|Chris New in his previous role as Joe Orton|
RET Present Edward II in Manchester
Date: 18 August 2011
Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre launches its new Autumn – Winter Season with a major revival of Christopher Marlowe’s fast-paced political thriller Edward II which opens next month.
Guest director Toby Frow returns with the same creative team behind last year’s Exchange production of Doctor Fautus. He again teams up with designer Ben Stones, lighting designer Mark Jonathan and composer Richard Hammarton to stage Marlowe’s gripping exploration of power and corruption.
This state-of-the-nation epic sees the young Edward ascend the throne and call back from exile his beloved childhood ally Piers Gaveston. Their close relationship throws the court and Edward’s marriage into disarray – threatening to destabilise an entire country.
This new production reflects the Exchange’s ongoing commitment to re-imagining classic work. Set in 1950s Britain - a country balanced on a knife-edge between the desire for modernisation and the hierarchies of conservative power - the action plays out to a soundtrack of smoky late-night jazz.
The cast is led by Chris New as Edward. Last seen at the Exchange as Simon Bliss in Hay Fever, other recent credits include playing Joe Orton alongside Matt Lucas in Prick Up Your Ears at the Lowry and in the West End.
The cast also includes Emma Cunniffe (last seen at the Exchange in Three Sisters), as Queen Isabella, Hugh Simon (best known for his long-running role in BBC 1’s Spooks) as Earl of Warwick and Samuel Collings (whose previous Exchange credits include A Comedy Of Errors) as Piers Gaveston.
Edward II runs at the Royal Exchange from 7 September - 8 October.
- by Glenn Meads
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