 1916.

Olivier Award-winning director Sean Holmes brings a new perspective to Sean O’Casey’s absorbing play, which was nominated for four Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2016.

Sean Holmes said: “It was a great privilege to direct Sean O’Casey’s seminal work on the Abbey stage during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. It was also personally thrilling to discover how radical and masterful a playwright he was. And immensely satisfying to find a way to make the play speak to a modern audience whilst remaining true to its spirit. I’m delighted we are bringing the production to the Lyric and that London audiences will have the opportunity to see this radical reimagining of O’Casey’s revolutionary masterpiece.”

The Plough and the Stars has set design by Jon Bausor, costume design by Catherine Fay, lighting design by Paul Keogan and musical composition and sound by Philip Stewart.

Open Captioned Performance: Saturday, March 31 at 2.30pm.

Audio Described Performance: Saturday, March 31 at 7.30pm.

Image: The Plough and the Stars. Photo by Ros Kavanagh.

For more information or to book tickets, call 020 8741 6850 or visit

Also at the Lyric Hammersmith: the Lyric Hammersmith and Filter’s critically acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 13 and 14, 2018).

An Evening with Jason Robert Brown - special guests announced

Norm Lewis

Casting news

SPECIAL guests have been announced for three-time Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown’s one-off West End concert at the London Palladium. Entilted An Evening with Jason Robert Brown, it takes place on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Part of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, the performers will be accompanied by the 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra.

Broadway stars Norm Lewis (The Phantom of the Opera) and Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) will appear alongside Wicked star Rachel Tucker.

Norm Lewis (pictured top) was recently seen in the NBC television special, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. He recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In May of 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American Phantom on Broadway.

Lewis received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics’ Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who’s Tommy. In London’s West End he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS.

Rachel Tucker (pictured bottom) is best known for her award-winning portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked in the West End. She made her acclaimed Broadway debut in Sting’s musical The Last Ship, which was later followed by a stint as Elphaba in New York. Recently she completed her green journey by performing as part of Wicked‘s 10th Anniversary. Other credits include Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory), Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse), We Will Rock You (West End), The Wizard of Oz, To Be Sure (Belfast Lyric), and Tommy, The Full Monty (National Tour).

Rachel Tucker

She has also performed solo concerts at Live at Zedel and Shoreditch Town Hall and as part of a National tour. Her first album, The Reason, was released in 2013 and her second, On the Road, was released in 2017 when it was nominated for The Curtain Up Show Album of the Year award.

Betsy Wolfe recently finished starring in the hit Broadway musical Waitress, taking over the lead role from the composer and pop star Sara Bareilles. Prior to Waitress, she was on Broadway starring in Falsettos as Cordelia, one of the lovable “lesbians from next door”, directed by James Lapine. Her other Broadway credits include Woody Allen’s musical adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway where she played opposite Zach Braff, under the direction of Susan Stroman, Everyday Rapture with Sherie Rene Scott (a show she also performed Off- Broadway), 110 in the Shade, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Wolfe made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Douglas Carter Beane’s adaptation of Die Fledermaus, which she recently returned to for an encore engagement. She has been a guest artist for over 40 symphony, pops, and philharmonic orchestras across the U.S. and internationally including the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Last season she performed with Maestro Reineke and Darren Criss to sold out crowds at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center with their show Broadway Today.

Recordings include Falsettos, Bullets over Broadway, The Last Five Years, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Stage Door Canteen, 35MM, and Merrily We Roll Along. She can also be seen in the film adaptation of The Last Five Years.

Read more about An Evening with Jason Robert Brown.

The Play That Goes Wrong extends into 2019 as new cast members are announced

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo credit: Helen Murray.

Casting news

THE PLAY That Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award-winning box office hit, has announced a new booking period at the Duchess Theatre with tickets going on sale until April 7, 2019.

And from Wednesday, March 28, 2018, a new cast includes Katie Bernstein (as Annie), Jason Callender (Jonathan), Edward Judge (Robert), Alastair Kirton (Max), Edward Howells (Dennis), Meg Mortell (Sandra), Graeme Rooney (Trevor) and Patrick Warner (Chris).

The company will be completed by Natasha Culley, Matthew Howell, Helana Muir and James Watterson.

Awarded the 2014 Best New Comedy, the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a Tony Award for the Broadway transfer, The Play That Goes Wrong continues to delight audiences in the West End.

A remarkable rags-to-riches story that shows no signs of slowing down, The Play That Goes Wrong started life at a London fringe venue with only four paying customers at the first performance. Since then, it has played to an audience of over a million. This Autumn, it will be playing simultaneously in twelve countries.

Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, and directed by Mark Bell, The Play That Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick delivered with split-second timing.

The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong, does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.

The 2018 UK Tour of The Play That Goes Wrong will play at over 35 venues nationwide, until October 2018.

Image: The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo credit: Helen Murray.

Casting annnounced for The Phlebotomist at Hampstead Theatre

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for the world premiere of Ella Road’s debut play The Phlebotomist, which runs at Hampstead Theatre (Downstairs) from April 25 (previews from April 12) to May 19, 2018.

The line up includes Jade Anouka (as Bea), Vincent Ebrahim (David), Rory Fleck Byrne (Aaron) and Cherrelle Skeete (Char).

