ETT's Realist Brings Gill Home to Royal CourtDate: 8 November 2001
Peter Gill's new play The York Realist receives its world premiere this month care of English Touring Theatre. The production, also directed by Gill, opens at The Lowry, Salford Quays, on 15 November 2001 ahead of a brief regional tour and a month-long London season at the Royal Court (from 6 January to 9 February 2002).
Set in York in the early 1960s, The York Realist centres on the relationship between middle class Londoner John, who's come to York to work as assistant director on a staging of the Mystery plays, and the working class George, who's acting in the production. John wants George to leave his home and family and move to London with him.
The York Realist stars two familiar young television faces in Richard Coyle (Jeff from BBC 2's Coupling) and Lloyd Owen (from BBC1's Hearts and Bones). Both also have numerous stage credits. Coyle appeared most recently in A View from the Bridge at the Leicester Haymarket, while Owen's theatre credits include Closer (West End), Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (Donmar Warehouse), The Way of the World (Royal Exchange) and, Edward II (with Joseph Fiennes at the Sheffield Crucible).
Coyle and Owen are joined in the York Realist cast by Felix Bell, Ian Mercer, Wendy Nottingham, Caroline O'Neill and Anne Reid. The production is designed by William Dudley, with lighting by Hartley TA Kemp and music by Terry Davies.
Commenting on Gill's new work, ETT artistic director Stephen Unwin said: "As soon as I heard that he (Gill) had written a play called The York Realist, I knew that I wanted to read it, and that English Touring Theatre would have to do it."
According to Unwin, the conclusion of the tour at the Royal Court in London is also highly appropriate. "Peter Gill is part of that astonishing group of actors, directors and writers who converged on the Royal Court in the 1950s and 1960s and made it one of the great theatres in the world." Gill's work there includes the world premieres of DH Lawrence's trilogy of plays - The Daughter-in-Law, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd and The Collier's Friday Night.
As an author, Gill's plays include Kick for Touch, Friendly Fire, Mean Tears, Small Change and another new play, Original Sin, which will be presented next year at the Sheffield Crucible as part of a celebratory retrospective of the playwright's career. As a director, Gill's many productions include the current National Theatre revival of Luther by fellow 1950s "angry young man" of the Royal Court, John Osborne.
- by Terri Paddock