It’s a balmy summer afternoon in early 70s Brighton – and its upper middle class residents are certainly feeling the heat. The sex-mad Dr Arthur Wicksteed is caught in a compromising position with a gorgeous young patient. His wife, Muriel, craves the reawakening of her passion – with anyone from a travelling salesman to her husband’s bitter rival. While her sister, Connie, is obsessed with developing her flat chest and makes a plan to help nature along... and there are plenty of offers to give her a helping hand!
Will the doctor get away with his clumsy attempts at seduction? Will Cannon Throbbing, the randy local vicar, still be left unsatisfied? Will Connie’s new extensive bust land her the man of her dreams? Will the despairing Mr Purdue finally pop his cork? (And will anyone notice?) There’s only one way to find out!
Alan Bennett’s sparkling career spans over fifty years: from early collaborations with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, through classics like Talking Heads and The Madness of King George III, to the recent smash-hit The History Boys.
The cast includes Margot Leicester and Russell Dixon in the roles of Muriel Wicksteed and Mrs Swabb. Both actors appeared in the Library Theatre production of Habeas Corpus, directed by Howard Lloyd Lewis, back in 1976 and are playing the same roles now 35 years later! Margot is a celebrated stage and screen actress who recently performed at the Octagon in the role of Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Margot appeared in the Octagon’s 2009 productions of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and Ibsen’s Ghosts, receiving MEN nominations for her performances in both productions.
Other Octagon regulars include Rob Edwards, in the role of Arthur Wicksteed, and Paula Jennings, playing Felicity Rumpers. Rob and Paula appeared as Lord and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet earlier this year, and played Oberon and Titania in David Thacker’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2009.
They are joined by Manchester-born actress Eve Steele, well known for her role playing Anne Malone in Coronation Street. Eve has numerous television and theatre acting roles to her credit and is currently one of the writers working on the Octagon’s festive production The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Habeas Corpus is at the Octagon from Thursday 20 October – Saturday 12 November 2011.