Cast: Exonerated Pigott-Smith Runs to DuchessDate: 25 May 2006
The cast has been announced for the final weeks of The Exonerated at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios, while one of the number in the verbatim drama about prisoners on death row will join the cast of See How They Run at the West End’s Duchess Theatre after his stint in Hammersmith.
This week (to 28 May), rock star Alanis Morrissette stars in The Exonerated as Sunny Jacobs, making her London stage debut in the role she first played in the show’s original Off-Broadway run (See News, 20 Apr 2006). She’s joined by Samuel West (artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, whose acting credits include Doctor Faustus, The Master and Margarita and Hamlet) as Kerry Max Cook.
From 30 May to 4 June, Frasier’s Peri Gilpin will take over the role of Sunny (See News, 11 Apr 2006), joined by Tim Pigott-Smith (Jewel in the Crown on TV, The Iceman Cometh, A Christmas Carol, Hecuba, Women Beware Women and Mourning Becomes Electra on stage) as Gary Gauger.
From 6 to 11 June, Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean) returns to the show as Kerry Max Cook, following his previous stint from 9 to 14 May (see News, 11 Apr 2006). The Exonerated finishes its London premiere run at Riverside Studios on 11 June 2006.
Following The Exonerated in Hammersmith, Tim Pigott-Smith (pictured) will move to the West End to play the Bishop of Lax in Douglas Hodge’s revival of Philip King’s wartime comedy See How They Run, which opens at the Duchess Theatre on the 29 June (previews from 20 June) - 61 years after it was first staged in the West End – following a national tour (See News, 28 Apr 2006).
In the idyllic village of Merton-cum-Middlewick, where the village inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion, resident nosy-parker and spinster Miss Skillon becomes convinced that her beloved vicar’s actress wife is having an affair and attempts to expose her. Add an escaped German prisoner of war, a handsome actor, the visiting Bishop of Lax, a rotund locum priest and some meddling neighbours and you have all the ingredients for a classic British comedy.
Written in 1942, See How They Run premiered in Peterborough in 1944 before touring the country three times and, still in the midst of the Second World War, transferring to the Comedy Theatre in 1945 – three doodle bugs fell on London on the play’s opening night. It’s credited as the original “English vicar” play and inspired the long-running TV comedy series Dad’s Army.
Pigott-Smith joins Nancy Carroll, Jo Stone-Fewings, Julie Legrand, Nicholas Blane, Adrian Fear, Natalie Grady, Chris MacDonnell and Nick Rowe in the cast. See How They Run is designed by Tim Shortall, with lighting by Ben Ormerod and sound by Fergus O’Hare. It’s produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw, Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer and Ian Lenagan.
- by Caroline Ansdell