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Full casting announced for Nick Perry's Moll Flanders at Mercury Colchester

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for the world premiere of Nick Perry’s Moll Flanders, which runs at the Mercury Colchester from Friday, September 28 to Saturday, October 13, 2018.

This unfaithful adaptation features a versatile cast of actor-musicians including Eva-Jane Willis as Moll Flanders and Bill Champion as Daniel Defoe. The ensemble also features Dan Bottomley, Victoria Hamnett, Hanna Khogali, Peter Manchester, Mark Peachey, Alan Vicary and Annie Wensak.

Ryan McBryde directs Nick Perry’s lively and rambunctious new play, loosely (in all senses) based on the novel by Daniel Defoe, in a mashup of 18th Century bawdiness and 21st Century humour.

Despite the runaway success of his novel Robinson Crusoe, the author Daniel Defoe is up to his ears in debt and desperate to write another blockbuster. When he falls into bed with the notorious courtesan Elizabeth Atkins, raised in Colchester, the stories she tells him about her action-packed life give him a great idea. He’ll turn them into a novel called Moll Flanders and it’ll fly off the shelves.

However, he hadn’t bargained on becoming entangled in Elizabeth’s tumultuous intrigues and adventures himself, or falling in love with her…

Nick Perry’s first play Arrivederci Millwall won the 1986 Samuel Beckett Award and a film adaptation was broadcast on BBC2 in 1990. His other plays include Smallholdings (King’s Head Theatre) and Near Cricket St Thomas, 1919 (Stephen Joseph Theatre). His feature script The Escapist was produced by Sky Pictures in 2001 starring Jonny Lee Miller and Andy Serkis; while his TV credits include Clubland (1991) and Superbomb (2007).

Perry is also a prolific radio dramatist and his many credits include Moll Flanders for the Classic Serial starring Jessica Hynes and Ben Miles, two series of his original drama November Dead List, the classic Western The Shootist starring Brian Cox, Referee for which Andrew Scott won BBC Audio Drama Best Actor, and The Loop, which won Bronze at the 2010 Sony Radio Awards. He is currently writing an Eric Ambler season for Radio 4.

Perry said: “I’m thrilled that we’re premiering Moll Flanders in Moll’s hometown, Colchester. Moll’s coming home!”

Director Ryan McBryde’s credits include Pieces Of String (Mercury Theatre Colchester), The Invisible Man (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch), Before the Party, Cinderella, Jack And The Beanstalk (Salisbury Playhouse), Faust I, 1984, Spring Awakening, The Crucible (Schauspielbühnen, Stuttgart), Hamlet – The Musical (Royal & Derngate, Northampton/Richmond Playhouse), Saturday Night Fever (Theatre Royal Bath/UK tour), The House of Mirrors and Hearts and The Jabberwocky (Arcola Theatre), A Day at the Racists (Finborough Theatre) and The RSC’s 50th Anniversary Gala (RSC).

McBryde said: “I’m delighted to be directing Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders for the Mercury this autumn. Nick Perry’s wonderfully irreverent adaptation has captured the heart of the original book but has also given it a mischievously modern makeover in the spirit of Blackadder. Our heroine Moll has to employ all of her drive, resourcefulness, resilience, ambition, wit and insightfulness to survive in a man’s world. It’s a ribald, riotous romp through 18th century England and Virginia and I can’t wait to get started!”

Moll Flanders is a Made in Colchester production, presented by arrangement with The Touring Consortium Theatre Company.

To book tickets, call the box office on 01206 573948, e-mail tickets@mercurytheatre.co.uk or visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/.