Further casting details have been announced for several forthcoming plays at three of London’s leading subsidised houses.

At the Young Vic (See News, 25 Aug 2006), two Olivier Award winners – Oliver Ford Davies and David Bamber - will join Anne-Marie Duff in artistic director David Lan’s production of Thomas Otway’s Restoration comedy The Soldiers' Fortune, which runs from 22 February to 31 March 2007 (previews from 16 February). Set in 1680, the play revolves around Beaugard and Courtine who, returning empty-handed to London from wars abroad, hit upon a scheme to improve their fortunes.

Ford Davies’ myriad stage credits include Life of Galileo, Playing with Fire, Absolutely! (perhaps), King Lear and Racing Demon. Bamber’s credits include Otherwise Engaged, The Glee Club, The Lisbon Traviata and My Night with Reg on stage, and Rome, Daniel Deronda, I Capture the Castle and Pride and Prejudice.

In The Soldier's Fortune, they’re joined by Ray Fearon (an RSC and National veteran recently seen on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing) and Alec Newman (TV’s Spooks), who returns to the Young Vic where he played Andre in Andorra in 2001. Also in the cast are Kate Feldschreiber, Michael Howcroft, Sam Kenyon, Kananu Kirimi, Lisa Lee Leslie, James Traherne and Ben Turner.


At the National Theatre (See News, 12 Dec 2006), joining the previously announced Zoe Wanamaker in Steven Pimlott’s new production of Tennessee Williams’ 1951 play The Rose Tattoo are: Darrell D'Silva (The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the NT, Absolutely! (perhaps) in the West End), Sheila Ballantine, Susannah Fielding, Stephanie Jacob, Rosalind Knight, Andrew Langtree, Maggie McCarthy and Jules Melvin.

The production is now confirmed to open in rep on 29 March 2007 (following previews from 19 March), launching the annual £10 Travelex season in the NT Olivier. The Rose Tattoo is set amongst the vibrant Sicilian community of New Orleans. All through the night Serafina craves her husband’s return; at dawn, she learns he’s been shot dead. For the next three years, she channels her fiercely passionate love into mourning, living on past glories while straitjacketing her vivacious daughter, Rosa. But an ugly rumour gathers force to contaminate her memories, just as Rosa turns rebel and an eye-catching truck driver comes knocking at the door.


At the Donmar Warehouse (See News, 14 Jul 2006), Deborah Findlay will join Ian McDiarmid and Penelope Wilton in David Eldridge’s new version of Ibsen's 1896 play John Gabriel Borkman, which runs from 20 February to 14 April 2007 (previews from 15 February) directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage.

Findlay, who plays Gunhild Borkman, recently starred alongside Wilton in The House of Bernarda Alba at the National. Her other credits include The Vortex and The Cut at the Donmar, as well as The Mandate, Mother Clapp’s Molly House, The Winter’s Tale and Stanley - for which she won an Olivier - at the National. Rafe Spall (son of Timothy Spall, seen on stage in The Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Barbican in 2005), Emma Beattie, David Burke, Lolita Chakrabarti and Lisa Diveney complete the John Gabriel Borkman cast.


And finally, in the West End, the full company has now been confirmed for Thea Sharrock’s revival of Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play Equus in which Daniel Radcliffe will make his stage debut alongside his Harry Potter co-star Richard Griffiths as well as Jenny Agutter (See News, 13 Dec 2006). Also in the cast are: Will Kemp (Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake) as Nugget, Joanna Christie, Jonathan Cullen, Colin Haigh, Karen Meagher, Gabrielle Reidy, Greig Cooke, Joel Corpuz, Temujin Gill and Jami Quarrell. Equus has a limited season from 27 February to 9 June 2007 (previews from 16 February) at the Gielgud Theatre.

- by Caroline Ansdell & Terri Paddock