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St John's Night - casting complete

St John's Night

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING is now complete for the UK premier of Henrik Ibsen’s third play, the magical and dreamlike St John’s Night, which runs at Jermyn Street Theatre from July 12 (previews from July 10) to August 4, 2012.

Joining Olivier Award-winning actress Sara Crowe, Louise Calf and Isla Carter, are Roddy Maude-Roxby, David Osmond, Danny Lee Wynter, Ed Birch, Harry Napier and Luke Bateman.

Previously Posted: Jermyn Street Theatre is presentimg the UK premier of Henrik Ibsen’s third play, the magical and dreamlike St John’s Night – from July 12 (previews from July 10) to August 4, 2012.

A fairy-tale comedy, Ibsen’s first publicly performed play, commissioned in 1851 by the eccentric violinist Ole Bull for the newly-established National Theatre in Bergen, is an enchanting tale of mischievous goblins, mismatched lovers and secret inheritances and is loosely based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Exploring themes of cultural inheritance, nationalism and the supernatural that appear more clearly defined in Ibsen’s later realist cycle, St John’s Night is described as a riotous and satirical comedy from a writer often associated with Nordic gloom.

Translated by James McFarlane, St John’s Night is directed by Anthony Biggs and designed by James Perkins, with lighting by Richard Howell. Music is composed by Luke Bateman and the cast includes Sara Crowe, Louise Calf and Isla Carter.

Bitingly satirical, when it was first performed St John’s Night held an unflattering mirror up to the faces of Ibsen’s countrymen and was received by critics with offended scorn. The writer’s own reaction to the response was to turn his back on the work and it is unique amongst Ibsen plays in being the only one which he refused publication during his lifetime.

The play remained out of his collected works for years after his death, which goes far to explain why it has not been performed since and has never been seen in the UK before now.

The award-winning Jermyn Street Theatre has a growing reputation for rediscovering and producing lost works by the world’s greatest playwrights. These include Charles Dyer’s 1971 work Mother Adam, Ibsen’s Little Eyolf starring Imogen Stubbs, The River Line by Charles Morgan, The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams and The Art Concealment about the celebrated playwright Terence Rattigan.

Tickets: £18, £15 concessions; previews (July 10 and 11) £14. Earlybird Offer: all tickets £13 if booked before June 25. Tickets are available from the box office on 0207 287 2875 or online at

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3.30pm plus Thursday matinees (July 19 and August 2) at 3.30pm.

Also at Jermyn Street Theatre: Letter to Larry and The Sunny Side of the Street.