Nicholas Nickleby Confirms Gielgud Dates & CastDate: 20 August 2007
Full dates and casting have now been confirmed for the West End transfer of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (See News, 20 Jul 2007). Chichester Festivalís revival of the two-part adaptation of Charles Dickensí classic novel runs for 66 performances only Ė 33 showings apiece of parts one and two Ė from 8 December 2007 (previews from 5 December) to 27 January 2008.
A sell-out hit at last summerís Festival, the production returns to Chichester from 10 to 22 September and then embarks on a national tour until November. After the Gielgud, the plays transfer for a limited Canadian run from February to April 2008 at Torontoís Princess of Wales theatre.
The epic, directed by Chichester artistic director Jonathan Church and Philip Franks, features a cast of more than 20 actors who tell the tale of Nicholas as he embarks on a thrilling comic journey through 1830s England. Left penniless after the death of his father, Nicholas escapes the influence of his villainous Uncle Ralph and the tyrannical schoolmaster Wackford Squeers and has encounters with a variety of eccentric characters including the warm-hearted Crummles Theatre Company.
The RSCís colossal 1980 dramatisation, by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, has gone down in theatrical lore. This version, substantially rewritten by author David Edgar, marked the first major revival since then (See News, 20 Feb 2006). Itís designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting by Mark Jonathan, music by Matthew Scott, movement by Shona Morris and sound by Matt Mackenzie. The music director is Paul Frankish.
Heading the cast, Daniel Weyman reprises his title performance, for which he was nominated for Best Actor in last yearís TMA Awards. The 2007 company also features real-life father and daughter David Yelland (as Ralph Nickleby) and Hannah Yelland (Kate Nickleby), as well as David Dawson (Smike), Pip Donaghy (Mr Squeers/ Sir Mulberry Hawk), Veronica Roberts (Mrs Squeers/ Mrs Crummles), Zoe Waites (Fanny Squeers), Abigail McKern (Mrs Nickleby), Jonathan Coy (Vincent Crummles and Arthur Gride) and Richard Bremmer (Newman Noggs).
Prior to Nicholas Nickleby, Rupert Gooldís Chichester Festivalís production of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood, will have run for ten weeks from 26 September (previews from 24 September), to 1 December 2007 at the Gielgud (See News, 16 Aug 2007).
Both productions are presented in the West End by Duncan C Weldon and Paul Elliott for Triumph Entertainment Ltd, who earlier this summer transferred the Chichester premiere of Roger Craneís Vatican-set thriller The Last Confession, starring David Suchet, to the West Endís Theatre Royal Haymarket (See News, 2 Jul 2007). The Gielgud is currently dark while undergoing a brief refurbishment.
- by Terri Paddock