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The Children’s Hour extends run

Ellen Burstyn

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IAN Rickson’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour has extended its run for a second and final time, with bookings now being taken at the Comedy Theatre until May 7, 2011.

Previously Posted: Ian Rickson’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour, which opens at the Comedy Theatre on February 9, 2011 (previews from January 22), is now booking until April 30 (and not April 2 as previously announced).

Also joining the cast that includes Keira Knightley (as Karen Wright), Elizabeth Moss (Martha Dobie) and Ellen Burstyn (Mrs Amelia Tilford) will be Lisa Backwell (Evelyn Munn), Isabella Brazier-Jones (Helen Burton), Poppy Carter (Janet), Marama Corlett (Lois Fisher), Nathan Nolan (Grocery Boy) and Eve Ponsonby (Peggy Rogers).

Previously Posted: Further casting has been announced for Ian Rickson’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour, which opens at the Comedy Theatre on February 9, 2011 (previews from January 22).

Joining previously announced Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss will be Ellen Burstyn (as Amelia Tilford), Carol Kane (Lily Mortar), Bryony Hannah (Mary Tilford) and Tobias Menzies (Doctor Joseph Cardin).

They in turn will be joined by Nancy Crane (Agatha), Amy Dawson (Rosalie Wells) and Isabel Ellison (Catherine). Final casting will be announced shortly.

Karen Wright (Knightley) and Martha Dobie (Moss) have worked for years to establish their all-girls boarding school, and now, with the school flourishing and Karen on the verge of marriage, their lives and loves finally appear secure.

However, when malicious student Mary runs away from the school and seeks to avoid being sent back, she draws on hearsay, gossip, and her own imagination, to concoct a story that threatens the school, the marriage, and their entire futures.

Although Ellen Burstyn will be making her London stage debut in The Children’s Hour, her many US theatre credits include Same Time Next Year, for which she won a Tony Award, 84 Charing Cross Road, Shirley Valentine, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s production of The Little Flower of East Orange.

Nominated six times for an Academy Award for her roles in The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Same Time Next Year, Resurrection and Requiem for a Dream, her numerous film credits include Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, for which she not only won the Oscar but also the Best Actress BAFTA. Her more recent film credits include Olivier Stone’s W. (as Barbara Bush), Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Neil LaBute’s remake of The Wicker Man as well as the forthcoming The Mighty Macs and Main Street.

Her television credits include The People vs. Jean Harris (title role) and Pack of Lies, for which she received Emmy nominations, That’s Life, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Book of Daniel.

Carol Kane is best known on television for playing Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas, in the US sitcom Taxi, for which she won two Emmy awards. Her other television credits include regular roles in the American sitcoms All is Forgiven and American Dreamer as well as guest appearances in Chicago Hope, Seinfeld, Pearl, Two and a Half Men and Ugly Betty.

Her film credits include Hester Street (as Gitl), for which she was Academy Award-nominated, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (Allison Portchnik), Dog Day Afternoon, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, Addams Family Values, The Pacifier and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.

She began her professional theatre career in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and has more recently played Madam Morrible in Wicked on Broadway, on tour in the US and in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her other theatre credits include The Tempest, Macbeth and Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Amy Dawson‘s theatre credits include That Face (Sheffield Theatres), Edmond (Theatre Royal Haymarket), I’ll Leave It To You (Pentameters Theatre) and Accidental Heroes (Lyric Hammersmith).

Isabel Ellison, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, was recently seen on stage in Red Bud (Royal Court Theatre).

Bryony Hannah‘s theatre credits include Earthquakes in London, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Pillowman and War Horse (National Theatre), Breathing Irregular (Gate Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Headlong), The Crucible (Sheffield Theatres), The 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic) and The Black Sheep (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh).

On screen, she has appeared in Cemetery Junction and Reversals.

Tobias Menzies‘ theatre work includes King Lear (Young Vic), Cloud Nine and Platonov (Almeida Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Sheffield Theatres), The History Boys (National Theatre), Rupert Goold’s production of Hamlet (Theatre Royal Northampton) and Michael Blakemore’s production of Three Sisters (Playhouse Theatre).

On screen, he has appeared in Atonement, Pierrepoint, Casino Royale and Anton Chekhov’s The Duel (film); Rome (as Brutus), Spooks, The Deep, Pulling and Persuasion (TV).

The Children’s Hour is currently booking until April 2, 2011.

Tickets: £15 – £60 – available from the box office on 0844 871 7622 or at

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