Two touring plays - Headlong Theatre’s production of Angels in America by Tony Kushner and Shared Experience’s Kindertransport - have confirmed their casts.

Angels in America has rarely been seen in the UK since its 1993 premiere at the National Theatre, though Kushner adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning play for a 2003 film directed by Mike Nichols. The story deals with the divine intervention of a New York turned upside down by the chaotic energy of the 1980s and the destructive terror of AIDS. Staged in two parts, Kushner’s epic play weaves together the private and public Reagan-era lives in a vivid dissection of relationships, survival and faith.

Greg Hicks will star as Roy Cohn. Hicks’s many stage credits include Missing Persons (Trafalgar Studios) Tamburlaine (Bristol Old Vic and Barbican), Macbeth (RSC), Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), Julius Caesar (RSC) and Tantalus (RSC/Barbican).

Hicks is joined in the company by Obi Abili (Fabulation and Dafur – How Long is Never? at the Tricycle) as Belize, Kirsty Bushell (The Voysey Inheritance at the National) as Harper, Mark Emerson as Prior, Ann Mitchell (Whose Life is it Anyway? at the Comedy Theatre) as Hannah, Adam Levy (Troilus and Cressida, RSC) as Louis, Golda Rosheuvel (Julius Caesar and The Tempest for the RSC) as The Angel and Jo Stone-Fewings (See How They Run at the Duchess) as Joe.

Angels in America is directed by Daniel Kramer (Bent, Woyzeck, Hair). It has set designs by Soutra Gilmour and costumes by Mark Bouman, with lighting by Charles Balfour and sound by Carolyn Downing. The play opens at Glasgow Citizens Theatre on 16 April 2007, before touring to Newcastle Upon Tyne, Cambridge, Salford, and London’s Lyric Hammersmith, where it runs to 22 July 2007.


Meanwhile, Polly Teale directs Marion Bailey (Vera Drake on film, Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness at the Royal Court), Lily Bevan (Voyage Round My Father, Donmar and West End), Alexi Kaye Campbell (Midnight’s Children RSC), Pandora Colin (You Might as Well Live, New End Theatre, Hotel Babylon and Life Begins on television), Matti Houghton (Watership Down, Lyric Hammersmith, Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship at the National) and Eileen O'Brien (On The Shore of the Wide World at the National), in a rare revival of Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport.

In the final months before the outbreak of World War II, nearly 10,000 unaccompanied children - most of them Jewish - escaped Germany for the relative freedom of Britain. Most never saw their parents again. Were they fortunate refugees or forever haunted by their loss and a sense of parental betrayal? Kindertransport tells the story of Evelyn, a British woman in her fifties, and Eva, the nine-year-old German child she used to be.

Kindertransport was first produced by Soho Theatre in 1993 and won both the Verity Bargate and The Meyer Whitworth Awards. Samuels’ other writing credits for stage includes Frankie’s Monster and Chalk Circle (Unicorn Theatre), The Bonekeeper (Tricycle), The True Life Legend of Mata Hari (Watford Palace Theatre) and Beyond Midnight (Trestle).

Shared Experience’s production, in association with Hampstead Theatre, is designed by Jonathan Fensom, with lighting by Natasha Chivers and movement by Liz Ranken. It has music by Peter Salem.

Kindertransport opens at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on 1 March 2007, before touring to Liverpool, Ipswich, Brighton, Salford, Leeds, Hampstead, Southampton and Oxford, where it concludes on 9 June 2007.

- by Caroline Ansdell