All these people are getting their dating profiles blood-verified. You know, shouldn’t we just go for the people we fancy?

Directed by Sam Yates, The Phlebotomist is a powerfully provocative vision of the future, questioning the value we place on one another, whether knowledge really is power, and if it’s truly possible for love to conquer all.

Bea meets Aaron. He’s intelligent, handsome, makes her laugh and, most importantly, has a high rating on his genetic profile. What’s not to like? Char is on the brink of landing her dream job and has big plans to start a family – but her blood rating threatens it all.

In a world where future happiness depends on a single, inescapable blood test – which dictates everything from credit rating to dating prospects – how far will people go to beat the system and let nature take its course?

Ella Road trained as an actor at The Oxford School of Drama after her English degree at Somerville College, Oxford. The Phlebotomist is the first play she’s written. She is currently under commission from Theatre Royal Plymouth and is developing her play Roosting following an R&D scheme at The Park Theatre. She is also developing work for screen. Her film credits as a creative include The Wyrd and Mo Ji (in development). She is co-founder of the new writing company ‘Flux Theatre’ and is a Soho Theatre Young Writer.

Sam Yates’ theatre credits include Glengarry Glen Ross (Playhouse Theatre); Desire Under the Elms (Sheffield Crucible); Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre – nominated for three WhatsOnStage Awards and an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress); Cymbeline (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Shakespeare’s Globe – Ian Charleson Award commendation); East Is East (West End and UK tours); The El Train with Ruth Wilson (Hoxton Hall); and Cornelius (Finborough Theatre/59E59 Theaters, New York – nominated for four Off West End Theatre Awards and Critics’ Pick The New York Times).

The Phlebotomist is designed by Rosanna Vize, with video designs by Duncan McLean, lighting by Zoe Spurr and sound by Alex Twiselton.

Also at Hampstead Theatre: Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical, Caroline, Or Change (until April 21) and the world premiere of Amy Ng’s Acceptance (until April 7, 2018).

Casting announced for Describe the Night at Hampstead Theatre

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for the UK premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night, which runs at Hampstead Theatre (Main Stage) from May 9 (previews from April 30) to June 9, 2018.

The line up includes David Birrell (as Nikolai), Ben Caplan (Isaac Babel), Siena Kelly (Urzula), Wendy Kweh (Mariya/Mrs Petronova), Joel MacCormack (Feliks), Rebecca O’Mara (Yevgenia) and Steve John Shepherd (Vova).

When we say that something is true, it becomes true. When we say that something is false, it becomes false… There is nothing that cannot eventually be crossed out and changed.

In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel reports on a Red Cavalry campaign in Poland. In 1936, Stalin’s NKVD chief Nicolai Yezhov unleashes the Great Purge. In 1989, a mysterious KGB agent spying on a woman in Dresden falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes near the Russian city of Smolensk…

Directed by Lisa Spirling, this darkly comic rhapsody on Russian themes explores the blurred lines between lies, fiction and conspiracy theories, as it tracks back and forth across 90 years of Soviet and post-Soviet history in search of the genesis of the post-truth world.

Describe the Night is designed by Polly Sullivan, with lighting by Johanna Town and sound and composition by Richard Hammarton.

Read more about Describe the Night.

Shuler Hensley stars in The Whale at Theatre Royal Bath

The Ustinov Studio. Photo credit: Robert Hollingworth.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AWARD-winning Broadway actor Shuler Hensley will star in the UK premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, which runs at the Theatre Royal Bath (Ustinov Studio) from May 3 (previews from April 26) to June 2, 2018.

Directed by the Ustinov Studio’s Artistic Director Laurence Boswell, the play is the huge-hearted and fiercely funny story of a father’s final chance at salvation, and of finding hope and beauty in the most unexpected places.

Charlie, a reclusive online writing instructor, lives marooned on a couch. Weighing in at six hundred pounds, he is slowly eating himself to death. But redemption may be within reach as he tries to reconnect with his estranged, sharp-tongued daughter as a conveyor belt of visitors – welcome and otherwise – move through his living room. Can any of them help him to see a future?

Shuler Hensley won both the Olivier Award and Tony Award for his role as Jud Fry in Oklahoma, starring alongside Hugh Jackman. His Broadway theatre credits include No Man’s Land/Waiting for Godot (Cort Theatre), Young Frankenstein (Hilton Theatre), Tarzan (Richard Rodgers Theatre) and Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre). Most recently, Shuler starred in the original West End production of Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre).

Laurence Boswell is an Olivier Award winner, Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio and an Associate Artist of the RSC. His recent productions include The Mentor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Theatre Royal’s Main House, and Trouble in Mind, The Mother, Intimate Apparel and The Spanish Golden Age Season in the Ustinov Studio.

Samuel D. Hunter’s playwriting credits include A Bright New Boise (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Few, A Great Wilderness, Rest, Pocatello, Lewiston, Clarkston, and most recently, The Healing and The Harvest.

Image: The Ustinov Studio. Photo credit: Robert Hollingworth.

NB: No performances from Monday, May 21 to Saturday, May 26.

Tickets: £22.50, £17.50 discounts (Preview performances and Mondays, all seats £15). To book, call the box office on 01225 448844 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.