The cast for Chichester Festival Theatre and Out of Joint's co-production of Top Girls has been announced as Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet.

The production, which was previously reported as part Chichester's upcoming season, will open on 30 June (previews from 23 June) and run until 16 July in the Minerva Theatre.

Top Girls is helmed by Out of Joint's artistic director Max Stafford Clark who returns to Caryl Churchill's play after directing its premiere at the Royal Court in 1982.

One of the boldest and most original plays of the 1980s, Top Girls is a study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain. Hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene (Suranne Jones) hosts a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to managing director of the Top Girls Employment Agency with a guest list including powerful women from myth and history.

Suranne Jones' stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, and the touring production of Terms of Endearment. Catherine McCormack plays Lady Nijo/Win. Her notable screen credits include Braveheart and 28 Weeks Later. She received an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in the National Theatre's All My Sons and The 39 Steps.

Stella Gonet plays Isabella Bird, Joyce and Mrs Kidd. Her stage credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance for the National, and RSC productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Pope Joan and Louise are played by Lucy Briers. Her theatre credits include West End productions of Some Kind of Bliss and Ivanov. Her screen appearances include Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Olivia Poulet plays Dull Gret, Angie and Jeanine. Her recent credits include Armando Iannucci's BBC's comedy The Thick of It, as well as the subsequent film In The Loop.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, Far Away and A Number. Her 1983 play Fen is currently being revived at the Finborough Theatre, continuing until 26 March 2011.


In other Chichester casting news, the Daily Mail recently reported that Joseph Drake, who made his professional debut in the Young Vic's Vernon God Little, will take the title role in Nicholas Wright's Nijinsky which runs from 19 July to 3 September 2011.

Based on an unproduced screenplay by Terence Rattigan, whose centenary is being celebrated by theatres across the country this year, Wright's play focuses on the story of the famed ballet dancer and impresario Diaghilev.

Rufus Norris' second production of Vernon God Little, which is based on the 2003 Booker Prize-winning novel by DBC Pierre, ran at the Young Vic until 12 March 2011.


Full casting has been announced for the Donmar Warehouse's upcoming production of Moonlight, with Lisa Diveney, [Liam Garrigan, Carol Royle and Paul Shelley joining the previously announced David Bradley, Deborah Findlay and Daniel Mays.

Directed by Bijan Sheibani (making his Donmar debut), the Pinter tragicomedy runs from 12 April to 28 May 2011 (previews from 7 April).

Bel (Findlay), tries desperately to bring the estranged sons to the side of their dying father's (David Bradley) bed. As he approaches death his thoughts turn to his youth, loves, lust and fears, whilst the haunting presence of the things they have all lost swirl in the dark lonely spaces of this suburban household.

Bijan Sheibani directs. His work includes Eurydice and The Brothers Size (ATC/Young Vic Theatre), Our Class (National Theatre), Ghosts or Those Who Return (ATC/Arcola Theatre), Gone Too Far (Royal Court Theatre), Fixer (Almeida Theatre), Other Hands and Flush (Soho Theatre), Breath and Party Time/One for the Road (BAC – Sheibani received the James Menzies-Kitchin Memorial Trust Award for Young Directors for the Pinter double bill), and Have I None (Southwark Playhouse). Sheibani is an Associate Director of the National Theatre and was Artistic Director of ATC.


The Gate Theatre has announced casting for Carrie Cracknell's production of Sophocles' tragic masterpiece Electra which opens on 13 April (previews from 7 April) continuing until 14 May 2011.

Joint artistic director of the Gate, Cracknell will stage a new version by playwright Nick Payne. Ten years on from her mother murdering her father, Electra (Cath Whitefield), wrapped in grief and unwilling to forgive, surrenders to an-consuming desire for revenge that propels her toward a bloody and terrifying conclusion.

Cath Whitefield's recent stage credits include Elektra at the Young Vic, Othello with the RSC and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Her Gate credits include How to Be Another Woman, Hedda and The Sexual Neurosis of our Parents.

As well as appearing in Southwark Fair and All My Sons for the National, Madeleine Potter’s credits include After Mrs Rochester and Madame Melville on the West End and 4.48 Psychosis at the Royal Court.

Natasha Broomfield's recent theatre credits include Greenland at the National, Ghosts for the Arcola and Fiddler on the Roof at the Savoy. Alex Price’s stage credits include Bingo at Chichester, Is Everyone Ok for Nabokov and Colourings at the Old Red Lion.

Martin Turner’s stage credits include Fabrication at the Print Room, Henry VIII for Shakespeare’s Globe, Macbeth at Chichester and in the West End and Rabbit at Trafalgar Studios. The cast also includes Yasmin Garrad and Fern Deacon.


Finally, Nicola Stephenson and Patrick Robinson have joined the National Theatre's award-winning production of War Horse, playing Albert’s mother, Rose Narracott, and German soldier Friedrich Muller from 9 March 2011.

Nicola Stephenson is best known on television for playing Nurse Julie Fitzjohn in the long-running hospital drama Holby City and Suzie Davidson in the BBC’s Clocking Off. Her theatre credits include Edmund and His Girl Friday for the National and A Patriot for Me for the RSC.

As well as television credits on the BBC's Casualty in ITV’s The Bill Patrick Robinson's extensive stage credits include Mappa Mundi for the National and Much Ado About Nothing, King John, King Lear, Richard III, All God’s Children Got Wings, The Great White Hope, Class Enemy and Romeo and Juliet for the RSC.

War Horse premiered in October 2007 at the National, returning for a second sell-out run in 2008. It has been running at the New London Theatre since April 2009 and is currently booking through until 18 February 2012.

The play will open at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theatre on 14 April (previews from 17 March) and is currently being made into a film starring Jeremy Irvine and Benedict Cumberbatch by legendary director Steven Spielberg.

In Nick Stafford’s stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s book, young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. Unable to forget Joey and still too young to enlist, the boy embarks on a treacherous mission to find the horse and bring him home.

The production is co-directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris and designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paule Constable, movement by Toby Sedgwick and music by Adrian Sutton.

The current West End cast is: Stuart Angell, Nigel Betts, Nicholas Bishop, Joshua Blake, Hannah Boyde, Pascale Burgess, Ellie Burrow, Emily Cooper, Matt Costain, Ewen Cummins, Danny Dalton, Salvatore D’Aquila, Matthew Forbes, Thomas Goodridge, David Grewcock, Stephen Harper, Christian Jenner, Curtis Jordan, Nicolas Karimi, Sarah Mardel, Shaun McKee, Jack Monaghan, Jack Parker, Malcolm Ridley, Ruth Rogers, Saul Rose, Mat Ruttle, William Rycroft, Eliot Short, Anthony Shuster, David Walmesley, Andy Williams and Thomas Wilton.