Further casting has been announced for three upcoming plays at leading London subsidised theatres – the world premiere of Jez Butterworth’s The Winterling at the Royal Court, Tennessee Williams’ rarely performed Period of Adjustment at the Almeida and the Clare Higgins-led revival of Racine’s Phaedra at the Donmar Warehouse.


At the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (See News, 5 Jan 2005), the cast for The Winterling will be Jerome Flynn (Jus’ Like That, TV’s Soldier Soldier), Sally Hawkins (The House of Bernarda Alba), Robert Glenister (Blue Remembered Hills, Brighton Beach Memoirs, TV’s Hustle), Danny Mays ((Vera Drake, Funland on screen) and Roger Lloyd Pack (Blue/Orange, Art, TV’s Only Fools and Horses).

In rural Devon, one man in a barn is visited by two men from London, intent on dealing with some unfinished business. Only two men will leave the barn. Butterworth’s first new play in four years fills the slot left in the Royal Court’s 50th anniversary programme by the cancelled revival of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine. Directed by Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson, it runs from 9 March 2006 (previews from 2 March) to 8 April 2006.


At the Almeida (See News, 25 May 2005), Period of Adjustment will reunite Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) and Lisa Dillon, who appeared at the theatre last year in Richard Eyre’s production of Hedda Gabler, which also transferred to the West End and has earned Cumberbatch an Olivier nomination. Cumberbatch’s other credits include The Lady from the Sea at the Almeida and the title role in TV’s Hawking. Dillon’s other stage credits include The Master Builder and Iphigenia, for which she jointly won the 2004 Ian Charleson Award and the Critics' Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award.

In Williams’ 1960 play, which has not been staged in London since 1962, the story takes place over 24 hours in which Korean war veteran George Haverstick (Cumberbatch) and his new bride Isabel spend their honeymoon driving to Florida in an old hearse to meet up with one of George’s old war buddies.

Cumberbatch and Dillon are joined in the cast by Jared Harris (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and Sandy McDade (Iron, The House of Bernarda Alba). The production, directed by Howard Davies runs from 16 March to 29 April 2006 (previews from 9 March).


In the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Phaedra (See News, 6 Dec 2005), Higgins – who takes the title role as the woman trying to hide her passion for her stepson – will be joined by Sean Campion (Stones in His Pockets, The Quare Fellow, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message…), Michael Feast (Dr Faustus, Oliver Twist, The Master and Margarita, The Servant), Linda Bassett (Love Me Tonight, Far Away, Five Kinds of Silence, East Is East) and Paul Nicholls (Festen, Vincent in Brixton, Long Day’s Journey into Night, TV’s EastEnders).

Also in the cast are Marcella Plunkett, Lucy-Anne Holmes and Janet Whiteside. Frank McGuinness’ new version of Racine’s 1677 piece of classical tragedy is directed by Tom Cairns and runs at the Donmar from 11 April to 3 June 2006 (previews from 6 April).

- by Terri Paddock