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Helen George to star in a stage adaptation of My Cousin Rachel at Theatre Royal Bath

My Cousin Rachel

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW production of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller My Cousin Rachel, starring Helen George, will run in Theatre Royal Bath’s Main House from November 13 to November 23, 2019, prior to a short tour, the dates of which have not yet been announced.

Adapted by Joseph O’Connor, the production will be directed by Anthony Banks.

My Cousin Rachel, by the author of Rebecca and Don’t Look Now, enthralled readers when it was first published in 1951 and went on to become an international bestseller. This acclaimed stage adaptation premiered at Dublin’s Gate Theatre in 2012 and now returns to the stage in a brand new production. The novel was also adapted for film in 2017.

Helen George said: “My Cousin Rachel was one of my favourite books when I was growing up, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be playing the wonderfully exotic and complex Rachel. I can’t wait to get my wig on!”

Ambrose Ashley, a wealthy landowner, is wintering in Italy when he meets a distant relation, Rachel. Everything changes as his young ward, Philip, receives news that Ambrose has married Rachel and then goes on to find that Ambrose has died suddenly, and his widow has gone. Philip, convinced that Rachel was responsible for Ambrose’s death, travels to meet her in Cornwall, only to become seduced by her charms. Philip is torn between believing that Rachel is a murderess and a gold-digger, or on the other hand that she is a maligned victim of rumour and suspicion.

Helen George is best known for starring as Trixie Franklin in the BAFTA-winning BBC One series Call the Midwife. Her other credits include Paul W S Anderson’s The Three Musketeers and 7 Lives. On radio, she appeared alongside Toby Jones in BBC Radio 4’s dramatisation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s Human Voices and in Colin Bytheway’s drama Departure.

Helen George has received critical acclaim for her varied stage credits, including Trevor Nunn’s revival of Terrance Rattigan’s Love in Idleness and in the title role of Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie, also directed by Anthony Banks. She also appeared on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 where she reached the semi-finals.

Anthony Banks was Associate Director at the National Theatre from 2004 – 2014. His many directing credits include The Girl on the Train (National Tour), Hogarth’s Progress (Rose Theatre Kingston), Twilight Song (Park Theatre), After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath/National Tour), Raz (Trafalgar Studios/Assembly Edinburgh/National Tour), More Light, The Eternal Not and Prince Of Denmark (National Theatre), Pignight (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Experiment (Soho Theatre/Berliner Ensemble), Herding Cats (Theatre Royal Bath/Hampstead Theatre), Bassett (Bristol Old Vic) and DNA (National Tour).

Joseph O’Connor is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and broadcaster. His novels include the international number one best-seller Star of the Sea, Ghost Light and Shadowplay. He has received the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, an American Library Association Award and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been translated into 40 languages across the world.

Tickets: £24 – £38.50 – available from June 10 from the box office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm (no matinee on Thursday, November 14).