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A Small Family Business - National Theatre (Olivier)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ALAN Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business is returning to the National Theatre where it premiered in 1987.

Directed by Adam Penford and starring Nigel Lindsay as Jack McCracken, it runs in the Olivier from April 8 (previews from April 1) to May 31, 2014, with further performances to be announced.

Jack McCracken is a man of principle in a corrupt world but not for long. Moments after taking over his father-in-law’s business he’s approached by a private detective armed with some compromising information.

Jack’s integrity fades away as he discovers his extended family to be thieves and adulterers, looting the business from their suburban homes. Rampant self-interest takes over and comic hysteria builds to a macabre climax.

The cast also includes Debra Gillett, Gawn Grainger, Amanda Hadingue, Amy Marston, Gerard Monaco, Samuel Taylor and Niky Wardley.

Nigel Lindsay, who is currently appearing as Bolingbroke in Richard II at the RSC, has previously appeared at the National Theatre in The Pillowman, The London Cuckolds, Blue Remembered Hills and Dealer’s Choice.

His recent credits elsewhere include The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar Warehouse), the title role in Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Broken Glass (Tricycle Theatre), Sucker Punch (Royal Court Theatre), Under the Blue Sky (Duke of York’s Theatre) and The Homecoming and Awake and Sing (Almeida Theatre).

His screen work includes Poirot, Gifted, The Tunnel, The Fear, Rogue Trader, Rome, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Chris Morris’s Four Lions.

Adam Penford is the Associate Director and choreographer for the National Theatre production of One Man, Two Guvnors (West End, Broadway, UK and international tour), and was Associate Director on the NT’s anniversary performance Live from the National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage, broadcast on BBC Two last autumn.

His directing credits include Island (National Theatre), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse), The Machine Gunners and Run! (Polka Theatre), The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse) and Young Woodley and Tea and Sympathy (Finborough Theatre).

As well as A Small Family Business, Alan Ayckbourn’s plays produced at the National Theatre include Bedroom Farce, Way Upstream, A Chorus of Disapproval, House/Garden, Sisterly Feelings, Season’s Greetings, Mr A’s Amazing Maze Plays and Invisible Friends.

A Small Family Business will be designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Paul Anderson, music by Grant Olding, sound by Gareth Fry and fight direction by Alison de Burgh.

NB: A Small Family Business will be broadcast to cinemas worldwide by National Theatre Live on June 12, 2014.