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After the Party - Criterion Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SAM HODGES will direct Sophie Cosson, David Fynn, Malcolm Hamilton, Kate Lamb and Richard Riddell in the world premiere of Serge Cartwright’s After the Party, part of the Playing the Games season at the Criterion Theatre.

Sean and Ray are best friends from Stratford. Once a promising DJ double act, now they’re stuck in a rut: 30ish, unemployed but still clinging to a fantasy of making it in the music industry. With a baby on the way and the world about to arrive on their doorstep for London 2012, it could be the perfect opportunity for them to make something of their lives….

After the Party is described as a fresh, comic take on an everyday Londoner’s attempt to go from rank outsider to out and out winner.

Sophie Cosson’s (Chelle) theatre credits include The Changeling (Southwark Playhouse), Much Ado About Nothing (international tour), Two Women (Theatre Royal Straford East) and The Comedy of Errors (Greenwich Playhouse). Cosson also starred in the BBC Radio 3 drama The Wire and has had roles in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife (as Ingrid Mason).

David Fynn (Ray) has recently been seen in She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre. His other theatre credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), Mojo (Royal Shakespeare Company) and All My Sons (Leicester Curve).

His screen credits include Sonambulists and Leap Year (film); Big Bad World, Game of Thrones, Life’s Too Short, Manfred, Pete Versus Life, Doctor Who, Black Mirror, Peep Show and The Inbetweeners (TV).

Malcolm Hamilton (Keith), who has most recently been seen in Theatre Alibi’s The Crowstarver, has also appeared on stage in The Morpeth Carol (Bristol Old Vic), Digits (Tobacco Factory) and Reckoning (Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath). His work on radio includes Chess Girls, Beasts on the Lawn, Shy Baby, Paradise Place and Beyond Black, all for BBC Radio 4.

Kate Lamb (Natalie/Carmela), who is making her West End debut in After the Party, has previously been seen in How to be Happy and The Conspirators (Orange Tree Theatre), Water’s Not So Thick (Tobacco Company) and the Royal Court Theatre’s Genesis Foundation Gala.

Richard Riddell (Sean) has most recently been seen in Michael Attenborough’s production of Filumena at the Almeida Theatre. His extensive stage credits include The Homecoming, directed by David Farr, and Rupert Goold’s production of The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company) and The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe).

His screen credits include The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (as Martin), Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, Weekender, Act of God and Blitz (film); A Warriors Tale, Misfits, Merlin, Waking the Dead and Fanny Hill (TV).

Before joining the Criterion last year, Sam Hodges was Artistic Director of HighTide Festival Theatre, which he founded in 2006. For HighTide, he programmed five festivals, produced over 25 plays internationally and launched the Old Vic Tunnels. For the Criterion, in October last year, he launched Criterion Presents, a series of shows, events and panel discussions that run alongside The 39 Steps.

He also conceived and directed the Stories Before Bedtime series which featured Mark Gatiss, Tom Hiddleston, Russell Tovey, Andrew Scott and Billy Boyd. Hodges wrote the award-winning short film Player, starring Pete Postlethwaite and Celia Imrie, and wrote and directed Double Take, a short dance film commissioned as part of the Big Dance programme for Channel 4.

Serge Cartwright worked as a television journalist in London before spending a year in Moscow with an English-language television station backed by the Kremlin. His play, Moscow Live, produced by HighTide in 2010, was a response to his time in the capital. Now working in London, Cartwright continues as a broadcast journalist. His most recent play, The Matter in Hand, was long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize.

After the Party will be designed by James Cotterill, with lighting by Emma Chapman and sound by Gregory Clarke.

Performances: previews Saturday, July 28 at 1pm, Sunday, July 29 at 3pm, Monday, July 30 at 2.30pm (press performance), Tuesday, July 31 at 4.15pm, Thursday, August 2 at 2.30pm, Friday, August 3 at 4.15pm, Sunday, August 5 at 5pm, Monday, August 6 at 4.15pm, Tuesday, August 7 at 2.30pm, Thursday, August 9 at 4.15pm (captioned performance), Friday, August 10 at 2.30pm (audio described performance) and Sunday, August 12 at 5pm.

Tickets: £7.50, £10 and £15 (previews £7.50) – available from the box office on 0844-8471778 or online at www.criterion-theatre.co.uk.